Let’s Rev it Up with R3

FMN would like to re-announce a program that supports Fairfax County Schools. In fact, some schools may already be participating in this program so “Rev it Up for 2023” maybe more appropriate. At any rate, FMN has been provided with a revitalized R3 operating guide and volunteers may earn service hours for their efforts planning, planting, and maintaining gardens specific to this program.

FMN Stewardship service code –

S177: FCPS Revitalize, Restore, Repurpose (R3) Program — FCPS

The focus of this program is to provide support to Fairfax County Public School’s Revitalize, Restore, Repurpose (R3) Program.  FMN members are needed to support Fairfax County Storm Water Management (FCSWM) ecologists responsible for working with the schools on these outdoor classrooms.  FMN members will assist with educating students about stormwater management and provide support maintaining the gardens once FCSWM and the school completes the initial installation. Maintenance generally includes: providing guidance to the students and schools for long term care, and regular weeding to keep the site in good condition, cutting back dead growth to allow for new growth every winter/early spring, and to provide specialized support as needed by each school and site.

If you have questions please contact:
FMN coordinator – Jessica Fish [email protected]
FCSWM Manager – Dionna Bucci [email protected]

For general information read about the R3 program.

For information tailored to FMN participants, please contact Jessica.

Help Control Invasive Plants with the Friends of Dyke Marsh, February 4th & 18th and March 4th & 18th

Photo: Courtesy of National Park Service, Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve 

Saturdays, February 4 and 18 and March 4 and 18, 2023
10:00 AM

Meet at the Haul Road Trail entrance bulletin board.
GPS coordinates: 38.777739, -77.050540

South of Alexandria off the GW Memorial Parkway at
the sign for Dyke Marsh Nature Preserve and Belle Haven Marina,
turn east onto the road toward the Potomac River. Take the first
left and park in the Belle Haven Park lot. Walk back to the marina
road and turn east, toward the river. Walk 30 yards. On your right
is a Dyke Marsh sign and the entrance to the Haul Road trail.

Sign up by sending an email to [email protected]


Join the Friends of Dyke Marsh at 10 a.m. on these dates and help tackle invasive plants: February 4 and 18 and March 4 and 18.

Meet at the Haul Road Trail entrance bulletin board. Bring water, gloves, hand clippers and a lopper, if you have one. We will supply instructions, examples of targeted plants and trash bags. We will have a few hand clippers and loppers to share. Wear long sleeves and pants and sturdy shoes.

Sign up by sending an email to [email protected] and put “Invasive Plants” in the subject box. Indicate your preferred date(s). We kindly ask that you not bring pets.

Welcome Fairfax Tree Stewards

Cover photo: Public Domain

In January 2023, the FMN board approved a chapter partnership with Fairfax Tree Stewards (FTS). FTS is an educational, non-profit, volunteer organization providing specialized training and certification focusing on trees. It is a program under the auspices of Trees Virginia, registered with the state as Virginia Urban Forest Council and is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the quality of life through the Stewardship of our Commonwealth’s urban and community trees. Founded in September 1990 and incorporated in June 1991, the organization works to promote an awareness of our community forests and the value of trees. Approved chapters, such as FTS, use the newly updated Manual to form the basis of training classes, and FTS will supplement book learning with hands on field classes on tree selection, tree planting, tree pruning and tree ID by season.
The first FTS certification class, scheduled for February 2023, is full and includes a few FMNs. FTS is an approved CE organization and service codes for collaborative projects have been created in BI for use by FMN volunteers as projects develop.

Habitat creation and restoration – E405: Educational Projects Fairfax Tree Stewards – – FTS
Educational project code for Fairfax Tree Stewards (FTS).
Educational Projects could be advising a homeowner or association on proper tree selection and planting, education about maintenance, developing resource lists, or FTS tabling events at selected locations in Fairfax County.
When recording these hours in BI, ‘FTS’ should be entered as the Project Organization.

Habitat creation and restoration – S405: Stewardship Projects Fairfax Tree Stewards – – Department of Forestry (VDoF)
Stewardship project code for Fairfax Tree Stewards (FTS).
Stewardship Projects could be helping a homeowner or association with proper physical design, planting, tree pruning, or maintenance, at selected locations in Fairfax County.
When recording these hours in BI, ‘Department of Forestry (VDoF)’ should be entered as the Project Organization.

To participate in FTS projects, one must be a certified Fairfax Tree Steward along with being an FMN member.

Please see FTS website for more information.

