The Health and Ecology of Hunting Creek

On November 15 the Friends of Dyke Marsh will present Dr. Kim de Mutsert, George Mason University’s Department of Environmental Science and Policy, who will give a presentation on the ecology and challenges of Hunting Creek. 

Dr. de Mutsert heads GMU’s research that monitors water quality and the biological communities in the Hunting Creek area. Her studies research water quality, fish and benthic macroinvertebrate communities, anadromous fish, Escherichia coli levels and micropollutant levels in sediments and waters of Hunting Creek and Cameron Run.

  Streams in the Cameron Run watershed “are listed on the EPA list of impaired waters for acute ammonia and fecal coliform contamination,” according to Fairfax County. Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality reports that the creek is impaired for bacteria and PCBs in fish tissue.

The program is sponsored by the Friends of Dyke Marsh and cosponsored by the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, Potomac Riverkeeper and the Sierra Club, Mount Vernon Group.

Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve is a 485-acre tidal freshwater marsh on the Potomac River one mile south of Old Town Alexandria, administered by the National Park Service and part of the George Washington Memorial  Parkway. The Friends of Dyke Marsh is a 35-year old conservation advocacy organization. Visit Friends of Dyke Marsh website (https://www.fodm.org)

Free, public program

Wednesday, November 15th,7:30 p.m., at the Huntley Meadows Park Visitor Center, phone 703 768 2525.

If you use a GPS device to find the park, do not use the park’s name. Enter the park’s address, 3701 Lockheed Boulevard, Alexandria, VA 22306. 

RVA Environmental Film Festival Seeking Entries

The eighth annual RVA Environmental Film Festival (RVA EFF), to be held February 5-11, 2018, has started its planning. The week-long event will showcase films designed to raise awareness of environmental issues relative to all residents of our planet.  As part of it, the RVA EFF Committee is pleased to announce that the Sierra Club Falls of the James Group will once again sponsor the Virginia Film Contest and finance the contest prizes.  This is in addition to the SCFOJ’s continued RVA EFF founding sponsorship.  Other film contest sponsorships are still available for the RVA EFF.

Last year, “Troubled Water: Voices From Bath” won the contest and its filmmakers, Barb Adams, Julian McBain, and Sam Wright, collectively received the $1,000 prize.  Runner-up prizes and checks for $100 each went to Priya Jaishanker for “Mission RareQuest,” and Ellie Morris for “Bike Your Boat.”
For submission information for this fifth annual RVA EFF Virginia Film Contest please visit our Withoutabox website. (https://www.withoutabox.com/03film/03t_fin/03t_fin_fest_01over.php?festival_id=16159)

All Virginia filmmakers are encouraged to submit entries. Submitted films should include environmental subjects in Virginia. Those subjects can include a wide range of topics – wildlife to human relationships, politics to development, parks to pollution. Outdoor recreation can also be a part of the environmental theme. Film entries can be fictional or nonfictional. All entries should incorporate at least some footage created in Virginia.

“The film contest has become a celebratory culmination of our festival and we look forward to including more and more Virginia filmmakers as the festival continues to grow,” said the RVA EFF’s main contest organizer, Scott Burger.

For general information about the RVA EFF 2018, please visit the RVA EFF website (https://rvaeff.org). Information about the films, guests and speakers, and specific schedules for each day of the festival will be made available as the event becomes closer.

Save the Date: FMN Chapter Meetings

FMN Chapter Meetings are informative and fun! Held Quarterly on the 3rd Monday of the month from 7:30 – 9:00 pm.
All except the Annual Meeting are open to the public.
18 Sept 2017: Hidden Oaks Nature Center
8 Dec 2017: Annual Meeting & Graduation at St. Dunstan’s Church, McLean (Note that this is a Friday)
19 March 2018: Hidden Oaks Nature Center
18 June 2018: Hidden Oaks Nature Center
17 Sept 2018: Hidden Oaks Nature Center

Fall 2017 Native Plant Sales

A short list of upcoming native plant sales in Virginia:

Hog Island Scholarship

Audubon Society of Northern Virginia is pleased to offer a full scholarship and transportation to “Sharing Nature: An Educator’s Week,” July 16-21, 2017, at National Audubon Society’s Hog Island Camp in Maine.

Application Deadline: Feb. 24, 2017. Applications available at audubonva.org 

Scholarship Announcement: March 17, 2017

Application: http://audubonva.org/hog-island-scholarship/

Questions: info@audubonva.org or contact Mary McLean, Youth Education Chair. For further information about Hog Island, visit the Hog Island Website.

Applicants must be classroom teachers, specialists, or school administrators working in: Alexandria City, Falls Church City, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun or Prince William counties.

The winner is expected to develop a new or enhance an existing conservation-themed project for students. Past projects have included: developing wildlife-friendly habitat at schools, building and maintaining a Bluebird Trail and conducting nature-themed in-service programs for teachers. ASNV will assist the winner in completing their project by offering resources, professional advice, and program support as needed.

Participants in Educator’s Week learn practical approaches to environmental education during this action-packed program. Experienced and enthusiastic instructors share their favorite approaches, methods, and activities for engaging both children and adults with nature.

Workshops using art, music, theater, journaling and other disciplines will be presented, as well as a host of classic Audubon Camp field trips, including a boat trip to the restored Atlantic Puffin and Tern colony on Eastern Egg Rock, intertidal explorations and hiking through Hog Island’s unspoiled spruce-fir forest. These experiences provide a wonderful opportunity to learn outside in a beautiful setting, while considering how to use this new knowledge with your students back home. During the week educators will explore citizen science methods, creating inquiry-based lessons on birds and other topics and demonstrating both low and high-tech methods of teaching.

2016 Winner, Kate Sydney, Glebe Elem., Arlington
2017 Winner, Morgan Ochuizzo, Fairfax Schools

Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) are available for completing the course from the University of Southern Maine

2017 Seedling Sale

The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District is now accepting orders for our annual native tree and shrub seedling sale. The theme for this year’s seedling sale is “Fall Color” featuring shrubs and trees that will add lovely color to your garden. They help clean our water and air, prevent soil erosion, provide valuable habitat, and add beauty and resilience to your landscape.

  • The Shrub and Small Tree package is offered for $16.95 and includes two each of the following species: Gray Dogwood, New Jersey Tea, Common Ninebark, Arrowwood Viburnum, and Smooth Sumac.
  • The Tree package sells for $11.95 and is ideal for common areas or larger suburban yards and includes two each of the following species: Northern Red Oak, Sassafras, and Bald Cyprus.

Help us streamline our operations by paying online with a credit card, debit card or e-check. Please follow this link to our online seedling sale store.

Place Your 2017 Seedling Sale Order Online: http://nvswcd-velocitypayment-com.3dcartstores.com/

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 703-324-1460, TTY 711 or ConservationDistrict@fairfaxcounty.gov.