Meadowlark Botanical Gardens needs our help!


Address: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct,
Vienna VA 22182

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens need people to help with the native plant garden.

Just bring a willingness to participate and learn! They have volunteers ranging from little to no experience in gardening to former professionals. There is no expectation or requirement on hours, but they hope to have volunteers participate at least once or twice a month for a few hours. Many volunteers come once a week in a very regular fashion.

In many cases there is a fear that they do not know enough to begin assisting at the gardens and that is simply not the case. Their team is here to help all volunteers get more comfortable working in the gardens.

You can find the online information as well as the inquiry form here.

If you are interested in more of a single, group day approach, that will require a bit of coordination with the lead horticulturist, Charlies Bruce, to coordinate the details of the day/time. If that is something you are more interested in then they can connect you with Charlie soon!

Jeff Hill
(703)-255-3631 ext. 102

Fairfax County Spring Watershed Cleanup 2023, March – April – May

Photo courtesy The Nature Conservancy

Registration for the annual Fairfax County Spring Watershed Cleanup in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and Fairfax County Park Authority is now available at  This year’s cleanup will take place over several dates at 15 Fairfax County Park locations. An estimated 600 volunteers are needed to help clean up plastic bottles, cans and other debris!

Event capacity is limited. Please follow instructions about registering groups in the detail section of the registration pages via Eventbrite. (specific Eventbrite links for each event below. Click on the event to be taken to the registration page).

You can view park locations, dates, times, and number of volunteers needed here.

Saturday, March 25, 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Saturday, March 25, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

Sunday, April 9, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 23, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Saturday, April 29

Friday, May 5, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Sunday, May 7, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

A confirmation email with additional details will be sent to registered volunteers about 3-5 days before the scheduled cleanup. If you have questions between now and then, please let me know.

If the sites reach capacity, we encourage you to find additional opportunities to volunteer and connect with nature at

Please feel free to pass along to other organizations, friends and family!

Kindest regards,

Lindsey Hosier

Stewardship and Volunteer Program Assistant
[email protected]
765-717-3755 (mobile, text available)
434-951-0572 (office)


The Nature Conservancy
Virginia Field Office
652 Peter Jefferson Parkway
Suite 190
Charlottesville, VA 22911

Animal Care Volunteer Needed at Hidden Oaks

Photo: Hidden Oaks, Fairfax County Park Authority

Hidden Oaks Nature Center (HONC) has an opportunity for animal lovers!

A volunteer or two are needed to help with the care of exhibit animals on Saturdays. Animals in the exhibits include turtles, toads, snakes and other small critters.

The job could be shared by 2 volunteers.  They would split up the month, each doing at least 2 Saturdays.   Because there is training involved in this volunteer opportunity, HONC is asking for a 6-month commitment.

Adults only please.  If interested, contact Avery Gunther ([email protected]) or Janet Siddle ([email protected]).

Record your hours in Better Impact as S182: FCPA Nature Center Animal Care.  In the Description field, note that you worked at Hidden Oaks Nature Center.

Virginia Native Plant Society 2023 Annual Workshop [Zoom], March 7th & 14th

Image: Courtesy of The Virginia Native Plant Society

Tuesdays, March 7 & 14, 2023
6:30 – 9:00 PM

Virtual event

Fee: No charge.

Registration required.

Learn about “Recent Botanical Explorations & Discoveries in the Eastern US” at our online workshop, presented over two consecutive Tuesday evenings.

Zoom session starts at 6:30pm for meet and greet. Two workshop sessions start at 7pm and 8pm both evenings. Please register only once for both sessions.

Click here for workshop presentation abstracts and presenter bios.

Tuesday, March 7th 


Botanical and Taxonomic Discovery in the Eastern US:
Harnessing Technology & Applications to Bring Botany into the Modern Era

Presenter: Scott Ward, Research Botanist, NC Botanical Gardens



The Dichanthelium Break-Up: A Classic “It’s not them, it’s us” Story

Justin Thomas, Director and Botanist, NatureCITE

Tuesday, March 14th 


From Bloodroot to Banyan: 1,000 Miles of Botanical Explorations and Discoveries Across Florida’s Diverse Ecosystems

Lilly Byrd, Botanist, Florida Native Plant Society



Recent Botanical Finds at the Virginia Natural Heritage Program

Joey Thompson


Stream Monitoring Citizen Science & Training Opportunities, March and April

Photo: Hidden Pond stream monitoring by J. Quinn

Below is a list of the stream monitoring workshops and training opportunities located throughout the county:

Accotink Creek Stream Monitoring Session

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Lake Accotink Park Administrative Building, Springfield

Join the Friends of Accotink Creek as they monitor Accotink Creek at this long-standing monitoring site. Learn more, register, and see past results at this site here.


Pohick Creek Stream Monitoring Workshop

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Pohick Creek Stream Valley Park, Springfield

This site along Pohick Creek runs adjacent to the Cross County Trail and features a family- and pet-friendly walking trail in addition to cool stream critters. Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.


