March 2019
Watershed Calendar
Dear ,

March marks the start of the spring stream monitoring season, which will last until the end of April. This is a very important time to monitor because until April 30, DEQ will accept nominations of waterbodies for follow-up sampling. Any water body can be nominated if you feel that it needs additional monitoring by DEQ for water chemistry, benthic macroinvertebrates, or fish tissue/trace pollutant monitoring. Once submitted, follow-up sampling should occur in monitoring year 2020. Nominate a waterbody on the DEQ follow-up monitoring website.
Stream Monitoring Events
Friends of Accotink Creek Stream Monitoring Session
When: Saturday, March 9, 9:30-11:30am
Where: Lake Accotink Park, Springfield VA
Join Friends of Accotink Creek volunteers as they assess ecological conditions in a stream, based on the presence and absence of bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Meet at the parking lot behind Lake Accotink Park Administrative Building. See Friends of Accotink Creek for additional stream monitoring information.

Helping Your Stream Through Citizen Science
When: Sunday, March 10, 2:00-5:00pm
Where: Chapman DeMary Trail, Purcellville VA
Healthy streams and waterways support a wide range of native flora and fauna. The stream running through your neighborhood is vitally important to ensuring that our larger tributaries such as the Potomac River and Goose Creek remain healthy to sustain a diverse wildlife habitat. Local streams can, however, become impaired by urban runoff and development. Join us for a stream-side demonstration and discussion examining how citizen science surveys can be used to assess local stream quality. You will see how biomonitoring surveys are conducted. You will have a chance to look at the data and at aquatic macroinvertebrates. We will discuss how the data is analyzed and how it can be used to improve our streams. At the end, you will have the opportunity to sign up for a spring survey, led by one of Loudoun Wildlife’s citizen science stream monitoring teams. Registration is limited, RSVP to Loudoun Wildlife .

Prince William (Cedar Run) Stream Monitoring Workshop
When: Saturday, March 16, 10:00am-12:30pm
Where: Evergreen Acres Farm, Hazelwood Dr., Nokesville VA
Join Veronica Tangiri of Prince William SWCD for citizen science monitoring. Come and learn more about the health of this stream and how it interacts with agriculture as it joins the Occoquan River. Contact Veronica for more information or to register.

Powells Creek Stream Monitoring Session
When: Saturday, March 30, 10:00am-12:30pm
Where: Northgate Dr., Montclair VA
Join Buck Arvin and the Merrimack Master Naturalist Team in monitoring Powells Creek in the Montclair area. Residents are welcome to come and support the data collection of this stream and learn more about water quality in their area. For directions and more information, please RSVP to Buck .
Spring Stream Cleanup Events
2019 Big County Spring Stream Cleanup Launching
When: Saturday, March 2, 9:00am-12:00pm
Where: Eagles Park, Woodbridge VA
Promote water quality and plastic pollution awareness around the newly constructed Woodbridge Boardwalk. Join the water quality awareness campaign and care for this scenic site of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. Prince William County residents are invited to come out en masse at Eagle Park in Woodbridge. To register, please visit .

Bull Run Tributary Stream Cleanup
When: Saturday, March 16, 9:00am-12:00pm
Where: Manassas VA
Join the Merrimac Farm Master Naturalists, Friends of the Square, Keep Prince William Beautiful, and other Prince William County partners to keep the stream corridor near the Bull Run Shopping Center clean under Prince William SWCD's Adopt-A-Stream program. Great for student community service hours. Light refreshment will be provided. Volunteers should come dressed for the weather, with boots and clothes they don't mind getting dirty. Learn more and RSVP to Prince William SWCD .

Potomac River Cleanup at Gravelly Point
When: Saturday, March 30, 10:00am-1:00pm
Where: Gravelly Point, Arlington VA
Get your hands dirty for clean water and make a difference in your community by volunteering with Potomac Conservancy, Green Muslims, and the National Park Service. Join us in collecting trash and enjoy the dramatic takeoffs at nearby National Airport. Register now to support healthy lands and clean drinking water!

