Annual Aldo Leopold Read-a-thon, January 20th

RESCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 20TH DUE TO SNOW

Villages of Piedmont Clubhouse
16080 Market Ridge Blvd., Haymarket, VA
Sunday, 13 January 2019
4 – 6 pm

Join the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust to celebrate Aldo Leopold’s 132nd birthday! Their annual read-a-thon will feature guest speakers to read spoken excerpts from Leopold’s books. The event is free and will honor the legendary conservationist and his work. Feel free to join them in the audience to listen. Please get in touch with them if you’d like to be a guest speaker. They will also have open slots available day-of for volunteer readers from the crowd. RSVP to Emily at ebowman@nvct.org or call 703-354-5093.

MLK Day Clean up, Americana Drive

Two locations: Intersection of Americana Drive and Patriot Drive and Intersection of Americana Drive and Heritage Drive, Annandale, VA
Monday, 21 January 2019, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
10 am – 2 pm

A group of neighbors has coalesced  to do a cleanup of the illegal dumping areas prevalent along the length of Americana Drive in Annandale.  This effort came together rather suddenly after the holidays.
 
Americana Drive, which is crossed by three tributaries of Accotink Creek, has been plagued for years by illegal dumping.  Help restore pride to this area!

Sign up online: https://www.fcrpp3.org/annandale-clean-up-sign-in

More information, supported by Friends of Accotink Creek:  http://www.accotink.org/2019/AmericanaDriveCleanuppre-event2019.htm

2019 Virginia Environmental Education Conference February 7-9, 2019

Virginia Association of Environmental Education (VAEE) has extended the earlybird registration for the 2019 Virginia Environmental Education Annual Conference, at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, VA

Enjoy a gathering full of professional development, networking opportunities, learning, and field experiences that will expand your knowledge of Environmental Education efforts and resources in the Commonwealth and help you in your VMN endeavors. 

This year’s conference will feature many exciting presentations, keynote speakers, and field trips, including the annual member meeting for the Virginia Association for Environmental Education. 

Other events include various networking opportunities and the annual VAEE Social and Silent Auction.

Information about this year’s conference and registration can be found on the conference webpage

Early-bird registration is extended until January 11, 2019. Registration ends February 4, 2019.

For general registration questions, contact: Bruce Young at bkyoungee@gmail.com

NOVA Green Festival 2019, April 25th

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir (c)

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), Annandale Campus
8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003
Saturday, 25 April 2019
9-4 pm

The theme for the 2019 event will be “Biodiversity and Urbanization.” At this time, the College hopes to host several presenters who will be able to touch on the many challenges of maintaining biodiversity in an urban environment.

The purpose of NOVA’s Annual Green Festival is to increase both the college and local community awareness of regional, national, and global environmental issues and provide information regarding ways that individuals can help preserve the environment. Participants at this community event will include faculty, staff, students and local community members. While the target audience is high school and college students, the event is free and open to the public.

The festival will be a combination of presentations, panel discussions, interactive demonstrations, film viewing, and informational displays. Ideally, it will help the audience to recognize ways they can conserve resources, promote change, and make a difference as individuals.

Join the College for this topical and educational festival. If you have questions or would like to participate as an exhibitor, you are welcome to contact Cheryl Robinette at, or Rob Johnson.

Potomac River clean-ups, Jan. 19 and 21

Potomac River Cleanup at Fletcher’s Cove
When: Saturday, January 19, 10:00am-1:00pm
Where: Fletcher’s Cover, Washington DC
Potomac Conservancy and the National Park Service will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by spending “a day on, not a day off”! Join them in collecting trash at Fletcher’s Cove to support clean water and connected communities! Register online to volunteer.

Potomac River Cleanup at LBJ Grove
When: Monday, January 21, 10:00am-1:00pm
Where: LBJ Memorial Grove, Washington DC
Potomac Conservancy and the National Park Service will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by spending “a day on, not a day off”! Join them in collecting trash and removing invasives at the LBJ Memorial Grove to support clean water and connected communities! Register online to volunteer.

EQAC 2019 Public Hearing – January 9, 2019

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir (c)

The Environmental Quality Advisory Council will be holding its annual public hearing on the environment on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.

