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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.

100th NVSWCD Green Breakfast, Sep. 14th

Fairfax County Government Center
12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA
Saturday, 14 September 2019
8:30 am

Walking Tour of Fairfax County Government Center Stormwater Infrastructure

To celebrate the 100th Green Breakfast, you are invited to join us for a tour of the Fairfax County Government Center Stormwater Infrastructure.

Please Note: Special Location!
We will meet on the path at the start of the meadow behind and to the left of the main Government Center building, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Virginia 22035. View a map showing the meeting place.

Gather beginning at 8:30 am, the tour begins at 9:00 am
No prior registration required. No breakfast provided this time.

The Green Breakfast will return to its regular location and breakfast on Saturday, November 9, 2019.

If you have any questions, please contact the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District at conservationdistrict@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Stream monitoring events, Sep. – Nov.

Sugarland Run Stream Monitoring Workshop

Sugarland Run Stream Valley Park, Herndon VA
Sunday, 8 September 2019
10:00am-12:30pm

Join Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District as they discover aquatic life in Sugarland Run! This official NVSWCD stream monitoring workshop covers watershed health, what macroinvertebrates tell us about stream quality, and what you can do to prevent pollution in your local stream. This workshop will also help to prepare you to become a certified stream monitor. Registration is limited. Send questions to Ashley Palmer and RSVP here.

Accotink Creek Stream Monitoring Session

Lake Accotink Park, Springfield VA
Saturday, 14 September 2019
9:30 – 11:30am

Join Friends of Lake Accotink Park and Friends of Accotink Creek for a rewarding and fun time for adults and children who enjoy helping our parks and environment by identifying and counting stream critters to document the health of the stream. RSVP here.

Holmes Run Stream Monitoring Workshop

Roundtree Park, Falls Church VA
Saturday, 19 October 2019
9 – 11:30am

Join Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District as they discover aquatic life in Holmes Run! This official NVSWCD stream monitoring workshop covers watershed health, what macroinvertebrates tell us about stream quality, and what you can do to prevent pollution in your local stream. This workshop will also help to prepare you to become a certified stream monitor. Registration is limited. Send questions to Ashley Palmer and RSVP here.

Reston Association Stream Monitoring Workshop

Reston VA
Saturday, 19 October 2019
1:30 – 4:30pm

What better way to enjoy the changing seasons than to get your feet wet in one of Reston’s streams? RA welcomes new volunteers to assist with stream monitoring at several locations. Get involved with a small team to collect data and identify insects with the goal of assessing the health of Reston’s streams. Not only do you get to learn about streams, it also provides an opportunity to make new friends! Learn more and register.

Reston Association Stream Monitoring Workshop

Reston VA
Saturday, 16 November 2019
11am – 2pm

What better way to enjoy the changing seasons than to get your feet wet in one of Reston’s streams? RA welcomes new volunteers to assist with stream monitoring at several locations. Get involved with a small team to collect data and identify insects with the goal of assessing the health of Reston’s streams. Not only do you get to learn about streams, it also provides an opportunity to make new friends! Learn more and register.

Working together to keep Fairfax County streams healthy

Valerie Bertha

Front Row left to right: Victoria Skender, Richard Skender. Back row, left to right: volunteer, Bradley Simpson, representing Audubon, Terri Skender

Over three years ago, I started attending stream monitoring sessions with Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD). I was amazed at how much fun I had learning how to identify the benthic macro invertebrates (tiny spineless bugs) that live on the bottom of the streams in our community. I learned that the type and diversity of the creatures we found would tell us how healthy or impaired the stream was.

But the goal wasn’t just for me to learn something, stream monitors are citizen scientists whose work complements that of the NVSWCD. By submitting the data we collect to Virginia Save Our Streams, citizens have the opportunity to identify streams that need help and work with the county to determine a plan of corrective action. Our efforts also provide a baseline for monitoring pending construction projects to prevent any degradation of water quality.

So is the work valuable? Yes, and it’s not overly time consuming. Each session takes a mere 3 hours of the volunteer’s time.

Hellgramites from Holmes Run

But is it fun? Yes, it is! So much fun that I decided to take the next step and become a certified stream monitor. I adopted a site on Holmes Run near my house to monitor quarterly. My goal is to have around 8 volunteers per session. We find a variety of macro invertebrates: net spinners, beetles, hellgrammites, black flies, midges, flat worms and sometimes stone flies.

Anyone can volunteer. I have trained multiple girl scout troops, run workshops for high schoolers, and always accept individual volunteers. You do not need to be an FMN member. I enjoy working with NVSWCD because they provide the equipment and training certification, and they are always helpful.

Are you curious about the water quality of your local stream? Would you like to make a positive difference in our environment? Join me or other volunteers and participate in stream monitoring. Start here. Just search under Fairfax County Stream Monitoring.

If you would like to come to one of my quarterly stream monitoring sessions please send me an email at valerie.bertha@gmail,com. My next session is August 18, 9 am – noon. I will host another in November, time to be determined.

Revitalize, Restore, Replant (R3) seeks volunteers

Fairfax County Stormwater division is seeking plant-knowledgeable volunteers (on a one-off or recurring basis) to help thin/weed native plant gardens installed on school properties around the county through their “Revitalize, Restore, Replant! (R3) program“.

Each school’s garden has been documented with the species planted, and your skill comes in to help remove plants that aren’t those desirable plants as well as to thin natives that have made the garden look “messy”. Volunteers can work with Stormwater to even take some natives home, if that is of interest. Additionally, if you know of better species that you’d recommend for a certain garden, suggestions are welcome! The spreadsheet (R3 Plantings and Survivorship) has school names, locations (city/zip), and types of plants included to make the task even easier.

