March 2018

Watershed Calendar

In This Issue
March Events
Saturday, March 3
Woodbridge VA
Wednesday, March 7
Burke VA
Wednesday, March 7
Alexandria VA
Tuesday, March 17
Arlington VA
Friday, March 9
Chantilly VA
Saturday, March 10
Woodbridge VA
Saturday, March 10
Alexandria VA
Wednesday, March 14
Frying Pan Farm Park, Herndon VA
Thursday, March 15
Gainesville VA
Sunday, March 18
Alexandria VA
Friday, March 23
Alexandria VA

This month's Watershed Calendar had undergone a few changes which give us a new, stylish look with the same Water Quality Event flavor.

Navigate the Calendar using the links on your left, peruse NVSWCD events and programs, read news affecting your local watershed, and join other like-minded conservationists in your area in Stream Monitoring events.
March Water Quality Monitoring Events
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 1:00-4:00pm
Location: Reston VA
Date: Saturday, March 17, 11:00am-1:30pm
Location: Accotink Creek, Fairfax, VA
Date: Saturday, March 31, 11:00am-1:30pm
Location: Woodbridge VA
2018 Native Seedling Sale: Place Your Orders Now!
Be shovel ready for the spring: Orders for the NoVA Conservation District's 2018 seedling sale can be placed until April 11 or until packages run out! This year's species were all chosen for their deer tolerance. The Shrub and Small Tree Package ($16.95) will include two each of the following: Common Witch Hazel, Silky Dogwood, False Indigo Bush, Spicebush and Shadblow Serviceberry. The Tree Package ($11.95) will include two each of Eastern Redbud, Shortleaf Pine/Loblolly Pine, and Pawpaw. All species are Virginia natives and wildlife friendly! Seedling packages can be picked up at the Packard Center in Annandale on April 20th and 21st. This year, there will also be a handful of build-your-own tumbler composter kits for sale. Order them with your seedlings and pick both up at the same time and place.
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 and pre-made rain barrel sale. Build-your-own workshops will be held on March 24th and April 14th, and the pre-made barrel sale will be April 20th-21st. 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. Learn more and apply!
College Scholarships for Natural Resource/Conservation Students!
The Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts annually offers several $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors for college study. The scholarships support studies related to natural resource conservation. Fairfax County students must submit their applications to NVSWCD, which will select one student for consideration by the state committee. Applications can be found online and are due by March 12, 2018.
Green Breakfast
Harnessing the Power of Stormwater: Micro-turbines in GMU Storm Drains
Date: Saturday, March 10, 8:30am
Location: Bri on's Grille, Fairfax VA

Dr. Jennifer Sklarew, George Mason University Department of Environmental Science and Policy
Nathan Moravitz, President, GMU's STEAM Undergraduates for Renewable Energy
Get ready to look at stormwater in a totally different way.  George Mason University's Dr. Jennifer Sklarew, of the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, and STEAM Undergraduates for Renewable Energy will be placing two hydropower micro-turbines in the stormwater network on GMU's Fairfax campus. Coupling the turbines with battery storage, the project will analyze the potential for small-scale clean power applications on a university campus, for use in cell phone charging stations and emergency lighting. This project will contribute to Mason's sustainability goals and it is hoped that the lessons learned from this project can create other uses for this renewed energy source in other ways.
2017 Youth Photo WinnerChris 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.
Get Ready for the 2018 Potomac River Watershed Cleanup!
Sure, it's still winter, but it's not too early to start planning for the Alice Ferguson Foundation's 30th annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup! Volunteer to pick up trash at one of the many participating cleanup sites throughout Fairfax County and beyond, or better yet, get some friends or family together and organize your own cleanup - with bags and gloves provided, of course!  The official day of the Watershed Cleanup is April 14th, but events will be held throughout the month of April, and even into March and May. Please visit the Alice Ferguson Foundation website to volunteer.
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. Several workdays are scheduled in March! The IMA calendar can be found online.
Great Falls on Dec. 30, 2017 (Kevin Ambrose)
Winter Weather Brings Beauty to Great Falls
This winter, the Great Falls region of the Potomac River experienced a brief snowfall that enticed photographers, joggers, and fishermen alike. In this article, journalist and photographer Kevin Ambrose from the Capital Weather Gang, shares his experience and photography from the event.
Join the Winter Salt Watch!
The road salt that keeps up safe from ice on roads and sidewalks during the winter can pose a threat to wildlife in the spring. It's often difficult for wastewater treatment plants to remove and can raise the salt levels in freshwater to be too high for many organisms. Learn how you can help monitor chloride levels in your local water with the Izaak Walton League of America.
Grants for Community Gardens
The Fairfax Food Council is offering grants up to $500 to establish or expand community gardens that increase the availability of fresh and local food in designated communities in Fairfax County. Information and application instructions are available online.  
How Can the Airbnb System Help Us Protect the Environment?
The Nature Conservancy has begun "renting" land from farmers to serve as seasonal wetland habitat for migratory birds. See how the system works in this New Your Times article by Seema Jayachandran featuring the conservation program BirdReturns.
FrogWatch Training
FrogWatch tracks frog populations throughout the United States. Participants will choose a monitoring site that is easily accessible and close to where they live or work to listen to frogs that are calling throughout the warmer months. There are 3 indoor trainings to help orient people with the frogs that are in the DC-metro area and their calls. Content is the same, so chose one training that fits your schedule. If you are interested please contact Matt Neff:
Saturday, March 3rd, 3:00-6:00pm @ NZP - Rock Creek Campus
Thursday, March 8th, 6:00-9:00pm @ Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, VA
Saturday, March 17th, 3:00-6:00pm @ NZP - Rock Creek Campus
Chesapeake Bay Professional Landscape Certification
The Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional (CBLP) Certification is a new, voluntary credential system for professionals who design, install, and maintain sustainable landscapes. One 2-day class is required for certification. Each class, led by regional experts, incorporates classroom work with a field-based practicum. CBLP emphasizes critical thinking, interactive learning, and collaborative practice. Visit the CBLP website for more information.

