Call for entries: Virginia Master Naturalist Photo Contest

Were you taking your family on a bluebell walk and took a perfect photo of light filtering through the tree canopy? Were you documenting a citizen science project and snapped a great blue heron as it took off from the shoreline? We want your photos!

The  Virginia Master Naturalist program is sponsoring a statewide photo contest. Each chapter may submit one photo in one of four categories:

Virginia Flora, to include fungi

Virginia Fauna

Virginia Landscapes and Habitats

Virginia Master Naturalists in Action

Simply upload your photos to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #FMNphotos.  Please include the category for which you are submitting the photo and your name in the photo identification.

Our Fairfax Master Naturalist (FMN) chapter will accept entries from our members in good standing until 11:59 pm on Friday, 20 July. Winners will be notified by Monday, 6 August. The four winning entries will be forwarded to the statewide competition. Participants agree that all images submitted may be used by the FMN program for our website, newsletter, social media and other promotional purposes. Photographers will receive a photo credit.

Photo Editing
Permitted modifications:

  • Cropping, resizing, and rotating photo
  • Red-eye removal
  • One-step enhancement, such as Auto-Fix, Quick-Fix, Auto-Levels, etc.
  • Filters to sharpen, blur, reduce noise
  • Corrective functions to improve the natural appearance of the image, such as white balance, brightness, contrast, levels, exposure, saturation, color balance

     Modifications not permitted:

  • Adding, removing, or replacing elements
  • Artistic filters
  • Added borders or frames

Photo sizing: All photographs must be high resolution digital JPEGs and winning images will be sized for optimum viewing in a PowerPoint presentation.

For questions, contact us at vmnfairfax@gmail.com with the subject line: FMN Photo Contest

Download the flyer to share

Join a community hike at Fountainhead, 15 July

On 15 July 2018, Northern Virginia Conservation Trust will be teaming up with their partner, NOVA Parks, to offer an interpretive, community hike at Fountainhead Regional Park hosted by NOVA Park’s Roving Naturalist, David Garcia. There are a limited number of spots, so first come, first served!

For more information and to RSVP, please email Emily Bowman at ebowman@nvct.org or call 703-354-5093.

Join NVCT’s Alexandria Kayak/Canoe Cleanup on June 30th

Previous date was rained out!  Please join the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (NVCT) for its annual Kayak/Canoe Cleanup of the tidal estuary of Cameron Run at Hunting Creek in Alexandria. NVCT will have a limited number of boats available for volunteer use, but if you have your own, please bring it to support the cause! Coffee and snacks will be offered starting at 9.15 am.  Gloves, trash bags, bug spray, and a water jug for refilling reusable bottles will be provided.  Please bring sunscreen, hat and water shoes and a reusable mug if you’d like coffee.

This is a beautiful landscape and precious wildlife habitat, so it is a great opportunity to help nearby nature while enjoying a morning on the water.

Hunting Creek, Old Town Alexandria

RSVP to Emily Bowman at ebowman@nvct.org or (703) 354-5093 for more details, including specific location, and to reserve a boat

Saturday, 30 June 2018

9.30 am – 1.00 pm

 

Explore the Discovery Trail through Fairfax County Parks this summer

The Fairfax County Park Authority’s Discovery Trail Map features 12 sites across the park system that give children and adults the chance to discover each park’s special features. There’s a game built into the activities, so prizes are a possible outcome (e.g., bicycles, mini-golf, a carousel, train, tour boat, pedal boat, camping, wagon ride, RECenters and a boat rental).

This year’s free summer activities highlight the rich diversity of wildlife you’ll see in Fairfax County parks.

  • Now in its fifth year, the map encourages children and adults to explore and learn interesting facts about the wildlife that lives in the parks. Discover which bird’s wings beat up to 53 times per second, which park serves as the perfect habitat for the great blue heron and which creature could be called a party animal!
  • Discovery Trail Maps ware available now at staffed FCPA locations, Fairfax County Public Libraries, and Board of Supervisors offices (while supply lasts).  Maps also will be available online at Download Discovery Trail Map during the promotional period, May 26 – Sept. 3, 2018.
  • Each featured site has a sticker with a unique image that reinforces the educational messages on the map.
  • Pick up a sticker for each park at the sticker location listed in the table above, and place it in the corresponding box (participant must be present to receive a sticker).
  • Participants who visit at least eight of the featured sites will receive tickets to more park fun valued at $93 and be entered in a drawing for one of four bicycles donated by Spokes, Etc. through the Fairfax County Park Foundation.
  • Qualifying maps can be redeemed at Burke Lake Park, Frying Pan Farm Park and Green Spring Gardens.

Learn more

Attend Butterfly Identification Workshop, with Dr. Leslie Ries, 25 June

The sight of butterflies fluttering around on a warm day is one of the most iconic signs of summer. These beautiful insects usually only live for a few weeks as adults, but they make quite an impression while they are in their full glory. There is a large variety of butterfly species in our area and we are going to census them on June 30 during the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia Butterfly Count in and around our Occoquan Bay Count Ciricle.  

In preparation, Dr. Leslie Ries will be teaching a butterfly workshop focusing on identifying butterflies in Northern Virginia. The classroom portion of the workshop is FREE and will be on Monday, 25 June.

The field trip portion will be in conjunction with the count on June 30.

