Huntley Meadows Weather
Weather


When you visit Huntley Meadows:

    

Huntley Meadows Park

3701 Lockheed Blvd.
Alexandria, Va. 22306
703-768-2525


Trails open dawn to dark daily


Current Visitor Center Hours


Spring


Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

9AM-5PM
CLOSED
9AM-5PM
9AM-5PM
9AM-5PM
12PM-5PM
12PM-5PM

Holiday Hours

FOHMP Annual Membership Meeting

Please join the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park (FOHMP) at our Annual Meeting on June 2, 2024 from 7:00-9:00 pm. The meeting will be held in the auditorium of the Norma Hoffman Visitor Center located at 3701 Lockheed Blvd., Alexandria, VA 22306.

We look forward to sharing with you how your support has helped the Park over the past year, vote on next year’s Board members, and go on a wetland walk.

The Board of FOHMP is grateful for the support of our members and Friends as we all work to protect, preserve, and enjoy Huntley Meadows Park, a regionally and globally significant resource-based nature sanctuary.

FOHMP MEMBERS: If you are unable to join the 7:00 pm meeting on June 2, 2024, you may designate by PROXY another FOHMP member to cast your vote for Board of Directors at this meeting. It is vital for you to send us your Proxy Form if you cannot attend, so we can establish a quorum for this important vote.

Meeting Agenda


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: https://vnps.org/virginia-native-plant-registry-sites/huntley-meadows/



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.



Where Does My Contribution Go?

The Friends of Huntley Meadows Park supports a wide range of programs throughout the Park. Your membership dues and donations are critical to the success of our organization.


Some items we fund(ed):

  • Educate the public and the Fairfax County Park Authority on the impacts of Dominion Virginia Power’s proposed changes to the easement at the south boundary of the Park. (See page 2 for details.)
  • Creation of Huntley Meadows Patches, now on sale in the Norma Hoffman Visitor Center (VC) gift shop.
  • Scholarships to support three interns for the summer of 2016. These interns will complete much needed programing projects. But most importantly they will assist Staff during day camps that educate and enter-tain our next generation of naturalist and environmental stewards.
  • Environmental protection apprentice who will study with Park experts to learn best practices for wetland, forest, and meadow management.
  • Quarterly e-newsletter to keep our 450+ members up-to-date on what is happening at the Park. Newsletter expenses have fallen with our “GO GREEN” initiative to provide more newsletters by email.
  • Printing of various Park brochures and the frog stickers that adorn so many young visitors.
  • Specialized training for Staff. This is usually several thousand dollars annually.
  • School trips for schools throughout Fairfax County and neighboring counties. Kids are our very best ambassadors - we hear from many visitors that their kids visited on a school field trip and wanted to come back to show their families what a special place Huntley Meadows Park is.
  • A donation to the Raptor Conservancy, one of our biggest entertainers on Wetlands Awareness Day. The contribution is used to feed and care for beautiful birds of prey that can no longer live in the wild.
  • Generate merchandise to sell in the Visitor Center gift shop, e.g., hats, shirts, magnets, and lapel pins.
  • Purchase of tools, and supplies for trail restoration, planting, invasive removal, and field studies.
  • Production of the annual photography show, which celebrates local photographers and their work snapped at the Park.
  • An ad for FOHMP in the playbill for West Potomac High School’s production of Starlight Express. West Potomac students help us each spring with watershed cleanups.

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

Join FOHH

Newsletter