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2 Volunteer 2 Go Birding 3 Adult Nature Programs 4 Learn about Gemstones 4-5 Kid’s Nature Programs 6 Family Nature Programs 6 Take a Hike!
What Good is a Park in the City?
7 Campfires 7 PreK and Tiny Tot Nature Programs 8 Fall Heritage Festival 8 Native Plant Sale 8 How to Register
NATURE PROGRAM REGISTRATION BEGINS August 13, 2013
mall urban parks and the natural areas they harbor might seem to be of little consequence compared to great national parks such as Yosemite or Yellowstone. Yet these small parks can have great significance now that about 80% of Americans live in urban areas. For most of us, local parks provide our main opportunity to enjoy nature. Natural areas in Arlington represent only a small bit of the county’s total land area, about 4.7% (including federal lands), but they play a huge role in making this a livable, urban community. Consider some of the free ecosystem services Arlington’s natural areas provide: Parks mitigate air pollution A forested park is a natural air filter. Tree leaves absorb pollutants and cause suspended air pollution particles to drop out of the air. Trees in natural areas are especially valuable in mitigating air pollution because they generally don’t need the energy-consuming maintenance that street and backyard trees require. Parks keep it cooler Temperatures in urban areas can run three to 10° F higher than nearby rural areas. Shade from trees can reduce temperatures by 20° F or more and evapotranspiration – the release of water vapor through tree leaves – provides even more natural air conditioning. Through a process called advection, cooler urban forest air moves into adjacent developed areas.
Parks protect streams and water quality Stormwater runoff from roads, rooftops and other hard surfaces pollutes local streams and causes flooding and erosion problems. Lawns absorb only about 50% of the rain falling on them with the rest going into nearby water systems. Forested areas, on the other hand, absorb nearly all of it. Trees act as natural pumps, releasing much of that rainfall back into the air. Parks makes us feel better Where else can you go in an urban area to get a dose of nature? Green is good. Numerous studies have demonstrated a link between access to natural areas and stress reduction, faster healing, improved emotional outlook, and better mental health. Pays it forward Love a park = love the future. Local parks naturally build supporters. Who goes to a park on a nice day and wishes they were inside? But even more, urban parks can also harbor rare species or ecosystems, such as the magnolia bogs in Barcroft Park. Arlington has 7 areas deemed Natural Resource Conservation Areas, such as the Barcroft Magnolia Bog, that provide the best quality habitat and natural resources we have left in the County. Natural areas in Arlington parks provide a great walk in the woods – and a whole lot more!
Sign up to receive THE SNAG and other information about our nature and conservation programs at www.arlingtonva.us/ dpr
Welcome to the new SNAG, your guide to nature and history programs in Arlington County! We’ve updated the layout, but even better...half of the paper you are holding was used, collected, and recycled- it’s 30% to 60% POST-consumer waste. And for our paperless Snag, you can use the hyperlinks to directly register for programs. Arlington County truly values its limited natural resources. We need to protect what we still have, and equally as important, help Arlington County residents benefit from these resources. Please continue to share your ideas, volunteer your time and support our community and its natural habitats. FORT C.F. SMITH PARK 2411 N. 24th St. Arlington, VA 22207 firstname.lastname@example.org 703-243-4342
GULF BRANCH NATURE CENTER 3608 Military Road Arlington, VA 22207 GulfBranchNatureCtr@arlingtonva.us 703-228-3403
LONG BRANCH NATURE CENTER 625 S. Carlin Springs Road Arlington, VA 22204 LongBranchNatureCtr@arlingtonva.us 703-228-6535
Help Us to Remove Invasive Plants!
Work parties are held every month and are making a real difference. We are starting to see the return of ferns and wildflowers in areas once covered in ivy. Adults, teens, and families with older children are all welcome to join us! No registration required. Free. Second Sundays Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. Information: 703-228-3403. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2:00 - 4:30pm Sunday, Oct. 13, 2:00 - 4:30pm Sunday, Nov. 10, 2:00 - 4:30pm Third Sundays Meet at Long Branch Nature Center. Information: 703-228-6535. Sunday, Sept. 15, 2:00 - 5:00pm Sunday, Oct. 20, 2:00 - 5:00pm Sunday, Nov. 17, 2:00 - 5:00pm
Be an environmental hero and help us develop Arlington County into a great place to live, work and play! Any group, business, or individual 18 years or older can adopt a park, playground, trail, sports field and many other areas in Arlington County's menu of parks and recreation facilities. You can't imagine how much your help is overwhelmingly appreciated. Minimally we expect adoptive groups/individuals to support the area quarterly (spring, summer, fall and winter) but it really depends on the group's goals and progress. For more information go to www.arlingtonva.us or call 703-228-4730.
