Attracting Bees and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants, March 6th

Agapostemon photo by Heather Holm

Saturday, March 6, 2021
11 am
Fee: $10
Register here.

Most insects have a positive impact in our landscapes. Native plants can be selected to attract specific bees and beneficial insects including predatory and parasitic wasps, beetles, flies, true bugs, and lacewings. Learn about the predator-prey relationships of these flower-visiting beneficial insects and how they help keep problem insect populations in balance. The life cycles, diversity, and nesting habitat of native bees will also be covered along with examples of native plants for different site conditions.

The program will be presented by Heather Holm, biologist, pollinator conservationist, and award-winning author.

This is a joint venture with Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and the American Horticultural Society.

Fundamentals of Avian Biology, The Study of Birds: Spring Session

Photo: Dr. Chris Haney

March 2,4,9,11,16,18, 23, 25, 30; April 1, 13, 15
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:30 – 8:30 pm
Fee: $150/member; $175/non-member
Click here to learn more and/or register.

Are you new to birding and want to learn more or just want to dig deeper into the subject? Then this class is for you! This course is designed and presented at an introductory but comprehensive university level in 6 weekly parts, with each internet-hosted video instructional session about one hour long.

The Search for Lost Birds, webinar February 25th

Thursday, February 25, 2021
4:00pm EST
Zoom link provided upon registration

For 75 years, the Blue-eyed Ground-Dove was known only from scattered records and old illustrations. In 2016, researchers in Brazil observed the ground-dove for the first time in decades, launching an international partner effort to save the Critically Endangered species.

Like the Blue-eyed Ground-Dove, over a hundred birds around the world are considered “lost,” and American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is helping to lead efforts to find and protect these species.

Jordan E. Rutter, ABC Director of Public Relations, will discuss their Lost Birds program, past and upcoming expeditions, and the urgent conservation need of finding lost birds.

She’ll be moderating the conversation with these wonderful speakers:

John Mittermeier, Director of Threatened Species Outreach and head of ABC’s Lost Birds initiative
Albert Aguiar, Project Coordinator, SAVE Brasil
Eliana Fierro-Calderón, International Conservation Project Officer and ABC lead for the Sinu Parakeet expedition

2021 Spring and Fall Landscaping with Virginia Natives Webinar Series, Starts March 5th

Plant Virginia Natives partners are collaborating to offer a series of 12 webinars – 6 this spring and 6 this fall.  The webinars will guide you through the why and how to turn your home garden into a beautiful retreat for your family and a native habitat for birds and other wildlife. 

The series kicks-off on Friday, March 5 at 6:30 pm with an engaging presentation by Dr. Douglas Tallamy, renowned author of Nature’s Best Hope. Dr. Tallamy’s photography and message of hope is not to be missed!

Sign up for all 12 webinars for just $10! Learn more and register here.

Two-Part Evening Webinar: Things You “Otter” Know, February 16th

River otter, courtesy of SERC

Tuesday, February 16, 2021
6-8 pm
Speaker: Karen McDonald, SERC education specialist
Sign up online to watch live or on demand

Brought to you by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), you can learn about river otters in the Chesapeake Bay, in a two-part event for kids and adults! Once you sign up, you’ll be able to enter the webinar any time after it starts, so you’ll be able join either or both activities. They’ll also send you a link to a recording of the event 1-2 days after it airs.

6pm – Draw An Otter With A Biologist. All you need is a pencil, a blank sheet of paper and a good Internet connection. Ideal for ages 6+, and anyone who enjoys mixing science and art.  

7pm – Things You “Otter” Know. In this virtual science talk, Karen McDonald will explore what we know, what we don’t know and the research SERC is conducting to better understand river otters. Younger viewers can download this coloring sheet to do during the talk or afterwards. 

Mow Less, Grow More webinar, March 7th

Photo by Eliza Diamond on Unsplash

Sunday, March 7, 2021
2 – 3:30 pm
Register here.

The Friends of Mason Neck State Park will host a special program, “Mow Less, Grow More.” Their speaker will be Tami Sheiffer, the coordinator of Fairfax County Park Authority’s “Watch the Green Grow” education and outreach initiative.

Learn how you can protect neighboring parks and natural habitat through your yard care by mowing less and growing more. Tami will discuss how to use native plants to expand wildlife corridors and stream buffers as well as help solve landscaping problems such as areas of erosion or poor drainage where grass will not grow.

The program is free, thanks to the generosity of the members and donors of the Friends of Mason Neck State Park. Registration is required, so they can send you the Zoom link for the program.

Introduction to Bird and Nature Photography with Brian Zwiebel, February 18th and 25th

Thursdays, February 18 & 25, 2021
7 – 8 pm
Cost $25
Register here.

This introductory program is great for beginners but will offer a few nuggets for the intermediate shooter as well. Learn what Brian does and what you should do too, every time you get your hands on a new digital camera. Discover what a histogram is, how to read it and use it to make better exposures. Learn to improve your images with better compositions and backgrounds as well as how to improve your action and behavior images. All of this and much more will be included in the program and each talking point supported by Brian’s award-winning photography. Presented by Audubon Society of Northern Virginia.

Loudoun Wildlife Winter Adaptations for Survival Webinar, February 16th

Photo by Lori Scheibe

Tuesday, February 16, 2021
7-8 pm
Registration required.

Join Jacob van Schilfgaarde, wildlife conservationist and Facility Supervisor at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, for a Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy presentation on wildlife in Loudoun. He will describe three strategies that wildlife use to survive, and discuss their typical habitats, feeding behaviors and how to identify tracks. 

Broadcasting Live Every Other Tuesday: The Circular Economy Show

Five Universal Policy Goals to Enable a Circular Economy at Scale

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

8 am EST 

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is excited to announce the return of The Circular Economy Show — where guest speakers join live to discuss circular economy solutions to global challenges. The show will be broadcast live at 15.00 GMT (8 am EST) every other Tuesday on the EMF YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter channels. Join them on February 2, when speakers from the World Bank and Inter IKEA will discuss universal circular economy policy goals.

Learn more here

Life in your Wild Garden webinar, February 11th

Laura Beaty, photo courtesy of VNPS

Thursday, February 11, 2021
7:30-9 pm
Register here

Growing numbers of gardeners are incorporating native plants into their landscapes in an effort to mitigate the growing loss of pollinators and leafeaters. This loss is global and compromises interactions in natural habitats worldwide. Here at home, many gardeners have been surprised by what they are observing in their wild gardens. Join the Virginia Native Plant Society to see inside a wild garden — then look deeper into yours. Presented by Laura Beaty.

Laura Beaty has been working in the great outdoors since she was old enough to hold a rake. She earned a degree in history followed by a degree in horticulture, and worked nearly 20 years for the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the National Parks Conservation Association.

Laura is VNPS Horticulture Chair and serves as the propagation chair at the native plant beds at Green Spring Gardens. She is a popular speaker about native plants to Master Gardener candidates at Green Spring Park, local garden clubs, and occasionally, propagation workshops at the chapter’s beds.

Laura is converting her own property to a “modified meadow,” which includes some trees and shrubs—all native plants. She hopes that her plant installations will soon become easy maintenance. But as all gardeners know, a garden is a life-long labor of love.