Photo: Marilyn Schroeder
By Mike Walker
FMN members hosted a booth at the first “post pandemic” Outreach Event in 2021. This was the Mount Vernon-National Park Service Environmental Expo at Fort Hunt Park on June 26. Marilyn Schroeder and Mike Walker set up and staffed the booth, with Master Naturalist and Bat Expert Deborah Hammer offering training and use tips for the iNaturalist system. Many of our local partner organizations were present at the Expo, including Friends of Huntley Meadows and Mason Neck as well as various Fairfax County government organizations, such as the Green Breakfast folks from the Soil and Water Conservation department. Chapter sponsor Jim McGlone, representing the forestry department, was also there promoting proper tree planting.
Two important takeaways for me: first, next to our booth was an entomologist with the National Park Service. He explained that staff from the Department and local universities have discovered and documented five new, previously undiscovered species of insects found on parkland. Field investigations have been taking place in Dyke Marsh, Turkey Run Park and Great Falls-Riverbend parks. Second, on display and available for inspection were about a dozen all electric automobiles and a Fairfax County Public Schools electric school bus. What had been wishful thinking on a new age of automobiles now appears to be becoming mainstream and even affordable. One owner of a Chevrolet Volt told me he has owned his electric car for 10 years and has never returned to the dealer or had any repairs other than new tires and wiper blades. Lots of interesting information.
Keep your eyes open for our booth at the next public environmental event. Stop by, ask questions, or just visit!