Native Plant Sale: Riverbend

Friends of Riverbend Park will hold their 2019 native plant sale on May 4th at the Riverbend Park Outdoor Classroom / Picnic Shelter on Potomac Hills Street in Great Falls.

 Prices are based on plant type and size; quart sized containers start at $8.00, and gallon containers are $12 to $14. 

Pre-ordering started on January 25th and closes on March 16th.  Pre-orders will be available for pick up on Friday, May 3, at the Riverbend Park Outdoor Classroom / Picnic Shelter. 

Email FORB at forbpark@gmail.com if you have any questions.  

Deadline for 2019 Mason Bee Monitoring Project: Feb 11

Volunteers are being sought across all of Virginia to join in monitoring efforts of the declining native blue orchard mason bee, during March to May 2019. Fill out the interest form to be considered for the 2019 Monitoring Project, and feel free to share with friends, fellow VMNs, and neighbors:  https://goo.gl/forms/cg4DTkALU4YpuYd22

If you are interested and your chapter has not yet approved a project for this, download the Mason Bee 2019 Project Proposal here and submit it to your chapter’s Project Chair.

You can also find this, along with all the information you need to know about the project, on the VMN state website on the project’s webpage: http://www.virginiamasternaturalist.org/mason-bee-research.html 

If you have any questions, please contact

Katie LeCroy at masonbeemonitoring@gmail.com

Stream Monitoring, Feb. 9th to Mar. 16th

Prince William (Hooes Run) Water Quality Monitoring Workshop
When: Saturday, 9 February 2019, 10 am-12:30 pm
Where: Castle Ct., Woodbridge VA
Join Veronica Tangiri of Prince William SWCD in monitoring this beautiful site of Hooes Run as it enters the Occoquan Reservior/River area. Chemical and biological data will be collected. Visitors parking lot and curb parking available. Contact Veronica for more information or to register.

Holmes Run Stream Monitoring Workshop
When: Saturday, 16 February 2019, 10 am-12:30 pm
Where: Roundtree Park, Falls Church VA
Join the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD) as they discover aquatic life in Holmes Run! This official NVSWCD stream monitoring workshop covers watershed health, what macroinvertebrates tell us about stream quality, and what you can do to prevent pollution in your local stream. This workshop will also help to prepare you to become a certified stream monitor. Registration is limited. Send questions to Ashley Palmer and RSVP here.

Pohick Creek Stream Monitoring Session
When: Saturday, 16 February 2019, 1 – 4 pm
Where: Hidden Pond Nature Center, Springfield VA
Join certified stream monitor Susan Demsko in her winter stream monitoring at her site at Hidden Pond Nature Center. Registration is limited. Contact Susan for more information or to register.

Little Difficult Run Stream Monitoring Workshop
When: Saturday, 23 February 2019, 10 am-12:30 pm
Where: Fred Crabtree Park, Herndon VA
Join the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD) as they discover aquatic life in Little Difficult Run! This official NVSWCD stream monitoring workshop covers watershed health, what macroinvertebrates tell us about stream quality, and what you can do to prevent pollution in your local stream. This workshop will also help to prepare you to become a certified stream monitor. Registration is limited. Send questions to Ashley Palmer and RSVP here.

Bryan Branch Stream Monitoring Session
When: Saturday, 23 February 2019, 1 -3 pm
Where: McLean VA
Join a certified stream monitor at this adopted stream to help make a difference in our environment. We will check on the health of one local stream in McLean. County and state officials will use the data you collect to assess the overall condition of our streams and help determine watershed management initiatives. Come learn more and help. Registration is limited. RSVP to Elizabeth Winston.

Holmes Run Stream Monitoring Session
When: Sunday, 24 February 2019, 9 am-12 pm
Where: Near Annandale Road, Falls Church VA
Join certified stream monitor Valerie Bertha in her winter stream monitoring at her site in Holmes Run. Registration is limited. Contact Valerie for more information or to register.

