Save Blake Lane Park Spring Party

Blake Lane Park
10033 Blake Lane, Oakton
Saturday, April 27th
11 am – 3 pm

You are invited for a day filled with fun!
Family and friends are welcome.

What to expect:
Games for young and old.
Nature walk by naturalist Laura Beaty of the Virginia Native Plant Society scheduled for 12 o’clock in the afternoon.
Theater Games and Art for children and parents proudly offered by WonderGo.
Face Painting – Photo Corner – Snacks – Fun.
Dog park remains open and welcomes all dogs with a little treat.
Find out how you can help Save Blake Lane Park.
Bring a snack or baked goods to share.

For more information and to let the organizer know you will attend.

Caterpillars Count! A citizen science workshop for educators

Looking for a new way to engage your students or visitors in hands-on science learning and contribute valuable information to local research about insects and birds? Become aCaterpillars Count! citizen scientist! Caterpillars and other insects live on the trees and plants all around us. They make up a critical part of many ecosystems and are an important food source for birds and other organisms.In this workshop, we’ll introduce you to Caterpillars Count!, a new citizen science project designed by biologists from the University of North Carolina, and show you how you can become a part of research linking birds to their insect food sources on trees. Learn how to conduct surveys of insects with your students/visitors, monitor changes in the abundance and type of insects present over time, and report your data using our free mobile app. We’ll also introduce sample learning activities and the Caterpillars Count! website, where you can explore the data collected by your group with others from around the state.

This workshop is open to and designed for both formal (grades 6-12) and non-formal educators. Each participant will receive a handbook of instructional materials and sample learning activities. Lunch provided.

Friday, May 3; 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Riverbend Park

Location: Riverbend Park, 8700 Potomac Hills St, Great Falls, VA 22066

Cost: FREE

Registration: We have limited space, so click here to apply now. Applications will be accepted until 4/30/19.


Questions about the workshop?

Contact Sarah Yelton, Caterpillars Count! Project

FMN quarterly meeting, graduation, and presentation on permaculture, May 19

St. Dunstan’s Church
1830 Kirby Rd., McLean, VA
Sunday, 19 May 2019
2-4 pm

All are welcome to join our Fairfax Master Naturalist chapter for a brief chapter meeting, a chance to win door prizes, celebrate our Spring 2019 graduating class, and enjoy a presentation on Permaculture Design by Christine Harris.

The word “Permaculture” was coined by Bill Mollison in the 1970’s who went on to write the book Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual.  In his words: “Permaculture is about designing sustainable human settlements. It is a philosophy and an approach to land use which weaves together microclimate, annual and perennial plants, animals, soil, water management, and human needs into intricately connected, productive communities.”  Learn more here.

FMN members receive one hour of continuing education credit for attending.


Biological Control of Tree-of-Heaven, VMN webinar April 18th

Virginia Master Naturalist Continuing Education, for everyone!
Thursday, 18 April 2019
12 pm
Meeting Number: 673-006-772
Link to join: Join Webinar
Link for recordings of this and past webinars:
VMN Continuing Education Webinar page

This webinar focuses on research to evaluate biological control options for the invasive tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima). It is an invasive tree that causes ecological harm by displacing native plant species. It’s also known as “stink tree” due to the strong odor produced by the male flowers. You’ll hear background information on biological control and why it’s an appropriate option for Ailanthus. Additionally, the presenter will provide an update of her Virginia-based research studying a native fungal biological control agent. Come learn what this research might mean for Ailanthus control in the coming years!

Rachel Brooks is a third-year PhD candidate in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech studying plant pathology. Rachel is originally from New Hampshire and obtained a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Vermont in 2011. She hopes to use her Virginia Tech degree to study emerging forest health problems while also conducting outreach and education.

Clean the Chesapeake Bay Day, June 1st

Various locations
Saturday, 1 June 2019
9 am-12 pm

Each year, on the first Saturday of June, thousands of Virginians simultaneously descend on the rivers, streams, and beaches of the Chesapeake Bay watershed to remove harmful litter and debris. Thirty-one years strong, Clean the Bay Day is a true Virginian tradition and an annual opportunity for families, military installations, businesses, clubs, civic or church groups to give back to local waterways.

This short, three-hour annual event has a massive cumulative impact. Since 1989, Clean the Bay Day has engaged over 158,200 volunteers, who have removed approximately 6.64 million pounds of debris from nearly 7,750 miles of shoreline in Virginia!

Signing up for Clean the Bay Day is easy! Find a location convenient to you on our locations list or interactive map and register yourself or your group. Your information will be sent to the coordinator for that location, who will get back to you with details about your specific site. When you show up that day, just come prepared to help pick up litter and debris! All clean-up supplies will be provided.

Can’t make it on June 1st but want to help? Check out partners who are hosting their events earlier.

