DEQ Environmental Justice Webinar, June 17

Wednesday, June 17, 6-8 p.m

The DEQ webinar will share perspectives on Environmental Justice and will be held in both English and Spanish. This will be followed with a survey to gather additional community perspectives.

DEQ is currently doing an environmental justice study and will be holding a webinar (in both English and Spanish) to share feedback and perspectives from statewide interviews that Skeo Solutions has conducted thus far. Informed by best practices of other state and federal regulatory agencies, the Skeo team has conducted more than 70 interviews with a wide cross-section of stakeholders across Virginia, including representatives from EJ communities and organizations, environmental organizations, regulated agriculture and industry, local government, state environmental boards and DEQ staff. The interviews focused on understanding different experiences with EJ and DEQ’s programs, as well as perspectives on potential challenges and opportunities to advance EJ within DEQ programs.

Following the webinars, a public survey will be available to gather additional community perspectives.

Please share this information with anyone who would be interested in joining the webinar, or in these materials afterwards. See DEQ’s news release below for more details. You will need to register for the webinar to receive a link. 

The webinar will also be recorded and posted to the DEQ website below, along with the survey link and the slide presentation for anyone wishing to provide additional feedback on how DEQ can effectively support and advance environmental justice through their programs.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Questions? Greg Bilyeu, Director of Communications

1111 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219

(804) 698-4107 

Nature in a Time of Crisis: A Conversation with Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Jun 12, 2020, 1:00 PM

Join Capital Nature and Park Rx America for a timely discussion with naturalist and author Melanie Choukas-Bradley. Inspired by her new book: Resilience: Connecting with Nature in a Time of Crisis, the program will explore how a relationship with nature can nurture and support our wellbeing during COVID-19 and other crisis times.

Melanie will share highlights from her interviews with aspiring and seasoned naturalists across the country. She will offer practical advice for: “how to establish a wild home; how to develop nature connection as a mindfulness practice such as integrating meditation, yoga and tai chi; how to become a backyard naturalist and weave nature appreciation and study into your home schooling and how to develop new ways of seeing and being in the world.” We will also hear from DC-area residents who have found new ways to engage with nature for their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of their families.

This event is co-hosted with Park Rx America. We invite you to listen in and join us for the conversation!

Register here

Become a Virginia Master Gardener, Fall 2020!

Green Spring Gardens Master Gardeners Unit is seeking applicants for their upcoming Fall 2020 training session. Due to COVID restrictions, they’ve developed a training program that is COVID compliant and meets the Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener basic training for Master Gardener certification criteria. If you like gardening (you don’t have to be expert at it), if you like volunteering outdoors and/or providing outreach and education to promote eco-savvy sustainable horticultural practices, and you want to join a great group with a purpose, become a Green Spring Master Gardener! They have a wide range of projects for all abilities and interests across the county.

Green Spring Gardens, a Fairfax County Park which focuses on demonstration gardens, sponsors an Extension Master Gardener (EMG) program in cooperation with Virginia Cooperative Extension. Go online to: and learn what EMGs do.

They are planning for a blended Master Gardener training program this fall with Covid-19 safety protocols in mind. Online modules will be part of the program so a computer or tablet with good internet service are required tools for the success of the program. They will also have weekly get-togethers via Zoom platform with speakers, labs and Q & A sessions. If they meet for hands-on labs, it will be with social distancing in mind for the safety of all participants. If you are interested in joining the Green Spring Master Gardener Training Program, please contact Pamela Smith, EMG Coordinator at for an application and further information. Classes begin September 17.

Mathematical Patterns in Nature: Online Talk

Thursday, Jun 11, 2020, 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Recorded webinar here

This program is co-hosted by the Fauquier County Public Library

Mathematics gives us a powerful tool for looking at and studying nature. Math can help us understand why plants and animals build their structures in certain ways and why some numbers and shapes are more common in nature than others. The Clifton Institute’s Managing Director, Eleanor Harris, Ph.D., will talk about some of the mathematical patterns that can be found in the forests and fields of northern Virginia and about how you too can look at nature mathematically. She will also present a fun craft that you can do with kids to get them thinking about math in nature. No specialized mathematical knowledge will be required to enjoy the talk.

Please use the button below to register by noon on the day of the talk. We will send you a link to join the Zoom meeting via email at that time, so please make sure your email address is correct when you register. The talk is recorded for those who registered late or missed the live presentation.


If you are an FMN member, this presentation is on the Continuing Education calendar for credit.

Upcoming Webinar: Social Marketing as a Behavior-Centered Design Tool

On June 10, Dulce Espelosin, Senior Trainer at Rare’s Center for Behavior and the Environment, will lead two webinars hosted by the International Social Marketing Association. Tune in as she shares the unique opportunities and challenges of supporting community-led, behavior change campaigns.

Working in remote places presents many challenges when it comes to nature conservation, beginning with communicating with its inhabitants. The most effective tool has been behavior change design embedded within a social marketing strategy. In this webinar, Ms. Espelosin will share the strategies she used with a community in Mozambique to make a sustainable change.

