Goose rehabbers/relocators needed

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir (c)

Spring in Fairfax County means goose nesting season.  In search of secure sites, some geese nest in dangerous places (rooftops, parking lots, mall planters) where they and their goslings have no path to safe water.  Wildlife Rescue League and other concerned goose advocates are looking for folks who want to train to become Category 2 Rehabbers to help relocate stranded goose families.  This past year has seen the loss of several dedicated rescuers and we are hoping others can step in.  For further information, please text Carol Hall at 571-419-2592.

Reston Association in search of Watershed Specialist

The Watershed Specialist position (full time) has become available at the Reston Association. The work involves everything from leading stream monitoring groups, educating the public about watershed related issues, cleaning and maintaining the lakes, working with shoreline stabilization projects, and more! The position can be labor intensive at times. If you know someone who is looking for a job in the natural resources realm and who may be interested in this job, please pass this information along.

Apply for the position here: Reston Association Watershed Specialist

Flying squirrel frenzy & February flowers, Feb. 17th

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir (c)

Meet at Brookside Nature Center, 1400 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, Maryland 20902
Sunday, 17 February 2019
2:00 to 7:15 pm

If you feel like squealing with delight like a little kid when you see flying squirrels, boy do we have an adventure for you! And it’s coupled with fabulous outdoor and indoor flowers — in frigid February!
First, the group will hike up to 6 miles on paved and dirt trails in Wheaton Regional Park to Brookside Gardens’ outdoor gardens and indoor glass conservatory and beyond. (The exact length will be posted soon.) Color in the outdoor garden includes winter-blooming orange/yellow witch hazels, pink hellebore flowers, white snow-drops and the buxom red berries of nandina plants. Then they’ll visit the Brookside Nature Center to watch nocturnal southern flying squirrels with their big eyes and teensy mouths swoop in to nosh on sunflower seeds just after dusk. If they’re lucky, they’ll see more than a dozen of these palm-sized critters dash from tree to tree and squish together on the feeders. (Bring our own human snacks or dinner to enjoy on the deck before the squirrels join us. Dress warmly!)
Not a hiker? You can just attend this Sierra Club, adults-only special session flying squirrel event, which is led by Brookside Nature Center. Please bring exact change. ($6 required fee to the nature center & $2 voluntary fee to the Sierra Club.)
Questions? Please post them to Meetup or email Barbara at Barb22030@yahoo.com.

Can’t attend? Brookside runs its own flying squirrel programs on many Fridays. Call first for details, 301-962-1480.

Annual Aldo Leopold Read-a-thon, January 20th

RESCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 20TH DUE TO SNOW

Villages of Piedmont Clubhouse
16080 Market Ridge Blvd., Haymarket, VA
Sunday, 13 January 2019
4 – 6 pm

Join the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust to celebrate Aldo Leopold’s 132nd birthday! Their annual read-a-thon will feature guest speakers to read spoken excerpts from Leopold’s books. The event is free and will honor the legendary conservationist and his work. Feel free to join them in the audience to listen. Please get in touch with them if you’d like to be a guest speaker. They will also have open slots available day-of for volunteer readers from the crowd. RSVP to Emily at ebowman@nvct.org or call 703-354-5093.

MLK Day Clean up, Americana Drive

Two locations: Intersection of Americana Drive and Patriot Drive and Intersection of Americana Drive and Heritage Drive, Annandale, VA
Monday, 21 January 2019, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
10 am – 2 pm

A group of neighbors has coalesced  to do a cleanup of the illegal dumping areas prevalent along the length of Americana Drive in Annandale.  This effort came together rather suddenly after the holidays.
 
Americana Drive, which is crossed by three tributaries of Accotink Creek, has been plagued for years by illegal dumping.  Help restore pride to this area!

Sign up online: https://www.fcrpp3.org/annandale-clean-up-sign-in

More information, supported by Friends of Accotink Creek:  http://www.accotink.org/2019/AmericanaDriveCleanuppre-event2019.htm

Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps accepting applications

Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) is now accepting applications for the 2019 Crewmember position (available to youth both residents and non-residents of Virginia).

During YCC you rise with the sun everyday as you persevere daily seeking new adventures, hard work, and unforgettable memories at Virginia State Parks. Choosing an experience with the YCC has a unique way of shifting the way you view the world around you. Three weeks with the YCC is an opportunity to relinquish social media and texting and a time to focus on nature, real relationships, character building and fun!

The YCC seeks ambitious youth, ages 14-17, to serve on a crew with nine fellow crew members. Crews are led by three adult crew leaders who guide crew members through day to day operations and decision making. 

Crew members will find a million little things to be discovered, admired and appreciated; from the quiet beauty of a bonfire to the time spent constructing a new project; youth should be willing to actively participate in all activities and are expected to work diligently on service projects as one cohesive team.

While the YCC may be a ton of fun it is not a summer camp, crew members are expected to complete many laborious tasks immersing members in a world unlike anything they are used to. It takes away a few modern comforts and conveniences and replaces them with hard work and friendship. Youth learn the value of a one-on-one conversation with a trusted friend, a job well done and all the natural beauty that surrounds them.

