Just a reminder that it is Tick Season!
Volunteering at Huntley Meadows Park
By Cathy Ledec
In this newsletter, I would like to salute all of the volunteers at Huntley Meadows Park (HMP). Just about every day of the year, volunteers at HMP are contributing their time and energy to all aspects of managing the Park’s needs. The work volunteers do is important, and the 6,500 volunteer hours contributed during the last fiscal year are equivalent to more than three full time staff. Wowser! A huge thank you to all the HMP volunteers for this remarkable achievement!
Friends of Huntley Meadows Park
Annual Bird-a-thon and Beyond!
In 2020, Bird-a-thon and Beyond! was introduced. The FOHMP Board again invites everyone to join us to count the birds in their back yards, local parks, or other locations for a week in early May. The Board of FOHMP has so much fun seeing the results come in from those who bird with us, some from as far away as Oregon! Please do your count anytime between May 1-8, 2022. The Board’s Bird-a-thon count will take place in the Park during this same week, while following all guidelines in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Meet the Park’s Newest Hire
My name is Chris King, and I am extremely excited to start my new ca-reer with Fairfax County Park Authority as the Natural Resources Man-ager at Huntley Meadows Park (HMP). I recently completed my Mas-ter’s Degree from Clemson University where I majored in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology. My new position at HMP will give me the opportunity to utilize the skills I have accrued while in college, as well as from my past work experience. I have worked in a wide variety of scientific fields, including zookeeping, laboratory work, and environmental moni-toring. When I saw the Resources Manager position open up at Hunt-ley, I jumped at the chance. HMP is truly a special place, and I look for-ward to helping it thrive. If you see me in the Park, feel free to stop and chat!
A New Opportunity
By Dave Lawlor
As many have of you probably heard by now, I recently accepted a new position as an Ecologist with the Natural Resource Management and Protection Branch of the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA). I’m sad to be leaving Huntley Meadows Park (HMP), but looking forward to new challenges and the opportunity to continue increasing my knowledge in the field of Natural Resource Management.
The cool, clear weather of fall showcased Historic Huntley’s recently trimmed terraces (pictured at right). Some newly sprouted grass shoots from volunteer seeding efforts were in evidence as were bare patches needing seeding and ”undesirable” vegetation requiring removal. Spring and summer 2022 will bring more planting opportunities. If you would like to join volunteers for future seeding and terrace restoration efforts, please contact the Friends of Historic Huntley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.