How often would you need to visit? Overall, it would be great to get volunteers (not necessarily the same one) to visit each garden 3-4 times a year, with a few times during the growing seasons and then a March visit to help prep the site for spring growth.

If you’re interested in helping one-off or on a recurring basis, please contact watersheds@fairfaxcounty.gov.

This project qualifies for service hours as Project S224, Stewardship projects for Fairfax County Public Schools.

NVSWCD stream monitoring workshops and sessions

Reston Association Stream Monitoring Workshop

When: Saturday, July 13, 8:00-11:00am

Where: Reston VA

Spring is here and the warm weather is creeping back. What better way to enjoy the changing seasons than to get your feet wet in one of Reston’s streams? RA welcomes new volunteers to assist with stream monitoring at several locations. Get involved with a small team to collect data and identify insects with the goal of assessing the health of Reston’s streams. Not only do you get to learn about streams, it also provides an opportunity to make new friends! Learn more and register.

Pope’s Head Creek Stream Monitoring Session

When: Saturday, July 13, 9:00am-12:00pm

Where: Old Colchester Rd., Fairfax Station VA

Please join us at this lovely site where we can drive right up to the stream bank. No experience necessary. Find details here. RSVP to Margaret here.

Little Pimmit Run Stream Monitoring Workshop

When: Saturday, July 13, 10:00am-12:30pm

Where: Off Maddux Lane, McLean, VA

Join NVSWCD as we discover aquatic life in Pimmit Run! This official NVSWCD stream monitoring workshop covers watershed health, what macroinvertebrates tell us about stream quality, and what you can do to prevent pollution in your local stream. This workshop will also help to prepare you to become a certified stream monitor, and is the last NVSWCD workshop before the certification workshop in August. Registration is limited. Send questions to Ashley Palmer and RSVP here.

Lake Accotink Stream Cleanup

When: Sunday, July 14, 9:00-11:00am

Where: Lake Accotink Park, Springfield VA

* Lake Accotink Trail entrance at Ellet and Inverchapel Road

* Lake Accotink Marina

* Lake Accotink Trail entrance at the end of Danberry Forest Drive (Kirkham and Uxbridge Court Playground

Meet at one of the above locations, pick up trash bags from the volunteer lead, and hit the trail to fill your trash bags with debris. Long sleeves, gloves, boots, and long pants are encouraged. Learn more on the Friends of Accotink Creek calendar.

Broad Run/Dawkin’s Branch Stream Monitoring Session

When: Saturday, August 3, 10:30am-12:30pm

Where: Bristow, VA

Parking is in the upper parking lot of Victory Lakes Elementary School parking at 12001 Tygart Lake, Bristow VA 20136. Follow signs near the playground to the Broad Run trail near the kiosk area. Join Sonnie Coffey at this beautiful adopted outdoor learning site for more water quality awareness in Prince William County. You’re invited to come learn more about benthic invertebrates and how they can determine the water quality of a stream. For more information and RSVP, please contact Sonnie Coffey.

Reston Association Stream Monitoring Workshop

When: Wednesday, August 14, 1:00-4:00pm

Where: Walker Nature Center, Reston VA

Summer is here and the warm weather is creeping back. What better way to enjoy the changing seasons than to get your feet wet in one of Reston’s streams? RA welcomes new volunteers to assist with stream monitoring at several locations. Get involved with a small team to collect data and identify insects with the goal of assessing the health of Reston’s streams. Not only do you get to learn about streams, it also provides an opportunity to make new friends! Learn more and register.

Reston Association Stream Monitoring Workshop

When: Saturday, August 24, 8:00-11:00am

Where: Reston VA

Summer is here and the warm weather is creeping back. What better way to enjoy the changing seasons than to get your feet wet in one of Reston’s streams? RA welcomes new volunteers to assist with stream monitoring at several locations. Get involved with a small team to collect data and identify insects with the goal of assessing the health of Reston’s streams. Not only do you get to learn about streams, it also provides an opportunity to make new friends! Learn more and register.

NOVA Stream Monitor Certification Workshop

This event is jointly organized by the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District and the Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District and is open to anyone aspiring to become a Certified Stream Monitor.

Once certified, a monitor can adopt a stream site to monitor quarterly. The certification/training follows the Virginia Save Our Streams (SOS) monitoring protocol and the data collected is sent to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

All certified monitors are also invited to seize this opportunity to meet with the Chesapeake Monitoring Council Coordinator for new monitoring meters or get old meters calibrated.

To register and for more information,

please contact Veronica Tangiri (Prince William) or Ashley Palmer (Fairfax)

99th Green Breakfast, July 13th

Brion’s Grille
10621 Braddock Rd, Fairfax, VA 22032
Saturday, 13 July 2019
Breakfast begins at 8:30 am
$10 at the door, cash preferred
No prior registration required.

A Look Back: 20 Years with the Soil and Water Conservation District
Asad Rouhi, Ph.D.
Urban Conservation Engineer, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District

As he ends his tenure with the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District and looks forward to retirement at the end of July, Dr. Rouhi joins us to share his wit and wisdom after more than 20 years of service with the district.

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.

Rain Barrel Workshop, June 15th

Fairlington Community Center
3308 S. Stafford St., Arlington VA
Saturday, 15 June 2019
10am – 12pm

Rain barrels purchased from retail sources can be expensive. As part of a regional initiative, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District offers build-your-own rain barrel workshops and distributes low-cost rain barrels to Fairfax County citizens. You will learn how to install and maintain a rain barrel and take one home! By installing a rain barrel at your home you will provide your plants with water they will love, save money and water, and protect the Chesapeake Bay! The workshop is free to attend and learn more about rain barrels, and building a rain barrel for you to take home is $55. Learn more about the program and register to attend this workshop.