Scott’s Run Nature Preserve Service Opportunities

7400 Georgetown Pike (use 7500 for GPS location)
Great Falls, VA

Cleanup Days

Scott’s Run Nature Preserve is an ecologically and globally unique preserve and home to remarkable plants and wildlife. Join their Stewardship team and partake in their upcoming volunteer cleanups. Volunteers under 14 years old must volunteer with a parent/guardian. Limited spots per event

Sign up here

Natural Resource Projects

The park is in need of volunteer support to complete several resource management projects. All projects are outdoors and vary by season. Duties may include walking on hilly trails, lifting, planting, weeding/pulling invasives, using work tools, building/assembling, and labeling/reporting. Project details and meeting location will be sent prior to the work day. All volunteers must dress appropriately and follow park etiquette.

Sign up here

Gardening Opportunities in Fairfax County Parks

Both Hidden Oaks Nature Center and Riverbend Park seek volunteers to “adopt a spot” or “adopt a native plant” gardens in the parks. These independent, outdoor service projects offer plenty of safe physical distancing. Additional gardens will be available later in the summer. See descriptions below for details and contact.

Hidden Oaks Nature Center projects

Riverbend Park projects

Watch the Green Grow!

Share the good work you do on your property to benefit our natural areas. Use the Watch the Green Grow mapping application to record environmentally friendly practices in your yard. Upload pictures to show your progress. Each positive report triggers a green spot on a county map. The green areas grow with each beneficial action. The map provides a powerful picture of environmental stewardship in our community. Tell your neighbors or HOA about Watch the Green Grow. WTGG is an FCPA program that focuses on outreach to HOAs and community associations. Contact for more information.

101st Green Breakfast: Helping the Land Heal, Nov 9th

Brion’s Grille
10621 Braddock Rd, Fairfax, VA 22032
Saturday, 9 November
Breakfast begins at 8:30am, $10 at the door, cash preferred
No prior registration required

Kristen Sinclair, Ecologist
Fairfax County Park Authority, Natural Resource Management Branch

As the county’s largest landowner with 23,890 acres in 427 parks (August 2019), much of the responsibility for preserving Fairfax County’s rich natural heritage rests with the Fairfax County Park Authority. These landholdings include large, biodiverse forests along the Potomac Gorge and in the western region of the county, emergent wetlands at Huntley Meadows, a tidal freshwater marsh on Mason Neck, and nearly all of Fairfax County’s stream valleys. They also include dozens of community parks and numerous lakefront parks.

The Park Authority’s Natural Resource Management Plan is structured to support several guiding principles that will inform all aspects of natural resource management on parkland, including stewardship of our natural capital, preserve biodiversity and sustain wild and healthy ecosystems, protect, restore, and expand ecosystem services, manage resources adaptively and learn through experience, and preserve a legacy of natural heritage for present and future generations.

Join us for a presentation by Kristen Sinclair, Ecologist with the FCPA-Natural Resource Management Branch, who will give an update on the Park Authority’s ecological restoration program, known as “Helping Our Land Heal” and highlight other recent projects completed by the FCPA-Natural Resources Branch.

Breakfast includes an all-you-can eat hot buffet with fresh fruit and coffee, tea, orange juice or water. No prior registration required. If you have any questions, please contact the Northern Virginia Soil and Water District at

Help clean up Fairfax County parks this fall

Clean-up events run throughout the Fall at park locations around the county. The sites include:

Saturday, October 5: Ossian Hall Park, 8-11 am

Saturday, October 12

  • Huntley Meadows Park, 9-11:30 am
  • Lake Accotink Park, 9 am-noon
  • Lake Fairfax Park, 9 am-noon
  • Riverbend Park, 10 am-noon
  • Scott’s Run Nature Preserve, 9-11:30 am

Friday, October 18: Providence RECenter, 9-11 am

Saturday, October 19: Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, 9-10:30 am

Saturday, October 26

  • Backlick Park, 9-11 am
  • Hidden Pond Nature Center, 9 am-noon
  • Cub Run RECenter, 9-11:30 am

Saturday, November 2: South Lakes Drive Park, 9 am-noon

Saturday, November 16: John Byers Park, 8 to 11 a.m.

