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Hidden Oaks Nature Center Audio Transcript

Take a look around the Hidden Oaks Nature Center website. See all those links to school programs, outreach programs, public programs, scouting programs and birthday parties?
This is a busy place.

It’s also a great place for learning about nature. Click on any of those links on the website to learn about upcoming events.

You can learn about insects, amphibians, reptiles, Native Americans, creepy-crawlies in your neighborhood, owls, squirrels, really cool icky and squishy things, turtles, snakes, bats and butterflies. And there’s even more at the park.

Inside the Hidden Oaks nature center you’ll explore natural and cultural history exhibits, and an indoor turtle farm. You can browse a library and tour an auditorium. Get your hands involved. There are exhibits where you can touch the outdoors. When the center’s open, there’s a naturalist available to answer questions.

In the wooded park around the center you’ll find Nature Playce, where families can play outdoors.

Nature Playce is a 1/3 acre natural area where you can look for animal tracks. If you haven’t spent a lot of time in the great outdoors, a naturalist can give you an introduction and safety tips, then you’re free to just play in nature.

At Hidden Oaks, you’ll find nature trails, a playground, a picnic shelter, ball fields and the Fred M. Packard Center, which hosts art and civic organization gatherings. One of the trails is an easy interpretive loop, one-third of a mile long.

Other trails with discoveries wind through the woods to a couple of ….well,….I’m not going to tell you. You’ll have to visit to see where they go.

This is a great area for bird watching and photography.

If you’re a student, keep in mind that there’s a research library available to you. The nature center is a source of information about local flora and fauna for the community.

History buffs will enjoy seeing a railroad embankment built just before the Civil War. It’s part of the Virginia Historic Landmark Manassas Gap Railroad.

Hidden Oaks is just inside the beltway and not far from the intersection of Little River Turnpike and Hummer Road.

When you visit, take a close look at the parking lot. It’s called a low impact development lot -- L-I-D for short. There’s a rain garden in the middle, and the lot is designed to let rainfall trickle between the bricks and into the rain garden, where the water is scrubbed of pollutants by several filters. That’s a lot better for the environment than runoff from an asphalt lot. You’ll see more of these in the future as the nation becomes greener.

Consider helping with a stream cleanup or being one of the site’s five dozen or so volunteers who help educate the public and protect natural resources. There’s information on what the volunteers do on the website’s Volunteer link.

Need some information about Hidden Oaks that’s not on the website? The telephone number is 703-941-1065. Better yet, there’s a naturalist on site who can show you, as well as tell you, what you want to know. So come on by and visit your park.

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