Friends of Accotink Creek Stream Monitoring Session
When: Saturday, 9 March 2019, 9:30 – 11:30 am
Where: Lake Accotink Park, Springfield VA
Join Friends of Accotink Creek volunteers as they assess ecological conditions in a stream, based on the presence and absence of bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Meet at the parking lot behind Lake Accotink Park Administrative Building. See additional stream monitoring information on the Friends of Accotink Creek website.

Cub Run Stream Monitoring Workshop
When: Sunday, 10 March 2019, 10 am-12:30 pm
Where: Cub Run Stream Valley Park, Centreville VA
Join the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD) as they discover aquatic life in Cub Run! This official NVSWCD stream monitoring workshop covers watershed health, what macroinvertebrates tell us about stream quality, and what you can do to prevent pollution in your local stream. This workshop will also help to prepare you to become a certified stream monitor. Registration is limited. Send questions to Ashley Palmer and RSVP here.

Prince William (Cedar Run) Stream Monitoring Workshop
When: Saturday, 16 March 2019, 10 am-12:30 pm
Where: Evergreen Acres Farm, Hazelwood Dr., Nokesville VA
Join Veronica Tangiri of the Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District for citizen science monitoring. Come and learn more about the health of this stream and how it interacts with agriculture as it joins the Occoquan River. Contact Veronica for more information or to register.

Spring Stream Cleanup Events, Feb. 18th to Mar. 16th

Americana Drive Stream Cleanup
When: Monday, 18 February 2019, 10 am-2 pm
Where: Americana Drive, Annandale VA
Join the Fairfax County Restoration Project in their efforts to clean up Americana Drive! Gloves, vests, and trash bags will be provided. Student community service hours are available through the Friends of Accotink Creek. Please sign up so the organizers can prepare enough supplies.

Quantico Creek Stream Cleanup
When: Saturday, 23 February 2019, 9 am-12 pm
Where: Dumfries Elementary School, Dumfries VA
Join Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District for a Quantico Creek cleanup in the Town of Dumfries in support of water quality awareness and plastic prevention. This event has been organized as part of the commemoration of the history of the Town of Dumfries. Cleanup supplies will be provided. Dress well for the weather and put on boots. Register with Sonnie Coffey.

2019 Big County Spring Stream Cleanup Launching
When: Saturday, 2 March 2019, 9 am-12 pm
Where: Eagles Park, Woodbridge VA
Promote water quality and plastic pollution awareness around the newly constructed Woodbridge Boardwalk. Join the water quality awareness campaign and give a treat to this scenic site of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. Prince William County residents are invited to come out en mass at Eagle Park in Woodbridge. To register, please visit Prince William Trails and Streams Coalition website.

Bull Run Tributary Stream Cleanup
When: Saturday, 16 March 2019, 9 am-12 pm
Where: Manassas VA
Join the Merrimac Farm Master Naturalists, Friends of the Square, Keep Prince William Beautiful, and other Prince William County partners to keep the stream corridor near the Bull Run Shopping Center clean under Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District’s (SWCD) Adopt-A-Stream program. Great for student community service hours. Light refreshment will be provided. Volunteers should come dressed for the weather, with boots and clothes they don’t mind getting dirty. Learn more and RSVP to Prince William SWCD.

Earth Sangha spring Plant Grants, deadline Feb. 28th

The Earth Sangha Plant Grant application period for Spring 2019 is now open. Find the application here: www.earthsangha.org/plant-grant. Please have applications in by February 28 so Earth Sangha can respond to applicants before the planting season begins. In previous Plant Grants, the organization helped out Eagle Scouts working in Fairfax County parks, public and independent schools, and community groups working on public lands. They’re eager to help out again this spring!

The Plant Grant works like a buy-one, get-one program. For every plant purchase made towards an approved project, Earth Sangha donates an additional plant (up to the maximum allocated in your acceptance letter). They can also help with site visits, answer questions about what species might be most appropriate, and highlight your volunteer workdays on their Field Schedule.

Their preference is for projects within Fairfax County, but they are open to proposals in other areas in Northern Virginia. In addition to the completed application (see link above), you will need a letter of support from a staff member from a relevant agency (an email is fine), and a few “before” photos of the site in question.

If you’d like to take advantage of this program, go to their website which fully describes the program and its requirements. Completed applications and questions can be sent to Matt Bright: mbright@earthsangha.org.