Cub Run Stream Monitoring Workshop

When: Sunday, March 19, 2023

Cub Run Stream Valley Park, Centreville

This spot is known for the beautiful Virginia bluebells that bloom at our stream site each spring. We often see a lot of mayflies too! Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.


Horsepen Run Stream Monitoring Workshop

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Horsepen Run Stream Valley Park, Herndon

This site has faced challenges in recent years including erosion and invasive bamboo. Join the NVSWCD as we monitor Horsepen Run to assess stream health and learn about the environmental impacts on this stream. Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.


Sugarland Run Monitoring Workshop

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Sugarland Run Stream Valley Park, Herndon

This stream site is known for the large number of Great Blue Herons that visit the site as well as a large number of crayfish found in our collection nets. Learn more and register for this workshop and others here.


More Training and Stream Monitoring Opportunities

PocketMacros App – macroinvertebrate ID on Android and Apple

Northern Virginia Soil and Water 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.

Green Breakfast – Living with Black Bears in Virginia, March 11th

Photo: Courtesy of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Black Bear and cubs

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Virtual event
No registration is required.

This presentation, given by members of the Fairfax Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists, will provide general information on bear biology, local sightings, food sources & safety, and human/bear interactions & safety. Be sure to check out these flyers with bear-wise basics from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources in English and Spanish. No registration is required, join on Microsoft Teams with this link. Questions may be directed to [email protected].

To receive updates about Green Breakfast speakers or join an upcoming virtual Green Breakfast, please register for the Green Breakfast newsletter. Please direct questions to NVSWCD.

You can view the Green Breakfast YouTube playlist here.

Science Saturday: Kestrel Watch, April 29th

Image: Courtesy of The Clifton Institute

Saturday, April 29, 2023
9:00 AM
 – 3:00 PM

The Clifton Institue
6712 Blantyre Road
Warrenton, Virginia 20187

Cost: Free
Registration is REQUIRED.

In what The Clifton Institute hopes will become a regular occurrence, they are inviting the public to participate in one of their ongoing research projects. This time you’ll help them track American Kestrels that have been outfitted with GPS transmitters, collect vegetation data in different types of fields, and visit ink-pad tracks to see what kinds of rodents have been visiting. This is a great opportunity to see what it’s like to do field research and to learn about some fascinating native species. Participants will start at the Clifton Institute and then drive to a few nearby properties where kestrels are known to hang out. From Clifton, it is encouraged but not required to carpool in as few cars as possible. They are looking forward to a beautiful day in the field with you!

Warbler Song Bootcamp, April 14th

Image: Courtesy of The Clifton Institute

Friday, April 14, 2023
– 7:00 pm

Virtual event
Cost: $10 ($5 for Friends of the Clifton Institute)

Registration is REQUIRED.

Brush up on your warbler songs just before the migrants arrive in droves. Participants will listen to the songs of each of the migratory warblers that pass through our region in spring, while looking at spectrograms to help visual learners identify differences in similar songs. Participants will also briefly discuss habitats where breeding warblers can be found in our area and cover a handful of other migrants such as vireos and thrushes. This workshop will be of interest to birdwatchers of all skill levels. It will definitely be more fun than listening to a warbler song CD in your car! This event will take place over Zoom. A Zoom link will be emailed to participants shortly before the event.

Early Spring Wildflower Walk, April 6th

Image: Courtesy of The Clifton Institute Early Spring Wild Flower Walk

Saturday, April 8, 2023
1:00 – 3:00 PM

Registration is REQUIRED.

The Clifton Institue
6712 Blantyre Road
Warrenton, Virginia 20187

In early spring, ephemeral wildflowers appear on the forest floor, taking advantage of a brief moment of sunlight before the canopy above fills out with trees. Join the Clifton Institute Staff for a walk exploring our wooded trails in search of early spring ephemerals such as Bloodroot, Cutleaf toothwort, Rue-anemone, and Skunk Cabbage.


Beavers and Why They Matter, April 1

Photo by Amy Johnson, VWL

Saturday,  April 1, 2023
2:00 PM
Virtual On-Line Program

Free but registration required.


If you have walked Mason Neck State Park’s Bayview Trail, you’ve probably noticed the vibrant
wetlands about halfway along the trail. The wetlands have been improved by a colony of
beavers, whose lodge you can see toward the far end of the wetland. Would you like to learn
more about beavers and their impact on the environment?

Alison Zak, the Executive Director of the Human-Beaver Coexistence Fund (HBCF), will present a brief
history of human interactions with beavers over time, an overview of beaver ecology and
behavior, and an exploration of the benefits that beavers and the wetlands they create provide
to the health of our watersheds, landscapes, and communities. Park Staff will present a short
overview of how the beavers in the wetland along the Park’s Bayview Trail have changed the
ecology of the wetland.

Alison studied anthropology and human-wildlife conflict in graduate school, then worked for six
years in environmental education and outreach before founding HBCF. She is particularly
intrigued, inspired, and challenged by human-beaver coexistence work, because few other
animals have such an impact on the world around them. Alison is also the author of Wild Asana:
Animals, Yoga, and Connecting Our Practice to the Natural World, which comes out in June.
You can register for the program here.  Zoom login information will be sent to registrants on
March 31.