Meadow planting & Accotink Gorge walking tour, Nov. 10th

Accotink Gorge
7245 Fullerton Road, Springfield
Saturday, 10 November 2018
9am-1pm and 1:30-4:30 pm

Join Friends of Accotink Creek at this great volunteer opportunity! Bring trowels and shovels to help install a native meadow at a Fairfax County maintenance facility. Afterward take a walking tour of the adjacent scenic Accotink Gorge and spend some time along the way cutting back the alien invasive Chinese wisteria vines that are engulfing this biological gem. We recommend sturdy work shoes, long pants, and long sleeves. Water and work gloves will be available. Free event. RSVP and see this and other volunteer and educational opportunities by visiting the Friends of Accotink Creek calendar.

Stream monitoring, attend and learn Nov. 11th and Dec. 1st

Accotink Creek Stream Monitoring Workshop

Rutherford Park, 4743 Guinea Road, Fairfax VA

Sunday,  11 November 2018

10 am-12:30pm

Join the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD) and discover aquatic life at Rutherford Park! Sampling will take place at Long Branch, a tributary to Accotink Creek. 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. Registration is limited. RSVP to Ashley Palmer.

Broad Run Stream Monitoring Session

Bristow, VA

Saturday, 1 December 2018, 10:30am-12:30pm

Join a stream monitor at this adopted outdoors science lab to learn more about water quality for more awareness in Prince William County. Registration is limited. RSVP to Sonnie Cuffey.

Spotted Skunk Survey

Photo by Emily Thorne, VT.

Eastern spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius) populations are believed to have declined throughout much of their range in the eastern United States since the 1940s. Hypothesized declines have been attributed to habitat loss or change, increased competition with sympatric carnivore species, or diseases.

Lack of information regarding the spatial distribution and habitat associations of the eastern spotted skunk in Virginia dictates the need for increased ecological study regarding this species of concern. To better understand the current distribution of spotted skunks in Virginia, we aim to determine the species’ range boundaries and habitat associations throughout Virginia using baited remote-sensing cameras.

Eastern spotted skunk populations are not currently managed in the Commonwealth though the species has been rare or largely absent over the last few decades from areas where it was once abundant. Outcomes of this project will directly assist in the development of long-term, large scale monitoring as well as effective management and conservation assessments.

Participating volunteers will set up and monitor baited camera traps at sites with appropriate permissions and permits.

Interested VMN volunteers and chapters should contact Emily Thorne, the project leader. This season’s monitoring will begin in the winter (approximately February) and continue at least through April 2019. Camera stations will be established by February and checked at least once per week throughout the project.

A project proposal form that explains volunteer expectations and resources needed, a training webinar, project protocols, and other resources are all available on the Spotted Skunk Survey project page.

Fall service opportunities at Riverbend Park 

For questions or to volunteer, contact Valeria Espinoza at or 703-759-9018.

Record your hours as S109: FCPA Habitat and Parkland Management.

Thursday, Nov. 8, 1pm-TBD  Grass Seed Collection Training

Learn how to collect native grass seeds.  Once trained, you can do this at your convenience.  Other training dates/times available. 

Saturday, Nov. 10, 9-11am   Trail Work Day

Join master naturalist Scott Schroth on a hands-on trail restoration and erosion control project.  

Saturday, Nov. 17, 9-11am   Fall Tree Planting and Restoration

Assist in planting over 400 trees and shrubs, building cages, and removing invasives to help restore sections of the forest.

Trash Cleanup at Marumsco Creek, November 17th

On Saturday, 17 November 2018, partner with the Prince William County Parks & Recreation Department, Department of Public Works, and the Prince William Soil & Water Conservation District on a trash cleanup in the Woodbridge district. We’ll focus on Marumsco Creek, where it flows through Jefferson Park and Veteran’s Park. The cleanup will be part of a larger public outreach event on Plastics Pollution Prevention and Cleanup, with educational exhibits setup at Veterans Park. Learn more by visiting the event webpage and registering for the cleanup at Veteran’s Park and/or Jefferson Park.

Animal caretaker needed, Riverbend Park

Photo: Barbara J. Saffir (c)

Riverbend Park

8700 Potomac Hills St.
Great Falls, VA 22066

Do you love animals? Riverbed Park is seeking volunteers to help care for their display animals at the Visitor Center and the Nature Center. Duties include feeding, watering, cleaning tanks/enclosures and monitoring the animals. Learn about the natural history of reptiles and amphibians. Volunteers younger than 16 may be able to participate with an adult upon approval from the Animal Care Manager. Training is provided.  Interested?

Service opportunity: Vernal pool monitor

Huntley Meadows Park

3701 Lockheed Blvd., Alexandria, VA 22306

Do you enjoy muddy boots, long off-trail walks, and learning about the life cycles of amphibians? Then this is the volunteer opportunity for you!

Purpose: To monitor vernal pools, including flora and fauna. To record pool data, record and identify species, and determine breeding cycles.

Duties: Complete survey protocol every 2-3 weeks year round. Record environmental data using monitoring equipment and identify and count faunal species including egg masses, in accordance with protocol. Follow safety procedures.

Qualifications: Must have a strong interest in nature and the stewardship of Fairfax County. Ability to work independently, off-trail over uneven terrain for up to 4 miles, in a variety of weather conditions. Willingness to learn faunal identification, including egg masses and tadpoles. Ability and willingness to enter vernal pools to complete survey. Must complete the training program. Weekday availability. Must attend site orientation and on-the-job training as required. Volunteer and Outdoor Safety Training will be provided.

ContactHalley Johnson

More about this and other Huntley Meadow opportunities here. 

Master Naturalists:  This opportunity falls under a pre-approved service project in the Service Project Catalog on the website.  Record your hours as C106-FCPA Citizen Science Programs. This project covers data collection on wildlife populations, native plants or other natural resources for Fairfax County Park Authority’s nature centers, such as Huntley Meadows Park, and Fairfax County Park Authority’s Resource Management Division.

Saving the Earth one person at a time: Volunteer to staff a table for Plant NOVA Natives

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir (c)

Please sign up here to talk about the value of planting native plants with visitors to the Mount Vernon District Environment Expo: Saving the Earth One Person at a Time.

November 10, 2018
7:15 – 11:15 am

Post this lovely flyer where people might see it: enviroexpoposter-flyer-final

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