Take advantage of native plant sale season!

Are you looking for plants that will beautify your yard while requiring a minimum of maintenance? The plants that evolved here are the ones for you! The more local the origin of a plant, the more likely it is to be adapted to our particular soils and climate. There could be a big difference between an Eastern Red Columbine that evolved in Virginia and one that evolved in Saskatchewan, even if they do look alike!

We are fortunate in Northern Virginia to have many sources of native plants. In addition to the native-only nurseries – some of which propagate plants themselves from local seed sources – there are numerous vendors who set up shop at special plant sales in the spring and fall.  Find a list  on the Plant NOVA Natives website. The homepage of the site has the free, downloadable Guide to Native Plants of Northern Virginia.   If you are looking for particular plants, you can contact vendors in advance and ask them to bring them for you. Traditional commercial nurseries are selling more and more native plants as well (but don’t expect to find natives at big box stores).

In addition, the Virginia Native Plant Society sells plants from its propagation beds at Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Rd., Alexandria VA the first Wednesday of the month from 10.00 am to 12.00 pm from April to October.  The Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy is also having its sale on May 19th.

Our local wildlife agree that native plants are the best. In fact, the ecosystem is entirely dependent on the plants that evolved with our bees, butterflies, birds, etc. Why not give them a home on your property?

Participate in Reston Bioblitz, 2 June

A bioblitz is a quick but intense biotic survey completed within a 24 hour period. It provides a snapshot in time of what plants and wildlife are found in a certain place.

Reston’s 2018 bioblitz is looking for volunteers, scientists, and naturalists to participate, whether you’re a Reston residents or not. Please contact Patricia Greenberg for more information: pgreenberg@reston.org, 703-435-6552.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

See Minimalism, environmental film showing in Reston, 24 May

How might your life be better with less? Minimalism examines the many flavors of minimalism by taking viewer inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life. Register by 24 May: naturecenter@reston.org, 703-476-9689, ext. 3. Free, but a $5 donation is suggested.

Walker Nature Center
11450 Glade Dr., Reston
Friday, 25 March
7-9 pm

Attend 2018 Wildflower Symposium: 18-20 May 

The 30th annual Wintergreen Spring Wildflower Symposium offers diverse coverage of wildflowers and mountain ecosystems. The setting has more than 30 miles of hiking trails and convenient access to diverse geological sites. Participants learn about botany, geology, entomology, ornithology and ecology from 17 speakers and instructors.

Come learn from:

Dr. Tom Akre- Director of Virginia Working Landscapes, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Dr. Barbara Abraham- Adjunct Professor, Christopher Newport University and Retired Professor, Hampton
University

Dr. Chuck Bailey- Director and Chair, Department of Geology, College of William and Mary

Doug Coleman-  Field Botanist; Executive Director, The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen

Gerry DeWitt- Nature Photographer

Dr. Mary Jane Epps- Assistant Professor of Biology, Mary Baldwin University

Dr. Linda Fink- Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Ecology, Sweet Briar College

Allen Hale- Owner, Buteo Books & Field Ornithologist, Virginia Society of Ornithology

Clyde Kessler- Birding and Insect Enthusiast, Regional Editor of Virginia Birds

Shawn Kurtzman- Biologist, Conservation Management Institute at Virginia Tech

Sarah Loken- Professional Macro photographer of the insect/wildflower connection

Chris Ludwig- Chief Biologist, Virginia Division of Natural Heritage & Co-Author, Flora of Virginia

Dr. Chip Morgan- Board Member, Flora of Virginia and Member of the Edith and Theodore Roosevelt Pine
Knot Foundation Board

Dr. Janet Steven- Associate Professor of Biology, Christopher Newport University

Nancy Walters-Donnelly- Director of Activities, Massanutten Resort

Dr. Dennis Whigham- Senior Botanist, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center & Founding Director,
North American Orchid Conservation Center

Tom Wiebolt- Retired Curator, Massey Herbarium, Vice President, Virginia Botanical Associates and contributor,
Flora of Virginia

