Restoration of an Extinct Ecosystem: Lessons Learned with Dr. Douglas Gill

The Clifton Institute
6712 Blantyre Road
Warrenton, VA, 20187
Friday, December 6
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

For 20 years, the Native Grassland Restoration project on the eastern shore of Maryland has studied the processes of restoring native Mid-Atlantic warm-season grasslands. Come hear Dr. Gill share an overview of his involvement with the project and practical advice from years of experience with grassland restoration. The talk will be valuable to anyone with similar goals on their own land, no matter how small-scale!

Douglas E. Gill, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biology at University of Maryland, College Park where he has worked since 1971. In 2010, Dr. Gill was named Conservationist of the Year by the Maryland Ornithological Society. $10 per person.

 

Christmas Bird Count at Clifton Institute, Dec 15

The Clifton Institute
6712 Blantyre Road
Warrenton, VA, 20187
Sunday, December 15, meet at 8:00 AM

Join The Clifton Institute for their annual Christmas Bird Count! Spend the day surveying the birds in a 15-mile-diameter count circle. This is a great way to meet other birders in the area and to see what birds have migrated here for the winter. The count circle includes a nice variety of habitats and we see a diversity of waterfowl and grassland birds. There’s always a chance for Short-eared Owl and American Tree Sparrow! 

Please contact Alison at azak@cliftoninstitute.org if you are interested in participating. She will assign you to a team and each team will decide when and where to meet for the day. We’ll wrap up the count with a compilation potluck dinner at 5:30 at our headquarters. We hope to see you there!

All skill levels welcome. Dress in layers for chilly, wet weather. Rain or shine! 

Photo by Cameron Darnell.

Mindful Naturalists: Trees Are Our Teachers

The Clifton Institute, 6712 Blantyre Road
Warrenton, VA, 20187
Saturday, Nov 16, 2019
3:00pm – 4:30pm

Mindful Naturalists is a free program series created to inspire mindful observation and nature appreciation. Each month we will explore a different topic and experiment with different practices for mindfully experiencing the natural world while enjoying a peaceful afternoon at our beautiful field station.

“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.” –Herman Hesse

In November we will let trees be our teachers. How often do we allow ourselves to get to know an individual tree? What might we learn from trees if we explored them in a more mindful way? This month we will experiment with knowing trees in ways that connect us to individuals, ecosystems, and all of nature. We will begin with a short meditation, explore the forests around the farmhouse, spend some solitary time with a tree, and finally reflect on what we learn as a group.

Please dress for the weather. All materials provided. No mindfulness experience required. All are welcome!

Free, but please register

 

Designing for big storms, big flooding: How can redevelopment help the Richmond Highway corridor?

Thursday, November 21, 2019
7:00-8.30 PM
Sherwood Hall Library
2501 Sherwood Hall Ln.
Alexandria, VA 22306

Host Contact Info: Renee Grebe | renee.grebe@anshome.org

Join us to discuss how we can redesign our landscapes to improve stormwater controls and restore streams in the Richmond Highway Corridor. Are we prepared for bigger downpours? How can redevelopment be tied to better stormwater control and creating wider stream buffers? How can you get involved to drive change?

Panelists:

  • JoAnne Fiebe, Program Manager, Community Revitalization | Fairfax County Department of Planning + Development currently working on the Embark Richmond Highway Urban Design Guidelines
  • Catie Torgerson, Planner IV, Stormwater Planning Division | Fairfax County Department of Public Works & Environmental Services
  • Betsy Martin, President of Friends of Little Hunting Creek

Mount Vernon Environmental Expo: How you can act on climate change, Nov 16

Supervisor Dan Storck invites you to participate in the 2nd Annual Mount Vernon District Environment Expo: How YOU Can Act on Climate Change on Saturday, November 16, 2019, from 8 a.m. – noon at Walt Whitman Middle School. This event will educate and inform local residents on environmental challenges that we face on a daily basis, including ones that are unique to Fairfax County given our proximity to water, transportation challenges and recent intense storms. Attendees will leave the Expo with simple actions you can take to make an impact on climate change. Please share information about this event with your family, friends and neighbors!

Join them for the morning to LEARN, ENGAGE and ACT to save our environment!

Expo Schedule

8 – 11:15 a.m. – Exhibit Hall Open

8 – noon – Electric & Hybrid Car Showcase

9 – 9:30 a.m. – Opening Remarks

9:30 – noon – Film Screening

9:30 – 10:15 a.m. – Concurrent Workshops

11 – 11:45 a.m. – Concurrent Workshops

11:45 – noon – Closing Remarks

Workshop Topics

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, presented by Beck Modini, Pachamama Alliance

Can we reverse global warming and stop climate change?  What would it take?  What can you do to help?  Come to this introduction to the work of Project Drawdown, which gathered data on 100 actions that lower carbon emissions or take carbon out of the air, and then did the math. The result is a science-based global plan to actually reverse global warming by 2050. Come away with a new framework for thinking about climate change and access to tools for action.

