Chesapeake Bay Ecology trip, August 17-18, 2019

Calvert County, MD
Saturday, August 17, 9:30 a.m.
Sunday, August 18, 11:00 a.m.

Fee: $95 Audubon Society of Northern Virginia members, $115 non-members, includes guided tour of Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, lunch on Saturday, admission at the Calvert Marine Museum, and a two-hour private charter on the Dee of St. Mary’s.

Group Limit: 15 participants.

The group will explore Calvert County, MD. They’ll meet at 9:30 a.m. at Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, where they’ll explore one of the northernmost naturally occurring bald cypress stands in North America. Then they’ll head to Solomon’s Island for a guided tour of the Calvert Marine Museum and private charter on the Dee of St. Mary’s, one of the few remaining skipjacks on the Chesapeake Bay. We finish our visit with an early Sunday morning visit to Calvert Cliffs State Park (state park fee $7/car), the site of astonishing quantities of prehistoric marine fossils. Although Calvert County is close by, it still seems remote and is a treasure to visit.

The Chesapeake Bay provides the ecological, cultural and historic foundation of our region. To understand the bay, its seasonal narration, complex history, and stewardship needs each of us should be grounded in this place. For over 150 years, our stewardship of the bay region has been disrespectful to the complex natural systems. Water quality, indigenous species, and even people living around the bay have suffered from the impacts of mistreatment. With increased public awareness, public policy has slowly changed, and some progress has been made. Join Dr. Tom Wood on this experiential learning weekend to explore this national treasure.

Dr. Wood is an Associate Professor of Integrative and Interdisciplinary Studies in the School of Integrative Studies at George Mason University. He conducted his doctoral research at the Smithsonian and helped create the Smithsonian-Mason Semester and directed the development of Mason’s joint program with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Hotel Reservations: A block of rooms has been reserved at the Holiday Inn Solomon’s Conference Center and Marina at a rate of $109 (not included with fee.) Please make your reservation no later than July 26. Group rate code will be included in the confirmation email sent from EventBee.

Register here.

Healthy Parks, Healthy People 5k Fun Run/Walk

July 20, 2019

7:30 am – 11:00 am

(MD) Join Brookside Gardens, Latino Outdoors, Latino Health Initiative and Montgomery County Councilmember Gabe Albornoz in celebrating Latino Conservation Week at the Second Annual Healthy Parks, Healthy People 5k Fun Run/Walk!

Full details here

2019 Green Spaces for DC Meet + Greet

Thursday, July 18th
5:30-7:30pm
Historic Earth Conservation Corps Pumphouse

Join the GSDC Board of Directors for a summer evening of networking and celebration on the Anacostia River. Capital Nature is a proud member of the Green Spaces for DC (GSDC) alliance of organizations that support healthy and accessible green areas for the Washington DC area. Come hear about their advocacy. See old friends and make new ones. Special guest, naturalist and author Melanie Choukas-Bradley, will talk about her latest project!

Refreshments provided by The Green Bee Cafe and friends.

Free. To attend, please RSVP.

Service opportunities with Plant NOVA Natives

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir

“Art Director” needed – Some concepts are expressed better with art than with photos or words. If you would like to coordinate the work of artists who might enjoy donating artistic interpretations for the PNN website and other purposes of things like  “Baby birds need insects, and insects need native plants,” email plantnovanatives@gmail.com.

A second website manager needed – The work is light, but it is good to have more than one person doing updates to the PNN website.

Know of any good lawn and garden maintenance companies? PNN would like to compile a list of vendors that have experience in maintaining native plantings and/or environmentally friendly landscapes. Email your recommendations to plantnovanatives@gmail.com. PNN will then email the companies and ask them if they would like to self-identify as ones that have that kind of experience.

