Explore vernal pools at Lake Accotink, April 14th

Saturday, April 14th

1.00-4.00 pm, Lake Accotink

The Friends of Accotink Creek invite you to join them for a vernal pool exploration led by Mike Hayslett, a passionate and dedicated champion of these special habitats! This is an excellent opportunity to enjoy a lovely spring day in nature, learning about some of our intriguing neighbors like fairy shrimp and spring peepers and spotted salamanders!

The group will meet in the lower parking lot at Lake Accotink, below the dam.
Youth are welcome! Please dress for the weather. Some areas will be muddy, and there’s some possibility of ticks and poison ivy, so long pants and boots are recommended.

Mike Hayslett (Virginia Vernal Pools LLC), a state expert on vernal pools, is conducting an inventory of vernal pools in Fairfax County, as part of an initiative by the Fairfax County Park Authority. Vernal pools are seasonal wetlands, rare ecological features that provide essential habitat for a variety of living beings, including frogs and salamanders. They are vulnerable to a variety of threats associated with human impact, and this inventory will support efforts to monitor and protect them.

Please RSVP at the meetup  or by email to krisunger@gmail.com. If the group doesn’t get enough participants (12) then they will need to cancel the event, so it’s important to RSVP!

Walker Nature Center Spring Festival, May 5

Saturday, May 5 • 1.00 pm – 5.00 pm
Free • All Ages • Rain or Shine
Walker Nature Center, 11450 Glade Drive, Reston, VA

Produced and presented by Reston Association, the Spring Festival is fun for all ages with live animals, fishing activities, craft-making for kids, displays and information from environmental groups, including Fairfax Master Naturalists, and family-friendly entertainment. Entertainment sponsored by Reston Community Center.  Learn more here.

Visit SpringFest Fairfax, 21 April

Saturday, 21 April

10.00 am – 4.00 pm

Sully Historic Site

This is Fairfax County’s official Earth Day and Arbor Day event!  Visit with the Fairfax County Park Authority, workshops, vendors and activities and take action to make a “Healthy Planet-Healthy People.” Over 75 vendors, exhibitors, and food trucks will be at SpringFest.  Admission is FREE! Learn about the great work of Fairfax County Parks; pet an alpaca; run through an environmental obstacle course; participate in environmental crafts; check out the bees and the trees; consult with Fairfax Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners; buy plants for your garden and MORE!

Entertainment includes food trucks, The Recycling Pirates puppet show, petting zoo, Touch-a-Truck, and more!

Clean Fairfax produces SpringFest with our partner Fairfax County Park Authority.  Learn more here.

Learn at The Nature Foundation Spring Wildflower Symposium

18-20 May

Wintergreen Resort, Route 664
Wintergreen, VA 22958

Register by 20 April to receive an early registration discount

Presented by The Nature Foundation, for over 30 years Wintergreen’s Spring Wildflower Symposium has offered the best and most diverse coverage of wildflowers and mountain ecosystems. The setting is unique, with over 30 miles of hiking trails and convenient access to diverse geological sites. No one comes away from this event without learning more about botany, geology, entomology, ornithology and ecology. And all of this is available in the most beautiful springtime region in Virginia.  Learn more here.

Sign up for April activities with Virginia Working Landscapes

Blue Ridge Prism Quarterly Meeting: Restoring the Landscape

Thursday, 19 April

1:00 – 4:00 PM

Front Royal, VA

Join VWL partners, Blue Ridge PRISM for their quarterly meeting. They’ll focus on natural lands restoration following invasive plant treatment. Registration is required.

Remarkable Trees of Blandy: Arbor Day Celebration

Friday, 27 April

12:00 – 7:00 PM

Boyce, VA

Celebrate Arbor Day with VWL partners at Blandy Experimental Farm. Attendees may participate in activities such as outdoor workshops, a panel discussion, the Foundation of the State Arboretum annual meeting, and a social with refreshments. Registration is required.

