On April 22, Tune into Earth Day Online

Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

The world’s largest civic event is going digital for the first time in its history. The organizers ask that leaders take science seriously, listen to their people and push for action at every level of society to stop the rising tide of climate change. People can make a better world for everyone; tell everyone you know about April 22 and come back here to be a part of it.

From the organizers:

“On Earth Day, April 22, 2020, we have two crises: One is the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The other is a slowly building disaster for our climate.

We can, will and must solve both challenges. The world was not prepared for the novel coronavirus. But we still have time to prepare — in every part of the world — for the climate crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic does not shut us down. Instead, it reminds us of what’s at stake in our fight for the planet. If we don’t demand change to transform our planet and meet our climate crisis, our current state will become the new normal — a world where pandemics and extreme weather events span the globe, leaving already marginalized and vulnerable communities even more at risk.” 

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Conservation Poster Contest for K-12 Students–Entries due August 14th (deadline recently extended)

Calling all student artists! The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District is seeking students to design posters to submit to the 2020 Youth Poster Contest. The theme for this year is Where would we BEE without Pollinators? 

ABOUT THE POSTER CONTEST

The Youth Poster Contest is a national competition sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts, and offered locally at the district level. District winners advance to the state level. Only Local Soil & Water Conservation Districts can forward their local winning poster entries to the VASWCD office for consideration at the state level. Virginia state winners will advance to the National Contest. National winners are recognized each year at the NACD Annual Meeting. The contest is open to the public, private or home school students, girl scout/boy scout troops, etc. 

Any Girl Scout  or Boy Scout who creates a poster and submits it to their local SWCD for judging can earn the VASWCD Poster Contest Patch.  When submitting a poster to earn the Poster Contest Patch, be sure to check the box on the entry form.  Please note that poster patches are distributed in December each year.

ABOUT POLLINATORS

Resources for Where would we BEE without Pollinators? are offered by the National Association of Conservation Districts and include booklets, activity sheets, storybooks, K-12 lessons and activities, coloring pages, and additional teaching materials. You can access these materials here.

Pollinators form the foundations of a healthy and sustainable future for food and the environment, but in recent years, they have shown concerning signs of decline. It’s important that we work to help them prosper by enhancing native pollinator habitats and protecting against pollinator declines. The Pollinator Partnership is one of many great resources when learning about pollinators. 

HOW TO ENTER

Entries from Fairfax County must be submitted to the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District by Friday, August 14, 2020.

The local NVSWCD competition follows the NACD national guidelines

Posters should be submitted digitally as a .jpeg, .png, or similar file format. Posters and images may be of any size. When photographing or scanning your poster for submission, be sure that the entire poster is clear and visible, the image is appropriately cropped, and the photo accurately reflects the original poster. 

Submit entries to Ashley Palmer, Conservation Education Specialist. An entry form should accompany your entry; download the entry form here

Local winners receive recognition and a prize from NVSWCD. 

Virtual Warbler Song Bootcamp, April 24

Friday, April 24, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

This Clifton Institute program is online. Please register if you would like to watch live so we can communicate and share links via email.

Participants will listen to the songs of each of the migratory warblers that pass through our region in spring, while looking at spectrograms to help visual learners identify differences in similar songs. We will also briefly discuss habitats where breeding warblers can be found in our area and cover a handful of other migrants such as vireos and thrushes. This workshop will be of interest to birdwatchers of all skill levels. It will definitely be more fun than listening to a warbler song CD in your car! Photo by Cameron Darnell.

Virtual Book Club on April 10: No Way Home, by David Wilcove

Friday, April 10, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

No Way Home: The Decline of the World’s Great Animal Migrations, by David Wilcove, exposes readers to the wonders and perils of animal movement across the landscape.

Clifton Institute offers multiple online options for participation, including a Facebook discussion group and a live online meeting at the original time. If you are interested in participating live, please register so they have your email address.

Alison Zak will be interviewing author David Wilcove and then sharing the recording with the group, so please email any questions for the author to azak@cliftoninstitute.org.

Dr. Wilcove is a professor of ecology, evolutionary biology, and public affairs at Princeton University. The primary question driving his research is “How do we find room for biodiversity in an increasingly hot, hungry, and crowded world?” He is the also the author of The Condor’s Shadow: The Loss and Recovery of Wildlife in America (1999).

International Beaver Day: Recorded Online Presentation and Pond Sit

Was Tuesday, April 7, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Here is the link to the recording: https://vimeo.com/405546899

Join the Clifton Institute in celebrating International Beaver Day!

Alison Zak will give a live, online presentation on the challenges and benefits to coexisting with beavers. Please register if you would like to watch live so we can communicate and share links via email. The presentation will be recorded if you are interested but can’t tune in live. Photo by Amy Johnson.

FMNs get CE credit: International Beaver Day: Online Presentation and Pond Sit

Bluebells at the Bend Festival, April 11th–CANCELED!

