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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.

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.

Natural Discoveries, A Firsthand Account of Citizen Science

A Talk by Jim Waggener
Thursday, 12 April  
7.30 pm – 9.00 pm 
Green Spring Gardens
4603 Green Spring Road
Alexandria, VA 22312
Virginia Native Plant Society programs are free and open to the public.

Jim Waggener is a naturalist whose military career offered opportunities to travel and observe wildlife, as well as environmental consequences of human actions around the globe. After retiring, Jim began a study of flora and fauna on several public properties with important natural resources. When development threatened wetlands and unique meadows of an Army laboratory in Woodbridge, he organized the public campaign that led to creation of Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Similar work on Lorton Prison’s closure yielded conversion of a large private property on Mason Neck to the Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area. His survey — now in its 29th year and drawing volunteers from across the region — continues to document presence (and decline, possible absence) of birds, butterflies, dragonflies and plants at these sites in addition to Lorton/Laurel Hill-Occoquan Regional Park and the Metz Memorial Wetlands Preserve.

Jim founded and was longtime chair of the Prince William Natural Resources Council, and served on the board and as president of Fairfax Audubon Society/Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, for which he began the Audubon at Home project as well as writing and editing ASNV’s books: The Nature of Change and Birds in Northern Virginia. Jim and Joan Waggener reside in Alexandria Virginia.

Springtime Treasures at Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park

With biologist Marion Lobstein

Saturday, April 7
11.00 am to 1.00 pm

This event has LIMITED SPACE, and you must register to attend.

Please click here to REGISTER.

To CANCEL your registration or ask a QUESTION, please email vnps.pot@gmail.com

Balls Bluff, like much of piedmont Northern Virginia, is underlain by limestone deposits and topped by Ball’s Bluff siltstone deposits that date back 308 to 345 million years. The brick-red siltstone bluffs are more than 100 feet high in places and parallel the floodplain on the banks of the Potomac. The basic to neutral pH of the soils from the siltstone parent rock provide a rich habitat for less common to rarer species of native plants such as twinleaf (Jeffersonia diphylla), blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), green violet (Hybanthus concolor), white trout lily (Erythronium albidum), Eastern shooting star (Primula meadia, formerly Dodecatheon meadia), and walking fern (Asplenium rhizophyllum). Masses of Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) carpet the floodplain along with spicebush (Lindera benzoin) and pawpaw (Asimina triloba).

Marion Blois Lobstein is Professor Emeritus of NVCC, where she taught botany, general biology, microbiology, and other courses over her thirty-seven-year teaching career. She also taught Field Botany for thirteen summers at UVA’s Blandy Experimental Farm. For twenty-six years she conducted tours and taught classes for the Smithsonian Resident Associates Program. Her academic degrees include a BSEd (Biology) from W. Carolina Univ., MAT from UNC-Chapel Hill, and MS in Biology from George Mason Univ. She is co-author of Finding Wildflowers in the Washington-Baltimore Area. Marion serves on the Board of Directors of the Foundation of the Flora of Virginia Project and is a former Board Member of the Foundation of the State Arboretum at Blandy Experimental Farm. Marion is a founding and active member of the Virginia Native Plant Society. She currently lives in Warrenton, VA.

Other: Dogs are not permitted on Virginia Native Plant Society field trips.

What to wear: Dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes.

Bring binoculars and hand lens if desired.

Join Alonso Abugattas at Thompson Wildlife Management Area for Trillium Walk, 28 April

The Virginia Native Plant Society is sponsoring Alonso Abugattas, noted naturalist, ethno-botanist, and host of the Capital Naturalist blog as he leads a Trillium Walk at Thompson Wildlife Management Area on the east slope of the Shenandoahs, east of Front Royal. This site is recognized for the abundance of spring ephemerals, especially the native trilliums.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

9 am – 2 pm

If you are a Fairfax Master Naturalist, this activity counts toward continuing education credits

Learn more

A Taste of Spring at Scott’s Run Nature Preserve

A Walk with Carrie Blair

Sunday, March 25th, 9.00 am to 12 noon

Scott’s Run Nature Preserve, Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 22102

“Bud break” at Scott’s Run Nature Preserve shows that spring has come. Scan the tree tops to see the brown of the elms, the red of the maples, and the yellow of the willows. The American hazelnut is flowering with golden catkins and the red, silver and boxelder maples are flowering. These are joining the greens that made it through winter on the forest floor, including ground pine, white avens, and patridgeberry.

Carrie has led hundreds of tree identification walks and classes over the last 25 years of volunteering with the VNPS Piedmont Chapter and as a docent at the State Arboretum of Virginia, part of the  Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce, Virginia. She is a Virginia Master Naturalist and has served as a Front Royal/Warren County Tree Steward since 2010. She has been a board member, including president, of the Virginia Native Plant Society Piedmont Chapter for many years. Carrie lives in the Marshall, Virginia, area and knows the land intimately by walking and riding horses.

Sponsored by the Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society.

VNPS programs are free and open to the public, but space on walks is limited.

Please click here to REGISTER.

To CANCEL your registration or ask a QUESTION, please email vnps.pot@gmail.com.

Rod Simmons presents Last Defense for Local Forests: Edges of Woodlands

Thursday, 8 March, 7-9 pm
Dolley Madison Library,
1244 Oak Ridge Ave, McLean, VA 22101

Sponsored by the Virginia Native Plant Society, this program is free and open to the public.

Rod Simmons is a plant ecologist, with a background in biology and geology, who has extensively surveyed the flora and natural communities of the mid-Atlantic region, especially the inner Coastal Plain and Piedmont of the greater Washington, D.C. area. He is a Research Associate with the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution; a member of the Virginia Botanical Associates; and works closely with the Virginia and Maryland natural heritage programs. He is the Natural Resource Manager and Plant Ecologist for the City of Alexandria, Virginia.

Semi-open conditions along woodland edges and openings give rise to a diverse suite of light-demanding native flora. A variety of habitats that occur in woodland edges and openings will be presented, including meadowy areas, seepage wetlands, stream banks, rocky outcrops, and others. Simmons will also discuss best management practices , including non-native invasive plant threats and control.

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.