April 2018

Watershed Calendar

In This Issue
April Events
Saturday, April 7
Alexandria VA
Saturday, April 14
Great Falls, VA
Saturday, April 21
Chantilly VA
Saturday, April 21
Sunday, April 22
Various Times
Fairfax VA
Saturday, April 21
10:00am - Noon
Alexandria, VA
Sunday, April 22
Springfield VA
Sunday, April 22
Chantilly VA
Tuesday, April 24
Chevy Chase MD

This April, celebrate Earth Day with action! There are many stream monitoring events, watershed cleanups, and other great volunteer events that will get you outside, connect you to your community, and help the environment. Events will be held throughout the month, and your participation can make a world of difference.

April Stream Monitoring Events
Date: Saturday, April 7
Location: Triangle, VA, Prince William County

Date: Sunday, April 15
Location: Haymarket, VA Prince William County

Date: Sunday, April 22, 9:00am
Location: Falls Church VA

South Run Stream Monitoring Session
Date: Sunday, April 29, 1:30-4:00pm
Location: Springfield VA

Dates: Multiple throughout April
Location: Loudoun County VA
Courtesy of Friends of the Occoquan River
Watershed Cleanup Events
Potomac River Watershed Cleanup
Date: All of April and some of May
Locations: Many
Participate in the 30th annual Alice Ferguson Foundation Potomac River Watershed Cleanup and help out at one of the hundreds of cleanups organized throughout the DC metro area, including over 50 in Fairfax County!

Cub Run Park Spring Cleanup Event
Date: Saturday, April 7, 9:00-11:30am
Locations: Centreville and Chantilly
This event is sponsored by the Cub Run Rec Center and Nature Conservancy in partnership with the Cub Run Stream Valley Park Volunteer Team. For direct inquiries and to register for the event, contact Annie Shields. Learn more about the Cub Run Stream Valley Park Volunteer Team by visiting their Facebook page.

Friends of the Occoquan Spring River Cleanup
Date: Saturday, April 21, 9:00am-12:00pm
Locations: Fairfax Station, Clifton, Occoquan, Lakeridge
You can make a difference! Help preserve one of our region's most important natural resources: The Occoquan River! Visit the Friends of the Occoquan River website to lean more.
Other Water Quality News
Nominate a Waterbody for DEQ Monitoring
Date: Application Due by April 30th
Locations: Any waterbody in Virginia
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)  
allows Virginia citizens to nominate waterbodies to be monitored by DEQ's professional ecologists. The results of DEQ monitoring are used to determine if a waterbody is meeting water quality standards set by the Clean Water Act, or if a mandatory cleanup plan - called a Total Maximum Daily Load or TMDL - needs to be formulated. If you have a waterbody that you would like to have professionally monitored, a nomination form is available on the DEQ website .

NVSWCD Initiatives and Program Updates
Rain Barrel Spring Workshop Dates
The Northern Virginia Rain Barrel Partners have announced the spring dates for their popular build-your-own workshops. A build-your-own rain barrel workshop will be held on April 14th in Fairfax City. More workshops are scheduled for later in May. Online registration and ordering is open!
Apply for the 2018 Youth Conservation Camp!
For over 35 years, the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts has sponsored a week long summer conservation camp in July for Virginia high school students on the campus of Virginia Tech. The camp provides a week of learning about Virginia's natural resources from conservation professionals and university faculty. Youth Conservation Camp is a selective program and interested students must send their applications to NVSWCD, whose staff will select which students will attend and be eligible for partia l scholarships. The pre-scholarship cost is $550. Applications are due April 23.  Learn more and apply!
2017 Youth Photo Winner
Chris Ganoe's "The Smallest Things"
VA Soil & Water Conservation District Photo Contest Now Open!
The VASWCD is committed to conservation of natural resources through stewardship and education programs, and we want to see it through your eyes. For our 2018 Photo Contest, we'd like you to take photos that showcase "Conservation Through The Seasons."  Capture those vibrant moments and express what conservation looks like to you throughout every season!  The contest runs from Feb. 1st- Aug. 15th, 2018 and each person can submit up to 10 photos.  For more information please visit the photo contest website.
Local News and Programs
Remove Invasive Plants from Fairfax County's Natural Areas
Invasive invaders such as kudzu, wisteria and stilt grass are pushing out important native flora and diminishing the health of our parks. Help turn the tide against these exotic invaders by joining the Invasive Management Area (IMA) volunteers and pulling these weeds out by their roots. Many workdays are scheduled in April! The IMA calendar can be found online.
Image Courtesy of Peter Essick/Getty Images/Aurora Creative
Grass Is Back In The Chesapeake, And Crabs Will Follow
In this article by NPR's Dan Charles , we learn how nutrient levels and runoff affect the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.
Trainings and Workshops
The working groups seeks to support, promote and improve community gardens, and create connections between gardeners and food pantries. Their monthly workshop series continues in April. Please RSVP on their website. Space is limited!.

