Plant NOVA Trees Event Volunteers Needed

Plant NOVA Natives was launched in 2014 to promote and increase the use of locally native plants in Northern Virginia. One of nine campaigns within the state-wide Plant Virginia Natives marketing partnership, it is a grand coalition of governmental, nonprofit and for-profit organizations that have pooled their resources to work toward this common goal. The campaign’s success rests on the action of the millions of individuals who make up our Northern Virginia community.

Plant NOVA Trees is a new and focused drive by the Plant NOVA Natives campaign to significantly increase and preserve the native tree canopy in Northern Virginia. The drive will launch in September 2021 and continue through the fall of 2026.

They are looking for people who can organize some kind of tree-related public event sometime this fall. To launch the native tree campaign, they will be sponsoring a region-wide Celebration of Trees, September through November. They are hoping that numerous people in every county will help them create buzz.

Some ideas for events include:

Tree walks (For the general public, you would want to make it short, snappy and fun.)
Tree plantings (be sure to report them on My Tree Counts)
Removing invasives that threaten trees
Webinars
Labelling trees with their names or placing signs in front of trees describing their particular benefits to wildlife and humans
Creating a GPS map of your community’s trees
Collecting seeds from your trees to be sent to the state nursery that grows seedlings
Forest bathing, scavenger hunts
Tie yellow ribbons around old oak trees (and red ones around red maples, etc)
Geocaching
Fairy houses in the woods
Photo contests
Anything creative you can come up with!

They have a sign to mail to organizers as well as brochures, and where selling their Native Plants for Northern Virginia guides is an option, they can provide those. If you do put on an event, they would love to add it to their Celebration of Trees event calendar, so please let Margaret Fisher know at plantnovanatives@gmail.com.

The Fairfax Chapter recognizes the valuable work to be done by Plant NOVA Trees and recently donated $2,500 to the campaign. Funds will be used for promoting awareness of the program and for community tree identification projects. You may make your own donation here.

Visitor Desk and Vernal Pools opportunities at Huntley Meadows Park!

Photos courtesy of Halley Johnson

Huntley Meadows Park with its beautiful wetlands and boardwalk is a great place to volunteer!

Opportunities include the visitor information desk and vernal pools surveys.  Huntley Meadows relies on volunteers and these activities are critical needs.

  1. Volunteer-On-Duty (VOD) at the visitor information desk

    Welcome visitors to Huntley Meadows!  Assist them in enjoying the park and understanding it’s resources.  Communicate and interact with people of all ages.  Seeking a commitment of two 4-hour shifts per month for one year.

Detailed project description attached here.

Contact Halley Johnson, Volunteer Coordinator, alexandra.johnson@fairfaxcounty.gov.
FMNS, record hours as E111: FCPA Nature Center Visitor Information Desk

  1. Vernal Pool Surveyor

    “Adopt” a vernal pool and monitor flora and fauna, every 2-3 weeks year-round.  Surveys are conducted on weekdays during park operating hours, usually between 9am-3pm.  One year training program provided, shadowing experienced vernal pool surveyor. 

Detailed project description attached here.

Contact Halley Johnson, Volunteer Coordinator, alexandra.johnson@fairfaxcounty.gov.
FMNs, record hours as C106: FCPA Citizen Science Programs

NVCT Kayak Cleanup, June 13th

Hunting Creek watershed adjacent to I-495
Sunday, June 13, 2021
Two sessions: 10am – Noon OR 11am – 1pm
Each participant must register.

Help Northern Virginia Conservation Trust clean up the Hunting Creek watershed adjacent to Interstate 495! The trash and debris that pile in from the Potomac River and Cameron Run harms the environment and hinders outdoor activity around the area. They hope you’ll jump in a kayak or canoe and join them for their annual cleanup. Kayak rentals are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Plant NOVA Natives Needs Volunteers!

Plant NOVA Natives encourages residents as well as public and commercial entities to install native plants as the first step toward creating wildlife habitat and functioning ecosystems on their own properties. Lots of volunteers are needed!

Please email plantnovanatives@gmail.com if you can help with any of the following positions:

More people to help put their red Virginia Native stickers on plants at conventional nurseries. A very fun way to learn about plants!

For their upcoming five year native tree campaign:

Put on a launch event in September or October– Can you arrange a tree-related events (plantings, talks, walks, giveaways, etc.) during that period? They would like to advertise multiple events all over Northern Virginia.

Help with the legwork for their launch period –  They need someone to correspond with potential event organizers and put it all onto a calendar.

App creator– Can you create a very simple app to pair with the My Trees Count website? They will be asking people to record their tree plantings (in fact people can record them now) on the state website and would like an app to make it more mobile friendly.