Adults are invited to come birding with us! Dress for the weather and bring binoculars, a bag lunch and a drink and snacks for the day. JUG BAY WETLANDS SANCTUARY Wednesday, Sept. 18, 8:00am - 4:00pm Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary includes forests and freshwater tidal marshes along the tidal Patuxent River in southern Maryland. We will search for fall migrants, and enjoy the sanctuary’s impressive diversity of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. For more information call 703-228-6525. Meet at the Lubber Run Recreation Center parking lot, 300 N. Park Dr., Arlington, VA 22203. $45 fee due upon registration. Program #612943-D PATUXENT RIVER PARK Tuesday, Sept. 24, 7:30am - 4:30pm We'll join a Patuxent River Park naturalist for a boat ride on the river to look for rails and other marsh birds at this great Maryland destination with boardwalks through wooded and open marsh areas along the Patuxent River. We will also walk a couple miles along the Critical Area Tour which is paved and flat. For more information call 703-228-3403. Meet at the Lubber Run Recreation Center parking lot, 300 N. Park Dr., Arlington, VA 22203. $45 fee due upon registration. Program #612843-A
BATTLE OF SOUTH MOUNTAIN Tuesday, Oct. 1, 8:00am - 5:00pm The Battle of South Mountain was fought in 1862 just prior to the battle of Antietam in Maryland. Our program will visit several of the sites of the battle while also looking for birds and wildlife. We'll also stop at Washington Monument State Park and make a short hike up the hill to see the first monument dedicated to George Washington, which also happens to be a good spot for hawk watching during fall migration. For more information call 703-228-3403. Meet at the Lubber Run Recreation Center parking lot, 300 N. Park Dr., Arlington, VA 22203. $45 fee due upon registration. Program #612843-B BLANDY FARM AND SKY MEADOWS Tuesday, Oct. 15, 8:00am - 5:00pm Join us on this excursion to parks on opposite sides of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia where we'll look for fall migrants, including sparrows and raptors. For more information call 703-228-3403. Meet at the Lubber Run Recreation Center parking lot, 300 N. Park Dr., Arlington, VA 22203. $45 fee due upon registration. Program #612843-C
Join members of the Northern Virginia Bird Club for an informal walk through Long Branch and Glencarlyn Parks in search of resident birds. Beginning and experienced birders welcome. Bring binoculars and field guides if you have them. For information: 703-228-6535. Meet at Long Branch Nature Center parking lot. Free.
Wednesday, Sept. 4, 8:30 - 11:00am Program #612943-A
Wednesday, Oct. 2, 8:30 - 11:00am Program #612943-B
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 9:00 - 11:00am Program #612943-C
The SNAG — Arlington County’s Guide to Nature and History Programs
Workshops & Walks
AUDUBON AT HOME AMBASSADOR TRAINING Saturday, Sept. 14, 9:00 - 11:00am Adults. Create bird and butterfly-friendly landscapes in the place where we have the greatest potential to expand environmentally sustainable habitats ----- around our homes! The Arlington County Nature Center staff, Arlington Regional Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia, the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia Audubon at Home Program, and Virginia Cooperative Extension have joined forces to teach residents to create habitat on your own property and how to assist other in creating healthy habitat on their properties. Become a trained Audubon at Home Ambassador in this introductory training. For more information call 703-228-6535. Meet at Long Branch Nature Center. Registration required but free program. Program #612943-E SPIDER ID AND NATURAL HISTORY Sunday, Sept. 15, 1:00 - 3:30pm Adults and teens. As both predators and prey, spiders play vital roles in ecosystems around the world. Join us to learn about the lives and identification of common local spider families. We’ll divide our time between an indoor talk and a field exploration. Information: 703-228-6535. Meet at Long Branch Nature Center. $10 fee due upon registration. Program #612943-F PROJECT LEARNING TREE Adults. Whether you are an formal educator or informal, learn how to bring children outside to learn about the environment. Project Learning Tree is an interdisciplinary, award-winning environmental education program designed by educators for educators. Each participant will bring home a book with 99 lessons that help students connect classroom concepts to the real world through a variety of hands -on activities. Please bring a bag lunch and drink. $10 materials fee to be paid at the program. For information call 703-228-3403. Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. K-8. Sunday, Sept. 22, 10:00am - 4:00pm Program; #612843-D Pre-K. Sunday, Sept. 29, 10:00am - 4:00pm Program #612843-E
