Help Save Blake Lane! Invasive management in October

Photo:  FMN Jennifer Pradas

Saturdays, October 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2022
10 am
Blake Lane Park parking lot
10033 Blake Ln, Oakton

Two years ago, a group of citizens saved Blake Lane from being turned into a school. Now they need to save the park from invasive plants. The area is covered with bittersweet, porcelain berry, wisteria, mile-a-minute, stilt grass, Japanese honeysuckle, and others. They need help pulling and digging. They also need help maintaining a pollinator garden that the Girl Scouts planted a few years ago.

Pollinator garden photo: FMN Jennifer Pradas

The site leader for the Fairfax County Park Invasive Management Area Program will be hosting a workday almost every Saturday in October at BLake Lane Park in Oakton. There will NOT be a workday on Oct 1. Volunteers are asked to bring gloves, water, a snack, bug spray and long pants.

They hope to see you there! Please let Jennifer Pradas know ahead of time if you are planning on coming.

Anti-Wisteria Expedition, October 31st

Image: courtesy of the Friends of Accotink Creek, Chinese Wisteria

October 31, 2022
9:30AM – 11:30AM

Accotink Gorge
Meet at treeline BEHIND
Dos Amigos Restaurant
7375 Boston Blvd
Springfield, VA 22153

Click here for more information and sign-up details.

THIS HALLOWEEN, BE PART OF THE HORROR SHOW THAT IS THE WISTERIA INFESTATION IN THE ACCOTINK GORGE. SURVIVE IF YOU CAN!
The Accotink Gorge is truly one of the most biodiverse locations, especially given its small size and proximity to development. However, if urgent action to remove Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria) vines which are rapidly killing its canopy trees is not taken soon, all of this will be irrevocably lost. Many beautiful native wildflowers are currently in bloom and the area is teeming with pollinators and birds. It is not too late to save this oasis, but it will be soon.

The Friends of Accotink Creek will lead a workday to reduce the Chinese Wisteria infestation threatening the unique biodiversity found in the Accotink Gorge.

Fairfax Parks Joins 2022 Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz, September 16th through September 25th

Photo: National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)

Article from the Fairfax County Park Authority, Park News September 7, 2022

The Fairfax County Park Authority is taking part in this year’s Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz and is actively looking for volunteers to participate. Parks for Pollinators is a national campaign focused on raising public awareness of the diversity and importance of pollinators as part of our ecosystem.

This volunteer event takes place Friday, Sept. 16 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. Participation in the BioBlitz is as easy as going outdoors in your neighborhood, backyard or local Fairfax County park, and snapping pictures of wild pants, insects, bats and hummingbirds using the iNaturalist app. iNaturalist is totally free and available as both a phone app and internet-based web app.

Volunteers can sign up on the Park Authority’s website and log observations in any of the 429 Fairfax County Park Authority parks. Registrants will receive links to virtual trainings and may log their volunteer hours through the Park Authority’s system. For more information about participation in this fun and engaging volunteer opportunity, visit the Fairfax County volunteer website.

The Parks for Pollinator BioBlitz is organized by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). For more information about pollinators and current threats facing them, please visit the National Recreation and Park Association’s Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz website.

Volunteer Days: Invasive species removal, Saturdays in October

Image/photo: Courtesy The Clifton Institute

Please click the date and time links below for more details and sign-up information.

Saturday, October 1, 9 – 12 am

Saturday, October 8, 9 – 12 am

Saturday, October 22, 9 – 12 am

The Clifton Institute
6712 Blantyre Road, Warrenton, VA
38.775154, -77.798197

Date and time subject to change dependent on weather. Please check your email for updates on the morning of the event.

Mason Neck State Park’s Pollinator Gardens Need TLC

Photo: Margaret Fisher

Mason Neck State Park
7301 High Point Road, Lorton VA

The Park has three pollinator gardens filled with native plants that attract and nourish pollinators. All three gardens need some help. The Park needs volunteers to help weed and mulch the gardens and to keep the more aggressive native and invasive plants  under control. Can you give the gardens some help on a continuing basis or just once on a workday?

Send them an email at FriendsofMasonNeckStatePark@gmail.com and they’ll connect you with Friends and Park Staff who are working to keep the gardens beautiful.

NABA Butterfly Count, September 17th

Saturday, September 17, 2022
9 am – 4 pm; suggested $3 donation to participate
Volunteers are assigned a 15-mile diameter count area

Register for count here.

