Identify shorebirds with Audubon instructor Marc Ribaudo, 16 August

Join instructor Marc Ribaudo for an evening class and accompanying field trip that will cover identifying shorebirds.  The class is recommended for anyone who would like to tackle shorebird identification on their own.

The group will spend an evening in the classroom covering identification tips for shorebirds that can typically be seen in our region. Emphasis will be on shorebirds that pose the biggest identification challenges, such as peeps.

On the Saturday following the class, the group will visit Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware to put into practice what they’ve learned in class. Bombay Hook is one of the top shorebird spots in the northeast and provides ample opportunities to view many species of shorebird in close proximity to each other. The group may also visit Port Mahon or Taylor’sDitch, depending on tide and what is being seen at the time.

Fairfax High School, Fairfax, Virginia; Bombay Hook NWR, Smyrna, DE
Thursday, 16 August 2018; Saturday, 18 August 2018
$50/member; $60/non-member

Learn more and sign up

 

Get involved in Audubon’s Wildlife Sanctuary Program

Certifying properties as “Wildlife Sanctuaries” is a volunteer-driven project of the Northern Virginia chapter of the National Audubon Society.  It embraces the principles of the National Audubon Society’s Bird-Friendly Communities and promotes citizen participation in conserving and restoring local natural habitat and biodiversity.

The largest volume of acreage available for conservation and restoration of healthy green space in Northern Virginia is “at home” in our own backyards.  Incentives for participation include making a difference in aiding the environment and pride in property certification and registration as an “Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary.”

The program is open to residential properties, homeowner associations, schools, places of worship, parks and commercial properties and other potentially sustainable wildlife habitats, both public and private seeking.

Learn more about criteria, sanctuary species, and the certification process.

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

Encourage students to submit to Next Gen Capture Conservation Film Contest 2018

 The American Conservation Film Festival is sponsoring its annual  youth-targeted short film initiative to encourage young people ages 5 to 18 to explore their relationship with nature and the world around them through the medium of film and video. Deadline for submissions: 1 September 2018

Submission Guidelines 

1. All films must be uploaded to Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/groups/456630 and submitted online no later than September 1, 2018. 

2. Films cannot exceed four minutes in length, including credits. 

3. All films must be produced in 2017 or 2018 and feature the entrant’s relationship with environmental, cultural, and/or historic conservation. The theme is intentionally wide-reaching to allow for diverse creativity, interpretation, and message. 

4. All youth submitting films must be age 18 or younger on the day the film is submitted. Actors or interviewees in the film can be any age. If working under the direction of a teacher, mentor, or parent, that person must describe his/her role in detail. 

5. Film categories are: Students age 10 & under; students age 11 to 14; students age 15 to 18; and team projects of two or more students (up to 5 persons) age 18 or under. 

6. All entries must be accompanied by a submission form including student name, age, mailing address, email address (if applicable), phone number, and title of film. 

7. The film must be accompanied by the tagline “This film was created for the American Conservation Film Festival – Next Gen Capture Conservation Contest” in the credits. 

8. All videos must be the original work of the entrant. Entrants should NOT use music, graphics, or footage that was created by others without obtaining rights (a license) to use it. 

9. Winning filmmakers will be asked to sign a release form granting the American Conservation Film Festival the rights to use, display or distribute the film. The American Conservation Film Festival does not limit the original creator’s use of the work in any way. 

10. Entrants can help promote their film and the contest using the hashtag #NextGenCaptureConservation on social media sites. 

Learn more

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.

Become part of the Habitat Network

Cornell Ornithology Lab and The Nature Conservancy have joined together to create Habitat Network, the first citizen science social network. Habitat Network is a citizen science project designed to cultivate a richer understanding of wildlife habitat, for  professional scientists and people concerned with their local environments.

The Network collects data by asking individuals across the country to, literally, draw maps of their backyards, parks, farms, favorite birding locations, schools, and gardens. They connect you with your landscape details and provide tools for you to make better decisions about how to manage landscapes sustainably.

The kinds of questions they are seeking to answer with your help:

  • What practices improve the wildlife value of residential landscapes?
  • Which of these practices have the greatest impact?
  • Over how large an area do we have to implement these practices to really make a difference?
  • What impact do urban and suburban wildlife corridors and stopover habitats have on birds?
  • Which measures (bird counts? nesting success?) show the greatest impacts of our practices?

Service Project C253-Habitat Yard Mapping is approved for credit for FMN graduates. You can map your own yard, a local park, or other public or private property for which you have access permission. 

Learn more

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