Nominate Fairfax County to receive a $20K grant for parks

The Fairfax County Park Authority and the Fairfax County Park Foundation invite you to vote for Fairfax County parks in the National Recreation and Park Association’s “Meet Me at the Park” Earth Month Campaign. The locale that receives the most nominations will receive a $20,000 grant to improve a local park.

For the fourth year in a row, the NRPA is collaborating with The Walt Disney Company–including Disney|ABC Television Group and ESPN–to help fund local park improvement projects across the country through the national “Meet Me at the Park” Earth Month campaign. The city that receives the most nominations during the month of April will receive a $20K grant to improve a local park. From April 1 to April 30, 2018, visit Meet Me at the Park website to nominate Fairfax, Va. At the end of April, the city with the most nominations will receive the $20K grant funding. Everyone who submits a nomination will be entered into a drawing for a GoPro Prize Pack.

Help tend healing gardens at Crisis Care Center in Annandale, 14 April

The Crisis Care Center in Annandale is looking for volunteers to tend to its healing gardens (right next to the parking lot at Fairfax Hospital). You may remove debris (fallen branches, trash, leaves) and invasive plants, place mulch, add plant, harvest produce from a vegetable garden, and water. The Center will provide lunch.

No prior experience is necessary. Bring a hat, work gloves, sunscreen, bug spray, and water. Organizers suggest that you wear pants, long sleeved shirt, and sturdy shoes. Bring garden clippers and a digger if you have them. Since the CCC is a community treatment facility, volunteers will need to complete required paperwork when they arrive on-site. This will include an application gathering some basic information, criminal/cps history disclosure form (self report), role description, and confidentiality statement, as well as handouts to read. Volunteers can register on site when they arrive

Crisis Care Center

3300 Woodburn Rd

Annandale, VA, 22003

Saturday 14 April 2018

9 am-1 pm

For Fairfax Master Naturalists, this work counts toward Service Project S257

The healing gardens are a joint venture between Green Springs Gardens Master Gardeners and the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board. The gardens serve the residents of the CCC as a place to practice mindfulness and to find peace. Learn more

Find service opportunities with the Fairfax County Parks

New education, stewardship, and citizen science projects for Fairfax Master Naturalists have just been added to the Service Project Calendar. (If you are reading this and are not yet a naturalist, please consider applying for basic training.) You can also find opportunities by contacting the parks directly: Hidden Oaks, Huntley Meadows, Riverbend, Ellanor C. Lawrence, Frying Pan, Green Spring Gardens, Hidden Pond, and Cub Run RECenter all have opportunities for FMN members. Here’s a small sampling:

Spring-Fest at Historic Sully, 21 April, 9:45am–4pm – assist with interactive nature experiences at FCPA table

Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences, Hidden Oaks, 3, 4, 5, 6, 27 April; 1, 2, 3, 4 May 9:15am -1pm – assist at stations including stream studies, stewardship, benthic macroinvertebrate study or live animal exhibits for 7th grade classes

My Sky Tonight Campfire, 7 April, 7-9:30 pm, Hidden Oaks – assist with family campfire program about constellations

Touch this Fox, 28 April, 12-2:30, Hidden Oaks – assist with family program where participants can touch real specimens and bones, educate about taxidermy and specimen care, dissect an owl pellet

Habitat and Parkland Management, dates & times flexible – perform maintenance of trails and other natural resource protection projects, such as with native wildflower garden or storm damage cleanup

Animal care, dates & times flexible – feed and care for animals on exhibit.  Animal care volunteers are needed at Hidden Oaks, Hidden Pond, Ellanor C. Lawrence and Riverbend.

To volunteer for Hidden Oaks programs, contact Suzanne Holland, Suzanne.Holland@fairfaxcounty.gov or 703-941-1065.  For other locations, contact the nature center or park.

Did you miss the FMN March chapter meeting? Gotcha covered

The crowd at the 19 March chapter meeting at Hidden Oaks asked and got the answer to an important question: Can you eat the

mushroom called Amanita bisporigera (Destroying Angel)? The answer: Only once.

We can’t help with the voice track for the rest of the Q&A, but Penny Firth and Robin Firth have graciously allowed us to share their presentation, What’s That Mushroom?

Enjoy the fungi pix, and be sure not to miss the next FMN chapter meeting: Sunday, 20 May, 4.30-6 pm, St. Dustan’s Episcopal Church, 1830 Kirby Road, McLean. We’ll congratulate the spring 2018 graduates and hear from our community.

