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Virtual Green Breakfast with Clean Fairfax

Saturday, July 11, at 9 AM – 10:30 AM

Hosted by Clean Fairfax and Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District

Snuggle up in the comfort of your own home, with your breakfast and beverage of choice, while joining us online to hear from Jen Cole, Executive Director with the Clean Fairfax Council. While you have been safer at home, have you thought about ways to be greener at home too? Learn why it is important to reduce waste production and consumption and steps we can all take in our day-to-day lives to make our world a little more sustainable.

This event is FREE.

If you have environmental stewardship events that you would like to promote, please send them to Laura.grape@fairfaxcounty.gov and she will share them during the webinar. Face-to-face interaction and networking are two things that make our Green Breakfasts so special. We miss seeing you all and look forward to a time soon when it is safe for all of us to gather again.

Join the meeting, by clicking the following link and using the meeting number and password, included below: 

https://northernvirginiasoilwaterconservationdistrict.my.webex.com/northernvirginiasoilwaterconservationdistrict.my/j.php?MTID=m7ba10ee8ebc650dcdd65ccc8c7dbed8e

Meeting number (access code): 126 436 0508 

Meeting password: Fj2Qdg (352734 from phones and video systems)

To listen to the presentation from a phone, dial 1-415-655-0001

Access Code: 1264360508#

Password: 352734# 

Soil Your Undies Campaign

The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District is challenging residents all across Fairfax County to bury a pair of cotton underwear as part of a campaign to promote soil health awareness. How does it work? Just bury a pair of cotton underwear and dig it back up after at least 60 days. It’s the quick and dirty way to test the microbial activity in your soil. The more the underwear is deteriorated, the healthier your soil!

Although you can use the Soil Your Undies Challenge to check your soil health at any time, the 2020 NVSWCD Soil Your Undies Challenge runs from July to September 2020.

JOIN THE CHALLENGE!
Step 1: Look for a place where you want to study the health of the soil. Make sure you are only studying sites on your property or with the permission of the landowner.
Step 2: Bury a pair of white cotton undies (or any white cotton clothing item) 3 inches under the soil’s surface. Be sure to take a “before” photo.
Step 3: Don’t forget to mark your study site with a flag or other easily-identifiable marker!
Step 4: Wait at least 60 days (this is the hard part…)
Step 5: Locate your marked study site and dig up your cotton undies. Be sure to take an “after” photo.
Step 6: How healthy is your soil? Healthier soils have a lot of microbial activity, and the healthy fungi and bacteria in the soil will break down your cotton undies. The more degraded your undies are, the more microbial activity you have in your soil, and the healthier your soil is.
Step 7: Share the results of your citizen science project! Email your photos and any notes you may have to conservationdistrict@fairfaxcounty.gov, and share your results with us on Facebook @nvswcd and on Instagram @NorthernVirginiaSWCD. We’ll be sharing our results with you, too!

Learn more about the challenge and soil health here.

Conservation Poster Contest for K-12 Students–Entries due August 14th (deadline recently extended)

Calling all student artists! The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District is seeking students to design posters to submit to the 2020 Youth Poster Contest. The theme for this year is Where would we BEE without Pollinators? 

ABOUT THE POSTER CONTEST

The Youth Poster Contest is a national competition sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts, and offered locally at the district level. District winners advance to the state level. Only Local Soil & Water Conservation Districts can forward their local winning poster entries to the VASWCD office for consideration at the state level. Virginia state winners will advance to the National Contest. National winners are recognized each year at the NACD Annual Meeting. The contest is open to the public, private or home school students, girl scout/boy scout troops, etc. 

Any Girl Scout  or Boy Scout who creates a poster and submits it to their local SWCD for judging can earn the VASWCD Poster Contest Patch.  When submitting a poster to earn the Poster Contest Patch, be sure to check the box on the entry form.  Please note that poster patches are distributed in December each year.

ABOUT POLLINATORS

Resources for Where would we BEE without Pollinators? are offered by the National Association of Conservation Districts and include booklets, activity sheets, storybooks, K-12 lessons and activities, coloring pages, and additional teaching materials. You can access these materials here.

Pollinators form the foundations of a healthy and sustainable future for food and the environment, but in recent years, they have shown concerning signs of decline. It’s important that we work to help them prosper by enhancing native pollinator habitats and protecting against pollinator declines. The Pollinator Partnership is one of many great resources when learning about pollinators. 

HOW TO ENTER

Entries from Fairfax County must be submitted to the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District by Friday, August 14, 2020.

The local NVSWCD competition follows the NACD national guidelines

Posters should be submitted digitally as a .jpeg, .png, or similar file format. Posters and images may be of any size. When photographing or scanning your poster for submission, be sure that the entire poster is clear and visible, the image is appropriately cropped, and the photo accurately reflects the original poster. 

Submit entries to Ashley Palmer, Conservation Education Specialist. An entry form should accompany your entry; download the entry form here

Local winners receive recognition and a prize from NVSWCD. 

Green Breakfast: Three Things You Can Do to Change the World, Mar. 14th–CANCELLED!

In an abundance of caution and uncertainty over the spread of COVID-19, this event is cancelled. The speaker will make her presentation at the July 11, 2020 Green Breakfast.

Brion’s Grille
10621 Braddock Rd, Fairfax, VA 22032
Saturday, 14 March 2020
Breakfast begins at 8:30 am, $10 at the door, cash preferred.
No prior registration required.