Fruit Trees and Berry Bushes: Edible Landscaping for Fairfax Yards
Saturday April 21 @ 1:30 & 3:30pm
Sunday April 22 @ 2:30pm
Suter's Glen Permaculture Garden, Fairfax, VA
Date: Tuesday, April 24, 6:30-8:30pm
Location: Woodend Nature Sanctuary, Chevy Chase, MD
Offered by the Audubon Naturalist Society. This workshop is "Advocacy 201: Talking with decision-makers and writing comment letters and testimony". To learn more and register for upcoming workshops, please visit the workshop website.
Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia
The Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia (MGNV) are an organization of volunteers who work to promote environmentally sound gardening practices. Visit the MGNV website to sign up for one of their educational workshops, such as the DIY Sustainable Yard Series of lectures or one of numerous plant clinics.
April Event Details
Stream Monitoring Session: Prince William Forest Parkquant
Date: Saturday, April 7, 10:00am - 12:30pm
Location: Prince William Forest Park, Triangle, VA, Prince William County
Prince William Forest Park protects a large portion of the Quantico Creek, a watershed which scientists use as the water quality benchmark for the region. Join certified volunteer monitor Larry Heath and help monitor this beautiful outdoor science lab!  RVSP to Larry for directions and instructions.
Fairfax County Park Authority Events
Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) offers many events for those interested in conservation and the environment. Several interesting events are outlined below. Classes are often offered for a nominal fee. Please visit the FCPA website for details and a more complete listing of April events and course offerings.

Seasonal Opening of Green Spring's Garden Gate Plant Shop -- Saturday, April 7, 9:00am-1:00pm
Celebrate spring with the opening of the Garden Gate Plant Shop! Choose from the latest selection of shrubs, native plants, wildflowers, ornamental grasses and more. Master Gardeners will be available to answer gardening questions.

Riverbend Park Bluebell Festival -- Saturday, April 14, 10:00am-3:00pm
See the first signs of spring's arrival at Riverbend Park - a carpet of Virginia Bluebells! Enjoy wildflower walks, face painting, live animals, a moon bounce, music and more! The cost is $7 per person in advance; $9 at the door

What on Earth are We Doing for Earth  Day? -- Sunday, April 22, 1:00-4:00pm
Celebrate Earth Day at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park and learn how plastics affect our environment and our park. Explore how to reduce, reuse, restore and recycle through walks, talks and games. Attendance is free.

Explore the stream valley and pond at  Hidden Pond Nature Center with a tackle-the trash hike, critter talk and Earth Day craft. Give back to Mother Nature by appreciating and beautifying our park. Cost: $8 per person
Date: Saturday, April 14
Locations: Mulitple
Don't miss your chance to be part of the biggest Potomac River cleanup of the year! Join groups from all over our area in cleaning up the Potomac's watershed. Many participating sites are located in Fairfax County, but events are occurring throughout the DC area. Can't make it out for the official kickoff on the 14th? Affiliated cleanups continue throughout all of April and May!
Stream Monitoring Session: Catharpin Runcat
Date: Sunday, April 15
Locations: James Long Park, Haymarket, VA, Prince William County
Join crtified volunteer monitor Elaine Wilson and her team for spring monitoring at this beautiful site in the Gainesville area. This site has some outstanding critters that are rarely found elsewhere. Spots are limited. Please RSVP to Elaine  for directions.

Date: Saturday, April 21, 10:00am-4:00pm
Location: Sully Historic Site
Come to Sully Historic Site for a day full of free, hands-on activities with the theme "Healthy Planet, Healthy People." Plant a tree and touch a truck. See farm animals and nature exhibits. Challenge yourself on the obstacle course and enjoy fitness demonstrations. You can tour the first floor of the Sully historic house, too! Admission is free. Parking is $5 per car. This is Fairfax County's official Earth Day/Arbor Day celebration!
Raptor Rapturerap
Date: Saturday, April 21, 10:00am-Noon
Location: Belle Haven Park, Alexandria, VA
Come s ee and photograph live raptors like barn and barred owls, hawks and more up close at Belle Haven Park on the GW Memorial Parkway.  Co-sponsored by Friends of Dyke Marsh, the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia, and the National Park Service.  This is a great event for kids of all ages. Free, no need to RSVP.
Date: Sunday, April 22, 9:00am
Location: Falls Church, VA
Holmes Run meanders through several leafy neighborhoods and parks before emptying into Lake Barcroft. Please contact certified volunteer monitor  Valerie Bertha   if you are interested in participating in this stream monitoring event.
Environmental Film Screening: Rachel Carson
Date: Friday, April 27, 7:00 - 9:00pm
Location: Walker Nature Center, 11450 Glade Dr, Reston
This new film examines the life and work of Rachel Carson, the celebrated scientist who started the modern environmental movement. Registration recommended by April 26th: naturecenter@reston.org or 703-476-9689, ext 3.. Free, but a $5 donation is suggested.
Date: Sunday, April 29, 1:30-4:00pm
Location: South Run Stream Valley Park, Springfield, VA
Help certified volunteer monitor Veronica Tangiri at her adopted site along South Run as it flows through wooded parkland between Burke Lake and Lake Mercer. This consistently healthy spot usually has a nice diversity of invertebrates. Please RSVP to Veronica for exact directions to the site.
Dates and Locations: Multiple throughout Loudoun County
Loudoun Watershed Watch begins their stream monitoring events this month, with five volunteer opportunities scheduled throughout April. View their events calendar and their website to learn more about their programs.
May Sneak Peak
NoVa Soil & Water Conservation District | 703-324-1460 | dan.schwartz@fairfaxcounty.gov |
12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 905
Fairfax, VA 22035