Hikers, listen up!

Article and photo of Sully by FMN Marilyn Parks

Two of my favorite things come together in Ellen Reid’s SOUNDWALK, nature and music.  Ok, three of my favorite things since I get to bring Sully!  

Wolf Trap Park offers two trails that take hikers through the winding, woody parkland behind the Filene Center.  SOUNDWALK is GPS-enabled work of free public art that uses music to illuminate the natural environment.  It has been tailor-made to its setting and encourages calm reflection and introspection as you follow the blue (2.5 miles) or orange (1.5) trail markers.  The sun was gleaming on Wolf Trap Run, the woods alive with spring growth.  Take time to look at the Redbud and Dogwood trees in bloom, the spring beautifies popping up through the forest floor.

Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK was co-commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Mann Center for the Performing Arts in association with The Fairmount Park Conservancy, and the Britt Festival Orchestra.  For more information on specific presentations, visit

Now through September 6, 2021 at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.  Free.  If you go, download the app before you arrive at the park and remember to bring your earbuds – not everyone wants to hear music as they’re walking the trails.

Note that the Ranger Station is closed and due to construction projects, many areas of the park are closed in the interest of public safety.  Face masks are required on NPS administered lands where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Be a Citizen Scientist at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts! Bluebird and Purple Martin monitors needed. Training March 15th

Orientation and Training
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
1551 Trap Road, Vienna, VA 22182
Sunday, 15 March 2020
1:00 to 3:30 pm

The National Park Service and Friends of Wolf Trap, would like to enlist the help of a team of volunteers who would form a Bird House Monitoring Team to monitor and maintain the Bluebird boxes and Purple Martin housing at the Park. No experience is necessary, as volunteers would be provided with training and guidance by our lead bluebird trail volunteer, Mr. Dale Thornton. Volunteers would learn about Bluebird stewardship efforts, including how to monitor the nest boxes, nest identification, and collecting and reporting nesting data to track population trends. In addition, volunteers would receive training from Mr. Mike Bishop of the Northern Virginia Purple Martin Initiative who will provide an overview of the Purple Martin and the process for monitoring and maintaining the colony.

The bluebird and purple martin monitoring season typically starts in late March and continues through August.  Nests are monitored on a weekly basis during the spring/summer nesting season and volunteers will help with box repair and maintenance during the off season, on an as-needed basis.  A team of trained monitors who will work on a rotating basis throughout the season and continue next year and into future seasons.  Ideally, each trained volunteer would be on a three- or four-week rotation; however, the monitoring schedule and associated details will partly depend upon how many people choose to volunteer.

The interested volunteers should be adults who have received the appropriate training and hands-on experience monitoring bluebirds on the Wolf Trap bluebird trail.  Children under the supervision of the trained volunteer monitor are welcome to assist the volunteer while they are conducting their monitoring duties.

Interested volunteers please sign up here. For more information, contact Allen Hoffman (Friends of Wolf Trap and FMN)

Master Naturalists may receive service hours at S263, Wolf Trap Stewardship Projects.

Stiltgrass overwhelms natives! Help remove it Sep. 7th

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
1551 Trap Rd., Vienna VA
Saturday, 7 September 2019
9 am – Noon

The meadow garden at the  Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is in the one-acre circle (or “Dimple”) in front of the ticket windows. It is a vibrant pollinator habitat and nectar source but will not continue to thrive if the stiltgrass remains. Japanese stiltgrass is an aggressive invasive species that pushes out beneficial native plants. Late summer is the perfect time to pull it, right right before it flowers and re-seeds.

No experience necessary! Training on how to ID and remove stiltgrass will be provided at the event. Please bring water, garden gloves, insect repellent, and sun protection. Please RSVP here  

This volunteer event is organized by the Friends of Wolf Trap and Fairfax Master Naturalists. FMNs may record service hours to S263: Wolf Trap Stewardship Projects.