Drawing and Learning about Fossils at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, May 6th, 13th and 20th

Photo: Courtesy of the Virginia Department of Conservation and RecreationVirginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

May 6, 13 and 20, 2023

Cost: $60.00 Sign-up through Fairfax County Park Authority
Class Code: L8Q.EJQH

7701 Royce Street
Annandale, VA, 22003

Sign-up through Fairfax County Park Authority Class Code: L8Q.EJQH

Fossils are fascinating!! Delve into the ancient world of plant, marine and dinosaur fossils by drawing fossils from the Hidden Oaks collection.  Learn how fossils form, go on a prehistoric-themed hike and try matching fossils to their ancient animal or plant. Your choice of ink pen, colored pencil, or watercolor can be used.


Drawing and Learning about Native Bees at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, April 15th and 22nd

Photo: Courtesy of the Fairfax County Government

Saturday, April 15 and 22, 2023
Cost: $40.00 Sign-up through Fairfax County Park Authority
Class Code:  LUT.90ZC

7701 Royce Street
Annandale, VA, 22003

Sign-up through Fairfax County Park Authority Class Code:  LUT.90ZC

Get to know your local, helpful, native bees!! Program includes natural history information, drawing tips, local bee identification, field sketching and walks to search for bees.


Virginia Native Plant Society 2023 Annual Workshop [Zoom], March 7th & 14th

Image: Courtesy of The Virginia Native Plant Society

Tuesdays, March 7 & 14, 2023
6:30 – 9:00 PM

Virtual event

Fee: No charge.

Registration required.

Learn about “Recent Botanical Explorations & Discoveries in the Eastern US” at our online workshop, presented over two consecutive Tuesday evenings.

Zoom session starts at 6:30pm for meet and greet. Two workshop sessions start at 7pm and 8pm both evenings. Please register only once for both sessions.

Click here for workshop presentation abstracts and presenter bios.

Tuesday, March 7th 


Botanical and Taxonomic Discovery in the Eastern US:
Harnessing Technology & Applications to Bring Botany into the Modern Era

Presenter: Scott Ward, Research Botanist, NC Botanical Gardens



The Dichanthelium Break-Up: A Classic “It’s not them, it’s us” Story

Justin Thomas, Director and Botanist, NatureCITE

Tuesday, March 14th 


From Bloodroot to Banyan: 1,000 Miles of Botanical Explorations and Discoveries Across Florida’s Diverse Ecosystems

Lilly Byrd, Botanist, Florida Native Plant Society



Recent Botanical Finds at the Virginia Natural Heritage Program

Joey Thompson


Stream Monitoring Citizen Science & Training Opportunities, March and April

Photo: Hidden Pond stream monitoring by J. Quinn

Below is a list of the stream monitoring workshops and training opportunities located throughout the county:

Accotink Creek Stream Monitoring Session

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Lake Accotink Park Administrative Building, Springfield

Join the Friends of Accotink Creek as they monitor Accotink Creek at this long-standing monitoring site. Learn more, register, and see past results at this site here.


Pohick Creek Stream Monitoring Workshop

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Pohick Creek Stream Valley Park, Springfield

This site along Pohick Creek runs adjacent to the Cross County Trail and features a family- and pet-friendly walking trail in addition to cool stream critters. Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.


Cub Run Stream Monitoring Workshop

When: Sunday, March 19, 2023

Cub Run Stream Valley Park, Centreville

This spot is known for the beautiful Virginia bluebells that bloom at our stream site each spring. We often see a lot of mayflies too! Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.


Horsepen Run Stream Monitoring Workshop

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Horsepen Run Stream Valley Park, Herndon

This site has faced challenges in recent years including erosion and invasive bamboo. Join the NVSWCD as we monitor Horsepen Run to assess stream health and learn about the environmental impacts on this stream. Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.


Sugarland Run Monitoring Workshop

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Sugarland Run Stream Valley Park, Herndon

This stream site is known for the large number of Great Blue Herons that visit the site as well as a large number of crayfish found in our collection nets. Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.


More Training and Stream Monitoring Opportunities

PocketMacros App – macroinvertebrate ID on Android and Apple

Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD) is very excited to contribute their stream data to state and national datasets. If you’d like to see data from all the NVSWCD regional stream monitoring team’s active sites, you can find our organization on the Clean Water Hub.

Green Breakfast – Living with Black Bears in Virginia, March 11th

Photo: Courtesy of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Black Bear and cubs

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Virtual event
No registration is required.

This presentation, given by members of the Fairfax Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists, will provide general information on bear biology, local sightings, food sources & safety, and human/bear interactions & safety. Be sure to check out these flyers with bear-wise basics from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources in English and Spanish. No registration is required, join on Microsoft Teams with this link. Questions may be directed to [email protected].

To receive updates about Green Breakfast speakers or join an upcoming virtual Green Breakfast, please register for the Green Breakfast newsletter. Please direct questions to NVSWCD.

You can view the Green Breakfast YouTube playlist here.

