Monarch and More, September 22nd

Photo by Laura Beaty

Sunday 22, 2024
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Registration Fee: $8.00 
Registration link: Register starting July 30

Hidden Oaks Nature Center Location
7701 Royce Street
Annandale, VA 22003

Dive into the enchanting world of monarch butterflies with this monarch migration program. Join this educational and delightful journey as participants learn about their fascinating life cycle and migration.

The Botany of Desire (And How I Got Hooked on Native Orchids), Webinar, August 20th

Photo: Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Tuesday, August 20, 2024
7 pm
Webinar by Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Register here.

How do plants make a living? That question has propelled botanist Dennis Whigham for his nearly 47-year career with the Smithsonian. Orchids were especially bewitching. Join Dennis for a journey of discovery through the orchid world. He’ll take you from their unlikely beginnings as “dust seeds,” to the microscopic fungi they depend on to thrive, to their quirky—or downright sneaky—strategies to get pollinated. He’ll also reveal some of the most shocking discoveries, including the realization that more than half our continent’s native orchids are in trouble. Discover how stewards across the continent are rallying to save native orchids through the North American Orchid Conservation Center, and what you can do to help ensure their survival.

Understanding Cephalopod Behavior, Webinar, August 26th

Photo: Smithsonian Associates

Monday, August 26, 2024
6:45 – 8:15 pm
Smithsonian Associates Webinar
$20 members/$25 nonmembers
Register here.

Some stories that people tell about octopuses almost defy belief. These animals are said to steal from fishermen, escape from aquariums, invent tools, play with toys, make friends, and hold grudges. How many of these tales are true and how many are a result of human imagination or anthropomorphism?

Scientists have indeed documented extraordinary cognitive capacity and behavioral flexibility not only in octopuses but also in their close relatives, squids and cuttlefish. Members of this group of animals, called cephalopods, have large brains and the ability to adapt to myriad situations with creative problem-solving. They can learn quickly, remember what they’ve learned, and communicate with members of their own and other species. Biologist Danna Staaf, who has written several books about cephalopods, sorts fact from fancy and dissects the question of how intelligent they are to see what we can learn from them about our definition of intelligence.

Bird Hill Grassland Field Trip, September 7th

Image: Courtesy of the Clifton Institute

Saturday, September 7, 2024
10:00 am
 – 12:00 pm

Cost: $15 ($10 for Friends of Clifton)

Registration is REQUIRED.

This program will be held at the residence of the Clifton Institute co-directors to experience a remnant prairie, a planted meadow, and a native plant garden. The remnant prairie on the property hosts a remarkable assemblage of native wildflowers and grasses over sandstone bedrock. Bert and Eleanor are managing the prairie with mowing, burning, and invasive plant control. They have also planted a one-acre meadow on an old lawn and they’ve worked with Hill House Nursery to establish a native plant garden.

This program is a case study of how landowners can manage their land to benefit native plants and animals on a relatively small property.

Location: Near Orlean, VA. Registered attendees will be emailed the address and directions.


Allies in Amphibian Conservation: Leveraging Partners for Success, Webinar, July 16th

Photo: SERC

Tuesday, July 16, 2024
7 pm
Hosted by Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC)
Register here.

From frogs to salamanders, amphibians are secretive but essential to our health and the function our ecosystems. But despite their critical role, amphibians are facing a crisis: Over 40% are threatened with extinction. How can we reduce that loss? Join Kerry Wixted with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies as SERC dives into the fascinating world of amphibian biodiversity in the eastern United States, a global amphibian hotspot. Learn about the alarming threats amphibians face, from habitat loss to climate change and disease, as well as rays of hope. Kerry will cover the inspiring efforts of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) and their dedicated partner network working at local, regional, and national levels to combat these threats and ensure a future for our amphibians.

Beyond the Horizon: Going the Distance for Seabirds, Webinar, July 25th

Image: American Bird Conservancy

Thursday, July 25, 2024
4 pm
Presented by American Bird Conservancy (ABC)
Register here.

Seabirds were humans’ first companions when we ventured onto the ocean. With adaptations for long flights over open waters, seabirds like the Laysan Albatross endure some of the harshest conditions on Earth. They are champions of the bird world, holding records for longest migration, deepest diver, largest wingspan, and more!

These often unseen birds are critical to marine ecosystems. For example, healthy colonies of seabirds on islands create healthier surrounding reefs, which are nurseries for the fish many people eat.

Seabirds, however, are one of the most endangered groups of birds. Their populations have dropped a staggering 70 percent globally over the past 60 years due to factors such as invasive species, unsustainable fisheries, and marine trash.

