What kinds of insects do birds eat? Find out from Audubon, March 24

The Audubon Society of Northern Virginia will hold an Audubon Afternoon on Sunday, March 24 at the National Wildlife Center, 11100 Wildlife Center Drive in Reston.  Ashley Kennedy, a doctoral candidate at the University of Delaware, is an entomologist who has used her own research and photos provided by citizen scientists from around the country to determine what types of insects various types of birds eat.   She will present fascinating photos and videos of birds bringing food to their young as she discusses birds’ diets and the role of native plants in attracting the insects that birds rely on.  There will be a social gathering at 2:30 followed by Ashley’s presentation at 3 PM.  The event is free and open to the public.

Volunteers Needed to Help with the May 11 Eagle Festival!

The Mason Neck State Park Eagle Festival on Saturday, May 11 is the Park’s biggest event of the year. More than 20 environmentally-oriented organizations will showcase interactive exhibits. We’ll have a full day of programs, including shows on reptiles and raptors, live music, pony rides, a tent for children’s activities and more. Last year more than 4000 people attended this great event. The Friends of Mason Neck State Park covers all the expenses for the Festival, as well as providing the volunteers that help to make the event go smoothly. Would you like to help us out? Send an email to Volunteer for Eagle Festival and we’ll find you a job that you’ll enjoy.

Stream cleanups in March

Bull Run Tributary Stream Cleanup
Manassas, VA
Saturday, 16 March 2019
9 am-12 pm

Join the Merrimac Farm Master Naturalists, Friends of the Square, Keep Prince William Beautiful, and other Prince William County partners to keep the stream corridor near the Bull Run Shopping Center clean under Prince William SWCD’s Adopt-A-Stream program. Great for student community service hours. Light refreshment will be provided. Volunteers should come dressed for the weather, with boots and clothes they don’t mind getting dirty. Learn more and RSVP to Prince William SWCD.

Potomac River Cleanup at Gravelly Point
Gravelly Point, Arlington VA
Saturday, 30 March 2019
10 am-1 pm

Get your hands dirty for clean water and make a difference in your community by volunteering with Potomac Conservancy, Green Muslims, and the National Park Service. Join us in collecting trash and enjoy the dramatic takeoffs at nearby National Airport. Register now to support healthy lands and clean drinking water!

Powells Creek Stream Cleanup
Montclair VA
Saturday, 30 March 2019
10 am-1 pm

Parking available at 15601 Northgate Dr., Montclair VA 22025. For more information about this event, please contact the Merrimac Farm Master Naturalists.

Stream monitoring in March

Friends of Accotink Creek Stream Monitoring Session
Lake Accotink Park, Springfield VA
Saturday, 9 March 2019

Join Friends of Accotink Creek volunteers as they assess ecological conditions in a stream, based on the presence and absence of bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Meet at the parking lot behind Lake Accotink Park Administrative Building. See Friends of Accotink Creek for additional stream monitoring information.

Helping Your Stream Through Citizen Science
Chapman DeMary Trail, Purcellville VA
Sunday, 10 March 2019
2-5 pm

Healthy streams and waterways support a wide range of native flora and fauna. The stream running through your neighborhood is vitally important to ensuring that our larger tributaries such as the Potomac River and Goose Creek remain healthy to sustain a diverse wildlife habitat. Local streams can, however, become impaired by urban runoff and development. Join us for a stream-side demonstration and discussion examining how citizen science surveys can be used to assess local stream quality. You will see how biomonitoring surveys are conducted. You will have a chance to look at the data and at aquatic macroinvertebrates. We will discuss how the data is analyzed and how it can be used to improve our streams. At the end, you will have the opportunity to sign up for a spring survey, led by one of Loudoun Wildlife’s citizen science stream monitoring teams. Registration is limited, RSVP to Loudoun Wildlife.

Prince William (Cedar Run) Stream Monitoring Workshop
Evergreen Acres Farm, Hazelwood Dr., Nokesville VA
Saturday, 16 March 2019
10 am-12:30 pm

Join Veronica Tangiri of Prince William SWCD for citizen science monitoring. Come and learn more about the health of this stream and how it interacts with agriculture as it joins the Occoquan River. Contact Veronica for more information or to register.

Powells Creek Stream Monitoring Session
Northgate Dr., Montclair VA
Saturday, 30 March 2019
10 am-12:30 pm

Join Buck Arvin and the Merrimack Master Naturalist Team in monitoring Powells Creek in the Montclair area. Residents are welcome to come and support the data collection of this stream and learn more about water quality in their area. For directions and more information, please RSVP to Buck.

Seedling giveaways and native plant sales

Seedling sales and giveaways are going on now, and native plant sales start at the end of March.  Plan ahead and thank Plant NOVA Natives for the terrific lists!