Learn about vernal pools, March 3rd

Mount Vernon Government Center
2511 Parkers Lane, Alexandria VA
Sunday, 3 March 2019
1:30 pm, social gathering, 2 pm program

Vernal pools, which are pools that dry up in the summer, are vital habitat for salamanders, fairy shrimp and several species of frogs. Vernal pools occur throughout the Washington area and play an important role in the environment.

Karen Sheffield, the Manager of Huntley Meadows Park, will present this program on vernal pools. She will discuss the animals and plants that inhabit these shallow pools of water. The program is brought to you by the Friends of Dyke Marsh and cosponsored by the Friends of Mason Neck State Park, the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park and the Friends of Accotink Creek.

Take Certified Interpretive Guide classes with Fairfax County Park Authority

Certified Interpretive Guide classes are being offered by the Fairfax County Park Authority March 5-8th 2019.

This certification workshop focuses on the skills needed to interpret natural and cultural resources to an audience allowing them to not just learn about resources but connect to and care about them.

This is a national certification program offered by the National Association for Interpretation hosted by the Fairfax County Park Authority for its staff. It requires no prior knowledge or training.

There are 2 sessions with 5 spots per session open to the public. You can register online.

 The link for the Hidden Oaks Nature center location is  https://www.interpnet.com/nai/nai/_events/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=CIG030519D

The link for Frying Pan Farm Park is  https://www.interpnet.com/nai/nai/_events/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=CIG030519S

Classes run from 830am-430 pm daily March 5-8th more details will follow after registering. Don’t forget to indicate if you want the certification option.

Guiding plant community change: Management of invasive plants in urban woodlands

You’re invited to the Annual Invasive Management Appreciation Event

Cabells Mill, 5235 Walney Road, Chantilly, VA 20151

Saturday, February 16, 9 am-11.30 am

Talk by Lea Johnson (see flyer for bio)

RSVP to Erin.Stockschlaeder@fairfaxcounty.gov or call 703-324-8681

Flyer

Pay it forward by training FMNers

Are you a member of the Fairfax Master Naturalists chapter? Do you enjoy bringing friends, neighbors, and colleagues into the naturalist fold? Figuring out just the right way to tell a story so that folks follow your lead? It could be your moment to shine.

Pete Mecca has served at the Training Committee Chair for 3 years and will rotate off this summer. Big shoes, yup, and Pete is a great mentor.

Please contact him or Debbie Walch about taking on his role (maybe with a buddy…), working with the training committee, and welcoming incoming new FMNers: vmnfairfax@gmail.com.

Programs at Green Spring Gardens, Feb. 14th and 16th

The Balanced Garden: How to meld beautiful and sustainable native plants with favorites from around the world
Saturday, Feb 16, 2019 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Green Spring Gardens 4603 Green Spring Road Alexandria VA
Registration: (703) 642-5173 or online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes Code: 986.B59A

Butterflies and Blossoms, or Larval Host Plants and the Lepidoptera that Eat Them
Thursday, February 14, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria VA

No reservations are necessary for this talk.
Virginia Native Plant Society programs are free and open to the public.

Margaret Chatham will discuss butterflies, caterpillars, and larval host plants.

Beautiful butterflies and lovely blossoms are all the result of trying to make a living. The plants need someone to pollinate them, but at the same time need to limit the number of caterpillars and other insects that can eat them. The butterflies and caterpillars need to avoid being eaten long enough to lay eggs for the next generation. Learn which natives to plant to nurture more than just monarchs.

2010 was a good year for butterfly photographs in our area. Margaret Chatham took a lot of pictures that year. Then she wanted to know who they were and what they ate. No year since has offered her quite as many butterflies, but every season brings something new, so now she wants to share them.

Margaret is a devoted Fraser Preserve Volunteer Visitation Committee Member who removes invasive barberry shrubs in winter and wavyleaf grass in summer and knows the preserve intimately. She is also editor of the VNPS Potowmack News newsletter, a volunteer at the VNPS propagation beds at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, and an Arlington Regional Master Naturalist.