The public hearing will be held at 7:30 PM in Conference Rooms 4 and 5 of the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA.  All interested parties are encouraged to sign up to speak. To sign up to speak, call the Department of Planning and Zoning at 703-324-1380 or send an e-mail message (and/or submit written testimony) to EQAC@fairfaxcounty.gov. Or,  just contact Joe Gorney directly at Joseph.Gorney@fairfaxcounty.gov and he will sign you up.

Please note that EQAC is again providing the opportunity for interested parties to present video testimony.  Video testimony (five minutes or less is preferred) can be uploaded to YouTube, Ustream or Vimeo.  Let EQAC know by email to EQAC@fairfaxcounty.gov how to access the video. They will present the video at the public hearing.* The deadline for posting videos on-line and informing EQAC of the URL through which they can access the video is 5:00 PM on Wednesday, January 2. EQAC requests that there be no more than one video submitted per person.

EQAC’s Annual Report on the Environment, which will be presented to the Board of Supervisors on November 20, is now available on EQAC’s website.  Please note that, while the public hearing is being held shortly after the completion of the Annual Report, the public hearing is not intended to focus on this report but is instead intended to hear your views and concerns regarding any environmental issues of interest to you.

Questions?  Either call Joe Gorney directly (703-324-1267) or e-mail him.

*All videos will be screened by county staff prior to the public hearing. Each video must address one or more environmental topics. Any video with profanity or other objectionable material will not be presented at the public hearing. You will be notified if county staff determines that your video is unsuitable for presentation. You do not need to attend the public hearing for your video to be presented.

Great winter gardening lectures at Green Spring

Photo: (c) Barbara J. Saffir

WINTER LECTURE-IDEAS FROM EUROPE FOR U.S. GARDENS

(Adult) Winter is the perfect time to plan improvements to our gardens. Garden designer and international traveler Carolyn Mullet shares design images from her European garden travels that we can adapt and use for our own garden designs. Carolyn will show us how we can modify these “foreign” inspirations, both fun and functional, and how to find inspiration of our own.

Register

WINTER LECTURE-PUSHING LIMITS OF TROPICAL PLANTS

(Adult) Botanist and plant breeder John Boggan grows and writes about hardy palms, bananas, begonias, gesneriads, and just about anything else that’s tropical or exotic to the DC area. John shares his experience and trials of growing these beautiful tropicals and how you can have success pushing the growing zones.

Register

WINTER LECTURE-ROSE CARE 101

(Adults) Learn the fundamentals for selecting and growing fabulous roses. Lewis Ginter Botanic Garden horticulturalist Laurie McMinn will introduce you to old family heirloom roses as well as many new roses that may become your favorites! Laurie shares the essentials of rose care and beyond, including pruning for spring plant health, nurturing great blooms, and identifying pests and diseases. Your roses will thank you.

Register

WINTER LECTURE-SELECTING AND PLANTING TREES

(Adult) Trees are the keystone plants of a garden. With careful selection and proper planting, they can thrive with minimal care, rewarding us with beauty, shade, energy savings, and wildlife habitat. National Arboretum Head of Horticulture Scott Aker turns us into smarter consumers and gardeners as he illustrates how trees are marketed to homeowners. He offers, tips on proper planting techniques, and demonstrates a quick and easy way to determine a tree’s health. Learn about trees that are well-adapted to our area and that Scott recommends to homeowners.

Register

WINTER LECTURE-THE GARDENS OF PIET OUDOLF

(Adult) Join the Friends of Green Spring in viewing the documentary, Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf. This documentary immerses viewers in Oudolf’s work and takes us inside his creative process, from his beautifully abstract sketches, to theories on beauty, to the ecological implications of his ideas. Discussion to follow.

Register

WINTER LECTURE-UNCOMMON CUT FLOWER

(Adults) Make the most of your gardening efforts by growing plants that are beautiful outside and inside as cut flowers and fillers. Horticulturalist Karen Rexrode shares some favorite plants that are both beautiful ornamental garden plants and unusual cut flowers. These lovely arrangements exercise your creativity, give you confidence in plant combinations and allow you to appreciate individual plants details.

