Family Backyard  
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Last child into the woods is a rotten egg!

Children in Fairfax County are lucky access to a clean, safe, outdoors is available to everyone. Anyone and everyone can spend time in nature every day.

Family BackyardThe brochure "Family Backyard" and this website is a starting point for hundreds of activities you and your family can choose to do outdoors. Build and enjoy a backyard habitat. Make visiting a park a routine. Soak up the sun, breathe in the air and listen to the wind. Explore how Fairfax families get active outside. Building a backyard habitat sound intimidating? Meet five families who did it, one step at a time or go to Green Spring Gardens to get tips for plants to get you started.

November 23Want to build a rain garden or a whole wildlife backyard? Click here for more resources.

November 23Being outside makes happy, healthy, and smart children and families. Meet us at a park soon!

November 23Share your story of being outside. Or Ask our Naturalist to help identify a new plant, bug, or animal you've found! .

Fact or Fiction



Early Goldenrod

Early goldenrod is an important part of our native plant community. It is found in recently disturbed places and is a favorite nectar source for butterflies. The moth caterpillar Goldenrod Hooded Owlet  (Cucullia asteroids)eats the leaves, and the eastern goldfinch feasts on the seeds. It flowers in early summer and continues to flower until late summer. Goldenrod reproduces each year by producing seed. It is easily outcompeted by lawn grass, so make sure the area that is planted with goldenrod remains separate from your lawn to keep it blooming year after year.

Planting instructions

Rake away leaf litter, grass or other debris and lightly scarify (scrape about ¼ inch deep) the ground. Distribute seeds evenly over the surface. Push seeds gently into the ground and water with a light mist. Cover with a thin layer of leaf litter, straw or light mulch (less than ½ inch). Water every other day (if it doesn’t rain, but only until the seeds germinate). Seeds should germinate in 7 to 14 days.




[ 12055 Government Center Pkwy. Suite 927, Fairfax, VA 22035 ]  [ 703-324-8702 ]
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