For a complete listing and to sign up to volunteer, visit Volunteer. Groups, and then please call the site of your choice to make arrangements.

For more information, contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662, or e-mail

Hidden Oaks Nature Center offers art classes for adults, Sep., Oct., & Nov.

Photo (c) by Barbara J. Saffir

Hidden Oaks Nature Center
7701 Royce St., Annandale VA
Various dates and times (see below)

Naturalist and artist Avery Gunther will be leading these classes.

Drawing Animal Eyes (16- adult)
Thursday, September 12, 2019, 7-9pm. Code- FD1.1092

Animal eyes are so varied and intricate. If you draw an animal’s eye realistically, your drawing of an animal comes to life. Practice drawing individual animal eyes up close from photographs and live animals. Watch a demonstration, then try drawing eyes using pencil, colored pencils and/or watercolors. A suggested list of supplies will be provided when you sign up. $5 material fee due the day of class.
Meet at the Nature Center.

Ferns of Hidden Oaks- Hike and Draw (16 – adult)
Saturday, October 5, 2019, 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Code – 22B.1C7D

Learn some tips to identifying ferns that live in local woods on a hike. Then spend time drawing ferns in the Hidden Oaks shelter or on nearby trails. A suggested list of supplies will be provided after you sign up. Meet at the Packard Center Parking lot in Annandale Community Park. Go to the Annandale Community Park entrance off Hummer Road. Once you turn in, proceed to the right and follow the signs to the Packard Center. The instructor will meet you at the parking lot.

Illustrating Your Nature/Travel Journal (16- adult)
Thursdays November 7, 14 and 21. 7 – 9pm Code – 7BB.9F97

Learn how to take your field sketches and turn them into a journal page. Starting with a pencil sketch you can add fine line marker, water colors or colored pencils. Participate in a lesson of how to use various art media each class. Discover ways to add photos and mementos to your journal. A suggested list of supplies will be provided when you sign up. Meet at the Nature Center.

Please register online through the Fairfax County Park Authority Parktakes:  Then pick “go directly to search.”
Next fill in the “search text/catalog ID “ and plug in the program code above, then hit the “search activities” button and it will pull up the class.  Scroll down to see the class and sign up.

Hidden Oaks 50th Anniversary Celebration, Oct. 19th

Hidden Oaks Nature Center
7701 Royce St., Annandale VA
Saturday, 19 October 2019
11 am – 4 pm

Visit for a day of fun, music and special activities in honor of Hidden Oaks Nature Center’s 50th anniversary! Opened in 1969 as the first nature center in Fairfax County, Hidden Oaks now serves over 30,000 visitors a year. Enjoy a Reptiles Alive presentation, music from the School of Rock honoring Woodstock’s 50th year and other children’s music groups, go on a Hidden Treasures of Hidden Oaks hunt, see demonstrations of Monarch butterfly tagging and release and enjoy the new playground and chainsaw tree art. Fun for all ages!  Parking in Annandale Community Park except for special permit parking.  Free.

Have some natural knowledge and can assist with a learning station?  To volunteer, contact Suzanne Holland, Master naturalists, record your hours as E110: FCPA Nature Programs.

Job opening: Huntley Meadows Park E-Status Naturalist

Part-Time: 1560 hrs/year
$14.50 – $15.00/hour Benefits eligible*

Location: Huntley Meadows Park and Historic Huntley located in Alexandria Virginia.
Over 1500 acres of forest, meadow and wetland habitat.
Instructor Description: Plan, design and present interpretive programs in natural and
cultural history and science topics for age groups ranging from preschool to adults
(preschool aged children on a regular basis). Groups can include: school groups, scout
groups, general public, thematic class series, birthday parties, camps, wagon rides,
events and special request programs. Responsible for RecDynamics functions.
Front desk, administrative, manager on duty, historic house tours, animal care and other
variable jobs included.
Hours: Variable. Hours will include mornings, afternoons, evenings, weekends and
Preferred Qualifications: Any combination of education and experience equivalent to a
bachelor’s degree in natural, life, or physical sciences, natural history, education or a
closely related field and six months experience creating and presenting interpretive
programs for children aged 2-5 years old. Ability to communicate effectively, both orally
and in writing. Ability to deal effectively with citizen inquires and questions.
Note: *Individuals in these positions are eligible for limited employee benefits,
including medical, vision and dental insurance coverage, and participation in flexible
spending programs, but are not eligible to earn leave or receive holiday pay. This
position cannot exceed 1,560 hours per calendar year.
To Apply: Please send cover letter and resume to

