Spring Volunteer Opportunities at Riverbend Park in Great Falls, VA

Bluebell Festival: Saturday, 6 April 2019
Please sign up to volunteer by 31 March 2019.

The bluebells are starting to bloom at Riverbend Park! This means spring is around the corner …and so is the Bluebell Festival! The Bluebell Festival is one of Riverbend’s biggest events of the year and a perfect opportunity to celebrate Riverbend and promote its preservation goals. Wonderful volunteers are needed to ensure the event is a success!
REGISTER HERE: https://volunteer.fairfaxcounty.gov/recruiter/index.php?recruiterID=1380&class=OppDetails&oppGuid={E596D26B-0BF0-4D61-801B-61CFFE753CBB}&t=Bluebell-Festival-Volunteer
CONTACT: valeria.espinoza@fairfaxcounty.gov
SHIFTS: 9AM-12PM, 11:30AM-2:30PM, or 9AM-2:30PM

April Volunteer Orientation: Restoration, Programs, and Park Support
Saturday, 13 April 2019
11am – 1:30 pm

Are you interested in becoming a Riverbend Park volunteer? Do you want to learn more about habitat restoration, nature/outdoor educational programs, or how to support the park? Join us on April 13th at our upcoming Volunteer Orientation event from 11AM-1:30PM. Volunteers will learn about Riverbend’s volunteer program, available opportunities, and upcoming events and then participate in a hands-on restoration project or interactive training to get started!
REGISTER HERE: https://volunteer.fairfaxcounty.gov/recruiter/index.php?recruiterID=1380&class=OppDetails&oppGuid={A5D09A6F-5888-469B-91ED-54CDC30C8DAA}&t=April-Volunteer-Orientation-Restoration-Programs-and-Park-Support
CONTACT: valeria.espinoza@fairfaxcounty.gov
Note: this is the last orientation event until the fall! If you are interested, but cannot attend let Valeria know.

Become a School Programs Lead Volunteer!
Apply by 7 April 2019

Riverbend Park is in search of motivated naturalists interested in helping to educate local students about nature, culture, and history through our field trip programs! School programs run on weekday mornings during Spring and Fall. Topics include soils, Native American history, ecology/wildlife, watershed science, geology, and more!

APPLY HERE: https://volunteer.fairfaxcounty.gov/recruiter/index.php?recruiterID=1380&class=OppDetails&oppGuid={2F32EB07-0B40-4180-AB3D-6E5D200BF187}&t=School-Programs-Lead-Volunteer-Riverbend-Park
CONTACT: valeria.espinoza@fairfaxcounty.gov

Become a Programs Assistant Volunteer!
Orientation on 13 April 2019

We have Program Assistant opportunities for outdoor recprograms, nature programs, scout programs, and summerprograms. These will be included at the Volunteer Orientation on April, 13th! Whether you have a passion for hiking, birding, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, trees, wildlife, campfires, rocks, etc… we’ve got an opportunity for you!
TO SIGN UP CONTACT: valeria.espinoza@fairfaxcounty.gov

For more opportunities: https://volunteer.fairfaxcounty.gov/recruiter/index.php?recruiterID=1380&class=OppSearchResults&orgid=71673

VMN CE Webinar: Maple syrup as a forest product, Mar. 28th

Virginia Master Naturalists Continuing Education Webinar

Thursday, 28 March 2019, 12:00 pm
Meeting Number: 199-915-948
Link to join: Join Webinar

It’s possible to collect sap sustainably from any species of maple, sap that can be processed into a valuable syrup.  In many parts of Virginia, this can prove to be a viable cottage industry (or at least an interesting demonstration project).  The VMN-High Knob Chapter has overseen a demo “sugar bush” on the Powell River Project Research & Education Center in Wise County for the last four winters.  Chris Allgyer and Phil Meeks will discuss the process for collecting sap and making syrup, as well as its potential as an off-season forest product.  Other species of trees that can yield a usable syrup will also be discussed.


Phil Meeks is the Extension Agent for Agriculture & Natural Resources in Wise County and is the chapter advisor for the High Knob Chapter of VMN.

Chris Allgyer is President of the VMN High Knob Chapter. He recently retired from Mountain Empire Community College where he taught mathematics for 46 years.

Link for recordings of this and past webinars: VMN Continuing Education page.

If you have specific technical questions, try the Zoom Support Center.

What kinds of insects do birds eat? Find out from Audubon, March 24

The Audubon Society of Northern Virginia will hold an Audubon Afternoon on Sunday, March 24 at the National Wildlife Center, 11100 Wildlife Center Drive in Reston.  Ashley Kennedy, a doctoral candidate at the University of Delaware, is an entomologist who has used her own research and photos provided by citizen scientists from around the country to determine what types of insects various types of birds eat.   She will present fascinating photos and videos of birds bringing food to their young as she discusses birds’ diets and the role of native plants in attracting the insects that birds rely on.  There will be a social gathering at 2:30 followed by Ashley’s presentation at 3 PM.  The event is free and open to the public.