ASTRONOMY QUEST Saturday, Oct. 12, 6:00 - 10:30pm Adults. Travel to the darker skies of the Shenandoah mountains to celebrate Astronomy! We’ll join other space cadets at Sky Meadows State Park as astronomy enthusiasts and experts share their knowledge - and telescopes - with the public. This is a great chance to see the universe! Participants are encouraged to take 'Stargazing 101' beforehand, but raw beginners are welcome too. Vans leave from Lubber Run Center parking lot, 300 N. Park Dr., Arlington, VA 22203. $15 fee payable on the day of the program. Program #612843-G DESIGNING A SUSTAINABLE GARDEN Saturday, Oct. 19, 9:00am - 1:00pm Adults. A beautiful and environmentally friendly home landscape grows from a workable design--one that you can comfortably implement and maintain. Whether you are doing it yourself or working with a designer or contractor, this program organized by Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners will give you the knowledge to evaluate your site, identify your needs, and choose plants and materials appropriate for local conditions. The program is a great foundation for developing your own detailed plan in the January 2014 Making Your Yard Sustainable Workshop Series. $15 registration fee. Register by contacting the VCE Master Gardener Help Desk (703-228-6414 or mgarlalex@ gmail.com). FABULOUS FUNGI 101 Thursday, Nov. 7, 7:00 - 8:00pm Adults. Want to tell a toadstool from a 'bird's nest'? Come learn to recognize some common families of fungi. We'll also take a look at field guides, and learn some basic mushroom 'anatomy' that will help you use them. Participants are encouraged (but not required) to also join us on our Fabulous Fungi Hike, too! For more information: 703-228-3403. Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. $5 fee due upon registration. Program #612843-H
The Forest Unseen: A naturalist’s manifesto
Join author David George Haskell as he relates his year of scientific and personal observations of a single square meter in the old growth forest of the Cumberland Plateau. Haskell’s award-winning book The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature, has been hailed as a "new genre of nature writing, located between science and poetry". Monday, September 30 at 7:00pm, Arlington Central Library. The program is co-sponsored by the Arlington Regional Master Naturalists, the Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society and Friends of the Library.
FALL FUNGI HIKE Saturday, Nov. 9, 2:00 - 4:00pm Adults and teens. On the Turkey Run Trail, fantastic mushrooms, fungi and lichen abound. Join us on a walk with a naturalist to explore our fabulous fungi. Hike is rocky and steep in places. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a water bottle. Participants are encouraged to join us beforehand for Fabulous Fungi 101, but raw beginners are welcome too! For more information: 703-228-3403. We’ll contact registrants with directions to our meeting site at Turkey Run Park. $5 fee due upon registration. Program #612843-I OF ALL THE GALL(S) Saturday, Nov. 16, 9:00 - 11:30 AM Adults. Have you ever wondered about those strange little bumps, swellings and other growths on leaves and stems? They’re galls and are usually made by gall-making insects and mites. Through a lecture and field exploration, adults and teens. Are invited to explore how insects hijack a plant’s growing mechanism to make a home for themselves or their young, what insects make galls, and how to recognize common galls in the field. Information: 703-228-6535. Meet at Long Branch Nature Center. $10 fee due upon registration. Program #612943-G
STARGAZING 101 Wednesday, Oct. 9, 7:00 - 8:30pm Adults. Whether paired with our Astronomy Quest or just on its own, this program will improve your stargazing skills! Learn to find basic fall constellations, make a starfinder, and get a cosmic sense of perspective. For more information: 703-228-3403. Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. $5 fee due upon registration. Program #612843-F
Kids Get Nature
