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

Virginia Association for Environmental Education seeks conference proposals, deadline Sep. 27th

2020 Virginia Association for Environmental Education Conference- EE for EverybodEE
Sweet Briar College, Amherst VA
26-28 February 2020

This conference is a celebration of and call of action for efforts to make environmental education in Virginia more equitable and inclusive for all audiences and the diverse field we all know it can be.

Proposals that will suit the following 5 strands are being accepted until September 27:

• Early Childhood EE
• Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for EE
• Action Projects and Citizen Science
• Teaching EE Outside
• EE Best Practices

VAEE offers the following opportunities to present:

• 50 minute sessions
• Half-day Workshops (3 hours)
• Full- day Workshops (6 hours)
• Make and Take Workshop: For this session you will lead the participants in making a product to take with them such as a Bee House or Habitat Cage. Extra fees will be charged on the registration to cover costs. Please indicate suggested costs in your proposal. (3 hour session)
• Interactive Activity Showcase: Do you have a fun and engaging EE activity you’d like to share with others? You will lead other participants in the activity and give them a copy of the activity with directions. (3 hour session – each person will have varying time to present their activity.)

You will be notified as to whether your proposal has been accepted or not by Oct. 31, 2019.

SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL

If you have further questions, please contact Sarah McGuire, Page Hutchinson, or Bruce Young. Thank you for your interest in supporting VAEE and environmental education!

100th NVSWCD Green Breakfast, Sep. 14th

Fairfax County Government Center
12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA
Saturday, 14 September 2019
8:30 am

Walking Tour of Fairfax County Government Center Stormwater Infrastructure

To celebrate the 100th Green Breakfast, you are invited to join us for a tour of the Fairfax County Government Center Stormwater Infrastructure.

Please Note: Special Location!
We will meet on the path at the start of the meadow behind and to the left of the main Government Center building, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22035. View a map showing the meeting place.

Gather beginning at 8:30 am, the tour begins at 9:00 am
No prior registration required. No breakfast provided this time.

The Green Breakfast will return to its regular location and breakfast on Saturday, November 9, 2019.

If you have any questions, please contact the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District at conservationdistrict@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Earth Sangha fall open house and native plant sale

Wild Plant Nursery
6100 Cloud Drive, Springfield VA
Sunday, 22 September 2019
10am – 2pm
Click here for the Wild Plant Nursery Species List.

The Fall is really the best time to visit the Earth Sangha nursery. In the Spring, plants are still emerging from winter dormancy, and so they cannot offer as many species. The Fall, as experienced gardeners know, is also the best time to plant! Trees, shrubs, and perennials like the cooler weather and greater rainfall lets them establish robust roots. Late blooming annuals can make great additions to your garden, and many will “volunteer” from seed next year.

All plant sale proceeds go toward local parkland restoration. Last fall, customers helped them raise over $15,600 for local parkland restoration!
Choose from over 275 local-ecotype native species and help them fund the restoration of our area’s native flora.

If you’re interested in volunteering at the sale please email Katherine Isaacson at kisaacson@earthsangha.org. There will be a morning shift (9:45 to Noon) and an afternoon shift (Noon to 2:30).

HOAs and condo associations: Sustainable solutions to landscaping headaches, Oct. 4th & Nov. 2nd

Northern Virginia Community College, Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center

Annandale Campus, Annandale VA Friday, October 4 or Saturday, November 2
(Choose one date to attend. The content will be identical.)
9:30am – 1 pm

Is your community association board dealing with erosion or flooding problems? Is your property management company paying to maintain a lot of lawn that is not being used? Is your landscaping committee looking for ways to beautify community property while supporting birds and butterflies?

Unused lawns. Impervious surface. Heavier rain storms. Invasive introduced plants. These are just some of the reasons for our degrading suburban and urban environments. But planting native plants can help address these problems while improving the overall beauty, sustainability, and ecology of our area.

Board members, landscape committees, property managers, and landscape maintenance companies are particularly encouraged to attend, but everyone is welcome. See details and sign up here.