Help label plants at garden centers – There are now 16 garden centers where we are putting red stickers on the Virginia native plants. PNN needs more volunteers at several of those nurseries (particularly Lake Ridge Nursery in Dumfries, Merrifield Fair Oaks and Burke Nursery, but there are others as well). It is a great way to get to know your native plants, and very fun as well! PNN tries to have someone visit each nursery a couple times a month and to have at least two volunteers at each place. They also need help approaching garden centers that are not yet participating.

Another volunteer opportunity – Sept 29: NatureFest, Herndon. Sign up here.

Next Steering Committee meeting – All are welcome! The next meeting is scheduled for August 13 at 10:30 am, but please always check the Event Calendar in case there is a change.

Riverbend fern walk, led by Kit Sheffield

Sunday, June 23
8:30-11:30 a.m.

On this hike in Riverbend Park, Kit will discuss the characteristics that differentiate ferns from other organisms and talk about what to look for when identifying ferns. The group will cover about two miles at a moderate pace on trails that are well maintained but may be muddy if there has been recent flooding. Expect to see and identify fifteen+ species along the way. Learn to identify Christmas fern, to distinguish between cinnamon fern and interrupted fern, what ferns to avoid in your garden, and why scouring rushes are now included in the ferns.

Kit Sheffield is the Membership and IT Coordinator for the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) and Vice President of the Fairfax Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists (FMN). With a passion for pteridophytes, he leads fern hikes for PATC, FMN, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and the Audubon Naturalist Society.

VNPS programs are free and open to the public.
However, you must register to attend. Please click here to REGISTER.
To CANCEL your registration or ask a QUESTION, please email vnps.pot@gmail.com

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 contact@greenmuslims.org | www.greenmuslims.org 

Sharable flyer

Permaculture Design Certification Course

72-Hour Permaculture Design Certification Course with Wayne Weiseman
August 31-September 8, 2019 at
Heartwood Farm in Louisa, VA.

About this event

A Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course offers a comprehensive introduction to Permaculture principles, applications & design practices and meets the international standard as the 72+ hour foundational course for Permaculture practitioners and teachers.

You will have many opportunities to put theory into practice by doing hands-on, creative activities at Heartwood Farm, where Permaculture principles are actively practiced and promoted. We will do an in-depth site analysis, and students will create designs of different areas on the farm. Special guests will share their expertise as well.

While learning about our habitat and our own relationship with the environment, we will look at how humans have been relating to Earth throughout history and into today’s modern urban times. The three main historical viewpoints we will study are:

Hunter/Gatherer

Training in hunter-gatherer living and nature skills sharpens our ability to see life as it is. We develop hand and eye coordination, and become one with an environment where we must observe and create what we need in an immediate and balanced way.

Agricultural Settlement

Exposure to various methods of sustainable agriculture, i.e. Permaculture, Biodynamic Agriculture, Bio-intensive gardening, the eco-agriculture movement, organic systems, the natural way of farming of Masanobu Fukuoka and indigenous systems of agriculture. You also learn about renewable energy systems (wind, water, solar), ecological building practices (straw bale, cob, cordwood, etc.) and everything from tool making to animal husbandry.

Urban/Suburban

Studying the urban and suburban landscape and learning ways to live sustainably in the midst of concrete and close-quarters. Discover how permaculture design can help those living in urban and suburban areas meet their needs for nutrition, energy and community while maintaining meaningful work and upholding sustainable policies in towns and cities.

Where is this?

This 8-day intensive course will be held at Heartwood Farm in Louisa, VA. Class will take place from 8:00 am to about 6:00 pm each day, with breaks for lunch, and two additional evening activities with served dinner. A light breakfast fare and lunch will be provided each day.

Heartwood is a sustainable diversified farm in Central Virginia using permaculture principles to raise pastured pork, ducks, chickens, rabbits, eggs, vegetables and herbs. It’s roughly 15 minutes to Gordonsville and 30 minutes to downtown Charlottesville, where restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, airbnbs, etc. are abundant. Camping will be available on the farm, however students must bring all of their own camping equipment.