Powells Creek Stream Cleanup
When: Saturday, March 30, 10:00am-1:00pm
Where: Montclair VA
Parking available at 15601 Northgate Dr., Montclair VA 22025. For more information about this event, please contact the Merrimac Farm Master Naturalists .
Future Conservation Leaders College Scholarship
Deadline: March 8, 2019
The Educational Foundation of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts annually offers several $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors and college freshmen for college study. The scholarships support studies related to natural resource conservation and environmental science. Applications must arrive at the NVSWCD office by March 8, 2019 . Applications for students who reside in Fairfax County must be submitted to the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, which will select a local winner, of a $1,000 scholarship, and submit it for consideration by the state committee for possible additional scholarship. Learn more and apply .

Youth Conservation Camp
Deadline: May 1, 2019
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 program brings together about 70 interested students for a week of learning about Virginia's natural resources from conservation professionals and Virginia Tech faculty. Most of the instruction is hands-on and outdoors. Youth Conservation Camp is a selective program and interested students must send their application to their local Soil and Water Conservation District. Each year, the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District receives applications, makes selections and offers a partial scholarship to students who will attend Youth Conservation Camp. The total cost of camp is usually around $550, including meals, lodging, activities, and transport during camp. Students are responsible for obtaining their own means of transportation to and from Virginia Tech. We are now accepting applications for Youth Conservation Camp, which will be held from July 7-13, 2019 at Virginia Tech. NVSWCD Application Deadline: May 1, 2019 . Learn more and apply .

2019 Conservation Poster Contest
Deadline: October 4, 2019
The Youth Poster Contest is a national competition. Students submit entries to their local Conservation District. Winning entries can be sent to state and even national competitions for judging and awards. The contest is open to the public, private or home school students, girl scout/boy scout troops, etc. Please note that both Girl and Boy Scouts that participate in the contest and submit valid entries at any level are eligible to receive the VASWCD Conservation Poster Patch.
·          K-1
·          2-3
·          4-6
·          7-9
·          10-12
Entries must be submitted to the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District by October 4, 2019. Learn more and enter .
Community Events
Prince William Master Gardener Vegetable Gardening Series
When: Saturdays, 10:15am-1:15pm (Mar 2)
Where: Haymarket-Gainesville Library, Haymarket VA
Growing our own food, using nature as a guide and incorporating sustainable practices is good for our bodies and good for the earth. This series of 3 classes cover the essential topics — planning the garden, using organic sustainable techniques to develop healthy productive gardens, and growing good garden soil. These practices are on display at our Teaching Garden in Bristow and showcased in our Saturday in the Garden programs. Taught by the Master Gardener Cook’s Garden Team. This is a free program, but please register by  email  or call 703-792-7747.

Vernal Pools 
When: Sunday, March 3, 2:00pm
Where: Mount Vernon Government Center, Alexandria VA
Join us and learn about vernal pools, what they are, and why they are important. Our guest speaker is Karen Sheffield, Manager at Huntley Meadows Park. Hosted by the Friends of Dyke Marsh . View the event flyer for more information.

Prince William Master Gardener Basics of Gardening Series
When: Saturdays, 1:00-4:00pm (Mar 9)
Where: Chinn Park Regional Library, Woodbridge VA
This series of three individual classes will allow you to discover the science behind gardening. Topics will focus on research-based knowledge of plant and soil health, right plant, right place, plant profiles, pest management and best practices for sustainable landscapes. Taught by Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers and Staff. Offered in partnership with Chinn Park Regional Library staff. We greatly appreciate their support. This is a free program, but please register by  email or call 703-792-7747. Space is limited.

Rain Barrel Workshop
When: Sunday, March 10, 2:00-4:00pm
Where: Hollin Meadows Elementary School, Alexandria VA
Rain barrels purchased from retail sources can be expensive. As part of a regional initiative, NVSWCD 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 fee is $55, which includes the rain barrel for you to take home. Learn more about the program and register to attend a workshop.