Live identification webinar Thursday, September 15 at 7 pm
Register for webinar here.

The Butterfly Count is an ongoing program of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) to census the butterflies of North America (United States, Canada and partially Mexico) and to publish the results. Volunteer participants are assigned a count area with a 15-mile diameter. The volunteers conduct a one-day census of all butterflies sighted within that circle.

Volunteers can either sign up for a live butterfly identification webinar with Larry Meade on Thursday, Sept 15 or request a video from the last session for free by emailing tina@audubonva.org.

Volunteers of all experience levels are welcome! Every team will be led by an expert. Participants are encouraged to stay with their team for the duration of the event. A tally rally will take place at 4:00 PM at Belle Haven Pizzeria at 1401 Belle Haven Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22307.

This count is organized by Larry Meade.

Larry Meade is president of the Northern Virginia Bird Club and a member of the ASNV Adult Education Committee. He is a frequent bird walk leader and has been involved in numerous Audubon Christmas Bird Counts and NABA Butterfly Counts. He is the compiler of the Alexandria Circle NABA Butterfly Count.

Do Your Part! Sign Up for a Watershed Cleanup Day

Photo: Fairfax County Park Authority

Grab a bag and go on a trash scavenger hunt as the Fairfax County Park Authority hosts Watershed Cleanup Days once again this fall.

Join with family, friends, neighbors or colleagues to lend a hand to the Earth. We need your help to remove tires, bottles, cans and other debris from local waterways. Helping to clear the Earth’s vital arteries is a great community volunteer project for service groups and students. All ages are welcome.

Cleanup events kick off on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, at Lake Fairfax Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and runs throughout October at a variety of Fairfax County locations. The sites include:

  • Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022 at Lake Fairfax Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022 at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park from 9 to 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022 at Oak Marr Rec Center from 9:30 to 11 a.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022 at Lake Accotink Park from 9 to 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022 at Scott’s Run Nature Preserve from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022 at Providence Rec Center from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Additional sites may still be added. For a complete listing and to sign up as an individual volunteer, visit the Volunteer in Parks webpage. Groups, please call the site of your choice directly.

For general information, contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8700 or via email at parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Knowledgeable Bluebird Monitors Sought to Help Staff the Virginia Bluebird Society’s Educational Table, August 6th – 7th

Photo: Virginia Bluebird Society

When: Saturday, August 6, 10am-7pm and Sunday, August 7, 10am-4pm
It would be best to have 2 people per shift; suggested shifts are:
Shift 1: Saturday 10am -1pm
Shift 2: Saturday 1pm – 4pm
Shift 3: Saturday 4pm – 7pm
Shift 4: Sunday 10am – 1pm
Shift 5: Sunday 1pm – 4pm

Where: Fairfax County 4-H Fair and Carnival https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/frying-pan-park/4-h-fair
Rides, games, food, animal exhibits!
Frying Pan Farm Park
2709 West Ox Road
Herndon, VA 20171

Contact: Glenys Mulholland glenysmulholland@msn.com for more information or if you are interested in volunteering.

Duties:

  • Answer questions from the public about bluebirds, monitoring, or trails.
  • Hand out VBS informational materials.
  • Help kids with crafts or educational games (materials will be provided).
  • Park supplies 6 ft. table, 2 chairs, and a tent.
  • Covid-19 guidance at the time of the Fair will be followed.


Record service hours under Birds – C034: Bluebird Trails — VA Bluebird Society.

Help Tackle Invasive Plants with Friends of Dyke Marsh (FODM), July & August

Photo: Janet Quinn, Invasive plants
Saturdays, July 16 and 30, August 13 and 27, 2022
9:00-11:00am

Dyke Marsh, Alexandria
Haul Road Trail directions and parking information – click here.
(GPS coordinates: 38.777739, -77.050540)

For more events and information click here.

Help protect native plants by pulling and clipping invasive plants. FODM will train volunteers to identify the five or so target plants. Sign up by sending an email to info@fodm.org. Put “invasive plants” in the subject box Invasive plants can threaten and outcompete native plants.

Eakin Park Habitat Restoration, July 16th & 23rd

Photo: Courtesy of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Saturdays July 16 and 23, 2022
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Eakin Park
8515 Tobin Road,
Annandale 22003

For more information and to sign up click here.

Help with habitat restoration by removing exotic invasive species from the trees and ground within this neighborhood park.