Raptor Rapture, April 30th — CANCELED



Photo: Stacey Remick-Simkins

Saturday, April 30, 2022
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Where: Belle Haven Park
No Registration required.

The Raptor Rapture event is open to the public and does not require registration.  It will be held in Belle Haven Park, which is located off the George Washington Memorial Parkway just south of Old Town Alexandria.  It is recommended to use a GPS to obtain directions by entering “Belle Haven Park” as your destination.

The event may be cancelled due to inclement weather, in which case we will post a cancellation notice to our website and Facebook page. Sending an email to is the best way to get in touch if you have any additional questions.

Wintering Waterbirds, October 20th

Photo: Fred Siskind

Wednesday, October 20, 2021
7 pm
Register here.

Join Friends of Dyke Marsh for Greg Butcher’s presentation on wintering waterbirds. Mr. Butcher will introduce the diversity of waterbirds that spend the winter in Northern Virginia and explain the difference between waterbirds and waterfowl. He will also review citizen science studies and conservation needs for birds and people along the Potomac River.

Mr. Butcher is Vice President of Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and Migratory Species Coordinator, the U.S. Forest Service’s International Programs.

Trash Cleanup, Dyke Marsh, September 25th

Saturday, September 25, 2021
9-11 am
Register by sending an email to

Join the Friends of Dyke Marsh (FODM) with their Potomac River and Dyke Marsh shoreline trash cleanup in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS).

Check in at the registration table near the Belle Haven Park south parking lot to pick up supplies. NPS and FODM will provide some gloves, tools and trash bags.

Wear sturdy shoes, long pants and sleeves, gloves and sun protection. Bring water. This will be canceled in case of lightning or severe storms.

Tackle Invasives at Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, December 4th

Photo: Plant NOVA Natives

Saturday, December 4, 2021
10am – Noon
Location below.
Register at

Help Friends of Dyke Marsh remove invasive plants like porcelainberry vine, pictured above, on Saturday, December 4th. Meet at the native plant site. The native plant site is about half a mile down the Haul Road trail on the right side, past the second bench.  The site has a sign.
They will supply instructions, samples and trash bags.  Wear sturdy footwear, long pants and sleeves and sun protection.  Bring gloves, a hand clipper, insect repellent and water.  They have a few tools to share.

Haul Road Trail Directions and Parking:

GPS: 38.777739, -77.050540

Turn off the Parkway onto the road to Dyke Marsh Nature Preserve and Belle Haven Marina.
Take the first left to go up to Belle Haven Park parking.
Walk back to the marina road, cross the road, then 30 yards to the left is the beginning of Haul Road.
There are 2 posts with a chain across them.

Event canceled if lightning or severe storms are anticipated.

A Choice on MLK Day of Service, January 18th

A Dyke Marsh inlet. Photo by Ned Stone.

January 18, 2021
10am – Noon
Meet at the Belle Haven Park south parking lot registration table. This will be canceled if there are heavy storms or lightning that morning.

Friends of Dyke Marsh and National Park Service will host two activities:

(1) a shoreline trash cleanup and

(2) removing English ivy from trees.

Volunteers can choose either activity. You do not need prior plant identification experience.

To follow covid-19 protocols, we must require registration and limit participants to 15 people in each group. We will provide work gloves, tools, trash bags and hand sanitizer.

Wear a mask, sturdy shoes, long pants and sleeves, winter gloves and sun protection. Bring your own water.

Register here and indicate your choice:

Native Southern Flying Squirrels Webinar, February 17th

Photo (c) by Barbara J. Saffir

Wednesday, February 17, 2021
7 pm
To receive the Zoom link, register at and put “Flying Squirrels” in the subject line

Join the Friends of Dyke Marsh for a presentation by naturalist, Kim Young and explore the often hidden life of the native southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans). Learn how to look for them, their adaptations for nocturnal living and the truth about their ability to “fly.”

Wetland Ecology, Webinar 8 September

Tuesday, 8 September 2020
7:30 pm

Dr. Christian Jones of George Mason University’s Potomac Science Center will give a presentation titled “Wetland Ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic: Types, Functions and Threats.” Hosted on Zoom by the Friends of Dyke Marsh, registration required in advance. To sign up, please email and put “September 8 program” in the subject line and your name in the body of the email. Free.

Wildlife Conservation in a Changing World: Can Wildlife Adapt?, a talk Nov. 13th

Huntley Meadows Park
3701 Lockheed Blvd., Alexandria VA
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
7:30 pm

Climate change is happening now. Even if we drastically reduce emissions soon, changes will continue into the future because greenhouse gases already emitted can stay in the atmosphere for decades. How will this affect wildlife? Can wildlife adapt? What can we do to help? Climate change on its own, and in combination with other stresses, may push many species to their limits. Climate change can adversely affect wildlife, for example, when the life cycles of interdependent species get out of sync and when rising coastal waters flood nesting sites. Too little or too much precipitation can stress whole ecosystems. Dr. Sally Valdes will explore how climate change is affecting wildlife and offer some steps for addressing this threat.

Dr. Valdes has a Ph.D. in aquatic ecology from Cornell University with minors in natural resource policy and ecosystem ecology. She worked for almost 25 years as a biologist in several federal government agencies. Since retiring, she has taught an environmental health and a wildlife ecology class. As a federal employee, Dr. Valdes served on an advisory group that developed the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and was responsible for integrating climate change concerns into environmental reviews of proposed federal projects.

The program is sponsored by the Friends of Dyke Marsh.

The Songs of Insects, A Talk and Walk, September 11th

Norma Hoffman Visitor Center
Huntley Meadows Park, 3701 Lockheed Blvd., Alexandria, VA
Wednesday, 11 September 2019
7 pm

The Friends of Dyke Marsh invite you to a presentation that will explore the world of singing insects using nature images and sound recordings. You’ll learn where to find these insects, how to identify them by looks and songs, how and why they sing, and how you hear their songs. Their speaker will be Wil Hershberger, an avid naturalist, nature photographer, nature sound recordist, and co-author of the book “The Songs of Insects.”

The talk will be followed by a walk, beginning at 8 pm, to listen for singing insects. The number of people on the walk is limited to 20, so if you want to go on the walk please register in advance by sending an email to Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. (No registration is needed to attend the talk.)
This program is cosponsored by the Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society. It is free and open to the public. An informal social, beginning at 6:30, will precede the presentation.

Help FODM remove invasive plants, July 8th & 22nd

Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve
Haul Road Trail
Mondays, 8 July and 22 July 2019
9 am

Friends of Dyke Marsh must remove plants like mile-a-minute, Japanese stiltgrass and garlic mustard so that these invasives do not outcompete the more than 3,500 plants FODM put in in 2018. They will help you identify the target plants (no more than 5) and show you what to do. Volunteer whatever time you can and if the heat becomes unbearable, we can stop.

Please let them know if you can help. They will have some gloves and tools, but it would be helpful if you could bring your own gloves, clippers and loppers. Bring water, wear sturdy shoes, long sleeves and pants and sun protection. You might want to bring insect repellent. Meet at the native plant site along the Haul Road trail just past the second bench on the west side of the trail.
Please RSVP to