FMN and FTS contact is Jeanne Kadet: [email protected]

UPDATE- new training location: The National Park Service (NPS) Needs Volunteers to Help Save the GWM Parkway’s Trees, January 21st

Photo: FMN J. Quinn

Saturday, January 21, 2023

New Location: Fort Hunt Park
8999 Fort Hunt Rd,
Alexandria, VA 22308


To Attend the training please register here.

The National Park Service (NPS) needs volunteers to help remove English ivy from many trees along the south GW Memorial Parkway.

Mireya Stirzaker, NPS Natural Resources Specialist, will hold a volunteer training on January 21 at 10 a.m. at NPS’s Collingwood Park/Picnic Area on the east side of the parkway.

What’s Involved

Mireya will help people learn how to remove ivy, designate safe areas in which to work and supervise at least one session.  NPS can provide some tools and supplies.

To attend the training, register at https://forms.office.com/g/WM8XykN9LG.  On January 21, dress warmly in layers, wear sturdy shoes and bring water. You can volunteer once or multiple times.

Ivy’s Harm

Invasive English ivy is a perennial, aggressive plant that covers the ground, crowds out valuable native plants and climbs up trees.

It can smother a tree’s bark and block the sunlight needed for photosynthesis.

Trees weighed down with ivy vines are more susceptible to toppling during rain, snow and ice storms.

Around 20 percent of the parkway’s plants are not native, according to NPS biologists. Most invasive, introduced from other areas accidentally and deliberately have few controls, form monocultures, impair biodiversity and destroy native habitats.

Why Care about the Parkway’s Trees

Trees sequester carbon, reduce other pollution, stem stormwater runoff, reduce cooling costs and provide habitat for birds and other wildlife.

The parkway is losing trees because of, for example, the invasive emerald ash borer.  The Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve alone could lose around 1,000 ash trees.

Many oaks are suffering too.  Over-abundant deer eat young saplings which alters forest succession, prevents regeneration of plants and impairs biodiversity.

A Memorial Parkway

In 1928, Congress authorized the construction of the Mount Vernon Memorial Parkway to honor the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth.  Planners created a design that includes forested areas, minimizes signs and lights and prohibits billboards.  It is intentionally a slow-speed parkway and trail of natural, historic and recreational sites in over 7,000 acres of parkland, our national park.

Healthy, native trees are an integral part of that design and consistent with Congress’s intent.


Winter Waterfowl Count, February 11th and 12th

Photo: Huntley Meadows ducks by FMN Ana Ka’ahanui

Saturday and Sunday, February 11-12, 2023
7:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Where: To be Announced
Members: FREE
Non-members: FREE

Registration required.

The Winter Waterfowl Count is a citizen science effort organized by Audubon Society of Northern Virginia to track data about winter waterfowl. This survey complements the Christmas Bird Count, and the data is shared openly with the public. When it started in 2008, ASNV volunteers covered the Potomac River from Algonkian Regional Park in Loudoun County to Quantico Marine Base in Prince William County, as well as many inland bodies of water. In 2020 ASNV expanded the survey by to include areas along the Potomac River in King George and Westmoreland Counties down to the mouth of the Potomac River where it empties into Chesapeake Bay. See the results from last year’s count here.

Although we expect many veterans from past years to return, we can always use new volunteers. Beginners are welcome but we strongly encourage them to attend the Duck and Waterfowl Identification webinar on February 2 and participate in the field trip on February 4. Each volunteer will be assigned to a team led by an experienced birder. Each team determines the start time, which will vary between 7 and 8:30am. End times may also vary depending on assigned survey locations.

This count is organized by Larry Cartwight. The deadline to register is Thursday, February 9 at 9:00 PM so that you can be assigned to a team in time for the count on Saturday morning.

Larry Cartwright is an avid birder and leads several avian related surveys in Northern Virginia. He lectures on birds and birding for the Lifetime Learning Institute at Northern Virginia Community College. His lecture topics have included the evolution of birds from feathered theropod dinosaurs and birding in the Alaskan tundra. Larry has received several awards from scientific and conservation organizations, including the Virginia Society of Ornithology’s Jackson M. Abbott Conservation Award for 2013.

For FMN’s: Record service hours under ASNV– C036: ASNV Waterfowl Count – Audubon Society of Northern Virginia.  Please include project details in the notes section when entering service hours.

Trash Cleanup Along the Potomac River Shoreline and in Dyke Marsh, January 16th

Photo: A Dyke Marsh inlet by Ned Stone.