For more events and courses, follow the VWL events page!

Help clean up the Potomac River Watershed

Join the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s 30th annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup! Volunteer to pick up trash at one of the many participating cleanup sites throughout Fairfax County and beyond, or better yet, get some friends or family together and organize your own cleanup – with bags and gloves provided, of course! The official day of the Watershed Cleanup is April 14th, but events will be held throughout the month of April, and even into May. Please visit the Alice Ferguson Foundation website to volunteer.

Mason Neck State Park Eagle Fest–Live Animal Presentations

Saturday, May 12th
10.00 am to 6.00 pm (8.00 am for a pre-opening bird walk)
Mason Neck State Park, 7301 High Point Rd, Lorton, VA 22079

See shows and talks in two tents, including live animal presentations by Reptiles Alive, Secret Garden Birds and Bees, and Wildlife Center of Virginia; and, with luck, there will be a visit from Buddy the Bald Eagle.  In addition, there will be hay rides, pony rides, food for purchase, two live bands, walks to view nesting bald eagles and (hopefully) their young, a live Bald Eagle Cam, and mini-clinics by REI, Inc. Check out the booths set up by environmentally-oriented groups such as the Fairfax Master Naturalists, Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, Dogue Hollow Wildlife Sanctuary, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Potomac Riverkeepers, and the Virginia Sierra Club.

Weather permitting, we’ll also have a Boating Bonanza, where you can try out canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.  Presented by Friends of Mason Neck State Park. Learn more or volunteer to help at the event.

Join the fun at Riverbend Park Bluebell Festival

Saturday, April 14th, 10.00 am to 3.00 pm

Riverbend Park, 8700 Potomac Hills St., Great Falls, VA

See the first signs of spring’s arrival, the carpet of Virginia Bluebells throughout the forest!  These breathtaking beauties usher in springtime by carpeting the park’s floodplain with their magnificent blooms. The bluebells are so abundant in some areas you can’t see an end! Enjoy wildflower walks, face painting, live animals, moonbounce, and music. There will also be food vendors, crafts, the longhouse to explore, puppet shows and wagon rides. The cost is $7 per person in advance; $9 at the door. For more information, call 703-759-9018 or learn more here.

Volunteers are also needed!

Come hear Robert K. Musil speak about Rachel Carson’s legacy, 8 May

Tuesday, 8 May, 7.30 – 9.00 pm
Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria VA

Dr. Robert K. Musil discusses his book Rachel Carson and Her Sisters: Extraordinary Women Who Have Shaped America’s Environment and his explorations of nature throughout the nation’s capital, which resulted in his latest book, Washington in Spring: A Nature Journal for a Changing Climate.

Musil followed in the footsteps of nature writers and explorers from Captain John Smith through John Burroughs, Elliott Coues, Louis Halle and Rachel Carson — carefully noting the gradual shift in phenology and species with the progression of global warming in greater Washington. Musil will also sign copies of his books available for sale immediately after his talk.

Dr. Musil is President and CEO of the Rachel Carson Council, Inc. and former Executive Director and CEO, Physicians for Social Responsibility, 1985 Nobel Peace Prize organization.

Brought to you by the Virginia Native Plant Society, Potowmack Chapter.  Learn more.

Help Plant NoVa Natives with outreach events, earn service hours

Plant NoVa Natives needs many people to staff various tables and other events. Springtime is crazy for environmentalists! Please sign up here. No experience is necessary.

Events for kids:
·   4/10 School Environmental Showcase at GMU
·   4/19 Hayfield ES Math and Science Night
·   4/21 Lord of Life Preschool Earth Day Carnival

Events for adults and families:
·   4/12 Fairlington Presbyterian environmental event. (Details and registration here.)
·   4/26 Northern Virginia Community College Green Festival (Annandale)
·   5/6 Huntley Meadows Wetlands Awareness Day