VULTURES Wednesday, Oct. 9, 4:00 - 5:00pm Ages 6 - 10. Come scavenge for facts and clues about Vultures. We'll learn about the vital role they play in nature. Information: 703-228-6535. Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. $5 fee due upon registration. Program #612923-N BONE TALES Sunday, Oct. 13, 2:00 - 3:30pm Ages 6 - 10. Backbones, ribs and skulls - oh my! Unravel the mystery of bones and join the BSI - Bone Scene Investigation. What do bones tell us about the animals that once owned them? Discover the difference between vertebrates and invertebrates, the five classes of vertebrates, and which group you belong to. Come read the clues and unearth the secrets of BONES! Information: 703228-6535. Meet at Long Branch Nature Center. $5 fee due upon registration. Program #612923-O TERRIFIC TOADSTOOLS Wednesday, Oct. 30, 4:00 - 5:00pm Ages 6 - 10. Register child only. We'll search the woods for terrific -or terrifying - toadstools, strange shrooms like 'witches butter', make spore prints, and more. For more information: 703-228-3403. Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. $5 fee due upon registration. Program #612823-O LITTER CRITTERS Wednesday, Nov. 13, 3:00 - 4:00pm Ages 6 - 10. In the fall, the action moves down to the forest floor along with the falling leaves. We’ll hunt for crickets, centipedes, millipedes and other leaf litter critters and learn how they enrich the soil and keep the leaves from piling up to the tree tops. Information: 703-228-6535. Meet at Long Branch Nature Center. $5 fee due upon registration. Program #612923-P
SUPER SPIDERS Wednesday, Sept. 25, 4:00 - 5:00pm Ages 6 - 10. Get ready for October scares by learning about our 8-legged loveable (and not so loveable) friends. Information: 703-228-3403. Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. $5 fee due upon registration. Program #612823-N ACORNS TO OAKS Saturday, Oct. 5, 10:00 - 11:00am Ages 6 - 10. Which oaks are red, white or black and what kind of acorns do they make? How do squirrels and blue jays spread oaks around and what is an acorn weevil anyway? Join us and find out! Information: 703-228-6535.
Meet at Long Branch Nature Center. $5 fee due upon registration. Program #612923-L NATURE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY Sunday, Oct. 6, 2:30 - 4:30pm Ages 9 - 14. Learn about local wildlife and learn some tips on how to take pictures. We'll take a short hike with our cameras and also have an opportunity to photograph some live nature center animals. Bring your own camera (camera phones are fine too). The center has a couple of digital cameras for loan. Information: 703-228-6535. Meet at Long Branch Nature Center. $7 fee due upon registration. Program #612923-M
Ages 9 to 14 meet at Long Branch Nature Center to learn these traditional survival skills. Call 703-228-6535 for more information. $7 fee due upon registration. FIRE BUILDING Friday, Sept. 20, 4:00 - 5:00pm Learn how to start a fire - and keep it alive! We'll cover everything from where to find tinder and a sparking rock, to making and using a bow drill. Program #612923-A SMOKE SIGNALS Friday, Sept. 27, 4:00 - 5:00pm We'll build off of our firestarting skills and learn how to send smoke signals! We'll cover what to use to bellow smoke and take home your own firestarter kit. Program #612923-B ID POISONOUS AND VENOMOUS Friday, Oct. 4, 4:00 - 5:00pm To survive, you need to know what plants and animals to use - but knowing which ones to avoid can be even more important! Program #612923-C PURIFYING WATER Friday, Oct. 11, 4:00 - 5:00pm You can go days without food - but drinkable water is a survival priority! Program #612923-D KNOT KNOW- HOW Friday, Oct. 18, 4:00 - 5:00pm We'll learn a few basics that will help you out of a tangle. Then we'll tie ourselves into a giant human knot! Program #612923-E CORDAGE Friday, Oct. 25, 4:00 - 5:00pm Learn how to wrangle some rope and other natural stand ins so you'll never be left hanging! Program #612923-F BANDANAS Friday, Nov. 1, 4:00 - 5:00pm This pocket square can do amazing things. Bandage, dust mask, hair tie and more! Program #612923-G SHELTER BUILDING Friday, Nov. 8, 4:00 - 5:00pm In Shelter Building, you'll learn how - and where! - to build temporary shelters to keep you warm and dry. We'll cover defeating drafts and finding insulating materials, too! Program #612923-H
The SNAG — Arlington County’s Guide to Nature and History Programs
See, Hear, Sketch