Fairfax County hosts a diverse community of people who will respond differently to the messages they hear. Tune in to discover how you might change your approach and increase the likelihood that you will succeed.

Webinar 1: 12:00pm-1:00pm Register

Webinar 2: 8:00pm-9:00pm Register

For FMN members: This learning opportunity is on the CE calendar.

Firescaping-A Virtual Training, May 14th

Zoom training
Thursday, 14 May 2020
10am – Noon
Please contact Holly Campbell for link and password.

Wildfire season is fast approaching. This is occurring amid reports of the highest temperatures on record in some parts of the country and the continued megadrought in the southwestern U.S.- which is reported as one of the worst droughts in 1200 years! As well, extreme weather and other factors continue to fuel tragic wildfires every year across the country. For these reasons and more, it’s imperative that communities better prepare for wildfires. A new USDA-NIFA funded training was developed recently, Preparing for Wildfires with Firescaping, to teach naturalists and gardeners about fire-resistant landscaping so, through their outreach and education efforts, they can help reduce their communities’ wildfire risk.

This free, Zoom training on fire-resistant landscaping, or firescaping, will teach naturalists about what firescaping is and how to implement it in their communities. Specifically, participants will learn about fire history and behavior and ways to prevent home ignition through understanding plant flammability and firescaping design. The presentation will also address ways to maintain wildlife habitat with firescaping. This Zoom training will include presentations, “interactive” activities, and a discussion period.

Speaker: Holly Campbell, Public Service Assistant, University of Georgia, Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources. Project Manager for the USDA-NIFA Smith-Lever funded project, Preparing for Wildfires with Firescapin

Conservation Advocacy 101 for HOAs and Condo Associations

Do you live in an HOA or Condo Association? Have you been thinking about how you can better our natural world through work in your community and/or on the common property of your association? Maybe you’ve been considering a tree planting or tree replacement policy, thinking about better lawn maintenance practices, or wanting to install a pollinator garden.

Join Renee Grebe through the Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) and attend their Conservation Advocacy 101 Workshops. They’ll be holding this two times – pick whichever date works best for you. They will cover some key introductory advocacy skills like identifying issues and ideas for solutions, researching and communicating ideas, developing an action plan, talking to decision-makers, and building community partnerships to broaden support for your issue.

You’ll get a chance to think about your own community, begin developing your own action plan, and participate in breakout discussions. Please RSVP to ensure you get a Zoom link prior to the webinar.

Thursday May 14th – 10am – 11:30am –
Wednesday June 17th – 7pm – 8:30pm –

ANS is asking for a nominal donation of $5-$15 to support their conservation work for this webinar, but it will be worth your while! There is much to learn about a long-term successful approach to driving change locally. This webinar will be geared toward community associations, but the skills are translatable broadly for advocacy work you seek to do on your own.

Bird Behavior Course – Webinar

With: Bill Young 
When: May 20, 21, 27, 28; June 3, 4, 10, 11, 7:00 to 8:00 PM
Fee: $40 for all sessions
Register here

Join Audubon Society of Northern Virginia for 8 one-hour sessions examining a variety of bird behaviors, including avian feeding, reproduction, migration, visual and auditory displays and more. Each session will feature video, audio and photographs to help people learn about the many aspects of bird behavior. Classes will draw on the knowledge Bill has gained from birding locally and on all seven continents.

Instructor: Bill Young is a writer who lives in Arlington. He is the author of The Fascination of Birds: From the Albatross to the Yellowthroat (Dover, 2014). He is the co-creator of the website, which contains information about birds, plants and other aspects of the natural history at Monticello Park in Alexandria. Bill also makes nature videos, and his YouTube channel has had over half a million views.

Sustainable Landscaping Solutions for Faith Communities, June 14

When: June 14, 2:00-4:30 pm

Where: Either via videoconference or St. Peter’s in the Woods, Fairfax Station, VA

Join Plant NoVa Natives as they discuss how and why faith communities are using their places of worship to demonstrate stewardship of the Earth. Learn more.

Native Bee Species Ebb and Flow with Native Plants Bloom: A Year’s Calendar with Sam Droege, watch webinar

Zoom Video Conference
Held Thursday, 14 May 2020
Watch recorded presentation

All of our nearly 500 species of native bees are dependent on pollen to feed their young. No flowers, no bees. Like flowers, each bee species has its season. During a bee’s flight time they are often dependent on the pollen from only a small group of plants, ignoring the rest.

What you plant has consequences for the bees you support on your property. Travel through a year in the region, tracking the flowers and their bees, or…the bees and their flowers (depending on your point of view!)

Sam Droege has been spent most of his career at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. He has coordinated the North American Breeding Bird Survey Program, developed the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program, the BioBlitz, Cricket Crawl, and FrogwatchUSA programs and worked on the design and evaluation of monitoring programs. Currently he is developing an inventory and monitoring program for native bees, online identification guides for North American bees at, and with Jessica Zelt reviving the North American Bird Phenology Program. His group maintains high resolution photographs of insects and other macro natural history objects at:

Continuing education credit available for master naturalists.