Science Saturday: Kestrel Watch, April 29th

Image: Courtesy of The Clifton Institute

Saturday, April 29, 2023
9:00 AM
 – 3:00 PM

The Clifton Institue
6712 Blantyre Road
Warrenton, Virginia 20187

Cost: Free
Registration is REQUIRED.

In what The Clifton Institute hopes will become a regular occurrence, they are inviting the public to participate in one of their ongoing research projects. This time you’ll help them track American Kestrels that have been outfitted with GPS transmitters, collect vegetation data in different types of fields, and visit ink-pad tracks to see what kinds of rodents have been visiting. This is a great opportunity to see what it’s like to do field research and to learn about some fascinating native species. Participants will start at the Clifton Institute and then drive to a few nearby properties where kestrels are known to hang out. From Clifton, it is encouraged but not required to carpool in as few cars as possible. They are looking forward to a beautiful day in the field with you!

Warbler Song Bootcamp, April 14th

Image: Courtesy of The Clifton Institute

Friday, April 14, 2023
– 7:00 pm

Virtual event
Cost: $10 ($5 for Friends of the Clifton Institute)

Registration is REQUIRED.

Brush up on your warbler songs just before the migrants arrive in droves. 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. Participants 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! This event will take place over Zoom. A Zoom link will be emailed to participants shortly before the event.

Early Spring Wildflower Walk, April 6th

Image: Courtesy of The Clifton Institute Early Spring Wild Flower Walk

Saturday, April 8, 2023
1:00 – 3:00 PM

Registration is REQUIRED.

The Clifton Institue
6712 Blantyre Road
Warrenton, Virginia 20187

In early spring, ephemeral wildflowers appear on the forest floor, taking advantage of a brief moment of sunlight before the canopy above fills out with trees. Join the Clifton Institute Staff for a walk exploring our wooded trails in search of early spring ephemerals such as Bloodroot, Cutleaf toothwort, Rue-anemone, and Skunk Cabbage.


Beavers and Why They Matter, April 1

Photo by Amy Johnson, VWL

Saturday,  April 1, 2023
2:00 PM
Virtual On-Line Program

Free but registration required.


If you have walked Mason Neck State Park’s Bayview Trail, you’ve probably noticed the vibrant
wetlands about halfway along the trail. The wetlands have been improved by a colony of
beavers, whose lodge you can see toward the far end of the wetland. Would you like to learn
more about beavers and their impact on the environment?

Alison Zak, the Executive Director of the Human-Beaver Coexistence Fund (HBCF), will present a brief
history of human interactions with beavers over time, an overview of beaver ecology and
behavior, and an exploration of the benefits that beavers and the wetlands they create provide
to the health of our watersheds, landscapes, and communities. Park Staff will present a short
overview of how the beavers in the wetland along the Park’s Bayview Trail have changed the
ecology of the wetland.

Alison studied anthropology and human-wildlife conflict in graduate school, then worked for six
years in environmental education and outreach before founding HBCF. She is particularly
intrigued, inspired, and challenged by human-beaver coexistence work, because few other
animals have such an impact on the world around them. Alison is also the author of Wild Asana:
Animals, Yoga, and Connecting Our Practice to the Natural World, which comes out in June.
You can register for the program here.  Zoom login information will be sent to registrants on
March 31.


Audubon Afternoon In-Person with Guest Speaker Marci Eggers, March 12th

Sun, March 12, 2023
2:30 – 4:00 PM

Registration is requested. This will be a hybrid event. If you choose to attend via Zoom, please select a Virtual Ticket.

The Audubon Afternoon is free.

11100 Wildlife Center
11100 Wildlife Center Drive
Reston, VA 20190



Join the ASNV on Sunday afternoon for their semi-annual live Audubon Afternoon at the National Wildlife Federation, 11100 Wildlife Center Drive in Reston.

They gather informally starting at 2:30 so you have an opportunity to reconnect with everyone. We welcome any food and drink you would like to share with everyone during the informal portion of the program. At 3 PM, they will have a presentation by Marci Eggers, “Restoring Migratory Bird Wintering Habitat in Latin America and the Caribbean.” Marci Eggers is the Director of Migratory Bird Habitats in Latin America and the Caribbean for the American Bird Conservancy (ABC). In this role, she oversees ABC’s efforts to protect and restore priority landscapes that migratory birds depend on in their non-breeding grounds. ABC works in collaboration with ranchers, farmers, and local communities that depend on the health of the natural environment for their livelihoods. ABC also works on innovative finance solutions to advance migratory bird conservation.

The Audubon Afternoon is free, and everyone is welcome to attend.

This will be a hybrid event. If you choose to attend via Zoom, please select a Virtual Ticket. If you plan to attend in person, please select an In-person Ticket. This will help plans to accommodate everyone. Everyone registering, whether for In-person or Virtual Tickets, will get the Zoom information via email in case plans to attend in person change.

Registration is requested, so they have an idea of how many people will attend but is not required unless you plan to attend via Zoom. You are welcome to bring friends or family who did not register, or just show up!