Learn about Audubon at Home, May 9th

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir (c)

Green Spring Gardens
4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA
Thursday, 9 May 2019
7:30 – 9 pm
Program and talk with Betsy Martin & Alda Krinsman

The Audubon at Home program was created to make a difference by supporting the efforts of property owners and managers to become better stewards of nature in their own outdoor spaces. It embraces the principles of the National Audubon Society’s Bird-Friendly Communities and promotes citizen participation in conserving and restoring local natural habitat and biodiversity.

The Wildlife Sanctuary Program brings trained naturalists together with property owners and managers on a mission to restore natural habitat. The program offers information, on-site consultation and recommendations to help you establish and nurture sustainable natural habitat in your backyard, neighborhood, school, church, park or business in spaces that range from a small corner of your yard to many acres. Results-based sanctuary certification depends on the success of the habitat to attract and support wildlife. The program seeks to expand wildlife habitat in the area and fosters appreciation for the value of native plants and all the wildlife that depend on them.

Flowery Waters of Spring: Ecology & Conservation of Vernal Pool Wetlands in Virginia, Apr. 11th

Green Spring Gardens
4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria
Thursday, 11 April 2019
7:30 – 9 pm

Program and talk with Michael S. Hayslett, Principal of Virginia Vernal Pools, LLC. Mr. Hayslett is a former biology and environmental instructor at Sweet Briar College and other Virginia schools. He has spent a career pursuing the study, awareness, and conservation of the freshwater wetlands known as “vernal pools” around his native Virginia. His research has focused on amphibian ecology, but this Master Naturalist is fascinated with all aspects of these special little ecosystems and with natural history in general.  Brought to you by the Virginia Native Plant Society.

Fairfax Water Source Water Protection & Water Supply Education Grants

Fairfax Water is offering Watershed and Water Supply Education Grants to support citizen source water protection efforts and community activities related to water supply.
Local and state government educational and environmental agencies, homeowners and HOAs, civic groups and not-for-profit organizations may apply for funding, technical services or a combination of these, not to exceed a total of $10,000.
Grant requests must address water supply or watershed issues within Fairfax Water’s service area or watershed area in Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, or Fauquier Counties. For a list of eligible projects and application information, please go to https://www.fairfaxwater.org/grants or contact Source Water Protection and Planning by phone at 703-289-6303 or by e-mail at outreach@fairfaxwater.org. Applications must be postmarked by May 15, 2019.

Chickens, a Backyard Management Workshop, Mar. 30th

Herndon Fortnightly Library
768 Center St., Herndon
Saturday, 30 March 2019
1 – 2 pm

Interest in locally grown food is on the rise, from urban gardening to backyard chicken operations. Raising backyard chickens as a source for high quality fresh eggs, meat or as pets can bring the family together, while producing your own locally grown food.  Willie Woode, Senior Conservation/Agricultural Water Quality Specialist for the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District will present along with St. Clair D. Williams, Senior Assistant to the Zoning Administrator of Fairfax County.  Space is limited and registration is required.  Register today!

Birding by Ear Boot Camp, April 14th

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir (c)

Julie J. Metz Wetland Preserve and Leesylvania State Park, Woodbridge, VA
Saturday, 14 April 2019
7 am-3:30 pm

Spend a full day learning bird song in the field and on the trails with birding expert Greg Fleming. Some basic birding knowledge is a prerequisite, such as being able to identify some common local birds by sight. Bring a bag lunch, we’ll be out in the field all day but will break for lunch at Leesylvania State Park. This class will fill up quickly! Register here. Limited to 15 students. $50 Audubon Society of Northern Virginia members/$60 non-members.

How to lead a bird and nature walk, Apr. 6th

Location TBD
Saturday, 6 April 2019
9 am – 12 pm

Do you love birds? Wildflowers? Frogs? Fungi? Some other aspect of nature? Do you ever think you might like to share that love with others in an organized way, but are not sure how to do it? If so, this workshop will answer a lot of questions and give you good tips on how to be a successful leader. Some time in a classroom setting and will be followed up with a walk to practice what you’ve learned. Register here. Limited to 15 students. $10 Audubon Society of Northern Virginia members/$15 non-members.

Instructor: Dixie Sommers has been an Audubon member since 1986 and became a serious birder after moving back to the Washington area from Ohio in 2006, adding to her long interest in nature photography and travel. She is an avid e-bird user and enjoys using photography to help learn the birds, and sharing her photos. In addition to favorite places in Virginia, her recent birding travels include Alaska, Cuba, Ecuador, Ohio, South Florida, Antarctica, and Argentina. Dixie lives in Alexandria, Virginia, and retired from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics after a long career of counting jobs and workers. Now she counts birds!

Early Spring Birding, Mar. 28th

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir (c)

Fairfax High School Room A139, 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax, VA 22030
Thursday, 28 March 2019
7 – 9 pm

Late March can offer spectacular birding, marking a transition between winter and spring, Many of our winter birds, such as waterfowl and sparrows, are still around, but they are joined by early migrants returning to breeding territories. This workshop will discuss birds that occur here at this time of year, with a special focus on species that are migrating into our region and their arrival dates. An ancillary field trip offers a chance to encounter many of these birds in their natural settings. Register here. $30 Audubon Society of Northern Virginia members/$40 non-members

Instructor: Larry Meade is Audubon Society of Northern Virginia Education Chair and president of the Northern Virginia Bird Club.