Explore the Trees and Forests of Virginia

Saturday, 10 March 2018

9.15 am to 3.30 pm

University of Richmond
Ryland Circle
Richmond, VA 23173
Building Number: Jepson Hall (Website Campus Map #17)

Please join the Virginia Native Plant Society for a one-day workshop that celebrates Virginia’s trees and woodlands.

The workshop will begin with a review of tree biology and ecology and a review of some of the recent research on what trees are doing. It will move on to the topic of interactions with other organisms, specifically birds and insects. Finally it will explore two Virginia forests – the longleaf pine of the coastal areas, and an old age mountain forest.

For more information and to register, click here.

Register for a Week of Wildflower Viewing

 8-14 April 2018
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 10-16 June 2018
Southwest Virginia’s Balsam Mountains

The Virginia Native Plant Society is planning two extended field trips for your wildflower viewing. Sign up for a heavenly week-long excursion – either in April, for a trip to the Great Smokies; or in June for a trip to Virginia’s Balsam Mountains. See details and register here.

Live Owl Prowl, Huntley Meadows, 24 March

Huntley Meadows Park

12-1 pm, 24 March

What are great horned owls, barred owls, barn owls and eastern screech owls doing year-round? Follow them through courtship, nesting, raising young, fledging and finally dispersal of the young to their own territories. Speakers from Secret Garden Birds and Bees Wildlife Education and Preservation will bring live birds to the program. Register via ParkTakes online. Fairfax County residents $10, others $12

FrogWatch USA looking for volunteers to monitor calls this summer. Training in March

FrogWatch USA at the National Zoo is in its sixth season. To date, they have monitored 75 sites in DC, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maine and have submitted 1,650 frog call observations.

Tracking frog populations throughout the United States, FrogWatch invites participants to choose a monitoring site that is easily accessible and close to where they live or work to listen to frogs that are calling throughout the warmer months.

Three indoor trainings will help orient people to the frogs that are in the DC-metro area and their calls. Content is the same, so choose one training that fits your schedule. If you are interested please contact Matt Neff: neffm@si.edu

Trainings:

Sat., March 3rd, 3:00-6:00pm @ NZP – Rock Creek Campus

Thur., March 8th, 6:00-9:00pm @ Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, VA

Sat., March 17th, 3:00-6:00pm @ NZP – Rock Creek Campus

 

Meet people who care about what you care about at Green Breakfasts, Brion’s Grille, 10 March

Join the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District and fellow naturalists for the next Green Breakfast To be notified when the Green Breakfast speaker and topic is announced, contact NVSWCD.

  • Brion’s Grille: 10621 Braddock Rd., Fairfax, VA 22032, located in the University Shopping Mall (Braddock Road and Route 123) across the street from the Roanoke River Road entrance to George Mason University.
  • Cost: $10.00 for the Breakfast Buffet, including an all-you-can-eat hot buffet with fresh fruit and coffee, tea, orange juice or water. Cash is preferred.
  • Note: You may bring fliers about your organization’s events and activities. There will be time for announcements.

Green Breakfasts are bi-monthly gatherings to discuss environmental topics in a casual setting on a Saturday morning. Attendees include agency representatives, interested citizens and community members, students, lawmakers, members of the business community and representatives of local non-profits. Six green breakfasts are held each year. Tentative 2018 schedule:

  • March 10
  • May 12
  • July 14
  • September 8
  • November 10
  • All dates are subject to changes. Sign up for Green Breakfast emails to be notified of speakers, topics, date changes and inclement weather information. Contact NVSWCD.

Learn more about Green Breakfasts.

Sign up for Harvesting Garden Water, at Green Springs, 25 February

Green Spring Gardens Park, 4601 Green Spring Road, Alexandria

25 February 2018, 1.30-2.30 pm

Water harvesting involves strategies to manage and enhance the water resources on your land, leading to healthier plants and lower water bills. Understanding and implementing just a few simple water harvesting techniques, such as swales, hugelkultur beds, and rain gardens can improve the way water moves through your yard and how effectively your plants are able to use it. Designer Michael Judd shows you designs that best fit your land, how they are created and how to make them look good. These principles will help make your land more diverse, productive, and ecologically friendly. Register via ParkTakes. Fairfax County residents $10, others $12.

Counts toward continuing education credits for master naturalists.

Apply for the 2018 Youth Conservation Camp

For over 35 years, the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts has sponsored a week long summer conservation camp in July for Virginia high school students on the campus of Virginia Tech. The camp provides a week of learning about Virginia’s natural resources from conservation professionals and university faculty. Youth Conservation Camp is a selective program. Interested students must send their applications to the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, whose staff will select which students will attend and be eligible for partial scholarships. The pre-scholarship cost is $550.

Rain Barrel Spring Workshop Dates Announced

The Northern Virginia Rain Barrel Partners’ have announced the spring dates for their popular build-your-own workshops and pre-made rain barrel sale. Build-your-own workshops will be held on March 24th and April 14th, and the pre-made barrel sale will be April 20th-21st. Online registration and ordering will open in early-to-mid February.

Get ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count!

Enjoy observing local birds? You can make your observations count. The Great Backyard Bird Count, running from February 16-19 is a fun, free, family-friendly event that asks us to observe and count the birds in our backyards, building balconies, parks, schools–anywhere we may find them. Learn how to sign up and get started counting here.

Help spread the word with pre-made resources here.

In support of the bird count, DC Audubon is organizing a bird walk on Saturday, February 17 at 10:00 am at the U.S. Arboretum. For details and other updates, sign up here.

Join citizen scientists around the world for this annual tradition!

See the Tundra Swans at Mason Neck

 Saturday, February 10, 2018, 2:00 PM

Woodmarsh Trail, Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck Wildlife Refuge

 

Join the Friends of Mason Neck State Park on Saturday, February 10 on a walk to see the Tundra Swans! Each year, the Mason Neck area is host to one of Northern Virginia’s largest concentrations of Tundra Swans. Depending on the day, you may see between 200 and 400 swans and hear their haunting calls. You will also see other waterfowl, including Northern Pintails, American Coots, Ruddy Ducks, Black Ducks and Mallards — and who knows what else? Bring your binoculars if you have them. If not, there will be binoculars and telescopes for people to share. The tide will be high when the group gets there, which will maximize the likelihood that the birds will be close.

The group will gather at the Woodmarsh parking lot at 2:00 PM. It is on the left of High Point Road about a quarter mile BEFORE the Mason Neck State Park Contact Station. It is about a 1-mile walk on level ground to the bird blind at the marsh.

There is no charge for the hike, and there is no need to pay the State Park entrance fee since the group will be outside the park.