Interfaith learning and engagement: Exploring why nature matters to us

Join this 6-session youth outdoor education program for a special interfaith Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience. Together, the group will explore why nature is important and discuss what we can do to connect with and protect the earth. 

Session 1: June 23 

Whitehall Farm | 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM | Clifton, VA | Introduction to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, Part I 

Session 2: June 30 

Hard Bargain Farm | 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM | Accokeek, MD | Introduction to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, Part II 

Session 3: July 7 

Whitehall Farm | 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM | Clifton, VA | Art in Nature 

Session 4: July 14 

Whitehall Farm | 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM | Clifton, VA | Environmental Stewardship and Sustainable Farming 

Sessions 5: July 21 

Theodore Roosevelt Island | 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM | Washington, DC | Invasive Plant Removal 

Session 6: July 28 

Hemlock Overlook Regional Park | 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM | Clifton, VA | Educational Hike 

Space is limited. For more information or to register [email protected] | 

Sharable flyer

Summer is for visiting native plant gardens

Margaret Fisher

Are you feeling inspired by the plants in the Native Plants for Northern Virginia guide but want to see them in a garden setting before choosing ones for your yard? Northern Virginia has numerous native plant gardens that are open to the public and which can be located using the new map on the Plant NOVA Natives website. They range from public gardens and demonstration gardens maintained by professionals or by Master Gardeners, to landscaping projects at places of business or places of worship, and from formal grounds to a cottage garden look. The summer vacation season is a great time to see the panoply of gardening choices that can include native plants.

If you are travelling up or down the East Coast this summer, public gardens are a great place to stop. Many of the species of plants that are native to Northern Virginia can also be found north or south of here. More and more public gardens are incorporating sections of natives into their designs, and several gardens use native plants exclusively.

Do you know of any native plant gardens or landscaping projects that are missing from our map? Please email the name with a description – and photos if you have them – to [email protected].

There is one location that you might never guess: the Dale City rest stop on northbound I95 has a huge native meadow that was planted and maintained by volunteers. There is also a smaller monarch waystation at the southbound rest stop. Check out our one-and-a-half minute video about the critters that take advantage of those oases.


Free butterfly workshop, June 24th, then census June 29th

National Wildlife Federation
11100 Wildlife Center Drive, Reston, VA 20190
Monday, 24 June 2019
7-9 pm

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 29 during the 19th Annual North American Butterfly Association (NABA) Count sponsored by Audubon Society of Northern Virginia. The NABA count takes place in and around our Occoquan Bay Count Circle. 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, but registration is required.

Nationwide casting call for wildlife experts

Have you built your life around animal wildlife?
Have you lived or visited ecosystems to study or take care of wild animals?
Do you want to share your adventures about your encounters with animals?
Do you understand the behaviors of wildlife?
Do you want to be on TV?

A major network is developing a series around people who work in wildlife in order to experience an animal habitat.  In this groundbreaking series, they are looking to chart experiences about being amongst a pack of wild animals:  how they gain trust, find their place in the hierarchy, and what survival is like when they play by wild animal rules.

The casting director is looking for people who live with, or near, or visit wild animals in order to understand how the animals live. The series will be filming all over the country and he is looking for those whose expertise lies with any wildlife.

This would be a great opportunity for the expert to explain to viewers what makes these animals tick and to dismiss any sort of stereotypes. Whether it is biologists, naturalists, guides or caretakers, he wants people who love these animals, have experience in the wildlife field, and know how to communicate with them.

For more information email [email protected].