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Volunteer opportunity: Wildlife program for children at Lorton Church

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir (c)

Victory Temple
7218 Lockport Place, Lorton, VA
Tuesday, 16 July 2019
6-6:45 pm OR 7-7:45 pm

If you love sharing nature with kids, this is for you!

This is a nature program for kids with the theme “In the Wild.”  Your choice – just insects or native insects, reptiles and amphibians.  Hidden Oaks Nature Center (7701 Royce St., Annandale, VA) provides materials, animals and (if desired) script. Project includes transport and set up of materials. Audience will be 30-40 children, grades K-6.

Fairfax Food Council Presents: Gardening with Deer, Squirrels, and Other Hungry Creatures, June 18th

Daniels Run Peace Church
3729 Old Lee Hwy., Fairfax, VA 22030
Tuesday, 18 June 2019
7 – 8:30pm

Are you feeding wildlife instead of the people your garden produce was intended to nourish? You’re invited to hear Adria Bordas give a presentation on preventing deer, squirrels and other creatures from overwhelming your garden. The last half of this workshop will be a roundtable discussion of local gardeners sharing tips and techniques for making your garden a less easy target for birds and four-footed filchers. Click here to register by June 14th.

Nationwide casting call for wildlife experts

Have you built your life around animal wildlife?
Have you lived or visited ecosystems to study or take care of wild animals?
Do you want to share your adventures about your encounters with animals?
Do you understand the behaviors of wildlife?
Do you want to be on TV?

A major network is developing a series around people who work in wildlife in order to experience an animal habitat.  In this groundbreaking series, they are looking to chart experiences about being amongst a pack of wild animals:  how they gain trust, find their place in the hierarchy, and what survival is like when they play by wild animal rules.

The casting director is looking for people who live with, or near, or visit wild animals in order to understand how the animals live. The series will be filming all over the country and he is looking for those whose expertise lies with any wildlife.

This would be a great opportunity for the expert to explain to viewers what makes these animals tick and to dismiss any sort of stereotypes. Whether it is biologists, naturalists, guides or caretakers, he wants people who love these animals, have experience in the wildlife field, and know how to communicate with them.

For more information email Joepinzone80@gmail.com.

“Road projects” for wildlife: Your hedge as sanctuary

If you are the only turtle living in someone’s yard, where are you going to find a mate? Asphalt and lawns are fine for moving people around, but they create barriers for wildlife. Fragmentation of our natural areas has a lot to do with why box turtle sightings are an increasingly rare occurrence in the suburbs.

Eastern box turtle, Plant NOVA Natives

Our parks, only some of which are large enough or undisturbed enough to nurture biodiversity, make up a small percentage of the land in Northern Virginia. It is up to us to connect those natural areas into wildlife corridors by using our own yards. By lining our properties with hedges, we can create pathways for turtles and other wildlife to navigate the landscape. Ideally such pathways would be uninterrupted, but even creating a series of islands is effective. Not only can native plants provide shelter, but the fruits, berries, and seeds they produce will attract songbirds to liven up our landscapes. Have you ever noticed that birds congregate on properties that have thickets?

Creating a hedge is very simple. Start by planting two or three native shrubs where you now have lawn, allowing dead leaves to create a ground layer. Add more shrubs and trees as your time and energy allow – the wider the corridor, the better. Many suggestions for suitable plants of various heights can be found on this page of the Plant NOVA Natives website. Hedges, which can look relaxed and natural like a hedgerow, or clipped and formal, provide the additional benefits of capturing stormwater and enhancing privacy.

For a little more inspiration, watch our two-minute video about the secret goings-on within native plantings. (The hotline keeps breaking–try this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGd2507_uNw&feature=youtu.be)

By the way: if you ever stop your car to help a turtle cross the road, be sure to deliver it to the side where it was heading, and no further. Box turtles are territorial and will not survive if you move them any distance.

Become a Wildlife Rescue League transporter

Wildlife Rescue League operates a wildlife hotline in the Northern Virginia and surrounding areas to inform the help them find a wildlife rehabilitator. WRL also educates the public about the natural history of native wildlife, coexisting with it, and preventing the need for wildlife rehabilitation.

WRL has two types of support needs: transport and hotline support.

Transport volunteers are needed for:

  • Short, ad hoc trips
  • Long, scheduled trips between rehabilitators
  • Daily pick-ups from the Fairfax Animal Shelter

This project is year round, although Spring and Summer have a greater transport volume.

Hotline volunteers:

Retreive messages left by the public, shelter, or veterinarian’s office in a voice messaging system (VMS). The volunteer will return the call, providing advice or a referall to a wildlife rehabilitator. Volunteers work designated shifts from their own homes calling into the VMS. WRL asks volunteers to commit to signing up for 3-4 two to two and a half hour shifts per month.

This project is year round and takes place in the volunteer’s home or anywhere they have access to a phone and internet.

(Service code: consolidated with S081)

Wildlife Ecology class

This class runs 2-9 October 2018, 6-8 pm, at Graduate School USA. Cost $365

Course description

Gain an understanding of wildlife techniques and theory, including the basics of life history, identification, population and community ecology, habitat management, and animal behavior. Learn how institutional missions and federal laws influence wildlife and habitat conservation, and how humans affect and are affected by wildlife in rural, suburban, and urban environments of the Mid-Atlantic region. Pressing concerns about invasive species, the effects of climate change on wildlife, and the loss and degradation of habitats will also be discussed.

Previous courses such as Biology for Naturalists (NATH1110E) and Intro. to Ecology (NATH1160E), or equivalent, are recommended. Field Trips: October 20, November 3, and November 17, 2018.

If minimum student enrollment is not reached by one week before the scheduled start date, the course may be canceled.

Register

Get involved in Audubon’s Wildlife Sanctuary Program

Certifying properties as “Wildlife Sanctuaries” is a volunteer-driven project of the Northern Virginia chapter of the National Audubon Society.  It embraces the principles of the National Audubon Society’s Bird-Friendly Communities and promotes citizen participation in conserving and restoring local natural habitat and biodiversity.

The largest volume of acreage available for conservation and restoration of healthy green space in Northern Virginia is “at home” in our own backyards.  Incentives for participation include making a difference in aiding the environment and pride in property certification and registration as an “Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary.”

The program is open to residential properties, homeowner associations, schools, places of worship, parks and commercial properties and other potentially sustainable wildlife habitats, both public and private seeking.

Learn more about criteria, sanctuary species, and the certification process.