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Hidden Pond Nature Center


Hidden Pond Nature Center

[ 8511 Greeley Blvd. ] [ Springfield, VA 22152 ] [ 703-451-9588 ]


Audio Transcript

Acres of undisturbed woodland, quiet trails, splashing streams and a tranquil pond are just a few of the reasons to visit Hidden Pond Nature Center. Tucked away in Springfield, Hidden Pond is a neighborhood haven filled with wondrous things. Hidden Pond, at 25 acres, lies adjacent to the much larger Pohick Stream Valley Park which boasts over 700 acres. A new 2000-foot trail and bridge has connected the two parks, so that many more neighbors and guests can visit the Hidden Pond Nature Center as well as the pond, streams, wetlands, woods and other quiet places that these preserves have to offer.

The nature center, which is accessible to everyone, features exhibits and live displays which orient you to the park and the natural world of Fairfax County. Read More >>

In addition, the center has a small sales area featuring books and other items for the nature enthusiast and nature study areas for group visitors. Complementing the nature center are stream side and woodland walking trails, a self-guided nature trail and a one-acre pond. The park also features lighted tennis courts and a children's play area.

The nature center staff offers programs for school, youth and scout groups, community organizations and the general public. Activities include guided walks, field trips, workshops, demonstrations and special request programs by reservation on a variety of topics.


Park Map
Directions

Trail/Park Map

Normal Hours
Weekdays
Normal Hours
Weekends
Winter Hours*
Weekdays
Winter Hours*
Weekends
9-5, closed Tuesdays 12-5 11-4, closed Tuesdays 11-4
*Winter Hours = December, January, February          >>> HOLIDAY HOURS
Meet the Residents

Resident FluffyOur resident animals would like to take the opportunity to introduce themselves to you. They love to have visitors, so please come by and see them in person!

My name is Fluffy and I am a common snapping turtle - you can find more turtles like me here at the pond. I am a relative of the alligator snapping turtles that live south of Virginia. I got my name because when I shed my skin it hangs off of me in little pieces and makes me look fluffy. I am 8 years old and had been someone’s pet when I was little, but they didn’t realize I would get so big! Now my home is at Hidden Pond where I make appearances at programs about turtles. Read More >>

My shell is about a foot across, but I’m not as big as the females in my species which get twice my size! I am also lighter colored than other snapping turtles because my shell and skin have not been stained by the dark mud of the pond. I love to eat EVERYTHING! There is little that I won’t eat but I prefer worms, slugs, bugs and fish.

When I’m not doing programs or swimming in my aquarium, I like to sit by the windows and soak up the sun. In the spring and summer I like to go for walks outside. Unlike other snapping turtles, I don’t snap (except for food) and love to meet people during programs where they get a chance to touch and see what I feel like. Remember, we’re called snapping turtles for a reason and the rest of my species is usually very grumpy and snap to defend themselves if bothered. Petting me is likely one of the only times you will be able to safely touch a snapping turtle, so come and visit me - I am a one unusual creature!


Nature News - Frogs Are Calling!

Pohick Signature Series

Pohick Rangers: Instilling a Lifelong Love of Nature for 24 Years!
As told by Site Manager, Mike McCaffrey

The longest running program at Hidden Pond, the Pohick Rangers was started as a kind of nature club, patterned after such a club that I had been in at my elementary school in Maryland, when I was growing up. Remembering how much fun it had been was just one of several reasons we wanted to do something like that at Hidden Pond. The other reasons were to show off the great natural areas of our park and help young people have a fun, in-the-field learning experience. Read More >>

The topics covered in the program include wetland studies, forestry, reptiles, amphibians, arthropods, nocturnal wildlife, geology and the site’s cultural history to name a few. The hands-on netting experience down at the creek, along with fishing and bug hunting are very popular parts of this program. However, just being able to get out and explore the woodlands by climbing over logs, rocks and traversing a stream seems to be often what motivates the sense of discovery with program participants.

Sometimes program participants have done habitat restoration activities like building a vernal pool in 1998 and in 2012 - both now are amphibian breeding areas in the park. Over the years, in various sessions, well over several hundred tree seedlings have been planted in areas where invasive plant species were taken out by young people.

Since its inception in 1991, the program has helped to ready young people who would become our volunteers, and later, in some instances become staff. Currently, at Hidden Pond 3 former “rangers” are on staff. Around the county, state and nation, former Pohick Rangers are: teachers, aerospace engineers, business persons, journalists, graphic designers, doctors, college professors, serving in armed forces, scientists and many other professions. We see a wide- array of personalities in the program, but this is what makes it fun for the staff and for the group.

No matter what these young people end up doing in their adult lives, they take away a greater appreciation of what our natural world is all about and what it offers to us. They have a new compassion and respect for all living things that they will share with others. I know that this is so, for I still am friends with three of the original Pohick Rangers from 1991, and their love for nature now is still strong as it was 24 years ago.

Teen Ranger Series Summer Intro Session

Hidden Pond         Ages 12-16. Tuesdays, 4-5:30pm, $8/child. Do you want experience working in Nature? Are you always wondering what the next step in Nature studies is? These programs give introductory knowledge and hands-on experience on how our Naturalist staff cares for and educates others about nature. This is a great intro for our new 6-week series program starting in the fall.

  • June 23: Exhibit creation and care
  • July 14: Park evaluation and surveys
  • August 4: How to lead a pond study
  • August 18: Animal care

Click to Register with Parktakes Online

Enjoy Campfire Saturdays at Lake Accotink and Royal Lake Parks

Lake Accotink Dam

What better place for a campfire than on a lake?
Hidden Pond Naturalists lead adventures and campfires at your lakefront parks.
Saturday evenings from 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Register for Campfires at Lake Accotink

Register for Campfires at Royal Lake


turtle Birthday Parties

Chose a Nature or Campfire Party for a child's special day!

Parktakes Online!
To register online all you need is your member number (or barcode number), a valid email address and a Visa or MasterCard. Not a member yet? Sign up today! or call 703-222-4664.

Directions

NOTE: There are TWO Greeley Boulevards in the area. You must turn onto Greeley Blvd. where it intersects with Old Keene Mill Road approximately 1/4 mile west of Rolling Road.

Facility Address and Phone Number:
8511 Greeley Blvd.
Springfield, VA 22152
703-451-9588


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