Ages 5-9 meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. Budding artists and attentive observers are invited to attend one or all of these sessions. Art supplies will be provided, but feel free to bring your own sketchbook and pencil. Call 703-228-3403 for more information. $5 fee due upon registration. TREE BARK Saturday, Sept. 21, 10:00 - 11:30am Hear stories and legends explaining and exploring why trees have different bark, and learn to sketch their different textures and subtle colors. Program #612823-J AUTUMN LEAVES Saturday, Oct. 12, 10:00 - 11:30am By fall, every leaf has a story to tell. Learn to read some of them by observing closely, then try to capture the colors and details yourself. Program #612823-K SNAKES IN WINTER Saturday, Nov. 2, 10:00 - 11:30am Look at the winter behaviors and biology of Arlington's most common snakes, and learn their unique appearances by making detailed drawings of the patterns on their backs. Program #612823-L DEER AND WINTER DEER YARDS Saturday, Nov. 23, 10:00 - 11:30am What are the winter habits of our white-tailed deer? We learn about coat colors, falling antlers, deer tracks and other changes and signs, and sketch our own deer portraits. Program #612823-M it a popular gemstone. Legends tell that it was used by Viking navigators to find the sun in the foggy waters of the North Atlantic. Program #612823-G
Learn about Gemstones
Ages 7 - 11. Register child only. Budding geologists and gem lovers are invited to join us for a year's worth of fun and collecting at the Gemstone Club. Attend one or all of the sessions; we meet once each month. We will learn about birthstones and the alternate stones for each month. There will be polished gems and uncut crystals to examine, and we will find out about the geology, mining, legends, and literature for each gem. All participants will take home a beautiful gemstone in a protective display box. Collect a year's worth of gems, as well as an attractive color photo card to go with each month's birthstone. For more information: 703-2283403. Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. $12 fee due upon registration. SAPPHIRE Wednesday, Sept. 4, 4:00 - 5:00pm; Program #612823-A Saturday, Sept. 14, 10:30 - 11:30am; Program #612823-B OPAL Wednesday, Oct. 2, 4:00 - 5:00pm; Program #612823-C Saturday, Oct. 5, 10:30 - 11:30am; Program #612823-D TOPAZ Wednesday, Nov. 6, 4:00 - 5:00pm; Program #612823-E Saturday, Nov. 9, 10:30 - 11:30am; Program #612823-F
Ages 8 - 12. Register child only. Kids who have completed 12 months of the Gemstone Club at Gulf Branch Nature Center can add to their knowledge of gems and increase their collections at this monthly program. For more information call 703-228-3403. Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. $12 fee due upon registration. IOLITE Wednesday, Sept. 11, 4:00 - 5:00pm Sometimes called "water sapphire," Iolite's violet color makes
TOURMALINE Wednesday, Oct. 16, 4:00 - 5:00pm Tourmaline, October's alternate birthstone, occurs in an amazing variety of colors. The last empress of China adored the deep pink variety. Collect your own tourmaline at this program. Program #612823-H
APATITE Wednesday, Nov. 20, 4:00 - 5:00pm November's gem, apatite, is not usually seen set in jewelry because it is one of the softer gems. It's astonishing blue and teal colors can compete with the more famous gems in intensity. #612823-I
The Snag is published quarterly by Arlington County’s Department of Parks and Natural Resources. The Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation is one of 100 agencies nationwide to have received national accreditation from the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies. For more information go to www.arlingtonva.us/dpr.
MAKING CIDER Friday, Sept. 6, 4:00 - 5:00pm Families, with children ages 6 and up. We’ll enjoy some different varieties of apples, make apple cider, and help protect several apple trees we planted last year! For more information: 703-228-3403. Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. $5 fee due upon registration. Program #612853-G
LONG BRANCH PUPPET THEATER
Come one, come all to the exciting return of the Long Branch Puppet Theater. Children ages 3-12 can watch as stories come to life in this rompin' puppet play. Stick around to meet the cast and (live animal) characters afterward. Information: 703-228-6535. $5 fee per child due upon registration. Register child only; however an accompanying adult must attend. Meet at Long Branch Nature Center. $5 fee due upon registration.
