Huntley Meadows Weather

When you visit Huntley Meadows:


Huntley Meadows Park

3701 Lockheed Blvd.
Alexandria, Va. 22306

Trails open dawn to dark daily

Current Visitor Center Hours




Holiday Hours

Just a reminder that it is Tick Season!

President's Message

Don't Forget the Plants

By Ben Jesup, (still interim) FOHMP President

Ragged Fringed Orchid (Platanthera lacera)
Photo by Ben Jesup

We often focus on the amazing fauna at Huntley Meadows Park (HMP). People come from all over the world for the birds, various amazing mammals (beaver, otter, raccoon, and too many deer), and herps (turtles, snakes, the sometimes-deafening choruses of frogs and toads evident as I write this in April). Some folks appreciate the beautiful butterflies, dragonflies, and other insects that inhabit the Park. (We even have a book about the dragonflies in HMP!)

But don’t forget about the flora. Plants are the base of the ecological pyramid on which all the fauna depends. Some are obvious to those strolling on the trails and boardwalks: the towering oaks that support many species of insects and the crimson-eyed rose mallows that profusely decorate the wetlands in the summer. Others are obscure but fascinating, like the several species of terrestrial orchid that are occasionally seen. Some are both showy and rare, like the state-threatened purple milkweed. I encourage everyone to get to know the plants of Huntley Meadows. In addition to taking a walk with one of the naturalists, anyone with a phone can use one of several apps such as Seek to identify plants from the HMP trails. Knowing the name of a plant is the first step in learning more about it and its place in the ecosystem.

Not all flora has a place in HMP—we struggle with numerous nonnative-introduced species. Japanese stiltgrass is perhaps the most obvious, but mile-a-minute, barberry, English Ivy, Japanese honeysuckle, porcelain berry, wineberry, and others crowd out native plants and provide little or no value to the habitat. We can all help to address nonnative species by volunteering at county-sponsored nonnative removal efforts and by eliminating nonnatives and replacing them with natives on our own properties.

The Virginia Native Plant Society’s website includes a discussion of the plant life at Huntley Meadows by the Board’s own Karla Jamir:

Humans Can Shape the Land Over Time

By: Celia Boertlein

Visitors engaging with Park staff at the mammals table.
Photo credit: Suzanne Lepple.

Sunday, May 5 dawned as a drizzly day, but it still attracted over 300 visitors to Huntley Meadows Park for our premier annual event, “Wetlands Awareness Day.” This year’s theme was “Humans can shape the land over time.” The 4-hour event featured a presentation by Secret Gardens Birds and Bees, who shared their wildlife education program/exhibit with live birds of prey. Hidden Oaks and Hidden Pond Nature Centers brought a fascinating selection of their live reptiles and amphibians to see. Interactive displays and activities were spread along the mile and a half of walking trails through forested and open wetlands, which included the wetland boardwalk and wildlife observation tower.

Family and friends came to learn all about wetland ecology, local history (both natural and human) and the importance of wetlands for both wildlife and water quality. Many visitors took advantage of the shuttle buses running every half hour to and from Groveton Elementary School and the Park.

The Friends of Huntley Meadows Park (FOHMP) co-sponsored the event, while Wegmans provided FOHMP with a substantial gift card to cover much of the cost of food provided to the volunteers and staff. Special guests included FCPA Executive Director Jai Cole and Fairfax County Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk. Many thanks to all who made this event possible. None of this could have been possible without the support of 22 volunteers, members of 25 outside organizations, 16 Huntley staffers and 17 other Fairfax County Governments staff members.

Who We Are

The Friends of Huntley Meadows Park was founded in 1985 and is a nonprofit organization of individuals dedicated to the protection of Fairfax County's premier wetland wildlife sanctuary.

FOHMP was organized exclusively for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes and operates under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

More about FOHMP

Monday Morning Birdwalk

The Monday Morning Bird Walk is sponsored by the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park and takes place every Monday at 7 a.m. April-September and 8 a.m. October-March. Following the walk, members of the group gather at the nearby Denny's for breakfast and to compile the morning's bird list. All are welcome.

Recent Visits and EBird Lists of Birds

Birders meet in the parking lot at the Park's entrance at 3701 Lockheed Blvd, Alexandria, VA. Questions should be directed to Park staff during normal business hours at (703) 768-2525.

Friends of Historic Huntley

Friends of Historic Huntley is a non-profit citizen group committed to working with the Fairfax County Park Authority to assure the preservation, restoration and appropriate use of Historic Huntley and to enhance the public’s knowledge of the site and the broader historic development of the neighborhood.

FOHH Website