Look for grants from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

State and federal grants are available for these conservation projects:

Learn more

Join or volunteer for the 2018 Sustainable Garden Tour, 10 June

The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District’s 2018 Sustainable Garden Tour  features rain gardens, green roofs, native plant landscaping, rain barrels, backyard wildlife habitat, composting, and more. Local residents open their gardens and share their experiences landscaping with natural resources in mind. Visitors on the tour are allowed to visit each garden at their own pace, and may visit as many or as few as they like. There is no RSVP required, and the tour is free and open to all: Sunday, June 10,  1-5 pm at sites throughout the Fairfax-Falls Church-Annandale area,

NVSWCD needs volunteers to assist garden hosts. Volunteers will welcome and guide visitors and provide information. Each volunteer will be assigned to one of nine sites:

  1. Booker Residence, 3442 Surrey Lane, Falls Church VA
  2. Sawhney Residence, 4212 Saint Jerome Dr, Annandale, VA 22003
  3. King Residence, 4023 Roberts Road, Fairfax VA 22032
  4. Belvedere Elementary School, 6540 Columbia Pike, Falls Church VA 22041
  5. Chesterfield Mews Community Association, BEHIND 3170 Readsborough Ct, Fairfax VA 22031
  6. Daniels Run Peace Church, 3729 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22030
  7. Carosella Residence, 2903 Rosemary Lane, Falls Church, VA 22042
  8. Meara Residence, 7211  Arthur Drive, Falls Church, VA 22046
  9. Jones Residence, 3517 Queen Anne Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030

You can sign up to volunteer for the whole time (12:30 – 5 pm) or one of two shifts (12:30 – 3 or 2:30 – 5).

Please contact Ashley Palmer: Ashley.Palmer@fairfaxcounty.gov

Get involved in Audubon’s Climate Watch citizen science work

Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report predicts that over half of North American bird species will lose more than 50 percent of their current climatic range by 2080.

To test these predictions, Audubon has been running a new community science project, Climate Watch, since January. Climate Watch aims to document species’ responses to climate change by having volunteer community scientists in the field look for birds where Audubon’s climate models project they should be in the 2020’s, giving us an understanding on how birds respond to a changing climate.

There’s still time to get involved. If you would like to find out more about being a volunteer or how to coordinate in 

your area, please contact the Audubon Climate Watch Team at climatewatch@audubon.org

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

Join the Clean Water Challenge

The Izaak Walton Leage of America, the national organization that oversees the Fairfax County Stream Monitoring Program, hopes to monitor 100,000 additional stream sites nationwide by 2022. This effort–The Clean Water Challenge–will not succeed without massive volunteer support. If you are a new stream monitoring volunteer, consider taking the certification test and adopting your own stream site. If you are already certified, think about adding a new stream site to your existing one. Information about the Clean Water Challenge is available on the Izaak Walton League’s website. To learn more about becomming a certified monitor, contact Dan Schwartz.

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

Volunteer with the Virginia Native Plant Society Potowmack Chapter at Green Spring Gardens

Join the VNPS Propagation Crew on Wednesday mornings to learn how to divide, pot and grow from seed a wide variety of native forbs. 

The native plant beds are a demonstration garden and source of plants for our spring and fall plant sales. VNPS gathers every Wednesday morning from April through October to maintain the beds and pot plants for these sales. The beds are located at Green Spring Gardens behind the Horticulture Center.

You’ll enjoy light physical exertion, and have lots of fun getting your hands dirty and your spirit full. Tools and gloves provided.

Learn more

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!