Central Loudoun Christmas Bird Count, December 28th

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir (c)

Friday, 28 December 2018

Loudoun County, VA

Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy as they participate in National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count. Begun in 1899, these surveys are held all over North America, with the results used to better understand bird populations and dynamics. This count circle has a 15-mile diameter and covers 177 square miles of Loudoun’s countryside: north to Waterford, south to Aldie, east to Ashburn, and west to Purcellville. Everyone is welcome; amateurs are teamed with experienced birders. If you are interested in participating for just a couple hours or the entire day,  sign up here or contact Joe Coleman.

Upcoming stream monitoring sessions

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir (c)

Bull Run Stream Monitoring Session
When: Saturday, 8 December, 10 am-12:30pm
Where: Manassas
Join a stream monitor at this outdoor learning site along Bull Run Trail. Registration is limited. RSVP to Jess Cushman at [email protected].

Pohick Creek Stream Monitoring Workshop
When: Sunday, 16 December, 10 am-12:30pm
Where: Wadebrook Terrace, Springfield
Join Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD) as we discover aquatic life in Pohick Creek! This official NVSWCD stream monitoring workshop covers watershed health, what macroinvertebrates tell us about stream quality, and what you can do to prevent pollution in your local stream. Registration is limited. RSVP to Ashley Palmer at [email protected].

Shenandoah Valley Plant Symposium, March 15th

Best Western Inn & Conference Center
109 Apple Tree Lane, Waynesboro VA 22980
Friday, 15 March 2019
8 am – 4:15 pm

Regular Registration- $90 per person

Early Registration (before 7 January) – $80 per person; Late Registration (after 24 February) – $100 per person

Space is limited this year so register early!

Join Waynesboro Parks and Recreation as they present A Gardener’s Palette. They’ll dip your brush in a variety of topics offering something for everyone from garden hobbyist to experienced landscape architect. In the end, you’ll have a canvas filled with colors and perspectives to consider and put in practice.  Topics include Ironclad and Essential Native Trees and Shrubs, The Foodscape Revolution (planting edibles), Hanging Out with Shady Characters, and Plants of the Bible.

Register or learn more by planting yourself here.

Earth Sangha seed cleaning, Dec. 9 & 16th

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir (c)

1400 South Edgewood St, Arlington, VA 22204

In the Community Room, which is located through the basement door at the corner of the building, near the brown sign with the address

Saturdays, 9 December and 16 December 2018

10 am – 1 pm

Join Earth Sangha for their first seed cleaning events of the season at the community room at Arlington Village. Help clean seeds from a variety of native species. Please call Rodney Olsen at (703) 216-4855 if you have difficultly finding the community room.

City Nature Challenge–Save the dates, 26-29 April 2019

Citizen scientists throughout the Washington DC metro area will be participating in the 2019 City Nature Challenge, a competition among 130 cities around the world to find and document the diversity of species. No experience required—just a mobile device and a love for nature. Participants will make observations of wild plants and animals using the free iNaturalist app (for Android or Apple).

Why get involved? By participating, you’ll not only get out and see some great urban nature, you’ll help scientists collect data on the biodiversity of our region (and the planet).

Great video to share

Find out how it works!

See the results from the 2018 City Nature Challenge.



What happens to your recycled items these days?

That’s a good question as the worldwide recycling market has changed dramatically in recent months, especially due to “Operation National Sword” in China.

Here in Fairfax County, the local third-party recycling processor says nearly 30 percent of material received is actually trash. To do our part in this worldwide process, we need everyone to focus on reducing the amount of contaminated materials placed in recycling bins. There are five ways you can help stop the practice of “wishful recycling” – placing items in the recycling bin because you think they will probably be recycled.

In the link below, we invite you to learn about:

— 5 Ways to Adjust Your Recycling Habits (No “Filthy Five!”)
— Download Our “Always/Never” Recycling Flyers
— Where Does Your Recycling Go?
— What the Recycling Process Looks Like
— Who to Contact With Questions

Stop “Wishful Recycling”

Habitat Manager needed at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park

Looking for a volunteer opportunity to put into action what you have learned through the Master Naturalist program? Or perhaps you have an interest in learning more about native plant gardening, historic gardening and/or invasive removal? If so, please consider volunteering at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, located at the border of Chantilly and Centreville off Walney Road. Patricia Greenberg, the new Natural Resource Manager is looking for volunteers to support the park and its beautiful natural resources. Patricia will work with you on setting up a schedule that is convenient for you. She will also train you on the native, invasive and historic gardening practices she is helping manage at the park. Please contact Patricia at 703-631-0248 or [email protected].
Record your hours as S109: FCPA Habitat and Parkland Management.

Fall/winter service opportunities at Hidden Oaks Nature Center

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir (c)

Hidden Oaks Nature Center

7701 Royce Street, Annandale VA

Flying Squirrels Gliding in Tonight

Saturday, 8 December 2018

6:30-8:30 pm

Assist a naturalist in calling in these amazing night gliders and looking for flying squirrels at roosting boxes near the nature center. Teach families how to encourage flying squirrels to visit their yards. Contact Fiona Davies, [email protected]. Record hours as E110: FCPA Nature Programs. In the contacts field, record the number of people attending the program.

Office for Children Outdoor Play in Fall/Winter

Saturday, 15 December 2018


Assist naturalists in educating up to 50 child care professionals in sharing nature with preschoolers and outdoor play during fall and winter. Contact Suzanne Holland, [email protected]axcounty.gov. Record hours as E110: FCPA Nature Programs. In the contacts field, record the number of people attending the program.

Visitor Information Desk

First and third Saturdays of the month, 12-5 pm

Greet visitors and orient them to the exhibits, park and programs. Answer natural history questions for the public.  Contact Fiona Davies, [email protected].  Record hours as E111: FCPA Nature Center Visitor Information Desk. In the contacts field, record the number of people you talk to.

Ongoing Needs
Assist naturalists in leading scout merit badge classes.  Scout programs are typically held on weekends.  Programs are generally held inside the nature center and frequently include a trail walk.  Sample topics include Environmental Science, Mammal Study, Reptile & Amphibian, Sustainability.

Join Clifton Institute Christmas bird count, 16 December

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir (c)

Clifton Institute invites you to the Plains Christmas Bird Count, to be held on Sunday, December 16th. Bird watchers of all skill levels are welcome!

The count will cover a 7.5 mile radius circle in northern Fauquier County and western Prince William county. We have a great variety of habitats in the count circle and always turn up a good diversity of species. Last year, we found 92 species, including Short-eared Owl and Cackling Goose.

Start times vary by sector leaders. Most meet around 7 am at various locations within the circle, ranging from Haymarket to Warrenton.  We will have food and hot drinks at compilation, which will be held at the Clifton Institute, north of Warrenton, just after sundown. Please contact Bert Harris directly ([email protected]) if you’d like to join!

Family event – Urban Birds of Northern Virginia, December 8th

Hidden Oaks Nature Center
7701 Royce St., Annandale VA
Saturday, 8 December 2018
3-4:30 pm

This program is designed to teach both children and parents what they can do to welcome wintering birds into their yards through nurturing their natural habitat. Expect activities like bird watching and identification, an outdoor nature walk and arts and crafts activities that can be brought home. For more information and to register, click here.

Brought to you by the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust.