Sunday, June 4th, 4-5:30 PM
FREE and open to the public, refreshments provided.
At this meeting FOHMP members will elect the officers and members of our Board of Directors for FY2018 for a one year term, as required by our bylaws and articles of incorporation. The nominees will be presented and nominations considered prior to the election. After the election, all are invited to join the newly elected Board on a walk through the Park.
Dogue Creek Wildlife Corridor
By Cathy Ledec, President of Friends of Huntley Meadows Park (FOHMP)
Why should Friends of Huntley Meadows Park (FOHMP) be interested in the Dogue Creek Wildlife Corridor? For Huntley Meadows Park (HMP), Dogue Creek is an important natural biological corridor for native wildlife traveling between the Potomac River and HMP and many areas in between. This is important for non flying native wildlife, including mammals such as Beavers and River Otters, that use Dogue Creek to travel between HMP and other natural habitats. The corridor is also important for reptiles, amphibians and fish that live and breed along the banks of Dogue Creek. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has classified the Huntley Meadows – Dogue Creek Wetlands Conservation Site as a site of High Significance. Furthermore, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has designated Dogue Creek as a Threatened and Endangered Species Water because of its population of threatened Wood Turtles. The natural biological corridors that enable movement of wildlife between HMP and the Potomac River are thus sites to protect.
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.
By Dave Lawlor
Springtime is here and it seems like a great time to share the expected wetland management plan for 2017. The wetland management plan provided by Wetland Studies and Solutions Incorporated (WSSI) recommends a “shock” year every 4 - 5 years. A shock year is a growing season with either very high water, to slow succession of upland/dry plants and promote more wetland plants i.e. hydric plants, or very low water, to promote germination of plants especially annuals and seed producing plants i.e. more mesic plants. Additionally, it’s important to note that wetland water levels should fluctuate each year to allow for maximum plant diversity. The predetermined water levels are changed slightly each year to prevent stagnation and eventual pond conditions, as were seen here at Huntley in the early 2000’s. Shifting high and low water marks allows new species to become established and most importantly doesn’t allow any single plants species or community to dominate. For the 2017 growing season the management plan is to maintain water levels higher than in the past few years. The decision to have higher water is based on management goals, past wetland management decisions, weather conditions and current wetland conditions.
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
All donations help fund the Park’s Resource Management Internship.
Summer Art Show
Inspired by Nature
Nina Tisara is presenting Inspired by Nature, a compilation of Mosaics. Nina is a long time visitor and lover of Huntley Meadows Park. Her work over the years has included photography, which she has shown at the Park in the past.
Nina’s exhibition will run from June 2 through August 3 with an Opening Reception and Artist’s Talk on June 4, 2:30-4p.m. at the Norma Hoffman Visitor Center, 3701 Lockheed Blvd, Alexandria, VA 22306.