Animal Care, Native Plants & More at Hidden Oaks

Hidden Oaks Nature Center is a great place to volunteer!  It has welcoming staff, training and support, and flexible scheduling.  To top it off, there’s a warm feeling for friendship and belonging, often expressed at volunteer socials and get-togethers.  Come join us!

Visitor Information Desk – Volunteers needed Saturdays & Sundays, 12-5 pm.  Greet visitors and orient them to the exhibits, park and programs.

Native Plant Gardener – Through October, includes weeding and occasionally watering or mulching the space, weekly or every other week.  Fairfax Master Naturalists’ support is recognized with a permanent sign in the garden!

Animal care:  Dates & times flexible – feed and care for animals on exhibit.

Scout Merit Badge Programs:  Assist staff naturalists in leading scout merit badge programs, such as Environmental Science, Mammal Study, Reptile & Amphibian, Wonders of Water, Sustainability.

To volunteer, contact Suzanne Holland, or call 703-941-1065.

Hidden Oaks Nature Center  7701 Royce St., Annandale VA

Write articles for FCPA ResOURces newsletter (yes, for credit)

If you enjoy writing about the natural world, and want to educate and inspire visitors to Fairfax County parks, consider becoming a volunteer journalist. In this capacity, you’ll choose a recreation center or park site and learn as much as you can about it. When you’re ready and the deadlines are within reach, you will write articles for the ResOURces newsletter. (And earn service hours–good deal in the wintertime, especially). Code EO12

Interested? Contact Tammy Schwab

Potomac Conservancy Native Tree Planting, October 20th

Saturday, 20 October 18


Stonegate Park, Frederick, MD

Volunteer opportunity! Do your part to stop pollution and restore our hometown river by spending a fall morning planting trees! Bring your friends and family and join Team Potomac and Stream-Link Education as they plant 200 trees at Stonegate Park in Frederick, MD on Saturday, October 20! You know that trees and fresh air go hand-in-hand, but trees are also a river’s best friend. Our healthy forested lands protect the water we drink and the river we love. Learn about the essential link between trees and healthy rivers while getting tips on how to plant your own trees at home and enjoying the great outdoors. Learn more details about the event and register.

Improve wildlife habitat with Northern Virginia Conservation Trust

The Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (NVCT) sponsors volunteer events that take place on properties that they own or on properties that have conservation easements on them throughout Northern VA. Volunteers help remove  invasive species, plant trees, and clean up trash.

The goal is to improve the wildlife habitat on these properties, and improve the water quality within the watersheds where many of these properties are located. Through these projects, NVCT hopes to educate and motivate Northern Virginians to plant native species, protect wildlife habitat, identify and remove invasive species, and simply enjoy nature.

Events are usually scheduled on the weekends. See calendar and Meet-up site, and FMN service project calendar. Most events last for two hours and take place between September and May.

No training or experience is required before participating in one of our events. The staff person on-hand will provide any training before the event starts. Volunteers should dress appropriately (long pants, long sleeves, hats, sturdy shoes), gloves/hand tools (if they have them), water, and snack. NVCT will bring any necessary equipment and supplies.

Help plant natives this Sunday, October 7th

Mount Vernon Government Center

2511 Parkers Lane, Alexandria, VA

Sunday. 7 October 2018

4-6 pm

Join in a fall planting event in the newly established gardens at the Mount Vernon Government Center!  The group will be installing native plants in the front planting beds that were established this past spring.

They will also continue with some weeding of the planting beds as time allows.

Bring your favorite garden tool(s), gloves, snack and a bottle of water.
Since you will be working in the gardens please dress appropriately for this type of work including a hat, sunscreen, long sleeve shirt and long pants, and good shoes for working outdoors.

For questions and to register, contact Cathy Ledec.

Fairfax County Parks Watershed Clean Up Day, October 13th

Saturday, 13 October 2018
Multiple locations
Do your part to clean up our parks and local waterways by registering to participate in a Watershed Clean Up Day event. Volunteers are needed from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Cub Run RECenter, Hidden Pond Nature Center, Huntley Meadows Park, Lake Accotink Park, Lincolnia Park, Riverbend Park and Scotts Run. For details and to sign up, call the site or visit the website. This a great activity for community and scout groups to earn service hours. For information about clean-ups at non-staffed sites, contact Julie Tahan at 703-324-8740.

What’s in these streams? Come find out!

Ever wonder what’s living in our local streams? Join a stream monitoring team and help gauge local water quality by surveying aquatic organisms living on the stream bottom. Led by certified stream monitors, the teams welcome interested observers and offer an opportunity to explore Northern Virginia’s lovely creeks.