Register

National Wildlife Federation
11100 Wildlife Center Drive Reston, VA
Monday, 25 June 2018
7:00 PM-9:00 PM

Stream monitoring at Lake Accotink Park

GET YOUR BRAIN WET! Attention adults and children who enjoy helping our parks and environment!  Join Audubon Naturalist Society, Friends of Lake Accotink Park and Friends of Accotink Creek (FOAC) as they catch stream critters (macro invertebrates) to document the health of the stream. This family-friendly event is a great opportunity to learn about what lives in the creek by finding, identifying and counting these creatures.

For more information and to register, please visit the FOAC CALENDAR and click on “Biological Stream Monitoring.”

Accotink Lake Park
7500 Accotink Park Rd, Springfield, VA 22150
Meet in the parking lot behind Lake Accotink Park Administrative building
Saturday, June 9, 2018
9:30 – 11:30 am

Join Matt Bright for a Conservation Walk at Marie Butler Leven Preserve

Marie Butler Leven Preserve offers 20 acres of rich woodlands and meadows that are being managed step-by-step into a virtual library of plants native to the greater Washington, D.C. area. This visit to the Preserve will be split between a walk through the preserve and helping with management of invasives and planting of natives. The walk will pass by a partially restored meadow with a mix of native forbs and grasses as well as remnant turf grasses, and down the wooded slopes towards Pimmit Run to a small seepage-fed wetland. Volunteers will be given a tour of restoration efforts of the park as well as native flora of note.  The group will be working on removing Vinca from an area where it threatens native populations of Phlox divaricata and Erythronium americanum.

Be prepared! Given the work, come with sturdy shoes, appropriate clothing for avoiding ticks, and gloves if you prefer. Also sunscreen, bug spray, and drinking water. Gloves and tools will be provided.

Matt Bright is Conservation Manager at the Earth Sangha, where he has worked full-time since 2011 on plant propagation, conservation, and restoration here in Northern Virginia and in the rural Dominican Republic. He lives on site at Marie Butler Leven Preserve with his wife Katherine Isaacson, who is the Outreach and Development Coordinator also at the Earth Sangha. Matt is a Certified Horticulturist with the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, a member of the Virginia Native Plant Society (VNPS) and an instructor for the Arlington Regional Master Naturalists. Before joining the Sangha full-time, Matt attended Kenyon College in Ohio, where he also worked as a volunteer firefighter.

Sponsored by VNPS, this program is free and open to the public. However, space is limited so please click here to REGISTER.

To CANCEL your registration or ask a QUESTION, please email vnps.pot@gmail.com.

Marie Butler Leven Preserve

1501 Kirby Lane, McLean VA  22101

Saturday, May 26th

1.00 -3.00 pm

Grasses: the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly, 12 July

Botanist and grass enthusiast Sarah Chamberlain speaks on the grasses of the Mid-Atlantic region: natives useful for growing in your yard, naturalized non-natives, and the invasive exotics that pose a threat to native landscapes; how to tell who’s who, and what we know about how to get rid of the bad actors.

Arlington Central Library
1015 N Quincy St, Arlington, VA 22201
Thursday, 12 July 2018
7.30-9.00 pm

Sponsored by the Virginia Native Plant Society. This program is free and open to the public.

Cranberry Lake Film and Talk

Cranberry Lake is a 17-minute documentary about forest ecology students taking immersive field courses in the Adirondacks.  The film explores the connection between experiential learning and environmental stewardship.

After the feature presentation Virginia Native Plant Society (VNPS) Potowmack Chapter president Alan Ford will moderate a Question and Answer session about the challenges, issues, and solutions to native forest, streams, wetlands, and wildlife conservation in the greater D.C. region.

Zoya Baker is an award-winning filmmaker and animator based in New York City. Her work includes films, documentaries, commercials, and television shows. Zoya received a BFA in Film & Television at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and is currently pursuing an MFA at Hunter College Integrated Media Arts program.

Green Spring Gardens
4603 Green Spring Road
Alexandria, VA 22312
Thursday, 14 June 2018
7.30 pm – 9.00 pm

Sponsored by the Virginia Native Plant Society (VNPS).  VNPS programs are free and open to the public.

Join or volunteer for the 2018 Sustainable Garden Tour, 10 June

The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District’s 2018 Sustainable Garden Tour  features rain gardens, green roofs, native plant landscaping, rain barrels, backyard wildlife habitat, composting, and more. Local residents open their gardens and share their experiences landscaping with natural resources in mind. Visitors on the tour are allowed to visit each garden at their own pace, and may visit as many or as few as they like. There is no RSVP required, and the tour is free and open to all: Sunday, June 10,  1-5 pm at sites throughout the Fairfax-Falls Church-Annandale area,

NVSWCD needs volunteers to assist garden hosts. Volunteers will welcome and guide visitors and provide information. Each volunteer will be assigned to one of nine sites:

  1. Booker Residence, 3442 Surrey Lane, Falls Church VA
  2. Sawhney Residence, 4212 Saint Jerome Dr, Annandale, VA 22003
  3. King Residence, 4023 Roberts Road, Fairfax VA 22032
  4. Belvedere Elementary School, 6540 Columbia Pike, Falls Church VA 22041
  5. Chesterfield Mews Community Association, BEHIND 3170 Readsborough Ct, Fairfax VA 22031
  6. Daniels Run Peace Church, 3729 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22030
  7. Carosella Residence, 2903 Rosemary Lane, Falls Church, VA 22042
  8. Meara Residence, 7211  Arthur Drive, Falls Church, VA 22046
  9. Jones Residence, 3517 Queen Anne Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030

You can sign up to volunteer for the whole time (12:30 – 5 pm) or one of two shifts (12:30 – 3 or 2:30 – 5).

Please contact Ashley Palmer: Ashley.Palmer@fairfaxcounty.gov