Why take this class?

Because this course is a game changer. It brings into focus practical principles and ethics that many of us have forgotten or dismissed. It is like picking up a master key that unlocks many doors leading to abundance and health. Students have repeatedly stated they have found that by regenerating the earth and improving their relationship with it they have regenerated themselves in the process. You want this master key!

Topics covered

  • Permaculture ethics & principles
  • Concepts, themes, method of design
  • Climate & microclimates
  • Plants, gardening & farming systems
  • Primitive skills & foraging
  • Landform & water movement
  • Alternative energy & natural building
  • Seed saving, plant propagation, grafting
  • Soil fertility & soil management
  • Native medicinal plants identification, uses & preparation
  • …and many more!

Early bird tuition (until 5/31/19): $900. Regular tuition: $1,100. Standard processing fees apply. Includes breakfast and lunch each day, plus two dinners. Camping available on the farm, other sleeping accommodations (hotels, airbnbs, etc.) are the responsibility of the student. Students will receive the Permaculture Design Certificate on the final day of the course.

*Limited 1-Day Workshops Available for two of the course days. Workshop attendees will not receive a PDC certificate*

(9/4/19): Soil Fertility & Mushroom Cultivation – Full day workshop (8am-5pm). We’ll cover basic soil biology, organic methods to build soil fertility and how to build an at-home composting system. Also learn how to grow your own edible/medicinal mushrooms at home with fresh log inoculation techniques! Includes a chainsaw use & safety demonstration.Fee: $120.

(9/7/19): Fermentation; Herbal Medicine; Live Animal Process, Cooking Demonstration & Dinner – Half Day Workshop (1pm-8pm). Hands-on introduction to lacto-fermentation and folk herbal medicine traditions. Livestock process and cooking demonstration will be done by farm owner, Zac Culbertson. Learn the basics of how to process poultry, raised on Heartwood Farm. Includes a delicious cooking demonstration and a wonderful group dinner! Fee: $75.

About the Instructor

Wayne Weiseman is a permaculture teacher, designer, consultant and author. He was certified to teach permaculture by Bill Mollison, the founder of permaculture, in 1999. Wayne has taught hundreds of Permaculture Design Courses around the world. He has served as a consultant and lecturer to educators, school administrators, business leaders, and others internationally. For 15 years Wayne managed a land-based, self-reliant community project combining organic crop/food production, ecologically-built shelter, renewable energy and appropriate technologies.

Wayne is a co-author of an authoritative book on integrated forest gardening and plant guilds that was published in August, 2014.

For more information on the instructor, Wayne Weiseman, go to: http://www.permacultureproject.com/

Questions? Please email permacultureproject@gmail.com

All Ticket Sales Are Final and Non-Refundable

Call for entries: Virginia Master Naturalist Photo Contest

Were you taking your family on a bluebell walk and took a perfect photo of light filtering through the tree canopy? Were you documenting a citizen science project and snapped a great blue heron as it took off from the shoreline? We want your photos!

The  Virginia Master Naturalist program is sponsoring a statewide photo contest. Each chapter may submit one photo in one of five categories:

Virginia Native Wildlife (Category Code: Wildlife)

Virginia Native Plant and Fungi World (Category Code: Plant)

Virginia Native Landscapes (Category Code: Landscape)

Virginia Native Macro and Night Photography (Category Code: M&N)

Virginia Master Naturalists in Action (Category Code: VMN)

Simply upload your photos to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #FMNphotos19.  In the alternative, photos may be emailed to vmnfairfax@gmail.com.  Please include the category for which you are submitting the photo and your name in the photo identification.

Our Fairfax Master Naturalist (FMN) chapter will accept entries from our members in good standing until 11:59 pm on Friday, 5 July. Winners will be notified by Friday, 19 July. The photographers of the four winning entries must forward their entries to the statewide competition by 11:59 pm on Friday, 9 August. Participants agree that all images submitted may be used by the FMN program for our website, newsletter, social media and other promotional purposes. Photographers will receive a photo credit.  See the 2018 VMN winners here.

