Virginia is rich in a wide variety of natural resources, including forests, arable (farmable) land, coal, sand and aggregates (rocks), wildlife and aquatic organisms, clean water and air, and beautiful scenery.
Natural resources: Materials supplied by nature that are useful or necessary for life.
Examples: minerals, timber, land, water, soil
Man-made resources: Materials made by people using natural resources that are useful or necessary for life.
Examples: cars, homes, clothes
A watershed is an area over which surface water (and the materials it carries) flows to a single collection place. The Chesapeake Bay watershed covers approximately half of Virginia’s land area. The other two major watershed systems are the Gulf of Mexico and the North Carolina Sounds.
Virginia’s water resources include groundwater, lakes, reservoirs, rivers, bays, and the Atlantic Ocean
Rivers: A large natural stream of water that flows
into a lake, an ocean, or another. Examples in Virginia include Potomac, Rappohannock, James, York.
Lakes: A body of water entirely or nearly surrounded by land usually made of fresh water. The two natural lakes in Virginia are Lake Drummond and Mountain Lake.
Bays: A part of an ocean extending into the land. The Cheapeake Bay is located in Virginia.
Plant and Animal Resources
Forests cover more than 60 percent of Virginia. Common trees include ashes, beeches, birches, black tupelos, hemlocks, hickories, locusts, maples, red cedars, sweet gums, and tulip trees. Red spruces can be found on the highest peaks. Flowering dogwood, the state flower, blooms in early spring. Wild azaleas, mountain laurels, redbuds, rhododendrons, and other flowering plants grow in mountain areas. Wildflowers include bloodroots, mayapples, violets, and Virginia bluebells.
Deer roam the wooded areas. Black bears and wildcats live in the mountains and in the Great Dismal Swamp. Small animals include foxes, muskrats, opossums, rabbits, and raccoons. Ducks, geese, quails, ruffed grouse, and turkeys live in the state. Freshwater fishes include alewife, bass, carp, perch, pickerel, pike, and trout. Drum, flounder, mackerel, menhaden, and shad swim in the Atlantic Ocean, in Chesapeake Bay, and in Virginia’s many inlets. Clams, crabs, oysters, and scallops live in Chesapeake Bay and in shallow coastal waters.
Students will be able to recognize the importance of Virginia’s mineral resources, including coal, limestone, granite, and sand and gravel.
Coal is Virginia’s most important mined resource. Our state also has different types of sand, salt, clay, and gypsum.
Coal is a black rocky type of mineral that we burn. It is mined more than any other minerals in Virginia. It is mined in the Allegheny Plateau region.
The limestone soils in the Shenandoah Valley Region helped Augusta and Rockingham counties become dominant agricultural producers.
We use Virginia crushed stone and sand to make roads and buildings.
We use granite, sandstone, slate, and limestone to build buildings.
Soil and Land Uses
Virginia’s soil and land support a great variety of life, provide space for many economic activities, and offer a variety of recreational opportunities.
Soil is a renewable resource. It comes from weathered rock and plant and animal material. Virginia’s rich soil has helped people thrive here for thousands of years.
Farming is still an important business in Virginia. Our leading crops include tobacco and peanuts. Soil can produce crops year after year if we care for it.
Virginia farmers also grow soybeans, cotton, corn, wheat, and apples.
Virginia farmers raise poultry, cattle, hogs, sheep, and horses.
Which of the following is a common
plant that grows wild in Virginia?
A Orange tree
B Cactus tree
C Lemon tree
D Dogwood tree
A Virginia natural resource important to the state’s economy, as well as a primary source of energy, is