Learning opportunity on climate change, sponsored by Sierra Club

Scientists have been researching and studying climate change for over 100 years and have come to a near-unanimous consensus that the burning of fossil fuels is the major contributor.  The Climate Reality Project presents Climate Reality Leader Paula Clements, whose slide show presentation will depict the urgency for climate action but is really a message of hope.

When:  Tuesday, January 30, 7:00-8:30 PM (snacks 6:30 PM)

Where:  Oakton Library, 10304 Lynnhaven Place, Oakton VA

Contact and RSVP:  Susan Weltz at s.weltz@yahoo.com

Sponsored by:  Sierra Club/Great Falls Group, 350.org Fairfax, Herndon Environmental Network, FACS, UUCF Climate Action Group

Attend Shenandoah Valley Plant Symposium 2018

Waynesboro Parks and Recreation presents A Gardener’s Palette, a learning opportunity for everyone from garden hobbyist to experienced landscape architect.

Proceeds from the event support our horticulture department’s Bloom Program.

Friday, March 16, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Best Western Inn & Conference Center, Waynesboro, VA

Learn more and register.


Learning opportunity: Identify Trees at Riverbend Park

A Field Trip with Emily Ferguson
Sunday, January 28, 2018
1:00 to 3:00 pm

Riverbend Park
8700 Potomac Hills St.
Great Falls, VA 22066

VNPS programs are free and open to the public, but space on field trips is strictly  limited.  Registration for field trips is required.

Emily Ferguson will lead a beginner winter tree walk providing easy tips to help identify native tree species.
Emily developed her interest in Virginia’s flora and fauna while living in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville.  When a career move relocated her to Northern Virginia, she struggled to maintain a connection with the natural world.  Emily completed the Arlington Regional Master Naturalist course in 2010, the Tree Steward course in 2011, and a bee-keeping class in 2012. Since then, she continues to provide support for activities involving trees and enjoys sharing her knowledge about them.
Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society
PO Box 5311
Arlington, VA  22205


Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s “Grasses for the Masses” Workshop, 25 or 27 January: Register now

Here is a great project for gardeners and non-gardeners alike during the winter.  You can grow native plants indoors during the winter months, and install them in the spring where they can provide enormous environmental benefits.
The project is the “Grasses for the Masses” program that is sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF).   The Grasses program provides an opportunity for Virginia residents to help restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia’s rivers. Participants will attend a workshop to receive a simple kit and instructions to grow native aquatic “celery” grasses (Vallisneriaamericana) in their homes, classrooms, or businesses during the winter, and plant them at Mason Neck Park in the spring. The grasses filter nutrients and provide important habitat for fish and other aquatic creatures.
The fee to participate is $40, which covers part of the cost of the kit and includes a one year membership to CBF.

Time and Location of Workshops in Arlington, VA:
Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, 7:15-8:15 pm OR Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, 9:00-10:30am
Both workshops are at the Fairlington Community Center, 3308 South Stafford Street, Room 118, Arlington, VA 22206

There are other workshops at NOVA Community College and Fredericksburg, as well as other locations around the state.
Registration is now OPEN.  Click HERE for locations and to register.  Spaces are limited, so don’t wait too long, or you will may miss a chance to participate!
For more information contact Ashley Reams  
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Regional Coordinator, volunteer

Alonso Abugattas speaks on interconnectedness of natural world, Saturday, 20 January, Frying Pan Park

Alonso Abugattas, the Natural Resources Manager for Arlington County Parks, VA, and the Co-Chair for the Beltway Chapter of Region 2 of the National Association for Interpretation, will speak on behalf of the Annual Invasive Management Area meeting. Alonso writes the Capital Naturalist blog, found at http://capitalnaturalist.blogspot.com/ . Brunch fare and drinks will be provided.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

9-11:30 AM

Visitor’s CenterAuditorium

Frying Pan Farm Park

2709 West Ox Road

Herndon VA 20171


RSVP by 8 January to Erin.Stockschlaeder@fairfaxcounty.gov or Lindsay.Edwards@fairfaxcounty.gov or by calling (703) 324-8681

