Braddock District Environmental Update


Give the Gift of Trees for the Holiday with Reforest Fairfax
Looking for a unique gift this holiday season? Consider a gift that will last a lifetime: the gift of trees. Through Reforest Fairfax, a partnership between The Fairfax County Restoration Project and Fairfax ReLeaf, five native trees will be planted in Fairfax County in honor of your recipient, and a beautiful card and certificate will be sent to notify them of the dedication. By giving trees, you will be helping to ensure a beautiful and healthy Fairfax County long into the future. Each gift costs $35 and all proceeds benefit Reforest Fairfax. http://www.fcrpp3.org/reforestfairfax/

Santa’s Hayride and Lakeside Winter Village December 14 Saturday
12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. $10 per person (children under 2 are free) To register please call 703-569-0285
It’s holly jolly family fun at Lake Accotink Park! Enjoy holiday music and merriment on a horse- or tractor-drawn wagon ride through one of the most scenic outdoor parks in the area. Warm up with seasonal treats available for purchase at our snack bar, and settle in to share stories around a toasty campfire. Also visit with Santa and tell him what’s on your wish list. Remember to bring a camera and make it your holiday family photo if you wish! Dress for the weather and plan on a brisk walk from the parking lot.
All of December - January 5

Meadowlark Garden’s Winter Walk of Lights
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Location: 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct, Vienna, VA 22182
Experience more than 500,000 LED lights and displays that bring Meadowlark Botanical Gardens to life, inlcuding a flowing stream of lights. Marvel at a two story animated fountain, stroll past the gingerbread village, and explore the beauty of nature in a whole new light! Timed tickets are available for purchase online at: http://winterwalkoflights.com A limited number will be also be available nightly at the door.

Become a Fairfax Tree Steward
Fairfax Tree Stewards are dedicated community members who protect and expand our urban forest canopy by educating the public about the value of trees, learning about the needs of the urban forest, assisting with the care of trees on public lands, and partnering with local government and community groups in improving the forested canopy. The spring training for new Stewards - which covers tree ID, biology, physiology, planting, maintenance, pruning, and selection - will be held on Tuesday evenings from February to April, with occasional Saturday field trips. Exact dates will be announced soon. The cost is $120 which covers the cost of the course, manuals, books and all other materials. No one will be turned away for inability to pay. For more information, contact Jim McGlone of the Virginia Department of Forestry - Jim.McGlone@dof.virginia.gov - or visit http://ffxtreestewards.org

Volunteer at One of Many Local Christmas Bird Counts
The Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count is the world’s longest-running citizen science project. As they have for the last 113 years, volunteers from around North America (and now the world!) will conduct local bird counts between December 15th and January 5th. This data represents an invaluable record of the long term size and health of wild bird populations. The Audubon Society of Northern Virginia has compiled a handy list of local bird counts on their website: http://www.audubonva.org

Monarch Butterfly Woes Point to the Need for More Native Plants. You Can Help!
The beautiful monarch butterfly generally ends its southern migration on November 1st in the mountains of Mexico, but this year observers have recorded a record-low number of arrivals. One of the prime culprits for this huge decline is the loss of native plants - especially milkweed - that provide food to power the monarch’s journey. Planting milkweed and other native plants in your yard can provide the food and energy needed by the monarch and other important native insects. Seed kits and guides for creating your own “Monarch Waystation” are available at: http://www.monarchwatch.org

Build Your Own Composter Workshop Date Announced
The Conservation District’s popular Build Your Own Composter program has announced the date and location of their next workshop: February 8, 2014 in the City of Falls Church. If you would like to reserve your spot early (there are only 15!) please contact Dan Schwartz at Daniel.Schwartz@fairfaxcounty.gov

Engage with Mason: Successful Campus-Community Partnerships for Organizations Focused on the Environment and Sustainability
Thursday, December 12
Time: 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: The Hub, Meeting Room 1, on the Fairfax Campus of George Mason University
Join the Mason Sustainability Institute for an informative discussion of how your organization can connect with George Mason University students and faculty and benefit from their student power and research capacity. There will be a panel discussion with Mason Students, Faculty, and representatives from local non-profits as well as time to network with colleagues. Light refreshments will be served. For directions and to RSVP, please visit the Mason Center for Leadership and Community Engagement website.

Preparing for Mother Nature

    We’ve already had two significant weather events this December, potentially indicating a snowier winter than 2012. For whatever mother nature throws our way, the Virginia Department of Transportation is ready to address it.

    However, it’s no small task to clear more than 17,000 lane miles. For a typical winter storm, dropping between two and four inches, VDOT’s goal is to clear snow in all neighborhoods within 24 hours. For larger storms, dropping approximately six inches, all neighborhoods should be cleared within 48 hours. The heavier the snowfall, the longer it will take to clear all roads.

Important links
•The best way to keep up to date winter weather related issues, and all potential emergencies in Fairfax County is through the Fairfax County Emergency blog, which can be accessed here: http://fairfaxcountyemergency.wordpress.com/.
•Check http://www.vdotplows.org/ to see where the snow plows are in Northern Virginia.
•For road conditions, call 511, check www.511virginia.org, or www.virginiaDOT.org by clicking on News and Road Conditions.
•To report a problem, you can call 1-800-FOR ROAD or send an email to novainfo@vdot.virginia.gov. VDOT is also on Twitter at @511northernva.


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