Eagle Festival, May 11th

Mason Neck State Park
7301 High Point Rd., Lorton, VA 22079
Saturday, 11 May 2019
10 am – 6 pm
(Bird walk at 8:30 am, must register)

Don’t miss Mason Neck State Park’s 22d annual Eagle Festival! They’ll have live shows all day in the Main Tent, including raptors, reptiles and mammals. The Hartwell Children’s Tent will offer children’s activities from our conservation partners. We’ll have Bald Eagle nest viewing tours, hay rides, pony rides, music, food and drink, a live eagle cam, exhibits from more than 20 environmental organizations, including Fairfax Master Naturalists, a youth photo contest and Mini-Clinics from REI.

You can see the entire schedule of activities at Eagle Festival Flyer.pdf

A Bird Walk led by the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, starts at 8:30 am. You must register to participate in the Bird Walk, which is limited to thirty participants. You can sign up at Register for Bird Walk.

Admission to the Park is free all day, so come on out and enjoy the Park’s biggest event of the year!

Marine Birds and Mammals of the Southeastern U.S., 4 & 11 June

National Wildlife Federation
11100 Wildlife Center Drive, Reston, VA 20190
Tuesday, 4 June 2019 and Tuesday, 11 June 2019
7-9 pm
Field trip : 6 July 2019, all day, Outer Banks, NC

Marine birds have feathers, and marine mammals breathe air. But in almost every other way, these ocean denizens bear almost no resemblance at all to their counterparts on land. This workshop introduces participants to the identification, foraging strategies, behavior, and nesting/breeding ecology of marine birds and mammals typical of the southeastern Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Join Dr. Chris Haney, founder of Terra Mar Applied Sciences, for this two-part classroom instruction and pelagic field trip. Register here.

Cost: Members $100, Non-members $140

Field trip fee: $175 (includes gratuity; participants are responsible for accommodations)

Learn about warblers, April 30th

Alexandria Country Day School, 2400 Russell Road, Alexandria, VA
Tuesday, 30 April 2019
7 pm
Field Trip: Saturday,4 May 2019, 8 am (rain date, May 5)
Monticello Park, 320 Beverley Drive, Alexandria, VA

Warblers show more color and variety than any other family of birds in the Washington area. Some of them stop to breed here, but a greater number pass through on their way to nesting grounds to our north. Bill Young will show you how to identify the 35 warbler species that you have a chance to see, focusing on appearance, vocalizations, behavior, and other factors. Register here.

Instructor: Bill Young is a local writer and co-creator of the MPNature website, which is designed to teach people about the nature at Monticello Park. His book The Fascination of Birds: From the Albatross to the Yellowthroat explores the connections between birds and a broad range of subjects, such as biology, ecology, literature, music, history, politics, economics, religion, geography, physics, chemistry, linguistics, the visual arts, the performing arts, sports, and comedy. Bill’s YouTube channel, which features his natural history videos, has more than 500 subscribers and more than 320,000 views.

Limit: 20
Cost: Members $50, Non-members $60

Birdathon 2019, Have fun, raise funds, 19 April – 19 May

Spring is on its way, and so is Birdathon! It’s time to organize your teams and sign up for Audubon Society of Northern Virginia’s annual spring migration birding competition.

The concept is simple: Participants can bird in teams of two to five. Team members then make their own donations or secure pledges from friends,family members, colleagues, neighborhood merchants, etc. Then, during any 24-hour period between April 19 and May 19, teams search Northern Virginia to see how many bird species they can identify. The two principal rules are Have Fun and Raise Funds. For the rest, click here. Click here to register your own team or click here to pledge support for your favorite team.

Whatta deal! Mount Rogers Spring Naturalist Rally, May 10-12th

Konnarock Community Center, 6635 Whitetop Rd., Troutdale, VA
Friday, 10 -Sunday, 12 May 2019

Three days of exploration & discovery for all ages! 

Bring your family and celebrate Mother’s Day in the most beautiful place on Earth. There is something for the entire family to enjoy with an expert speaker Friday night, trips Saturday and Sunday, and nighttime programs at the campground.

Blue Ridge Discovery Center has assembled a wide variety of field trips with leaders who are experts in their field and who are able to make the subjects understandable and interesting for everyone from inquisitive amateurs to accomplished naturalists.

Rally tickets for the entire weekend are $10. Ticket price includes Friday Night Program, Saturday Field Trips, Saturday Night Program and Sunday Program. Guides and persons 17 years or younger are FREE!

Friday night dinner tickets are $10. Dinner hosted by the Konnarock Community Center. The dinner is limited to 125 total tickets. Dinner tickets available by prepaid reservation only! Reservations due by May 3rd. No dinner tickets will be sold at the door.

For more information and registration, visit the website.
Also, check out the Mt Rogers Naturalist Rally Facebook page for event updates or call 276-293-1232.

Blue Ridge Discovery Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring, discovering, and sharing the natural history of the Blue Ridge Mountains.