Charles Smith speaks on relationships between plants, fungi, bacteria, and insects, Thursday 11 January, Green Springs

Charles Smith kicks off the 2018 Green Springs Gardens lecture series with a talk on the interactions and relationships in plant communities. Learn about organisms that interact with plants, such as insect larvae, lesser known pollinators and bacterial and fungal allies.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

7:30 – 9:00 pm

Green Spring Gardens

4603 Green Spring Road

Alexandria, VA 22312




Fairfax County Park Authority Certified Interpretive Guide classes, 5-8 February 2018: Register now

This FCPA certification workshop teaches the skills you need to interpret natural and cultural resources to any audience you choose. You will graduate understanding how to connect learners to the value of natural resources so that they care about them and pay the message forward.

This is a national certification program offered by the National Association for Interpretation hosted by the Fairfax County Park Authority for its staff.

Two sessions with five spots per session are open to the public. Register online NLT 20 January for either the session at Green Springs Gardens in Alexandria or the session at Dranesville Tavern in Herndon.

Registration Cost: $230 (Certification is an additional $150). Qualifies for learning hours for master naturalists.


World Wildlife Fund hosts The Nature of Change: The Science of Influencing Behavior

Behavior change has not yet been extensively incorporated into conservation practice planning, design, or overall thinking. This year’s Fuller Symposium, December 4, brings together a diverse array of experts from the behavior sciences to tackle how we can better integrate behavioral strategies and interventions into conservation practice to produce more effective outcomes for nature.

Attend in person at the National Geographic Society’s headquarters, or by by web streaming.

The conference is free and counts toward VMN continuing ed credits

You can attend in person or online. Register here

This year’s winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, Richard Thaler, was recognized for his contributions to behavioral economics, a critical component in understanding how we make decisions about our health, wealth, etc. (Book recommendation: Nudge, with his coauthor, Cass Sunstein). Dan Ariely, one of the presenters at the symposium, is another prominent behavioral economist, and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal. (Book recommendation: Predictably Irrational.)

From the Ground Up: Managing and Preserving Our Terrestrial Ecosystems: Free, approved, online course starts November 27

From the Ground Up: Managing and Preserving our Terrestrial Ecosystems is a new 7-week online course from the SDG Academy about sustainable use of our terrestrial ecosystems.You will learn about the impacts of deforestation, climate change, and more, with a particular focus on the human activities that affect these ecosystems. In studying the interplay of local communities dependent on these natural resources, you will emerge with a deep understanding of how to ensure the long-term health of our global ecosystems.

The course launches November 27th, 2017. Register here. While there are only 7 weeks of course content, the course will remain open until January 29th, 2018. Students can enroll anytime! After January 29th, 2018, the course content will no longer be available.

Course materials each week include pre-recorded lectures, readings, discussion questions, and quizzes. In addition, live webinars are offered throughout the course so that you can ask questions directly to instructors. Each Monday, course materials are made available and remain available for the duration of the course. All course components can be completed at a time that is convenient for students; quizzes can be completed anytime before the course ends.

Time commitment: Approx. 2-4 hours per week

Cost: Free

Requirements: An internet connection. Certificates: Students who successfully complete the course will receive a digital certificate of completion. In order to successfully complete the course, students must score an average of 70% or higher on the quizzes, all of which are multiple choice. Students who score 85% or higher will receive certificates of completion with distinction.

Audubon scholarship to Hog Island, ME, for VA public school educators, at Hog Island, ME

The Audubon Society of Northern Virginia is taking applications from public school teachers for an all-expenses paid week of professional development plus transportation to National Audubon Society’s Hog Island Camp in Maine. This year’s Sharing Nature: An Educator’s Week occurs July 15-20, 2018. Highlights include ospreys, bioluminescent sea creatures, and boat trips to nearby islands, including to a puffin colony. Applicants must be public classroom teachers, specialists, or school administrators working in the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, Leesburg or the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William or Stafford.

Application at http://audubonva.org/hog-island-scholarship

Application deadline: February 1, 2017

Questions? Email ASNV Youth Education Chair Stacey Evers at stacey.evers@icloud.com