NVSWCD Sugarland Run Stream Monitoring Workshop
When: Saturday, 6 October 2018, 10 am-12:30pm
Where: Sugarland Run Stream Valley Park, Herndon

Registration is required and limited. Register by email to Ashley Palmer at, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District Conservation Education Specialist.

Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Stream Monitoring Session
When: Sunday, 7 October 2018, 10:30am-12:30pm
Where: Goose Creek

Limit 7. Registration required. The exact location will be sent to registered participants closer to the date. The rain date for this event is October 14. Contact for registration and questions.

Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Stream Monitoring Session
When: Sunday, 14 October 2018, 9-11am
Where: Waterford

Limit 7. Registration required. The exact location will be sent to registered participants closer to the date. The rain date for this event is October 21. Contact for registration and questions.

Reston Association Stream Monitoring Workshop
When: Saturday, 20 October 2018, 1-4pm
Where: Reston
Get involved with a small team to collect data and identify insects with the goal of assessing the health of Reston’s stream. Not only do you get to learn about streams, it also provides an opportunity to make new friends. Learn more and register.
Holmes Run Stream Monitoring Session
When: Sunday, 21 October 2018, 9am-12pm
Where: Falls Church
Join a volunteer certified stream monitor as she assesses ecological conditions in streams, based on the presence and abundance of bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Registration is required and limited. Register by email to Valerie Bertha.
Hidden Pond Stream Monitoring Session
When: Saturday, November 3, 9:00am-12:00pm
Where: Springfield
Join a volunteer certified stream monitor as she assesses ecological conditions in streams, based on the presence and abundance of bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Registration is required and limited to 5 registrants. Register by email to Susan Demsko.

Volunteer at the Virginia State Fair

Volunteers are needed to help with the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD) and Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF), or Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) exhibit booths at the Virginia State Fair, which runs from Sept 28th-Oct. 7th at Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Virginia.


  • Interactive Watershed Address/Soil Water Conservation District Map
  • Mini Mock Dominion Envirothon Program
  • Virginia Conservation Assistance Program Educational Outreach Tools
  • Interactive stream table
  • Prescribed fire information
  • Kids activities

All workers will receive a free fair entrance ticket. There are two time slots for each day 9:45-2:00pm & 1:45-6:00pm, with the goal of having 4 people for each time slot.

To sign up for VASWCD/VDOF booth, please visit the Signup Genius please choose the VASWCD Booth or additional volunteer slot as where you are signing up.

To sign up for the DEQ booth, go to  and then email your preferred mailing address to so she can mail you your entrance tickets.

Become a Wildlife Rescue League transporter

Wildlife Rescue League operates a wildlife hotline in the Northern Virginia and surrounding areas to inform the help them find a wildlife rehabilitator. WRL also educates the public about the natural history of native wildlife, coexisting with it, and preventing the need for wildlife rehabilitation.

WRL has two types of support needs: transport and hotline support.

Transport volunteers are needed for:

  • Short, ad hoc trips
  • Long, scheduled trips between rehabilitators
  • Daily pick-ups from the Fairfax Animal Shelter

This project is year round, although Spring and Summer have a greater transport volume.

Hotline volunteers:

Retreive messages left by the public, shelter, or veterinarian’s office in a voice messaging system (VMS). The volunteer will return the call, providing advice or a referall to a wildlife rehabilitator. Volunteers work designated shifts from their own homes calling into the VMS. WRL asks volunteers to commit to signing up for 3-4 two to two and a half hour shifts per month.

This project is year round and takes place in the volunteer’s home or anywhere they have access to a phone and internet.

(Service code: consolidated with S081)

Earth Sangha Fall Native Plant Sale– September 30th

Earth Sangha Wild Plant Nursery

6100 Cloud Drive in Franconia Park, Springfield VA

Sunday, 30 September 2018

9 am – 12 pm

Many folks could not attend last week’s sale so Earth Sangha is having a second sale!

Fall is really the best time to visit the nursery. In the Spring, the plants are still emerging from winter dormancy, and Earth Sangha cannot offer as many species. The Fall, as experienced gardeners know, is also the best time to plant. Trees, shrubs, and perennials like the cooler weather and greater rainfall lets them establish robust roots. Late blooming annuals can make great additions to your garden, and many will “volunteer” from seed next year. Click here for the Wild Plant Nursery Species List.

If you are interest in volunteering at the sale, please email Katherine Isaacson at  There will be a morning shift (9:30 to Noon) and an afternoon shift (Noon to 2:30).