Small Choices, Big Impact, presented by Zach Huntington, Clean Fairfax

Simple steps we can all take to minimize our impact on the planet from the importance of eating local, to the products we purchase, and how we won’t be able to recycle our way out of our worldwide litter problem. We’ll also discuss how the daily decisions we make can either mitigate the impacts of or contribute to climate change and what strategies are the most effective in addressing systemic climate challenges.

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint Through Energy Efficiency, presented by Elenor Hodges, EcoAction Arlington

Learn about reducing your carbon footprint whether you live in a single-family house, townhouse, condo or apartment. The presentation will focus on energy and water efficiency in the home, detailing techniques to reduce energy and water use through sealing air leaks, installing energy-efficient lighting, and switching to low-flow water devices in the kitchen and bathroom. We will also discuss the energy use of a variety of household appliances and learn how to measure how much energy each one uses with a kilowatt meter.

Flooding, Storm Surge and Sea Level Rise—Tools for Living with the Water, presented by Molly Mitchell, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

This workshop will take look at the changing flood threats from sea level rise, changing precipitation, and increased development.  We will discuss the tools available to help project storm surge flooding and future sea level rise impacts and discuss how these tools can be used in decision making.

“The 4 R’s” Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, presented by Eric Forbes, Fairfax County Solid Waste Management

“The 4R’s” will cover what we all can do to help reduce our waste footprint as well as the services the Solid Waste Management Program provides for Fairfax County residents.

The Right Tree in the Right Place, presented by Jim McGlone, Fairfax County Urban Forestry

Trees have an important role in reducing the impacts of climate change. Attend this workshop to learn about the native trees that thrive in our region and where best to plant these.

Adding Habitat Value in our Gardens:  Mow less, Grow more!, presented by Joanne Hutton and Tami Scheiffer, Plant NOVA Natives 

Avenues to Better Air Quality, presented by Tom Reynolds, Fairfax County Department of Transportation

Traffic congestion and tailpipe emissions combine to be a major contributor to greenhouse gases in the region. Fairfax County is progressing down several ‘avenues’ to reduce congestion and improve air quality. Learn how individuals can play a part in the County’s efforts to reduce emissions, shift the mode share away from single occupancy vehicles, take advantage of a growing pedestrian/bicycle environment and see how transit is being considered in new developments.

Download and share the flyer

Planning for 2020 City Nature Challenge: Please complete survey

Photo (c) by Barbara J. Saffir

In case it’s not on your radar already, save the dates for April 24-27 for making observations during the City Nature Challenge, then adding identifications until the results are announced on Monday, May 4, 2020.

There are well over 100 cities participating again. To recap how we’ve organized in the DC area, anyone is welcome to participate & organize events and communication within your organization/neighborhood/groups. We’ll have monthly calls to share pertinent information, probably starting in December.

For individuals who are interested in taking a leadership role in organizing across the region (for things like outreach, social media, etc), please fill out this survey if you haven’t already. Stella Tarnay and Carrie Seltzer will be in touch for next steps with last year’s leadership group and anyone who fills out the survey.

The Local Lens: Engaging communities through participatory photography

Tuesday, October 29

12:00pm – 1:00pm ET

REGISTER

For coastal fishing communities in Zavora, Mozambique, the ocean is a way of life. Yet coastal overfishing threatens this small and dynamic community on the southeastern coast. Designing a lasting solution first requires understanding the community and the perspective of people. One way to do that is through participatory photography.

Working with renowned photographer, Jason Houston, Rare gave cameras to four community members to document their lives and share their experiences through their own lens. What emerged was a personal look at the daily lives of the people of this extraordinary place along Mozambique’s Wild Coast.

Join Houston and Rare’s BE.Center for a free webinar exploring how participatory photography can be used as a powerful tool for practitioners looking to engage communities and better understand their world.

During this webinar, you will:

  • See stunning photos from this fishing community shot both by Jason Houston and members of the community
  • Hear from Jason Houston about his experience embedding himself in a fishing community
  • Learn the core principles of participatory photography and how you can apply it in your own work to gain insight into community experiences

While the webinar is free, space is limited.

REGISTER TODAY!

Calling all amateur photographers!

Northern Virginia Conservation Trust’s Sixth Annual Nearby Nature Photography Contest is going on right now.

Categories for Adults

  • Awesome Animals
  • Beautiful Bugs
  • Fantastic Flowers
  • Tremendous Trees

Categories for Youth (under 18): Same categories listed above – but will be judged separately.

Parameters: 

  • Submitted photos must be taken within the Trust’s service area: Arlington, Caroline, Fairfax, Fauquier, King George, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, and Stafford counties; and nearby independent cities including Alexandria, City of Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park.
  • Each participant may enter up to 4 photos, taken any time of year. Please do note that each photographer is only eligible for only one award per year.

General Contest Information

  • The NVCT Nearby Nature Photography Competition is open to non-professional photographers of all ages. This contest hopes to promote awareness and appreciation for all the beautiful natural wonders that are found in the small, medium, and large outdoor spaces in our communities – including our backyards, local forests, and local working lands.
  • Photographers retain all rights to photographs submitted and agree to grant NVCT the right to publish the images with or without names. Even if your photos don’t make the final cut, you may still see your images used to help promote NVCT’s conservation work online or in print materials! This growing stock of imagery is a great asset to our organization, and we greatly appreciate your contribution!