Ever wonder what you can do to make the biggest impact locally and globally? The scale of environmental issues can be overwhelming and make it difficult to convince ourselves that any changes we make will make a difference. How do our individual efforts contribute to a collective impact? Join Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District for a warm breakfast and hear from Jen Cole, Executive Director, Clean Fairfax, who will share three things you can do to reduce your local and global footprint, including ways of reducing dependency on disposable items.

Clean Fairfax began as a litter control task force in 1978, established by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to implement an anti-litter campaign. In 1985, the organization became a private nonprofit.

Funding for the program comes from statewide taxes provided by manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors of 15 product categories. As a recipient of a non-competitive state grant, Clean Fairfax Council educates the citizens of Fairfax County, Virginia on litter prevention and control, supports the county recycling program, discourages graffiti, promotes sustainability and provides environmental education to residents, businesses and students.

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 at conservationdistrict@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair needs judges, March 21st–CANCELED! FCPS closed until April 10th

Robinson Secondary School
5035 Sideburn Road, Fairfax VA
Saturday, 21 March 2020
7:30 am – 12 pm

Be an organizational judge for Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District’s special award at the Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair! Overall, each year 250 judges are required to evaluate over four hundred science fair projects in a wide variety of categories ranging from plants sciences to physics and astronomy. Of course the ones for this award will relate to NVSWCD’s work.

Master naturalists receive service hour credit using code E155.

For more information and to volunteer, contact Tessa Bennett.

NVSWCD 2020 Native Seedling Sale–order now!

The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual seedling sale makes low-cost bare-root native shrub and tree seedlings available to Northern Virginia residents. Seedling packages go on sale in February and are available for pickup in April. Trees and shrubs help cleanse water, prevent soil erosion, provide habitat, cool our climate and clean our air. Consider adding native trees and shrubs to your community today!

This year’s seedling sale features small shrubs and trees which are hardy in small spaces and bear gorgeous flowers and fruits, and display beautiful colors. The fruits and flowers that these plants grow are important food sources to birds and pollinators, and are delicious treats for us! By planting these native species, you are directly contributing to the betterment of our environment. The plants in each package clean our water and air, prevent soil erosion, provide valuable habitat, and add beauty to your property.

Order today!

102nd NVSWCD Green Breakfast, Jan. 11th

Brion’s Grille
10621 Braddock Rd, Fairfax, VA 22032
Saturday, 11 January 2020
Breakfast begins at 8:30 am, $10 at the door, cash preferred
No prior registration required

Getting Winter Ready – An Update on the Northern Virginia Salt Management Strategy
Sarah Sivers, Water Quality Planning Team Lead with the Virginia DEQ-Northern Regional Office

It’s been two years since the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality began the stakeholder process to develop a salt management strategy and address the elevated chloride levels in Fairfax County streams. Since then, DEQ along with a stakeholder group have prepared a draft list of recommendations. Join the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District for a warm breakfast and hear from Water Quality Planning Team Lead, Sarah Sivers, who will provide background on how all of this began, the status of the program, and draft strategies and recommendations.

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 at conservationdistrict@fairfaxcounty.gov.

NVSWCD Hiring for Spring 2020 Environmental Outreach Internship, deadline Dec. 6th

Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District is seeking applicants for its Spring 2020 Environmental Outreach Internship. Applicants can learn more here. Applications are due by Friday, December 6th, 2019.

This spring internship position will support the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District’s award-winning spring outreach programs. We reach thousands of people and have a deep impact on many youth and adults. Programs can include classroom presentations, outdoor learning experiences, outreach events and festivals, the high school Envirothon competition, rain barrel workshops, the Seedling Sale, high school science fair project judging, stream monitoring, storm drain labeling, the Sustainable Garden Tour and more!

The spring intern will support the following events and programs with office preparations and coordination in advance, staffing during the event, and follow-up afterwards:
• ~ Ten Outreach Events or Festivals (February – June, evening or weekend)
• College Scholarships
• Youth Conservation Camp
• One HS Science Fair and one Regional Science Fair
• Sustainable Garden Tour
• Envirothon
• MWEEs and Field Trips
• Potentially a Green Breakfast, Potomac Watershed Roundtable, and/or Rain Barrel Workshop

This internship is expected to begin in mid-January and end in mid-June, lasting 22 weeks at 20 hours/week. Learn more about the position and view the full position description here. To apply, send a resume accompanied by a cover letter and contact information for two references to conservationdistrict@fairfaxcounty.gov by Friday, December 6, 2019.

Designing for big storms, big flooding: How can redevelopment help the Richmond Highway corridor?

Thursday, November 21, 2019
7:00-8.30 PM
Sherwood Hall Library
2501 Sherwood Hall Ln.
Alexandria, VA 22306

Host Contact Info: Renee Grebe | renee.grebe@anshome.org

Join us to discuss how we can redesign our landscapes to improve stormwater controls and restore streams in the Richmond Highway Corridor. Are we prepared for bigger downpours? How can redevelopment be tied to better stormwater control and creating wider stream buffers? How can you get involved to drive change?

Panelists:

  • JoAnne Fiebe, Program Manager, Community Revitalization | Fairfax County Department of Planning + Development currently working on the Embark Richmond Highway Urban Design Guidelines
  • Catie Torgerson, Planner IV, Stormwater Planning Division | Fairfax County Department of Public Works & Environmental Services
  • Betsy Martin, President of Friends of Little Hunting Creek

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 conservationdistrict@fairfaxcounty.gov.