American Bird Conservancy’s Marine Program is working tirelessly with partners to safeguard the most vulnerable species both while at sea, and on land where they nest.

If you can’t make the webinar live, RSVP anyway and they’ll send you a recording to enjoy when the time is right for you.

FMN CE Kayak Tours – 2024

FMN and Mason Neck State Park are happy to announce the ‘FMN only’ summer CE Kayak schedule for 2024. All dates are on Sundays.

Adventures launch from the MNSP car-top boat launch and paddle from Belmont Bay into Kane’s Creek wetlands. The 3 mile round trip takes approximately 1 hour and a half. Stopping along the way to point out various plants, birds, and animals encountered along the way. All tours are led by water safety certified state park kayak guides who also happen to be FMN interpreters.

July Twilight tour: 7/21/24, 6:30-8:30PM, depart park by 9PM.
August Morning tour: 8/18, 9-11AM, depart park by 11:30AM
September Evening tour: 9/1, 5:30-7:30PM, depart park by 8PM.

*Guests – please arrive 30 minutes prior to tour start to gear up*

These are FMN only tours. Limit 12 per tour.
Registration is free and must be done via BI calendar.
Once the tour fills, registration auto-locks and it disappears from the Opportunities Calendar but remains on the Opportunities List.

All guests are required to use park provided kayaks and paddles.
PFDs (vests) are provided but you may bring your own. Personal PFDs must be Coast Guard approved/labeled Type III or better.

Appropriate clothing for the weather, activity level, and closed-toe shoes are recommended. Below is a park provided link to a guide for recommended kayak-clothing. kayaking-what-to-wear

To register:
1. Login to BI and click on your ‘Opportunities’ tab.
2. Select ‘Opportunity Calendar’ from the pull-down menu.
3. Find event in the displayed calendar; Click it to see event details.
4. To sign up, Click the ‘Sign Up’ box in the lower right. This automatically signs you up and puts the event on your personal calendar.
5. To claim 2.5 CE hours: please use All Continuing Education -> FMN All other Chapter Training, as the Approved Org.

Creatures of The Night, July 19th

Image: Courtesy of the Clifton Institute

July 19, 2024
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The Clifton Institute
6712 Blantyre Rd
Warrenton, VA 20187

FREE but Registration is REQUIRED.

Join the Clifton Institute to look and listen for creatures of the night! Summer is an ideal time to observe several species of katydids, crickets, cicadas and birds. Participants will also look for beavers, reptiles and amphibians, and other animals! Back at the farmhouse participants will see what kinds of moths and beetles black lights can attract.


Butterfly Identification Workshop, July 18th

Image: Courtesy of The Clifton Institute

July 18, 2024
10:30 am
 – 12:30 pm

The Clifton Institute
6712 Blantyre Rd
Warrenton, VA 20187

FREE but Registration is REQUIRED.

Join the Clifton Institute to learn about butterfly identification and biology. Bert Harris will give a presentation on the identification of common butterflies in the local area. Participants will then take a walk around the field station to look for butterflies (and perhaps some dragonflies as well.) All skill levels welcome!

Stream Monitoring Citizen Science & Training Opportunities, July

Photo: FMN Janet Quinn

NoVa Soil & Water Conservation District: Stream Monitoring Citizen Science & Training Opportunities

Difficult Run Stream Monitoring Workshop

When: Thursday, July 18, 9:00am-12:00pm
Where: Difficult Run Stream Valley Park, Great Falls

This stream site in Great Falls is a short walk through the woods to a river with wide, sandy banks. These trails are very popular with hikers and we often get high water quality scores at this site. Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.

Cub Run Stream Monitoring Workshop

When: Sunday, July 21, 9:00am-12:00pm
Where: Cub Run Stream Valley Park, Centreville

This site features some of the largest hellgrammites we find in Fairfax County! (Haven’t heard of them? Be sure to research this super cool macroinvertebrate!). Just a stone’s throw from the parking area, this site is very popular and we can certainly see why! Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.

Big Rocky Run Stream Monitoring Workshop

When: Thursday, July 25, 9:00am-12:00pm
Where: Cabell’s Mill, Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, Chantilly

Our stream monitoring site on Big Rocky Run is located near the historic Cabell’s Mill in Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. This park features great trails with interpretive signage and our stream site is a stone’s throw from Walney Pond, where you may get to see the happy beaver family that lives there. Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.


Other Training and Stream Monitoring Opportunities

The NoVa Soil & Water Conservation teams are  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.