Job opportunity: Community education pilot called Watch the Green Grow

The Fairfax County Park Authority is seeking an individual to manage a new community education and social marketing pilot project called Watch the Green Grow. The successful candidate will work across agency divisions to implement and evaluate the pilot project at stream valley parks across Fairfax County.

Salary: $20.00-$25.00 Hourly non-merit, benefits eligible (medical coverage is available with a portion of the premium covered by the county)

Location: Herrity Building (12055 Government Center Parkway) and various field locations

Schedule: This position is scheduled to work 20 to 30 hours per week with a minimum of 1039 hours per year but not to exceed 1,560 hours per calendar year. There is no guarantee of a minimum number of scheduled hours (daily, weekly, monthly) Weekend and evening work hours should be expected.  Position funding only lasts 1 year July 1, 2019- June 30, 2020.

Job Description

  • Design & deliver messages to various audiences that target park neighbors with wildlife friendly messages including encroachment prevention.
  • Design and develop associated media, resources and trainings to drive implementation of the Watch the Green Grow program.
  • Build collaborations with current and new partners
  • Manage project budget and supplies.
  • Recruit, supervise and train volunteers and rover staff as needed
  • Market and conduct outreach programs to multiple audiences including Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences for schools and presentations to neighborhood associations.
  • Manage crowdsourcing app reports and promote reporting among participants and community partners.
  • Evaluate success of efforts and provide written report at end of pilot study


BA/BS in resource management, education, communication/ marketing or related field or equivalent education and experience combination.

  • Demonstrated success in program development or design.
  • Familiarity with ArcGIS mapping a plus.
  • Strong relationship management and communication skills. Ability to relate to field staff and community program partners, and to develop trusting relationships quickly.
  • Strong management skills and the ability to motivate, excite, and educate both internal and external resources. Ability to inspire others.
  • A strong work ethic coupled with an enthusiastic and passionate approach to one’s work. The successful candidate will be a highly energetic, hands-on individual who can meet deadlines and produce products.
  • Willing to travel in-county, and work with a team and network of field staff, volunteers and community partners.

How to apply: email cover letter and resume to

Fairfax County recognized as Tree City USA by Arbor Day Foundation

SpringFEST Fairfax served as the backdrop for a ceremony recognizing Fairfax County as a Tree City USA. The county earned the Arbor Day Foundation designation for the 36th consecutive year. Each year since its inception in 1976, thousands of urban foresters across the country submit applications to be considered to receive this esteemed recognition. The accomplishment was celebrated during a ceremony at SpringFEST Fairfax, on Saturday, April 27, 2019, at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly.

SpringFEST Fairfax is presented by the Fairfax County Park Authority and Clean Fairfax, with support from the Fairfax County Park Foundation. The annual festival is Fairfax County’s official Earth Day and Arbor Day celebration.

Pictured (left to right): Jim McGlone, Urban Forest Conservationist, Virginia Department of Forestry; Roberta Longworth, Executive Director, Fairfax County Park Foundation; Senator Jennifer Boysko, Virginia District 33; Maggie Godbold, Sully representative, Park Authority Board; Delegate Karrie Delaney, Virginia District 67; Kathy Smith, Providence representative, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; Kirk Kincannon, Executive Director, Park Authority; Cathy Ledec, Chair, Fairfax Tree Commission; Brian Keightley, Urban Forest Management Division Director, Department of Public Works and Environmental Services; and Topper Shutt, WUSA-9 Chief Meteorologist.