Help collect trash along the Potomac River shoreline and in Dyke Marsh on Martin Luther King Day of Service, January 16, at 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Register at https://forms.office.com/g/rPAPXU4DLV

On January 16, go to one of two check-in stations:  one near the Belle Haven Park south parking lot and one at the Haul Road trail bulletin board. The National Park Service and the Friends of Dyke Marsh (FODM) will provide some gloves, tools, trash bags and hand sanitizer.

Wear a pair of sturdy shoes, long pants and sleeves, gloves and sun protection. Bring water.  FODM kindly ask that you not bring pets.

Help Control Invasive Plants with the Friends of Dyke Marsh – January, February and March

Photo: Earth Sangha

Join the Friends of Dyke Marsh (FODM) at 10 a.m. on these dates and help tackle invasive plants: January 7 and 16, February 4 and 18 and March 4 and 18.

Meet at the Haul Road Trail entrance bulletin board. Bring water, gloves, hand clippers and a lopper, if you have one. FODM will supply instructions, examples of targeted plants and trash bags. They will have a few hand clippers and loppers to share. Wear long sleeves and pants and sturdy shoes.

Sign up by sending an email to [email protected] and put “Invasive Plants” in the subject box. Indicate your preferred date(s). They kindly ask that you not bring pets.

Volunteers Sought for Frying Pan Farm Park

Photo: Fairfax County Park Authority

Frying Pan Farm Park
2739 West Ox Rd, Herndon

Frying Pan Farm Park is installing a beetle bank / pollinator strip between a pasture fence and the vegetable garden.  The Beetle Bank will provide overwintering habitat for beneficial insects, as well as pathway for visitors to enjoy.  The park would appreciate one or two volunteers to be the point people to maintain the garden.  Tasks would include weeding – especially during the summer, coordinating donations of echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower) plants this fall or next spring, and mulching in the fall.  If you are interested, please email: [email protected]gov

Stream Cleanups, Invasive Removal and Habitat Restoration, and Stream Monitoring Activities for November and December

Photo: Stream monitoring, Pohick Creek.  by J. Quinn

Stream Cleanups

There are dozens of calls for community action and volunteering, particularly for stream cleanups across the county and region, but here is one you may be interested in.


Join these efforts to track biodiversity in the region by conducting surveys, monitoring nests, and more!

Invasive Removal and Habitat Restoration

Join these efforts to remove invasive species, repair trails, and otherwise beautify natural spaces!

  • Habitat Restoration- Friends of Accotink Creek – Klub Kudzu- reoccurring Mon/Thu/Fri in November and December, varying times and locations

  • Habitat Restoration Eakin Park – Friends of Accotink Creek– Saturdays December 3/10, Eakin Park in Annandale 

  • Invasive Plant Removal- Plant NOVA Natives– Tree Rescuers vine ID hands-on training opportunity- Wednesdays/Saturdays in November, varying times and locations

  • Invasive Plant Removal –Friends of Dyke Marsh– November 19 and December 3/17,10:00am- 12:00pm

Stream Monitoring

*NVSWCD Supervised Event*

VASOS Field Exam for Stream Monitoring Certification
When: Friday, November 11, from 3:00-5:00pm OR Saturday, November 12, from 1:00-3:00pm
Where: Wolftrap Creek Stream Valley Park, Vienna
This event is for volunteers taking the field exam only! If you are interested in becoming a certified stream monitor, click here for detailed steps and FAQs. Although it is not required, it is highly recommended to attend a workshop to get some field experience before taking this exam.

More Training and Stream Monitoring Opportunities

The Northern Virginia Water and Soil Conservation District (NVSWCD) is very excited to contribute their stream data to state and national datasets. If you’d like to see data from all the NVSWCD regional stream monitoring team’s active sites, you can find our organization on the Clean Water Hub. Keep in touch with NVSWCD on our Facebook and Instagram.


ASNV Project FeederWatch Workshop with Greg Butcher, November 22nd

Photo: Northern Cardinal by Alexis Hayes

Tuesday, November 22,2022
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Workshop is virtual
Workshop is FREE

Please click here to register. 

Project FeederWatch is the easiest citizen science you will ever do!

From the comfort of your home, you simply count the winter birds that visit your feeders and report your data to Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

This FREE workshop will cover a bit of Project FeederWatch history, its purpose, tips for identifying birds, and the protocols to be followed while counting. After the presentation, your identification skills will be tested with a Kahoot!

Greg Butcher is a Ph.D. ornithologist and Audubon Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV) board member. In addition to the U.S. Forest Service, Greg has worked for the National Audubon Society, American Birding Association, Partners in Flight, Birder’s World magazine, and Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Greg is a lively and informative public speaker and interpreter for bird conservation and ecology worldwide.