Lead a Pull of Invasive Garlic Mustard, 14 April, 10 am-2 pm, Riverbend 

Come enjoy Riverbend Bluebell Festival, which draws 300-500 people historically. While you’re there, get service hours by removing garlic mustard. Email Rita Peralta or call 703 759-9018 to volunteer

14 April 2018

10 am-2 pm

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

This activity counts toward service hours

Natural Discoveries, A Firsthand Account of Citizen Science

A Talk by Jim Waggener
Thursday, 12 April  
7.30 pm – 9.00 pm 
Green Spring Gardens
4603 Green Spring Road
Alexandria, VA 22312
Virginia Native Plant Society programs are free and open to the public.

Jim Waggener is a naturalist whose military career offered opportunities to travel and observe wildlife, as well as environmental consequences of human actions around the globe. After retiring, Jim began a study of flora and fauna on several public properties with important natural resources. When development threatened wetlands and unique meadows of an Army laboratory in Woodbridge, he organized the public campaign that led to creation of Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Similar work on Lorton Prison’s closure yielded conversion of a large private property on Mason Neck to the Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area. His survey — now in its 29th year and drawing volunteers from across the region — continues to document presence (and decline, possible absence) of birds, butterflies, dragonflies and plants at these sites in addition to Lorton/Laurel Hill-Occoquan Regional Park and the Metz Memorial Wetlands Preserve.

Jim founded and was longtime chair of the Prince William Natural Resources Council, and served on the board and as president of Fairfax Audubon Society/Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, for which he began the Audubon at Home project as well as writing and editing ASNV’s books: The Nature of Change and Birds in Northern Virginia. Jim and Joan Waggener reside in Alexandria Virginia.

Join Alonso Abugattas at Thompson Wildlife Management Area for Trillium Walk, 28 April

The Virginia Native Plant Society is sponsoring Alonso Abugattas, noted naturalist, ethno-botanist, and host of the Capital Naturalist blog as he leads a Trillium Walk at Thompson Wildlife Management Area on the east slope of the Shenandoahs, east of Front Royal. This site is recognized for the abundance of spring ephemerals, especially the native trilliums.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

9 am – 2 pm

If you are a Fairfax Master Naturalist, this activity counts toward continuing education credits

Learn more

Go Birding on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and Chincoteague Island

Enjoy special access to Wallops Island and other protected birding destinations, where you’ll learn from experts as you look for the region’s more than 400 species of birds. During the migratory season, millions of birds along the Atlantic Flyway “funnel” through a small area along Virginia’s Eastern Shore, where more than 400 species have been recorded. Explore the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge’s restricted back country on Chincoteague and Assateague islands with Chincoteague Bay Field Station.

The 6-day event costs $599. April and May are waitlisted; September and December are accepting applications.

If you are a Fairfax Master Naturalist, this activity counts toward continuing education credits

Learn more

April Activities at Huntley Meadows

Twilight Boardwalk

7 April 2018

7-9 pm

(6-Adult) Join a naturalist at Huntley Meadows Park on a guided tour through the forested paths to the wetland, and experience the park as it transitions from day into night. Watch and listen for beavers, owls and other nocturnal residents. The  cost is $9 per person. For more information, call 703-768-2525. Register online

 

Wetlands Spring to Life: Sketch Hike

21 April 2018

10 am-noon

(10-Adult) Join artist and naturalist Margaret Wohler to explore and sketch the wetland at Huntley Meadows Park as it wakes up for spring. Learn to identify and draw the first plants and animals that spring to life. Enhance your observation and sketching skills. The cost is $9 per person. For more information, call 703-768-2525. Register online

 

Get Ready for Warbler Migration

22 April 2018

8-11 am

(Adults) Learn or refresh your warbler calls and identification skills with this educational session at Huntley Meadows Park. Common warbler migrants of Huntley Meadows will be covered. The cost is $10 per person. For more information, call 703-768-2525. Register online

Learn more

 

Service opportunity: Help monitor beautiful Holmes Run Creek, in Annandale, 22 April

Valerie Bertha, a certified stream monitor, is looking for naturalists to help her observe the health of Holmes Run Creek, in Annandale.

Date and time: 22 April, Sunday, 9 am-noon. The group will meet at the end of Hockett Street, off of Annandale Road. If you have trouble finding the site, please call Valerie at 703-473-2789.

Please also RSVP to valerie.bertha@gmail.com by 15 April so that she knows how much equipment to borrow. Wear rain boots because you will be in the creek.

This service project receives credit for C020: NVSWCD Biological Stream Monitoring.