Training Dates:
March 19 AND March 20, 9:00am-4:00pm
Columbia, MD
March Event Details
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 more details and view a more complete listing of March event and course offerings.

Wood Frogs -- Friday, March 9, 7:00-8:30pm

Wood frogs are breeding in vernal pools at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Assist in collecting and releasing frogs and recording data for our amphibian survey. Wear water-proof boots and bring flashlights. Cost: $7 per person

Plants Design: Enhancing Winter Gardens -- Saturday, March 10, 10:30am-12:00pm

Green Spring Gardens horticulturist Judy Zatsick shares top winter interest plants and how to care for them, along with winter design ideas. We'll take a short walk outside to see what surprises Green Spring holds in winter (weather permitting). Cost: $18 per person

Winter Lecture: Amazing Plants for Shade -- Sunday, March 18, 1:30-2:30pm

This colorful lecture at Green Spring Gardens by Gregg Tepper, director of horticulture at the Delaware Botanic Garden, provides an in-depth look at some amazing shade plants, both native and non-native. Learn about shade and the diverse selection of plants that have adapted to the limitations, as well as advantages, of lower light. Cost: $10 per person

Garden Talk: Vegetable and Herb Gardens -- Friday, March 23, 2:00-3:00pm

There is nothing more delectable than a homegrown tomato or fresh herbs, and now is the best time to grow your own. Master gardeners at Green Spring Gardens will show you how to plan, plant and harvest a fabulous vegetable and herb garden in this program. Cost: $10 per person
Date: Saturday, March 3, 9:00am-12:00pm (Rain Date: March 17)
Location: Neabsco Creek at Eagles Park, 15801 Neabsco Road, Woodbridge VA 22191
Residents of Prince William County are invited to come out en mass for a big stream stewardship and awareness campaign on trash and littering around local streams. Come give a treat to the beautiful  Neabsco Creek which is close to the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.  This event has been organized by the Prince William Trails and Streams Collation (PWTSC) in collaborations with PW Soil and Water Conservation District (PWSWCD), Woodbridge Potomac Communities Civics Association (WPCCA), and PW County Government (Public Works, Parks and REC, Neighborhood Services). Drinking water and cleanup supplies will be provided. Please register online in advance.
Date: Wednesday, March 7, 7:30-9:30pm
Location: Kings Park Library, 9000 Burke Lake Road, Burke VA 22015
Join the Tree Commission to learn about the benefits of trees, current issues facing our trees, tree pests and diseases, and great native trees for homeowners. Sponsor tables will have additional information on tree care. Free and open to everyone.
Healthier soil means healthier and happier plants, and in this class you will learn how to create healthy soil, even if you have hard, Virginia clay! You will learn how to create and use compost, and discuss landscape and planting techniques for preventing erosion and compaction. Free. Advance registration requested at Questions, telephone 703-228-6414 or email
Program Dates:
Wednesday, March 7, 7:00-8:30pm
Beatley Library, 5005 Duke Street, Alexandria VA 22304
Tuesday, March 13, 7:00-8:30pm
Westover Branch Library, 1644 N. McKinley Road, Arlington VA 22205
Date: Saturday, March 10, 10:00am-12:30pm
Location: Lake Ridge Park, 12350 Cotton Mill Drive, Woodbridge VA
Join Rebekah Johnson (Age 13) for a Girl Scout Action project in water quality awareness with storm drains cleanup in the Lake Ridge Area. Residents in and around the Occoquan Watershed are invited to come out en masse to give their support for good water quality for the next generation. For more information contact: Rebekah Johnson at or text at 703-577-3788
Reston Association Stream Monitoring Workshop
