Invasive invaders such as kudzu, wisteria and stilt grass are pushing out important native flora and diminishing the health of our parks. Help turn the tide against these exotic invaders by joining the Invasive Management Area (IMA) volunteers and pulling these weeds out by their roots! Several workdays are scheduled in March and April. The IMA calendar can be found online.
Virginia Working Landscapes, a program of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, hosts citizen science service projects for master naturalists and other members of the public.
Joe Guthrie, the new field coordinator, is a local conservation biologist with extensive experience in designing and implementing ecological surveys and brings with him a strong passion for biodiversity conservation and research. He and his team have set dates for spring trainings:
Grassland Bird Training: Saturday, 14 April, 9 am-1 pm at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, in Front Royal. Led by Joe Guthrie and Amy Johnson.
Grassland Plant Training: Saturday, 28 April, 9 am-1 pm at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, in Front Royal. Led by Sally Anderson and Joe Guthrie
Pollinator Training: Sunday, 13 May, 9 am-noon at Blandy Experimental Farm, in Front Royal. Led by T’ai Roulston, Alex Newhart and Joe Guthrie.
If you are a current citizen scientist, please send a note to Charlotte Lorick (LorickC@si.edu) with your name and survey interest. VWL will put your name down as confirmed for 2018 surveys, and Joe will be in touch with more specific details later this spring.
If you are not yet a volunteer, but are interested, please sign up here.
The VWL events page hosts additional learning and service opportunities.
Saturday, 10 March from 3.00 – 5.00 pm
Pohick Regional Library
6450 Sydenstricker Road, Burke, VA
Come learn how a favorite songbird, the Eastern Bluebird, lives and breeds right in our community and how volunteers have helped this bird come back. There are about 80 bluebird trails which house at least three bluebird houses each, in Fairfax County. The Virginia Bluebird Society is seeking volunteers to monitor these houses. This presentation will include information about what is involved in monitoring and how you can help this species.
Learn about the behavior of Canada geese, effective goose management techniques (egg oiling, border collies, exclusion techniques), community case studies and regulations. Volunteers should plan to make a commitment to survey a minimum of one park during the egg laying season.
Thursday, 8 March 2018
Fairfax County Animal Shelter Training Room
Limited to 40 participants
Register by 5 March with Kristen Sinclair or call 703-324-8559
Meet at the nursery in Springfield (6100 Cloud Drive in Franconia Park) at 10 am on Sunday, 18 Febrary. You’ll be spreading gravel, weeding and preparing soils for germinating woody plants. If it rains or the temperature dips into low 40 degrees, the workday will be cancelled.
The Wild Plant Nursery is a resource for ecological restoration in the greater Washington, DC, area. Established in 2001 in Springfield, Virginia, under an agreement with the Fairfax County Park Authority, the nursery is the region’s most comprehensive source of local, wild native-plant material (“local ecotypes”). Learn more here.
Anyone can be a citizen scientist–especially you! It only takes an interest, some curiosity, and a little time to volunteer. Tweens and teens who want to contribute to real science can get involved. Teachers can bring citizen science into their classrooms, engaging students in authentic and relevant science. And naturalists from Fairfax County!
The Museum of Natural History collaborates with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Virginia Working Landscapes, City Nature Challenge 2018, and other organizations to design rewarding, meaningful opportunities for those of us willing to volunteer for them.
Ask other naturalists to join you and do the work as a team!
FrogWatch USA at the National Zoo is in its sixth season. To date, they have monitored 75 sites in DC, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maine and have submitted 1,650 frog call observations.
Tracking frog populations throughout the United States, FrogWatch invites participants to choose a monitoring site that is easily accessible and close to where they live or work to listen to frogs that are calling throughout the warmer months.
Three indoor trainings will help orient people to the frogs that are in the DC-metro area and their calls. Content is the same, so choose one training that fits your schedule. If you are interested please contact Matt Neff: email@example.com
Sat., March 3rd, 3:00-6:00pm @ NZP – Rock Creek Campus
Thur., March 8th, 6:00-9:00pm @ Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, VA
Sat., March 17th, 3:00-6:00pm @ NZP – Rock Creek Campus
Invasive plants are a huge threat to local wildlife, including migrating birds. You can help these creatures and others by volunteering to remove invasive plants at Lake Accotink Park. Sign up on the IMA website to volunteer. Sessions are every Wednesday, 2-5 pm.
Hidden Oaks Nature Center has many opportunities for volunteers. Here are a few:
Full Moon Hike and Campfire
2 March, 7-8.45 pm
Help the resident naturalist with an outdoor hike and campfire prep and clean up. You have the option to lead part of the program at campfire, including story telling.
Flying Squirrels Gliding in Tonight
11 March, 6.15-8.00 pm
Help a naturalist with a program on gray vs. flying squirrels and see live squirrels at the feeders.
Dinosaur Egg Hunt
25, 29, 30 March, 1 April, 9.30-4.00 pm
Come help with one or more of their dinosaur egg hunts, each 45 min. Volunteers will help lead a short indoor presentation, and/or the craft and/or the egg hunt in Nature Playce. This event enjoys a highly-diverse audience. No candy distributed.
For all activities, contact Suzanne Holland at firstname.lastname@example.org for details and to volunteer.
Hidden Oaks Nature Center, 7701 Royce ST., Annandale, VA 22003
Do you need fresh ideas on where to find meaningful volunteer work? The Fairfax County volunteer website has a special section listing volunteer opportunities for people who are interested in the environment, parks, recreation, or sports.
You will need to register, but it only takes 10-15 minutes to complete the application. Dozens of opportunities qualify for FMN service hours (e.g., volunteering at our county parks, rec centers and other public lands).
Don’t forget to check the County website for new opportunities from time to time; you can even search for opportunities by date. If you see more than you can do yourself, share them with the rest of us!