Register

WINTER LECTURE-VEGETABLES LOVE FLOWERS

(Adults) Learn how to grow an organic garden where good bugs eat bad bugs, pollinators are abundant and the beautiful bouquet on the table came from your garden! Flower Farmer Lisa Ziegler tells all as she shares why flowers are the missing piece in many vegetable gardens as they attract pollinators, beneficial insects and other good creatures to complete the circle of life. Learn how to garden without using any pesticides that can harm and kill the very beneficial creatures we want to live in the garden.

Register

WINTER LECTURE-WHAT’S BUGGING YOU?

(Adults) What was that insect I saw in the garden last summer? Why didn’t I see many butterflies last summer? How can I have more fireflies in my backyard? Bring your bug questions and stories to this mid-winter information exchange about insects. Join entomologist Nate Erwin for a colorful slide show of insects and their associated plants and then join a lively discussion about those spineless creatures that do so much for and in our gardens.

Register

The World and Me Family Programs at the Q’rius Room

Toakase’s Tapa: Saturday, January 12, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 noon

Q?rius, The Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center, Ground Floor, Natural History Museum

Learn more about your place in the world through explorations of nature and culture. Every second Saturday of the month, museum educators lead a program that combines a book reading, activities, and a chance to look more closely at the museum’s collections. These programs are designed for pre-K to 3rd grade.

What happens during a “World & Me” program?

10:30-10:45 a.m.: Free exploration of hands-on stations

10:45-11:00 a.m.: Book reading

11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon: Hands-on activity

This month, we’ll explore traditional textiles of Pacific Island cultures, specifically barkcloth. After a book reading of “Toakase’s Tapa,” families will participate in an artist-led demonstration on the process of making paper from raw materials, like mulberry tree bark. Participants will take home handmade paper that they’ve decorated.

Register for this free program

Looking for some serious family fun? Bring your competitive spirit to the museum for an evening of Arctic- and climate-themed games and activities for the whole family!

Family Game Night: Arctic Edition Saturday, January 12, 5:00-8:00 p.m.

Q?rius, The Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center, Ground Floor

  • Play different types of Arctic-themed games for ages 10 and up
  • Explore Arctic objects and specimens with anthropologists and other scientists
  • Discover the Arctic ecosystem and the animals that live there through games, puzzles, and hands-on activities designed for kids under 10

Register for this free program

New Years Day Hikes at Mason Neck State Park

Meet at the Woodmarsh Trail parking lot, which is on the left side of High Point Road about a quarter mile BEFORE the Mason Neck State Park Contact Station
1 January 2019
2 pm

Join the Friends of Mason Neck State Park for a walk to the see the Tundra Swans! This hike is open to everyone.

Each year, the Mason Neck area is host to one of Northern Virginia’s largest concentrations of Tundra Swans. Depending on the day, you may see as many as 400 swans and hear their haunting calls. You may also see other waterfowl, including Northern Pintails, Mergansers, Shovelers, Coots, Black Ducks and Mallards — and who knows what else? Bring your binoculars if you have them. If not, the group will have binoculars and telescopes for people to share. The tide will be high when they get there, which will maximize the likelihood that the birds will be close.

It is about a 1-mile walk on level ground to the bird blind at the marsh. Please wear sturdy shoes because it may be a little muddy.

There is no charge for the hike, no registration, and no need to pay the State Park entrance fee. NOTE: Due to the partial Federal Government shutdown, the rest rooms at the Woodmarsh Trail are closed. You can use the restrooms at Mason Neck State Park picnic area or Visitor Center before or after the hike. Admission to the Park is free on New Years Day.

Please note: if it is unusually cold and the marsh is frozen, the hike will be postponed and the group will announce the postponement on their website.

The Park is also offering First Day Hikes.  There’s an easy-paced 3.5 mile hike at 10 AM; a fast-paced 5.5 mile hike at 11 AM; and a leisurely 1-mile hike at 3 PM.  You can get more details on the hikes at Mason Neck State Park First Day Hikes.  And you can learn about the Virginia Department of Recreation’s Photo Contest and New Year Challenge at First Day Contests.