Take a Hike
FAREWELL TO SUMMER SWAMP ROMP Saturday, Sept. 7, 2:00 - 4:00pm Families, with children ages 6 and up. Register children and adults. Did all those tadpoles grow up? Are the red-winged blackbirds still calling? What's happening in the swamp on the last days of summer? Registered participants will be sent direction to our meeting spot. For more information: 703-228 -3403. $5 fee due upon registration. Program #612853H
Tuesday, Nov. 5
10:00 - 10:45am, Program #612923-I 11:15am - 12:00pm, Program #612923-J 3:30 - 4:15pm, Program #612923-K
FIRST OF FALL HIKE Sunday, Sept. 22, 2:00 - 3:30pm Families, age 6 and up. Explore the trails, woods, and streamsides of Glencarlyn Park with a naturalist on the first day of fall. We’ll look for signs of the new season and for lingering signs of summer. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Information: 703-228-6535. Meet at Long Branch Nature Center.$5 fee due upon registration. Program #612953-I
Families. The whole family is invited to join us at Long Branch for a lesson in nature journaling. Information: 703-228-6535. Free.
Sunday, Sept. 29, 3:00 - 4:00pm — We'll begin by constructing our own nature journal, then head out to reconnect and record nature's wonders… focusing on seeds, nuts, and the critters that eat them! Program #612953-F Sunday, Oct. 27, 3:00 - 4:00pm — We'll begin by constructing our own nature journal, then head out to reconnect and record nature's wonders… focusing on migrating ducks and geese! Program #612953-G Sunday, Nov. 24, 3:00 - 4:00pm We'll begin by constructing our own nature journal, then head out to reconnect and record nature's wonders… focusing on the 'bones' of the earth found in winter landscapes! Program #612953-H FULL MOON HIKE Saturday, Nov. 16, 7:00 - 8:00pm Families. Wonder what animals are out and about in our local parks at night, and what they're doing? Experience our trails under the beauty of a full 'Beaver Moon'! What's that? Find out first hand as we learn to separate moon folklore and facts under the night sky! For more information: 703-243-4342. Meet at Fort CF Smith. $5 fee due upon registration. Program #612753-A
MILKWEED SAFARI Sunday, Sept. 15, 4:00 - 5:00pm Families, ages 5 and up. Register children only, but adults encouraged to attend. Who lives in and on our milkweed plants? From mighty monarchs to tiny ants, we'll meet a whole community of critters. For more information: 703-228 -3403. Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. $5 fee due upon registration. Program #612853-I FALL INTO GEOCACHING! Saturday, Sept. 28, 10:00am - 12:00pm Families. Geo-caching combines old-fashioned treasure hunting with modern technology. We'll learn the basics on how to participate in this great activity for all ages as we search for some of the caches in the park. Bring your GPS device if you have one. For more information: 703-228-3403. Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. $5 fee per person due upon registration. Program #612853-J
STILL FEELING FULL? LET'S HIKE! Saturday, Nov. 30, 3:30 - 5:00pm Ages 6 and up. Register children and adults. Still feeling full? Unlike most animals getting ready for winter, humans seem to want to burn off the calories these days… Join us on a late fall hike, to see what's happening in the woods. For more information: 703-228-3403. Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. Free. Program #612853-L
CITIZEN OF EARTH? WRITE ON! Tuesday, Nov. 5, 1:00 - 2:00pm Families, ages 6 to adult. Register children and adults. We're all citizens of planet earth, and kids are citizens, too! After voting, the next step is to let politicians know what specific issues you care about. We'll have cool stationary, postcards, stamps and envelopes. Write a few letters, and make a difference! For more information: 703-228-3403. Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. Free. Program #612853-K
The SNAG — Arlington County’s Guide to Nature and History Programs
The whole family is invited to join us lots of old-fashioned fun including s'mores - as we gather around the fire to learn about our natural world. Register adults and children; children must be accompanied by a registered adult. $5 fee due upon registration. Falcons — Saturday, Sept. 7, 7:00 - 8:00pm Long Branch Nature Center. Information: 703-228-6535. Program #612953-A Wasps & Hornets — Friday, Sept. 13, 7:00 - 8:00pm Gulf Branch Nature Center. Information: 703-228-3403. Program #612853-A Southbound Migrants — Saturday, Sept. 21, 6:30 -7:30pm Long Branch Nature Center. Information: 703-228-6535. Program #612953-B Bats — Friday, Sept. 27, 6:30 - 7:30pm Long Branch Nature Center. Information: 703-228-6535. Program #612953-C Insanely Insects — Saturday, Oct. 5, 6:30 - 7:30pm Gulf Branch Nature Center. Information: 703-228-3403. Program #612853-B Popcorn — Saturday, Oct. 12, 6:00 - 7:00pm Long Branch Nature Center. Information: 703-228-6535. Program #612953-D Snakes — Friday, Oct. 18, 6:00 - 7:00pm Gulf Branch Nature Center. Information: 703-228-3403. Program #612853-C Wildlife Folktales — Saturday, Oct. 26, 6:00 - 7:00pm Gulf Branch Nature Center. Information: 703-228-3403. Program #612853-D
Photo by Edmond Joe
Black Bears — Saturday, Nov. 2, 6:00 - 7:00pm Long Branch Nature Center. Information: 703-228-6535. Program #612953-E Coyote Stories — Saturday, Nov. 9, 6:00 - 7:00pm Gulf Branch Nature Center. Information: 703-228-3403. Program #612853-E Blacksmithing —Saturday, Nov. 16, 6:00 - 7:00pm Gulf Branch Nature Center. Information: 703-228-3403. Program #612853-F
Pre-School & Tiny Tot Programs
TINY TOT NATURE FUN! PRESCHOOL NATURE FUN!