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 1:00-4:00pm
Location: Walker Nature Center, 11450 State Rte. 4721, Reston VA
Join the Reston Association on their bi-monthly stream monitoring the Walker Nature Center. More information on Reston Association volunteer opportunities can be found on their website. Be sure to register to volunteer for this event in advance.
Date: Wednesday, March 14, 6:30-8:30pm
Location: Frying Pan Farm Park, Herndon VA
Make your pasture the envy of your community! Come learn some proven techniques for: maintaining lush pasture, applying nutrient and lime, renovating pasture, and locating, constructing and maintaining a sacrifice/heavy use area. Co-hosted by Fairfax County Park Authority, and Northern Virginia and Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation Districts, with a light dinner sponsored by Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park. Presenters: Chris Van Vlack, Urban/Ag. Conservationist, Loudoun County Soil and Water Conservation District and Willie Wood, Senior Conservation Specialist, NVSWCD. Free! Please register online in advance.
Date: Thursday, March 15, 9:30am-1:45pm
Location: Wetland Studies & Solutions, 5300 Wellington Branch Drive, Gainesville VA
Mortality and growth studies are essential to sustainably manage urban forest resources; they tell us what aspects of a planting campaign was successful and what didn't work. Yet the reality is that after the expenses of planting, watering and maintenance, there is no funding to accurately determine what percentage of trees are still thriving. In addition to local knowledge, experience and connections (i.e., the heart of the Roundtable), this event will also feature a guest who has studied this issue extensively. Lara Roman , PhD, US Forest Service Research Ecologist will present studies of how other jurisdictions throughout the nation deal with limited staffing and budgets to monitor their trees survival and growth. Learn more about the program and register online.
Date: Saturday, March 17, 11:00am-1:30pm
Location: Accotink Creek at Eakin Park
Help monitor this beautiful wooded site next to Accotink Creek and the Cross County Trail. For information, directions, and to RSVP,  please contact Dan Schwartz: dan.
Building Soil: No-Till Planting Beds and Successful Container Gardens
Date: Tuesday, March 20, 7 - 8:30pm
Location: Daniels Run Peace Church, Old Lee Hwy, Fairfax
Come hear from local farmer David Sachs, permaculturalist Cory Suter, and Extension Agent Adria Bordas how you can--with the right approaches--turn red Virginia clay into rick, dark topsoil that will greatly increase the fertility of your container gardens or garden beds. Free, but please register online.
Date: Saturday, March 31, 11:00am-1:30pm
Location: Springwoods Drive, Woodbridge VA 22192
Join certified volunteer monitor Janis Cook at this beautiful adopted site in the Lake Ridge area. Parking is along Springwoods Drive, close to the trail entrance. For more information and to RSVP, contact Janis Cook.
April Sneak Peak
Loudoun Watershed Watch Stream Monitoring
Loudoun Watershed Watch begins their stream monitoring events in April! Keep a look out for their stream monitoring trainings and events. Their first seasonal training is April 21, with stream monitoring events held throughout the month of April. View their events calendar and visit their website to learn more about their programs.
Alice Ferguson Foundation's 30th Annual Potomac Watershed Cleanup
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 River. Many participating sites are located in Fairfax County, but events are occurring throughout the DC area. Can't make it out on the 14th? The Potomac River Watershed Cleanup has events scheduled throughout all of April and May!
NoVa Soil & Water Conservation District | 703-324-1460 | |
12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 905
Fairfax, VA 22035