Social media volunteers – They need one or two people to take the lead on regular postings on various social media sites.

Someone to send press releases – They need an ongoing “press office” to collect contact info for all the local media outlets then send them occasional press releases, starting with our launch month.

Cicada Safari, Smartphone mapping app for citizen science

Photo by Yuri Vasconcelos on Unsplash

Join Cicada Safari to help map the 2021 emergence of the periodical cicada Brood X.  Simply download the free app from the Apple app store or Google play, then go on a safari to find periodical cicadas.  Photograph and submit the periodical cicadas to Cicada Safari, and after the photos are verified, they will be posted to the live map. Cicada Safari was created by Dr. Gene Kritsky working with the Center for IT Engagement at  Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati.

More information here.

Earth Sangha seeks Volunteers Six Days a Week

6100 Cloud Dr. Springfield, VA
Sundays- Fridays
9 am to Noon
Must sign up here.

Just in the first 5 weeks since Earth Sangha opened up its Wild Plant Nursery for the Spring season, they’ve supplied over 325 curbside pickup and Self-Service Sunday orders.

As they send out their local-ecotype native plants to their permanent homes, they’re just as busy growing new ones to take their places. Of course, these take some time to get ready: to sow the seed, pot seedlings up, or divide overcrowded pots.

Volunteers can help with a wide variety of tasks and do not need to have any previous experience!

City Nature Challenge: Upload and Identify Observations! Tuesday May 4 through Saturday, May 9

Wednesday May 5, 7-9pm: Virtual Event: ID Party. Work together to identify DC area City Nature Challenge observations! You’ll learn ID tips and iNaturalist power user techniques.  Register here.

Save the Date!  Monday May 10, 7-8:30pm: Virtual Event: City Nature Challenge Celebration.   A festive virtual gathering to celebrate the discoveries! Once scheduled, details will be revealed here.

See the Resources page for recordings of last year’s virtual events. 

All observations April 30 through May 3 will count for the City Nature Challenge if they are made within the green line on this map:

DC Area City Nature Challenge 2021 Training and Participation Information

Monday, April 12, 2021
12 noon
Virtual Live Intro to the DC Area City Nature Challenge

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
7 pm
Virtual Live Intro to the DC Area City Nature Challenge

These videos and other recorded resources are available here.

Between April 30th and May 9th, people in the Washington DC metro area and around the world will be participating in a global citizen science event, the City Nature Challenge, to document urban biodiversity. We’ll be looking for signs of life in local parks, waterways, backyards, front stoops, and our neighborhoods. If you have an interest in learning more about local plants and animals, have access to a camera (and the internet), you can contribute to this exciting project. We’ll be using the iNaturalist app platform to document observations.

There will be two introductory sessions on the City Nature Challenge and how to get involved. They’ll cover Challenge basics, use of the iNaturalist app as a citizen science activity, and places to explore in the DMV. The City Nature Challenge offers a great way to connect to the great outdoors and put the Washington DC area’s amazing nature on the map. You can participate individually or with family and safely distanced friends.

These programs are organized by Capital Nature with The Nature Conservancy Maryland/DC Chapter and many other partners who are participating in the 2021 DC Area City Nature Challenge.

citynaturechallengedc.org

Global Big Day, May 8, 2021

Black-crowned Night-heron; photo (c) John C. Mittermeier

Be a part of birding’s biggest team! Global Big Day is an annual celebration of the birds around you. No matter where you are, join us virtually on 8 May and share the birds you find with eBird.

Participating is easy—you can even be part of Global Big Day from home. If you can spare 5 or 10 minutes, report your bird observations to eBird online or with our free eBird Mobile app. If you have more time, submit checklists of birds throughout the day. You never know what you might spot. Your observations help us better understand global bird populations through products like these animated abundance maps brought to you by eBird Science.

Last year, Global Big Day brought more birders together virtually than ever before. More than 50,000 people from 175 countries submitted a staggering 120,000 checklists with eBird, setting a new world record for a single day of birding. Will you help us surpass last year’s records? However you choose to participate, please continue to put safety first and follow your local guidelines.

Learn more.

33rd Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup, April 10th

The Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup has become a decisive catalyst for progress that ignites people’s interest and passion for the environment and community action. The largest regional event of its kind, the Cleanup provides a transforming experience that engages residents and community leaders and generates momentum for change. The Potomac River Watershed Cleanup has grown from a small shoreline cleanup at Piscataway National Park to a watershed wide network. What started as a few cleanup events along the Potomac River is now a regional event spanning Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Learn more here.