Introduce your child, 18 - 35 months to nature. Come enjoy Hands on interactive learning and nature play for children 3 hands-on learning with a variety of activities like songs, crafts, 5 years old. $5 per child due at registration. and mini-hikes. $5 per child due at registration. Out Came the Sun Come discover light and join in as we explore our sun's Gulf Branch Nature Center incredible power at Gulf Branch Nature Center. Wednesday, Sept. 4, 10:00 - 10:45am #612813-A Wednesday, Sept. 4, 1:00 - 2:00pm #612813-J Thursday, Sept. 5 10:00 - 10:45am #612813-B Thursday, Sept. 5, 1:00 - 2:00pm #612813-K Friday, Sept. 6, 10:00 - 10:45am #612813-C Friday, Sept. 6, 1:00 - 2:00pm #612813-L Tuesday, Oct. 1, 10:00 - 10:45am #612813-D Saturday, Sept. 7, 10:30 - 11:30am #612813-M Wednesday, Oct. 2, 10:00 - 10:45am #612813-E Thursday, Oct. 3, 10:00 - 10:45am #612813-F The Great Pumpkin Tuesday, Nov. 5, 10:00 - 10:45am #612813-G Wednesday, Nov. 6, 10:00 - 10:45am #612813-H Thursday, Nov. 7, 10:00 - 10:45am #612813-I Long Branch Nature Center Tuesday, Sept. 24, 10:00 - 10:45am #612913-A Friday, Sept. 27, 10:00 - 10:45am #612913-B Saturday, Sept. 28, 10:30 - 11:15am #612913-C Tuesday, Oct. 8, 10:00 - 10:45am #612913-D Thursday, Oct. 10, 10:00 - 10:45am #612913-E Friday, Oct. 11, 10:00 - 10:45am #612913-F Thursday, Nov. 21, 10:00 - 10:45am #612913-G Friday, Nov. 22, 10:I00 - 10:45am #612913-H Saturday, Nov. 23, 10:30 - 11:15am #612913-I Follow the life of these orange orbs and learn fun facts about this autumn fruit at Gulf Branch Nature Center. Tuesday, Oct. 1, 1:00 - 2:00pm #612813-N Wednesday, Oct. 2, 1:00 - 2:00pm #612813-O Thursday, Oct. 3, 1:00 - 2:00pm #612813-P Friday, Oct. 4, 10:30 - 11:30am #612813-Q Fabulous Fossils Let’s dig into great fun with fossils at Gulf Branch Nature Center. Discover the past with trace fossils and more. Tuesday, Nov. 5, 1:00 - 2:00pm #612813-R Wednesday, Nov. 6, 1:00 - 2:00pm #612813-S Thursday, Nov. 7, 1:00 - 2:00pm #612813-T Friday, Nov. 8, 10:30 - 11:30am #612813-U The Harvest Moon Explore harvest games and stories. Find out why Native Americans called the September moon, the harvest moon at Long Branch Nature Center. Tuesday, Sept. 24, 3:30 - 4:30pm #612913-J Wednesday, Sept. 25, 3:30 - 4:30pm #612913-K Thursday, Sept. 26, 10:30 - 11:30am #612913-L Thursday, Sept. 26, 3:30 - 4:30pm #612913-M Beneficial Bats Bats should be cheered not feared. Join us at Long Branch Nature Center as we shed some light on these nocturnal creatures. Wednesday, Oct. 23, 10:30 - 11:30am #612913-N Thursday, Oct. 24, 10:30 - 11:30am #612913-O Thursday, Oct. 24, 3:30 - 4:30pm #612913-P Friday, Oct. 25, 10:30 - 11:30am #612913-Q Busy Bears Fall is a busy time for bears! Find out what bears are up to and where they spend the winter at Long Branch Nature Center. Tuesday, Nov. 12, 10:30 - 11:30am #612913-R Tuesday, Nov. 12, 3:30 - 4:30pm #612913-S Thursday, Nov. 14, 10:30 - 11:30am #612913-T Friday, Nov. 15, 10:30 - 11:30am #612913-U Saturday, Nov. 16, 10:00 - 11:00am #612913-V
Themes are repeated during the month, so please register for only one session at each nature center per month. Parents must stay with their child ages 18-35 months. Parents of preschoolers, ages 3-5 years, are invited to stay and observe, or those with siblings may visit the rest of the building during the program. Parents must remain on-site.
How to Sign Up!
