Family friendly volunteer opportunities: Restore habitat in Oakton and Vienna, 27 January

The Invasive Management Area (IMA) Program is hosting habitat restoration service opportunities on Saturday, 27 January, in Wayland Street Park in Oakton, and Borges Street Park in Vienna . See calendar for details of timing and requirements.

  • The minimum age to volunteer is 11. Please contact the IMA Coordinator for details.
  • Volunteers 13 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Students who need community service hours, please bring the form to be signed to your workday.
  • IMA workday forms must be received by noon the day prior to the event for weekday workdays, and by noon on Friday for weekend workdays.

The IMA Volunteer Program is a community-based project designed to reduce invasive plants on our parklands. This program gives volunteers an opportunity to connect with like-minded people while taking care of natural resources. Through IMA, you’ll protect the plants and wildlife of Fairfax County’s forests while spending time outdoors, meeting new people and restoring natural habitats.

IMA is more than just pulling weeds. It’s also habitat restoration and a long-term commitment to parks. Invasive plant species are difficult to remove and control, but with the help of IMA volunteers, undesirable non-native, invasive plants are removed and native plants are returned to the habitat. Native plantings take place in the spring and fall.

The IMA project began in 2006 with 20 sites. Since then, more than 35 acres have come under IMA management, and there are 40 active IMA sites. More acres have been treated and restored by contractors and staff.

Support local farmers at Frying Pan Park events in February and March

Meet local farmers in the Fairfax County area to hear their stories about growing food to feed our communities.  Learn ways we can support each other and enjoy a sample of their harvests as we gather together.

February 11, 2018:  Jessie and Sean Baker, Day Spring Farms

March 11, 2018:  Allyson Gibson, Pocket Farms

Each program is from 2-3:30 PM at the Frying Pan Visitor Center, 2739 West Ox Road, Herndon VA  20171, (703) 437-9101

Cost: $10/person


Learning opportunity on climate change, sponsored by Sierra Club

Scientists have been researching and studying climate change for over 100 years and have come to a near-unanimous consensus that the burning of fossil fuels is the major contributor.  The Climate Reality Project presents Climate Reality Leader Paula Clements, whose slide show presentation will depict the urgency for climate action but is really a message of hope.

When:  Tuesday, January 30, 7:00-8:30 PM (snacks 6:30 PM)

Where:  Oakton Library, 10304 Lynnhaven Place, Oakton VA

Contact and RSVP:  Susan Weltz at [email protected]

Sponsored by:  Sierra Club/Great Falls Group, Fairfax, Herndon Environmental Network, FACS, UUCF Climate Action Group

Attend Shenandoah Valley Plant Symposium 2018

Waynesboro Parks and Recreation presents A Gardener’s Palette, a learning opportunity for everyone from garden hobbyist to experienced landscape architect.

Proceeds from the event support our horticulture department’s Bloom Program.

Friday, March 16, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Best Western Inn & Conference Center, Waynesboro, VA

Learn more and register.


Paid internship opportunities at U.S. Botanic Gardens, 5 February deadline

The U.S. Botanic Gardens in Washington, D.C., is offering 12-week paid summer internships for students at least 16 years old as of 30 June 2018 and enrolled in school or college.


Position 1: Laborer or Gardener Aide

Position 2: Horticulture Aide

Compensation: $13.63/hour

Deadline to apply is 5 February

Job opening: Watershed Projects Manager for Arlington County, VA, 19 January deadline

Arlington County’s Department of Environmental Services (DES) is seeking a Watershed Projects Manager to support the County’s comprehensive stormwater management program. This employee will be responsible for implementation of watershed retrofit and stream restoration projects as part of Arlington County’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit and Chesapeake Bay TMDL Action Plan. This employee will manage capital stormwater projects from concept design through construction, work collaboratively to ensure projects are adequately maintained and monitored, and, in conjunction with outreach staff, will engage and inform residents, civic associations, community groups, commissions, County management and elected officials about stormwater capital projects. This employee will also review development plans affecting riparian buffers, streams and wetlands.

Applications received prior to January 19, 2018 will receive priority. However, applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Please visit for the full position announcement.