While in the park, the crew will work on various projects such as trail maintenance, construction of new park facilities, and park beautification. Work can be difficult but it is also extremely rewarding for crewmembers to see the projects they are able to complete during their time with the YCC.

Applicants do not need to have any prior experience; however, an interest in working outdoors, a good attitude, and the diligence to complete projects is critical. Upon successful completion of the program a $500 stipend is awarded

Learn more, or if you have any questions just email the staff here.

Winter Salt Watch: You Can Help

Road salt (sodium chloride) is everywhere during winter months. It keeps us safe on roads and sidewalks, but it can also pose a threat to fish and wildlife as well as human health. 

Fish and bugs that live in freshwater streams can’t survive in extra salty water. And many of us (more than 118 million Americans) depend on local streams for drinking water. Water treatment plants are not equipped to filter out the extra salt, so it can end up in your tap water and even corrode your pipes. What can you do?

STEP 1: Test the chloride in your stream. Request a FREE test kit using the form on this page and follow the instructions you receive with your kit. (You can also order your own chloride test strips through Amazon.) You’ll want to test your stream:

  • Before a winter storm (to get a baseline reading).
  • After salt has been applied to roads.
  • After the first warm day or rainstorm following a snow or freeze.
  • After the next rain event.

STEP 2: Share your results using the free Water Reporter app. Just follow these simple instructions. With test results in one place, we can identify salt hot spots around the country, and you can see how salt is affecting your community. Check out the Winter Salt Watch map below!

STEP 3: Take action. If you find high levels of chloride, let someone know!

  1. Call your city or county department of environmental protection to report high chloride levels or large salt piles.
  2. Write a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper or other news outlet to educate your community about this issue. You can start with our sample letter and adapt it for your use. (Download the Word file or PDF.)
  3. Share road salt best practices with community managers and state agencies.

Protect the health of your streams – and your community – with Winter Salt Watch!

Green Breakfast, Jan. 12th

Brion’s Grille – 10621 Braddock Rd, Fairfax, VA 22032
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Breakfast begins at 8:30 am, $10 at the door, cash preferred.
No prior registration required.

(Part One) How to Avoid Being Bad, When You’re Trying to Do Good!
Brandy Mueller, Environmental Compliance Coordinator, Fairfax County Land Development Services

Even the most well-intentioned conservation efforts can sometimes lead to unexpected challenges, when necessary permissions are not received or limits pushed…even those in our own backyards. When we only see the end vision of our projects and backyard or community conservation retreats, we don’t often think of them as land-disturbing activities, certainly not in the same vein as traditional development. But, they can be. A little planning ahead and a general understanding the rules and regulations that are in place and why they exist can help to make your projects great successes.

This is part one of a series of breakfasts in which Brandy Mueller, Environmental Compliance Coordinator with Fairfax County’s Land Development Services will provide a brief overview of the current program and share the vision for the future. Ms. Mueller will discuss some logistics for filing complaints and resources and information that are available online. The complaint response program is undergoing changes in 2019 and Ms. Mueller is interested in your ideas about other information and resources that you may need to support individual and community projects to help make them a success.

Later in 2019, Ms. Mueller will be back to share the lessons-learned and describe updates to the program.

Breakfast includes an all-you-can eat hot buffet with fresh fruit and coffee, tea, orange juice or water. No prior registration required. If you have any questions, please contact the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District at conservationdistrict@fairfaxcounty.gov.

2019 Virginia Environmental Education Conference February 7-9, 2019

Virginia Association of Environmental Education (VAEE) has extended the earlybird registration for the 2019 Virginia Environmental Education Annual Conference, at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, VA

Enjoy a gathering full of professional development, networking opportunities, learning, and field experiences that will expand your knowledge of Environmental Education efforts and resources in the Commonwealth and help you in your VMN endeavors. 

This year’s conference will feature many exciting presentations, keynote speakers, and field trips, including the annual member meeting for the Virginia Association for Environmental Education. 

Other events include various networking opportunities and the annual VAEE Social and Silent Auction.

Information about this year’s conference and registration can be found on the conference webpage

Early-bird registration is extended until January 11, 2019. Registration ends February 4, 2019.

For general registration questions, contact: Bruce Young at bkyoungee@gmail.com

NOVA Green Festival 2019, April 25th

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir (c)

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), Annandale Campus
8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003
Saturday, 25 April 2019
9-4 pm

The theme for the 2019 event will be “Biodiversity and Urbanization.” At this time, the College hopes to host several presenters who will be able to touch on the many challenges of maintaining biodiversity in an urban environment.

The purpose of NOVA’s Annual Green Festival is to increase both the college and local community awareness of regional, national, and global environmental issues and provide information regarding ways that individuals can help preserve the environment. Participants at this community event will include faculty, staff, students and local community members. While the target audience is high school and college students, the event is free and open to the public.

The festival will be a combination of presentations, panel discussions, interactive demonstrations, film viewing, and informational displays. Ideally, it will help the audience to recognize ways they can conserve resources, promote change, and make a difference as individuals.

Join the College for this topical and educational festival. If you have questions or would like to participate as an exhibitor, you are welcome to contact Cheryl Robinette at, or Rob Johnson.