REGISTRATION BEGINS for Arlington residents on Tuesday, August 13. Registration of Non-residents begins Thursday, August 15. Registration deadline: Participants must register by 4:00pm the day before the program. Call the program site the day of the program if you have not yet registered to check availability. HOW TO REGISTER: Online: If you have a digital SNAG, all you need to do is click on the hyperlinked program number and you will automatically got to program registration. You can also register online by going to https://registration.arlingtonva.us. You can browse our offerings as a ‘Guest’, but you must log in to register for a program. If you do not have an account, you can create one online or call 703-228-4747 for help. Phone: Call at 703-228-4747, Monday to Friday, between 8:00am and 5:00pm. Walk-in: Go to the Registration Office at 3700 S. Four Mile Run Dr., Arlington, VA 22206, , Monday to Friday, between 8:00am and 5:00pm. CANCELLATIONS Notify Registration as soon as possible so we may contact someone from the waiting list. Cancellations on the day of the program should be made directly with the program site. FEES The listed fee is per participant unless otherwise stated. Most program fees are charged at registration (web and phone - credit card only; in person - checks or cash). Some program fees will be charged at the program (in cash or by check). See program write-up for details. REFUNDS A household credit will be issued to our account automatically for any program cancelled by Arlington County. To request a refund for a program that was not canceled, call 703 228-4747. FEE REDUCTION We do not want our fees to be a barrier to participation. Call 703-228-4747 for information on the County’s fee reduction policy. ACCOMMODATIONS TTY: 311. Arlington County can provide upon request reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. Two weeks advance notice is preferred. Call 703-228-6535. WEATHER Programs are cancelled in conjunction with the Arlington County’s school closings policy. FAMILY PROGRAMS Children must be accompanied by an adult (who is registered for the program) to attend most ‘Family’ programs.
Fall Heritage Festival Saturday, Oct. 19, 1:00 - 5:00pm
Each fall we gather around the Walker Log House to celebrate our nation’s heritage. Won’t you join us this year for a family friendly day of interactive fun? Step back into history and try your hand at some old time games and crafts. Bring your own old pants and shirt to make a scarecrow. Child size clothing works just great! Drop in anytime between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. Gulf Branch Nature Center parking lot closed for the event. Park on Military Rd. or 36th Rd. North. Close in neighbors are encouraged to walk. For more information: 703-228-3403. $5 fee due at the program
Fall Plant Sale, September 21, 1-3pm
Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to help wildlife by growing native, and support Long Branch Nature Center at the same time! The vast majority of our plants are native, propagated right in our own gardens and our prices can't be beat! We will feature sun-loving and butterfly-attracting plants and also have a nice selection of wildflowers, shade lovers, ferns, and even a few shrubs. Rain date is Sunday, September 22, same time. Fee per plant as marked. Payment can be made by cash or check (sorry no credit cards). For information call 703-228-6535.
The SNAG — Arlington County’s Guide to Nature and History Programs