Photo Editing
Permitted modifications:

  • Cropping, resizing, and rotating photo
  • Red-eye removal
  • Corrective functions to improve the natural appearance of the image, such as white balance, brightness, contrast, levels, color balance, saturation, sharpening, noise reduction

     Modifications not permitted:

  • Adding, removing, or replacing elements
  • Artistic filters
  • Added borders or frames

Photo sizing: All photographs must be high resolution digital JPEGs and winning images will be sized for optimum viewing in a PowerPoint presentation.

See the complete rules here.

For questions, contact us at vmnfairfax@gmail.com with the subject line: FMN Photo Contest

 

Explore a working landscape at Manassas National Battlefield Park

You’re invited!

A coalition led by Master Naturalists from both the Merrimac Farm and Fairfax chapters, called Heritage Habitat, is crafting nature tours for the public at Manassas National Battlefield Park and Conway Robinson State Forest.  The theme is “Heritage Habitat: A Working Educational Landscape”.  The National Park Service, Virginia Department of Forestry, and the Virginia Cooperative Extension have been strongly active and supportive of expanding interpretation at those two sites.

After months of preparation, we launch on June 1, 9:00-11:00am with our first walking tour at Brawner Farm in Manassas National Battlefield Park.  All Master Naturalists are invited!  Come for an educational trial run of this program.  In addition to learning about how the landscape is managed, we’ll be looking for feedback on the program.

The battlefield maintains a historical pattern of field and forest through hay field leases and use of prescribed fire.  Conway Robinson State Forest, in Gainesville, is a working demonstration forest, with active management of species composition though thinning and harvest of trees.  Both sites are rich in biodiversity as well as history, and excellent places for introducing the general public to the challenges of managing land to keep it “natural.”  

The Heritage Habitat team is also looking for more volunteers to support or even lead several tours per year, to add to posts/pictures on Facebook, and to explore the sites in more depth.  Interested?  Contact Bryan Graham at bryan.graham@djj.virginia.gov or Heritage Habitat at HeritageHabitat@yahoo.com. Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/HeritageHabitat/; Twitter handle @HeritageHabitat

No registration is required, but please RSVP to one of the email addresses if you’re planning on attending.The location is the Brawner Farm interpretive center in the Manassas National Battlefield Park.  From Lee Highway (US-29 ) driving from Centreville, turn right (north) at the traffic light onto Pageland Lane.  After about 2000 feet, the entrance is on the right.

From homo sapiens to geo sapiens: The quest for the earthwise human

Thursday, June 6

6:30-9 p.m.

Yorktown High School, 5200 Yorktown Blvd, Patriot Hall, Arlington

Please join EcoAction Arlington for a special evening featuring Martin Ogle, the former chief naturalist for NOVA Parks. Ogle’s presentation will combine the concepts of the Gaia Theory, the idea that living organisms and inorganic components of Earth form a single living system, with new ideas about creating a green economy that works for people and the planet.

This timely and unique talk will challenge participants to envision new educational themes as well as careers and business concepts that are compatible with human nature and Nature as a whole. It will advocate for bringing these ideas to young people–especially high school students–to empower them to create a better world. Ogle believes that our response to social/environmental challenges should reflect new understandings of human society as a seamless continuum of a living planet.  He uses the phrase, “Geo sapiens,” to capture this new sense of ourselves as “Earth-wise.”

This presentation will expand our thinking about how human creativity itself, as an extension of Earth’s life, can inspire and enable us to apply that creativity directly at our most pressing challenges.

The event is free but registration would be appreciated.  You can RSVP here

Thanks to our event co-sponsors and exhibitors:

Earth Force , For A Strawless Sea, Leaders in Energy, Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia, and St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School.