2018 Native Seedling Sale: Plant List and Theme Announced!

Hold on to your trowels – the native species included in the NoVA Conservation District’s 2018 seedling sale have been announced!! This year’s species were all chosen for their deer tolerance. The Shrub and Small Tree Package ($16.95) will include two each of the following: Common Witch Hazel, Silky Dogwood, False Indigo Bush, Spicebush and Shadblow Serviceberry. The Tree Package ($11.95) will include two each of Eastern Redbud, Shortleaf Pine and Pawpaw. All species are Virginia natives and wildlife friendly! Online ordering will start February 1st, and seedling packages can be picked up at the Packard Center in Annandale on April 20th and 21st.

Alonso Abugattas speaks on interconnectedness of natural world, Saturday, 20 January, Frying Pan Park

Alonso Abugattas, the Natural Resources Manager for Arlington County Parks, VA, and the Co-Chair for the Beltway Chapter of Region 2 of the National Association for Interpretation, will speak on behalf of the Annual Invasive Management Area meeting. Alonso writes the Capital Naturalist blog, found at . Brunch fare and drinks will be provided.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

9-11:30 AM

Visitor’s CenterAuditorium

Frying Pan Farm Park

2709 West Ox Road

Herndon VA 20171


RSVP by 8 January to [email protected] or [email protected] or by calling (703) 324-8681

Stream monitoring sessions in January: Plan now so that you can attend

Saturday, January 6

Stream Monitoring Workshop: Chantilly

Time: 1:30 – 4pm

Location: Big Rocky Run Stream Valley Park, Chantilly

Help monitor Big Rocky Run as it flows through a sliver of forested parkland between the residences of the Greenbriar neighborhood. Please RSVP to Dan Schwartz for directions and instructions.


Sunday, January 7

Stream Monitoring Session: Prince William County, Haymarket

Time: Noon – 2:30pm

Location: James Long Park, Haymarket

Join long-serving certified monitor Elaine Wilson and her team for fall monitoring at this beautiful site on the Catharpin Creek in the Gainsville area. This location has some outstanding and unique critters. Spots are limited. For more information and to RSVP, contact Elaine.


Wednesday, January 10

Fairfax County Public Hearing on the Environment

Time: 7:30pm

Location: Fairfax County Gov’t Center, Conference Rooms 9-10, 12000 Government Center Pkwy, Fairfax, VA

The Environmental Quality Advisory Council invites all interested citizens to share their views and concerns on the state of the County’s environment. Written, verbal or video testimony is encouraged. To be placed on the speakers list or for additional information, call the Dept. of Planning and Zoning at 703-324-1380 (TTY 711) or send an e-mail message (and/or submit written testimony) to [email protected]. For video testimony, upload to YouTube, Vimeo, or UStream and email the URL to EQAC by 5pm on January 3.


Saturday, January 13

Potomac River Cleanup

Time: 10am

Location: Jones Point Park, Alexandria, VA

Participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service by helping the Potomac Conservancy and its volunteers clean the river banks at Jones Point Park in the City of Alexandria. In 2017, this event prevented 12,000 pounds of trash from entering the river. Can YOU help break that record in 2018? Please RSVP online.

First Day Hikes, Mason Neck State Park

Mason Neck State Park is celebrating the new year with free entrance to the park and three guided hikes.

At 10 a.m. is a 3.5 mile hike of moderate difficulty but at an easy pace.

At 11 a.m. the park will feature a fast-paced, heart pumping hike incorporating several trails that will cover 6.2 miles. (That’s 10K for those who are metric system challenged!)

At 3 p.m. is a leisurely stroll on the Bay View Trail covering 1.0 miles and at an easy pace.

Of course you are always welcome to hike on your own. Mason Neck is a dog friendly park! You must have your four legged friend on a leash at all times.

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation also is sponsoring a New Years Challenge and and a First Day Hikes Photo Contest. Prizes of up to $500 will be awarded to the winners. More information is available at

So come out to the park on January 1 and get a good start to the year!

Monday, January 1, 2018

10:00 AM — 4:00 PM

Visitor Center, Mason Neck State Park