 

Schedule and registration

Attend the Smithsonian Botanical Symposium, 18 May

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany, presents Plants in the Past: Fossils and the Future, in collaboration with the United States Botanic Garden. Present-day plant diversity is rich and varied, but the majority of plant species to have ever lived are now extinct. Knowledge of the past is key to understanding the origins of today’s plant diversity and to illuminating the evolutionary processes that generate biodiversity. The study of prehistoric floras (the fields of paleobotany and paleoecology) also provides key evidence for subjects such as paleozoology, the formation of the Earth’s atmosphere, and climate change.

Warner Bros. Theater
Smithsonian National Museum of American History (location is a change from year’s past)
1300 Constitution Ave NW in Washington, DC 20560
Friday 18 May 2018
9am-8 pm

Registration is free and open to the public.

Hear the Story of the Restoration of Huntley Meadows Park

Thursday, 3 May,  7-8.30 pm

 Woodend Sanctuary, 8940 Jones Mill Rd., Chevy Chase, MD

Hear Cathy Ledec, President of Friends of Huntley Meadows Park (FOHMP), tell the fascinating story of the restoration of Huntley Meadows Park in Fairfax County, VA.

From colonial farms to a failed dream for an enormous airport to road surface testing, anti-aircraft battery hosting, and Cold War radio listening station, Huntley Meadows has had an exciting past. That excitement continues into the present day, when after the federal government turned over 1,261 acres to Fairfax County for a park, beavers quickly returned to the wetland and began to change how water flowed through the landscape. Biodiversity in animal and plant species returned, and today you can walk through a beautiful, highly diverse wetland along a network of well-maintained boardwalks and trails. Humans have helped the process of restoration along, working alongside the beavers and ensuring a beautiful natural resource is open to all and showcases an amazing hemi-marsh ecosystem.

Coffee and dessert will be provided while you enjoy an inspiring presentation on how local conservation is achieved in our region.

This program is May’s Conservation Cafe, presented by the Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS).  Your $10 registration goes to support the ANS Conservation Program. Click here to register.

Attend NVCC Green Festival, April 26th

Towards Environmental Resiliency in a Changing World

Thursday, 26 April ● 9.15 am to 4.00 pm
 
Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Campus
CE Building, Forum, Gym, and Theatre
 
Free and Open to the Public

Festival Highlights:

Screening of the 2016 Film The Age of Consequences
Keynote Address by Michelle Wyman, Executive Director, National Council for Science and the Environment
Free Gifts
Drawings for a Chance to Win a Kayak or a Bicycle
Information Booths for Environmental Organizations

Information at http://www.nvcc.edu/green-festival/2018/index.html.

See raptors up close

Saturday, April 21st, 10.00am – Noon
Belle Haven Park, 1250 Mount Vernon Trail, Alexandria, VA

Come see and photograph live raptors like barn and barred owls, hawks and more up close at Belle Haven Park on the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Co-sponsored by Friends of Dyke Marsh, the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia, and the National Park Service. This is a great event for kids of all ages. Free, no need to RSVP.

Celebrate Earth Day at Hidden Pond–CANCELLED!

This program was cancelled due to low registration.

Hidden Pond Nature Center

8511 Greeley Blvd., Springfield VA

Sunday, April 22nd, 10.00 am-12.00pm

Explore the stream valley and pond at Hidden Pond Nature Center with a tackle-the trash hike, critter talk and Earth Day craft. Give back to Mother Nature by appreciating and beautifying the park. Cost: $8 per person. Register and learn more here.

What on Earth are we doing for Earth Day at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park?

Ellanor C. Lawrence Park

5040 Walney Road, Chantilly VA

1.00 – 4.00 pm, Sunday,  April 22nd

Come and celebrate Earth Day at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park! Learn how plastics affect our environment and our park. Explore what we can do to reduce, reuse, restore and recycle through walks, talks and games.
This free program runs from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, call 703-631-0013.  Learn more.