FMN Quarterly Chapter Meeting, September 19th

Curious about the Fairfax Master Naturalist Program?

Come and join a virtual Fairfax Master Naturalist Quarterly Chapter meeting. It will be held on Monday, September 19, 2022 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. It will consist of a short business meeting followed by a presentation by the incomparable Alonso Abugattas. His talk is entitled “From Reptiles to Butterflies: A Capital Naturalist Shares Expertise and Resources.”

Please contact the Fairfax Master Naturalists at for more information.

Alonso has won many awards for knowledge and skills about the natural world. He is the creator of the award-winning Capital Naturalist blog and Facebook group, which “reveals some of the wonders of the natural world found right around the Washington, DC Metropolitan area using his own photography and his life-long experiences”. He will be sharing these resources and how they can be helpful for Master Naturalists during his presentation at our fall Chapter meeting.

He has worked as a professional naturalist and environmental interpreter in several jurisdictions, including Fairfax, Alexandria, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and Arlington, where he served as the acting director for Long Branch Nature Center, and is now the Natural Resources Manager for Arlington County.

He’s an instructor for five master naturalist chapters, teaching classes in Maryland and Virginia, and was named a Trailblazer (honorary) master naturalist for his role in starting two chapters. He’s held various board positions, including president of the Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society and is co-founder of the Washington Area Butterfly Club. A member of the identification team for the Virginia Herpetological Society, he wrote a natural history and identification book, The Reptiles and Amphibians of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area.

Alonso also serves as a Certified Heritage Interpreter and as Co-chair of the Beltway Chapter of the National Association for Interpretation, receiving regional and national awards, including the Regional Interpretive Manager of the Year. In December 2020, Alonso was named a Regional Environmental Champion by the D.C.-based Audubon Naturalist Society.

Crawl Into Fall With Bug Fest at Lewinsville Historic House – now on October 22nd

Photo: FMN Kate Luisa

Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022 (rain date due to Hurricane Ian)
10:00AM – 2:00PM

Lewinsville Park
1659 Chain Bridge Road
McLean, Virginia 22101

Click here for registration details.

Lewinsville Park is featuring Bug Fest on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Come celebrate all things bugs with a creepy-crawly adventure! This event is fun for the whole family Play games and activities including insect safaris, explore live insects, inspect insect collections, log rolling, soil stations, bug walks, critter talks, bug experiments, and make your own bug. Use technology to explore the world of insects. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.


Winter Sparrow Identification Workshop, October 14th

Image/photo: Courtesy of The Clifton Institute

Friday, October 14, 2022
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

This is a Zoom event.

Cost: $10 ($8 for Friends of Clifton Institute)

Click here for ticket purchase and additional information.

Every season brings its own challenges for birdwatching. In winter similar-looking sparrows can be hard to tell apart and birding by ear becomes more difficult as birds start singing less and calling more.

This program is intended for both beginner and advanced birders. This program will take place over Zoom.  They will send a link closer to the date.

Native Seed Collection and Propagation Workshop, October 8th

Image/photo: Courtesy of The Clifton Institute

Saturday, October 8, 2022
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

The Clifton Institute
6712 Blantyre Road, Warrenton, VA
38.775154, -77.798197

Registration is FREE.

Click here to register.

Collecting and propagating native seeds is a great way to help spread native plant populations, add 100% native species to your gardens, and learn about the native plants in your backyard.  Executive Director Bert Harris and Earth Sangha Nursery’s Matt Bright will lead participants in learning when seeds are ready to collect, how to collect and store seeds, and how to propagate them.

The Clifton Institute Bird Walks, Fall 2022

Image/photo: Courtesy The Clifton Institute

Please click the date and time links below for more details.

Saturday, September 24, 7:30-9:30 am

Wednesday, October 12, 8 – 10 am

Saturday, October 22, 8 – 10 am

Wednesday, November 9, 8 – 10 am

The Clifton Institute
6712 Blantyre Road, Warrenton, VA
38.775154, -77.798197

Both beginner and experienced birders will enjoy this guided 1-2 mile hike to look for the many species of birds that can be found on the field station. You will explore successional fields, meadows, lake edges, and forest. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars!

The Incredible Abilities of Dragonflies, September 6th

Photo: Dr. Jessica Ware

Tuesday, September 6
7 pm
ASNV member $15/nonmember $25
Register here.