NVCT Conservation Luncheon, 21 March 2019

Key Bridge Marriott, 1401 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA  22209

Thursday, 21 March 2019

11:30 am Registration/Networking

12-2 pm Lunch and Program

Save the date for the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (NVCT) 2019 Conservation Luncheon! On March 21, 2019 NVCT will host their 25th Anniversary Luncheon at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, VA.  The speakers for the luncheon are going to include top business and political leaders from Northern Virginia, including Chairman of the Arlington County Board Christian Dorsey, about the impact of Amazon’s arrival in our region. The featured speakers will share their expertise and views on the balance we must find between open space and land conservation and the new development and infrastructure necessary to attract growing, innovative businesses.

Secure your seat now. Click here to purchase your ticket. If you’re interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, click here.

Canada Goose Management Strategies Workshop

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 10:00- 11:30 am
Fairfax County Animal Shelter 4500 West Ox Rd., Fairfax, VA 22030

A free workshop for parks, private citizens, homeowner associations, schools, golf courses, corporate parks, etc.

Learn about Canada goose behavior, effective goose management techniques (egg oiling, border collies, exclusion techniques), community case studies and regulations. This event is limited to 40 participants. Please register by March 4th.

Sponsored by the:

  • Fairfax County Wildlife Biologist
  • Fairfax County Park Authority 

For more information and to register please contact Kristen Sinclair by phone at (703) 324-8559 or email kristen.sinclair@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Want to become a Riverbend Park volunteer? 

Attend the next monthly Volunteer Orientation: Saturday, March 2, 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Learn about our upcoming opportunities, projects, and events and get started on your training with a hands-on project!

Upcoming Opportunities 

  • Wildflower Survey (Feb-May) NEW – Identify & document native and non-native wildflowers 
  • Spring Salamander Survey (Feb-May) – ID, measure, and document salamanders 
  • Turtle Survey (Feb-May) NEW – ID native turtles and help us track & document their presence at Riverbend
  • Wildlife Camera Monitor NEW – Help us set up & track wildlife cams throughout the park and review footage for     some action! 
  • Exhibit Animal Care – Help provide care for our exhibit animals (min 4hrs/month for 6 months) 
  • Survey Data Entry (winter-spring) NEW – Enter data on our salamander survey onto a spreadsheet     
  • Spring/Summer Programs – Join our interpretive team and provide assistance at our camps & programs 
  • Dragonfly Survey (March-Oct) *training in March 
  • Bluebell Festival on April 6th! 
  • Ongoing Opportunities Watershed Clean ups, Habitat restoration, Trail maintenance and restoration, Gardening/plants Park Support 


Valeria Espinoza, Volunteer Coordinator valeria.espinoza@fairfaxcounty.gov

Rita Peralta, Natural Resources Manager rita.peralta@fairfaxcounty.gov

Join Potomac River Watershed Cleanup, Saturday, April 13

The Alice Ferguson Foundation is sponsoring the Potomac Watershed Cleanup on Saturday, April 13.

Join the 31st Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup. The official date is Saturday, April 13, however, there will be cleanups throughout the entire month of April.

The Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup is the largest regional event of its kind, and the Cleanup aims to engage citizens and community leaders and to generates momentum for change.

The Friends of Accotink Creek website has information about Accotink Creek watershed cleanups on weekends, April 5 through May 11.

This project is eligible for FMN service credit.

Friends of Wolf Trap host City Nature Challenge (and training!)

As urban development in Northern Virginia continues to accelerate, the management of open spaces becomes more important than ever. Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, which encompasses more than 130 acres with 2.7 miles of trails, forests, native gardens, streams and a pond, contains important natural, recreational and historical resources for the community. As a not-for-profit organization, the Friends of Wolf Trap (FOWT) contributes to community awareness and assists the National Park Service with providing educational programs, recreation, and preservation through centralized volunteer efforts.  The FOWT are interested in increasing involvement from Fairfax Master Naturalist members in conducting citizen science projects and promoting the Park’s natural resources to the public.

Please register for one or more upcoming events listed at http://friendsofwolftrap.org/events/  and mark your calendars and join us for the following upcoming events:

  • Sunday, April 7, 2019 (10:00 am to noon):  iNaturalist Training and Hike at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts; Using iNaturalist to document and learn about nature is easy! Learn how, then participate in #CityNatureChallenge April 26-29.  In preparation for the 2019 City Nature Challenge, please join Deborah Barber, Director of Land Management from The Nature Conservancy, who will provide brief ‘classroom’ instruction in using the iNaturalist app before leading the group through the Park’s trails and gardens to obtain practical field experience using the app.  Be sure you have a fully charged smart phone and have already downloaded and signed in to the app.
  • Sunday, April 28, 2019 (1:00 pm to 4:00 pm): City Nature Challenge ‘Hike and Explore’ at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts; Take part in the 2019 City Nature Challenge at Wolf Trap! 130 cities across 6 continents are vying to prove that their area has the most nature and the most nature-loving residents – and we want the DC Metro Area to win! https://citynaturechallengedc.org/  Join us for a group hike or strike out on your own to explore the Park’s 130 acres including forests, trails, streams, ponds, meadows and gardens as you take pictures of Parks many plants and animals while taking part in the City Nature Challenge.  We will start with a brief introduction of how to use the iNaturalist app, so be sure you have a fully charged smart phone and have already downloaded and signed in to the app. (C260 is the appropriate service code)