How to Enter

  • Choose or go take some awesome nature photos!
  • Download and complete the entry form and photograph release, linked here: adult form; youth form
  • Email the forms and your photos to nvctphotocontest@gmail.com by midnight, Wed., Oct. 31.
  • Please put your name, the category, and the title of your photo in the subject line of the email. If submitting more than one photo you may send one email – please just label the photos.
  • Look out for our announcement of the winners in November! Judges will review the submissions for creativity, content, composition, and originality, and award the top photographs by youth and adults in each category. Youth categories may be combined.
  • Come to the showcase on January 11, 2020 so that we can thank you for your participation (optional)!

Feel free to contact our communications coordinator, Leahif you have any questions!

Come to orientation for new volunteers at Riverbend and Scott’s Run, Nov 2

Photo: Ana Ka’Ahanui

Saturday, November 2
9:30 AM -12.30 PM
8814 Jeffery Road, Great Falls, VA 22066

Want to become a volunteer at Riverbend Park or Scott’s Run? Attend the Fall Volunteer Orientation to learn about  opportunities, projects, and events. Positions for Animal Care Volunteers and Program Volunteers are currently open! If you want to get involved in park restoration/other projects, you are more than welcome to join us!

This session will run in two parts:

  1. Orientation for ALL new volunteers (9:30-10:30 AM)
  2. Orientation for specialties such as Animal Care, School Program Leads, and other projects.

 

Animal Care

Volunteer Claire Phan feeding a box turtle a fresh earth worm!

If you love animals this is the opportunity for you! Learn about local wildlife & become a caretaker to our rescued reptiles & amphibians.

Apply by 10/31 to valeria.espinoza@fairfaxcounty.gov 

Click here to register for Animal Care orientation and training.

 

 

School Program Leads

Volunteer Tom Blackburn showing students a soil sample

Love nature, science, and history? Become a program leader at Riverbend and help educate elementary students about Native American history, soils, wildlife, watershed science, biology & more!

Apply by 10/31 to valeria.espinoza@fairfaxcounty.gov 

Click here to register for becoming a School Program Lead Volunteer.

 

 

 

Resource Naturalists: Fall Planting Projects (14+ or w/ adult)

Chris Lansing educating volunteers on Mile a Minute clean up

Want to get involved in resource management, restoration, and conservation? Become a Resource Naturalist! We have a few planting projects to complete before winter.

Click here to register.

Email valeria.espinoza@fairfaxcounty.gov with questions and to RSVP fo orientation on Nov 2

 

 

Scott’s Run Cleanup Group! (14+ or w/ adult)

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Join the SRNP Cleanup Group! Open for students, families, and anyone interested in keeping the park and Potomac river free from litter.

Click here to sign up for fall cleanup days

Want to schedule your own group cleanup? Email Valeria Espinosa!

 

 

Scout Programs Assistant Volunteer! (18+)

Interested in supporting our girl scout and boy scout programs? Join our interpretive team and learn about outdoor/nature education! 

Click here to sign up

 

 

Final Birding Walks!

Friday 10/4 and 10/18 from 8-10 AM @Nature Center

Don’t miss the final birding walks with Kris Lansing and Robin Duska. To sign up email Valeria Espinosa or call 703-759-9018

 

2019 Earth Science Week, Oct 13-19

From David B. Spears, State Geologist to Va Master Naturalists

Virginia Master Naturalists,

Since 1998, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) has sponsored earth science week (ESW) during the month of October (www.earthscienceweek.org). This year, earth science week will be October 13-19. The theme of this year’s event is “Geoscience is for Everyone”, an exciting theme that encourages everyone to learn more about the earth sciences, regardless of their background, age, or ability. The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) has been an active supporter of earth science week for several years https://www.dmme.virginia.gov/dgmr/EarthScienceWeek.shtml. This year we are again reaching out to our colleagues in Virginia to promote this important event.

 

There are several ways that your chapter can get involved:

  • Sponsor an event during earth science week. It could be aligned with one of the special days designated during earth science week that focus on earthcaches, science literacy, getting students outside, diversity in earth science, fossils, geologic maps, and archaeology. Learn more about these focus days by visiting http://www.earthsciweek.org/focus-days. If you let us know about your event, we will promote it on our web site as well.
  • Encourage your members to submit an entry to the ESW video or photography, contests, which are open to all ages. Entries are due by 5 PM on Friday, October 18. To learn more, visit https://www.earthsciweek.org/contests.
  • Obtain a free Earth Science Week kit from AGI by visiting http://www.earthsciweek.org/materials. These kits are full of posters, activities, and additional resources. A limited number of kits are also available for pick-up directly from the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy in Charlottesville or Big Stone Gap.

I hope you will be as excited about this event as I am. If you have any questions or need additional information, do not hesitate to contact DMME at (434) 951-6310.

Sincerely,
David B. Spears
State Geologist