Riverbend Park
8700 Potomac Hills St., Great Falls VA
Saturday, 11 April 2020
10am – 3pm

Celebrate the Virginia Bluebells that carpet the early spring forest at Riverbend Park!

Pre-sale tickets are $7 online until April 10th, regular tickets are $9 at the gate.

Enjoy
• Wildflower Walks
• Live Music
• Face Painting
• Live Animals
• Moon bounce
• Obstacle Course
• Wagon Rides
• Puppet Show
• Eagle Scope
• Crafts, games, and more!

Bonus: Friends of Riverbend Park will be selling bluebells from a native plant nursery. Pots will be $10/plant. Proceeds benefit FORB and help us assist Riverbend Park.

Event is rain or shine. For questions call 703-759-9018.

Local Native Plant Sales in Full Bloom

Native plants help baby songbirds, butterflies, our ecosystem and support clean water. They need no fertilizer, no extra watering once they are established,no pesticides and no lawn mowing.

Check out this list of native plant sales and start digging!

Earth Day Fairfax Festival (formerly Springfest), April 25th–CANCELED!

Sully Historic Site
3650 Historic Sully Way, Chantilly VA
Saturday, 25 April 2020
10am – 4pm
Parking $10 per car

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, so come out to celebrate at the Sully Historic Site! There will be a fun day packed with entertainment, activities, food vendors, Touch-A-Truck, prizes, and more! Learn more about how we can all support our event theme of “Healthy People – Healthy Planet” and all that Fairfax County is doing to support environmental sustainability.

Volunteers needed!

Download the flyer.

NOVA Green Festival 2020, April 15th–CANCELED!

NOVA Annandale Campus
Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center (CE Building)
8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale VA
Wednesday, 15 April 2020
9am – 3pm

The theme for this year’s event is “Waste and its impact on habitats.” 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 and informational displays. It will help the audience to recognize ways to conserve resources, promote change and make difference as individuals.

Get the full schedule here.

Downloadable and printable flyer here.

Outreach and communication internship with Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Deadline March 8

Project: Changing Landscapes Initiative

Project Description

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) is offering an internship in outreach and communication as part of the Changing Landscapes Initiative (CLI). CLI’s mission is to combine scientific rigor with community wisdom to help secure a vibrant and healthy future for people and wildlife. The goal is to provide local land use planners with insights into the potential future of the region as informed by conservation science. In this way, CLI provides relevant information for supporting strategic decision making that balances the diverse needs of people and the environment that supports them.

Apply here

Learning Objectives

In this internship, the selected intern will learn, expand, and refine skills essential for community outreach—including event planning, logistics, and conservation communication—by assisting with the execution of CLI’s communications strategy and preparation of stakeholder meetings throughout late spring/summer. The intern will gain first-hand insight into how science is communicated, especially in the context of influencing policy. They will have the opportunity to meet individuals from a variety of NGOs and government agencies and learn how these different groups interact with each other. The intern will also be able to improve their skills in public speaking, writing and design by contributing to outreach communications materials and presentations. The intern’s work/schedule will be active and diverse, ranging from digital to intrapersonal communications requiring travel.

Skill Building Opportunities

Interns will have the opportunity to learn and develop skills and experience in community outreach by:

  • Communicating with a network of current project stakeholders
  • Searching for new stakeholders and integrating them into the project network
  • Collaborating in the coordination of meetings, including developing presentation materials and keeping meeting minutes
  • Helping draft and define communications strategy to inform stakeholders and the public about project initiatives and results
  • Seeking out opportunities to share project initiatives and results with NGOs and academic organizations
  • Traveling for intrapersonal partnership-building meetings with communications lead
  • Aid with development and public delivery of presentations with the communications lead
  • Helping prepare status reports, documenting ongoing activities, current schedule trend, challenges, events, and project requirements 

Who Should Apply

Interns with the following will benefit the most from this opportunity:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with strong interpersonal skills to engage effectively with internal team members and external stakeholders
  • Organized and self-motivated individuals, able to handle tight deadlines with strong multi-tasking and prioritizing abilities.
  • Independent and team-oriented experience for a collaborative project
  • Adaptable to a dynamic environment and its challenges with a flexible personality and strong problem-solving skills
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications and computer proficiency
  • Project management certification or previous experience in program management and communications
  • Strong strategic thinking and planning skills
  • Ability to work independently and remotely
  • Experience working effectively with both governmental agencies and private parties
  • Experience using database and/or visual graphics software (Access, Publisher, InDesign)

Stipend

$1500 per month.

Terms Of Appointment

6-month full time (40 hrs/wk) internship. Internship will consist of remote digital work, in-person meetings, and at times weekly travel within Virginia and D.C. Anticipated start date in April 2020.

Requirements

Valid driver’s license

Location 

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute is located at the north entrance of the Shenandoah National Park about 60 miles west of Washington, D.C., in Front Royal, VA.

Often, the intern will travel to other parts of Northwestern Virginia, Washington D.C. or the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, MD for meetings.

Application Deadline

March 8, 2020 11pm EST

Apply here