Celebrate Wetlands Awareness Day!
Sunday, May 7th, 12-4PM
Bring the entire family and come enjoy an active, colorful afternoon with live animals, Park history presentations, nature activities, and family fun. Learn all about wetland ecology, local natural history, and the importance of our wetlands.
I had the pleasure of traveling to Southeast China this past January. My husband and I traveled to this region to see birds and were lucky to see many, including the elegant Red-crowned Crane, my favorite bird of the trip. We also saw many other beautiful and very special birds, including globally threatened wetland species such as the Swan Goose, Baer’s Pochard, Scaly-sided Merganser, Black-faced Spoonbill, and Oriental Stork. Sadly, we missed seeing the Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Relict Gull, two highly endangered species that rely upon China’s rapidly disappearing coastal mudflats.
When traveling in other parts of the US as well as abroad, I find myself observing how environmental issues are taken into consideration with development projects. It is important to not re-invent the wheel, so we should learn from the helpful experiences of others. I am especially keen to note those practices that may be transferrable to Huntley Meadows Park (HMP), Fairfax County Park Authority, and Fairfax County overall.
For the full story, please visit The Greater Alexandria Patch
Dominion Virginia Power Project Update
By Cathy Ledec, President of Friends of Huntley Meadows Park
Are you wondering what happened with the Dominion Virginia Power Project on Huntley Meadows Park (HMP) property (see September’s newsletter)? I’m pleased to report that we have a WIN for our ENVIRONMENT…a WIN for protection of our NATURAL RESOURCES…a WIN for BIRDS…a WIN for protection of HISTORIC VIEWSHEDS…and a WIN for protection of HISTORIC, CULTURAL and ARCHAEOLOGICAL RE-SOURCES. Friends of Huntley Meadows Park (FOHMP), Friends of Historic Huntley (FOHH), the County of Fairfax, and Dominion Virginia Power (Dominion) came to an agreement just moments before the State Corporation Commission hearing on the proposed power project was to begin on June 15, 2016. This agreement addressed our most significant concerns. Dominion agreed to lower the maximum height of the power poles from 125 feet as proposed, to 100 feet. This change virtually eliminates the adverse impact on the Historic Huntley viewshed.
Where Does My Contribution Go?
The Friends of Huntley Meadows Park supports a wide range of programs throughout the Park. Your mem-bership 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 wet-land, forest, and meadow management.
- Quarterly newsletter to keep our 450+ members up-to-date on what is happening at the Park. Newslet-ter 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 am-bassadors - 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.
Monday Morning Birdwalk
The Monday Birdwalk takes place every week, rain or shine, at 7 AM, is free of charge, requires no reservation, and is open to all. 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.
2017 Annual Birdathon
Every year on an early morning in the beginning of May, Park staff and volunteers spread out across Huntley Meadows Park (HMP) to count birds. In 1997, an annual survey evolved into an event to remember and honor two exceptional men: Ken Howard and Ed Weigel. Both were volunteers who shared their love of nature with any Park visitor lucky enough to chat with them, inspiring visitors, volunteers and staff. Their work continues to this day through the Park’s Resource Management Internship funded by the HMP Birdathon.