Join Audubon Society of Northern Virginia after Labor Day for a lively talk on dragonflies by Dr. Jessica Ware. Dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata) are some of the oldest insects on the planet, and over millions of years they have evolved flying abilities that make them the most efficient predators on earth. Come learn more about these ancient animals that are all around us. Dr. Ware will lead us on a time traveling journey through the past 400 million years of their evolution, going back to the Late Carboniferous to Early Triassic. You will learn more about their life cycles, reproductive behaviors, colorful communication techniques, and the anatomy that makes them such successful predators.

Virginia Bluebird Society Conference, November 11th & 12th

Friday, November 11 & Saturday, November 12, 2022
6 pm Friday – 3 pm Saturday
Northern Virginia Community College in Woodbridge
2645 College Dr., Woodbridge
Registration on the VBS website in early September
Contact for more information

Virginia Bluebird Society be celebrating the 25th anniversary of their founding. Whether you are an experienced bluebird landlord or just beginning, they have breakout sessions both fun and informative planned with you in mind. You need not be a VBS member to attend.

Presenters include VBS’ own Anne Little on Bluebirding 101 and VBS Vice President Doug Rogers providing tips and tricks for the bird photographer. Jessica Ruthenberg, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resource’s Watchable Wildlife Biologist will advise you on creating backyard habitat. Wildlife rehabilitator Maureen Eiger will be joining us and we have two North American Bluebird Society directors providing answers to all your questions.

And while you may not have heard of their Keynote Speaker Julie Zickefoose, you will be “wowed” by her. She is a prolific artist and writer. On her website you can see her artwork, listen to her past lectures, and read her blog. She will be selling copies of her books and prints at the conference. Welcome to Julie

NABA Butterfly Count, September 17th

Saturday, September 17, 2022
9 am – 4 pm; suggested $3 donation to participate
Volunteers are assigned a 15-mile diameter count area

Register for count here.

Live identification webinar Thursday, September 15 at 7 pm
Register for webinar here.

The Butterfly Count is an ongoing program of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) to census the butterflies of North America (United States, Canada and partially Mexico) and to publish the results. Volunteer participants are assigned a count area with a 15-mile diameter. The volunteers conduct a one-day census of all butterflies sighted within that circle.

Volunteers can either sign up for a live butterfly identification webinar with Larry Meade on Thursday, Sept 15 or request a video from the last session for free by emailing

Volunteers of all experience levels are welcome! Every team will be led by an expert. Participants are encouraged to stay with their team for the duration of the event. A tally rally will take place at 4:00 PM at Belle Haven Pizzeria at 1401 Belle Haven Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22307.

This count is organized by Larry Meade.

Larry Meade is president of the Northern Virginia Bird Club and a member of the ASNV Adult Education Committee. He is a frequent bird walk leader and has been involved in numerous Audubon Christmas Bird Counts and NABA Butterfly Counts. He is the compiler of the Alexandria Circle NABA Butterfly Count.

Bats: Superheroes of the Night, October 26

Photo: Rick Reynolds on

Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Click here to register.

Learn from Deborah Klein, Board Member, Bat Conservation and Rescue of Virginia, how bats fly with their hands, find tiny insects in complete darkness, are responsible for humans having many of the foods and drinks we love, and much more!! Click here to register for this online only meeting via Zoom. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. This meeting is cosponsored by the Friends of Dyke Marsh and the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park.

Virtual Green Breakfast – Fairfax County Joint Environmental Task Force, September 10

Photo: Vardan Papikyan on Unsplash

Saturday, September 10, 2022
9:00 am
This event is FREE, please click here for registration information.
This a Virtual Event

Green Breakfast – Fairfax County Joint Environmental Task Force

Dan Storck, Mount Vernon District Supervisor

Elaine Tholen, School Board Member – Dranesville

Karl Frisch, School Board Member – Providence

The Joint Environmental Task Force (JET) works to join the political and administrative capabilities of the County and the school system to proactively address climate change and environmental sustainability. Join Supervisor Dan Storck and School Board members Karl Frisch and Elaine Tholen to hear the latest on these efforts. JET includes community partners from higher education, industry, community and student advocacy groups working with County and school system leaders to recommend aggressive goals in areas of County and school operations. Goal areas include: energy, waste management, workforce development and transportation. This presentation will focus on the development and implementation of the Joint Environmental Task Force between the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the School Board. Future plans, lessons learned, and the current status as of September 2022 will be highlighted.

Registration is required for this event 

If you have questions, please email