Friends of Runnymede Park Annual Meeting
When: Sunday, March 10, 4:15pm
Where: Herndon Community Center, Herndon VA
Guest speaker Leslie Sturges will present “Save Lucy.”  “Lucy” is a Little Brown Bat growing up and facing the threat of white-nose syndrome, a cold-loving fungus that attacks bats while they are hibernating. Leslie’s program will focus on the amazing abilities of bats, the crucial role they play in our ecosystem, and why it is important to “Save Lucy.” Leslie will bring live bats. The program is designed for adults and children. Free. Light refreshments at 4:15 PM, program to follow. For more information, call 703-437-7451.

The Hospitable Garden: Welcoming Beautiful Butterflies, Moths, and Other Critters
When: Saturday, March 16, 10:00am-12:00pm
Where: Long Branch Nature Center, Arlington VA
Long Branch Nature Center and the Washington Area Butterfly Club are pleased to present this talk by Tyler Ormsby and Alyssa Ford-Morel. They will talk about how to choose and cultivate plants to better create ecosystems in our yards. Tyler is a certified Master Gardener and his yard is an Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary. Alyssa is an Audubon at Home Ambassador and a Certified Master Gardener and Master Naturalist. Free program.

Annual Gardening Symposium
When: Saturday, March 23, 8:00am-4:00pm
Where: Ida Lee Rec Center, Leesburg VA
Loudoun County Extension Master Gardeners present the 10th Annual Gardening Symposium featuring noted speakers, knowledgeable practitioners, plants sellers, and vendors of gardening-related items. The symposium is a good way to get motivated and jump into the spring gardening season with new information and refreshed enthusiasm. All registration is online; registration opens in February. Learn more about the speakers and program here .

Rain Barrel Workshop
When: Saturday, March 30, 2:00-4:00pm
Where: Walter Reed Community Center, Arlington VA
Rain barrels purchased from retail sources can be expensive. As part of a regional initiative, NVSWCD 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 fee is $55, which includes the rain barrel for you to take home. Learn more about the program and register to attend a workshop.
Help Stop the Spread of a New Species of Water Chestnut
Localities, pond management personnel and the general public are asked to look for a new species of Water Chestnut (genus  Trapa ) recently found in the Potomac Watershed. It has been spreading since 1995 so you may have already encountered this floating aquatic vegetation growing over the surface of a pond, lake or other fresh waterbody. This species  is identified by the seed cases having two spines instead of four found in the Eurasian Water Chestnut. Reports of this or other invasive aquatic species can be made via a free phone app .  Water Chestnut (an annual) will sprout in May 2019, spread over the water surface and then flower and fruit by July, it drops seeds all season until it senesces after a hard frost. To stop the spread, management, by harvesting the plants by mid –July, is very successful in eradicating the plants but it may take several years of effort, if some seeds lay dormant.
Grants and More!
Free Milkweed Available to Schools
Deadline: Rolling
Monarch Watch is offering an opportunity for schools to receive free milkweed. Schools can receive a free flat of 32 milkweed plugs. Applications to receive milkweed for spring 2019 are being reviewed on a rolling basis.  Learn more and apply here .

Fairfax Water Source Water Protection & Water Supply Education Grants
Deadline: May 15, 2019
Fairfax Water is offering Watershed and Water Supply Education Grants to support citizen source water protection efforts and community activities related to water supply. Local government education agencies, state government education environmental agencies, civic groups, or not-for-profit organizations may apply for funding, technical services or a combination of these, not to exceed a total of $10,000. Grant requests must address water supply or watershed issues within Fairfax Water’s service area or watershed area in Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, or Fauquier Counties. Applications and examples of eligible projects are available online . For further information or to receive an application, contact Source Water Protection and Planning by telephone at (703) 289-6303 or by e-mail . Applications must be postmarked by May 15, 2019.