Stream Monitoring Volunteers Track the Health of Arlington’s Streams

Text by Shay Pratt; photos by Colleen O’Hara How can you tell if a stream is healthy? One of the best ways is to look at the tiny organisms that live in it. The flies, larvae, and worms found there can tell the story of a stream’s overall health, if you know how to readContinue reading “Stream Monitoring Volunteers Track the Health of Arlington’s Streams”

Teaching Children About Nature Through the Magic of a Loupe

Text and photos by Eric Weyer Nature is a never-ending source of wonder, offering an abundance of intricate details, some so tiny they can barely be seen with the naked eye. That makes “loupes” (or hand lenses) one of the most important tools in any naturalist’s arsenal.  During a recent training exercise for ARMN volunteersContinue reading “Teaching Children About Nature Through the Magic of a Loupe”

The Call of the Wild—Knowing When an Animal Needs Our Help  

By Colleen O’Hara This is the time of year when baby animals make their entrance into the world, and often times, into our hearts. Who can resist a fluffy baby bunny? Or a sweet, speckled fawn?  Very often we see baby animals on their own in the wild and wonder: Does it need help? ShouldContinue reading “The Call of the Wild—Knowing When an Animal Needs Our Help  “

Join the 2023 City Nature Challenge, April 28-May 1!

by Caroline Haynes Mark your calendars for April 28 through May 1 to participate in the 2023 City Nature Challenge (CNC). Join your friends, family, and neighbors in this fun annual nature event. What is the City Nature Challenge? The CNC encourages interest in discovering urban nature by having individuals observe, record, and identify theContinue reading “Join the 2023 City Nature Challenge, April 28-May 1!”

Phenology: Timing Nature’s Clock  

by Rosemary Jann Spring came unusually early to the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic this year, including here in Arlington. Many of us have been delighted to see trees, shrubs, and plants emerging early all over our area because of our unseasonably warm winter.  For scientists who study phenology, these seasonal variations hold a more specific significance.Continue reading “Phenology: Timing Nature’s Clock  “

Fighting a “New” Non-Native Invasive in Town: Reports from the Front Line on Removing Italian Arum

Text by Kit Britton; photos by Jim Bly, unless otherwise noted.  The February 26 Italian arum eradication event at the grounds of Culpepper Garden senior living community was the kickoff of a stewardship activity to last one year. A plant that was likely spread to the site as an escaped houseplant, in the root ballContinue reading “Fighting a “New” Non-Native Invasive in Town: Reports from the Front Line on Removing Italian Arum”

Restoring Nature by Whittling Away at Woodlawn Park’s Invasive Plants

Text and photos by Devin Reese, except as noted. I joined a group of volunteers recently who were getting ready to attack exotic invasive plants on the banks of Lubber Run stream. The site—Woodlawn Park—is a small park tucked into a residential neighborhood in Arlington. Perhaps its diminutive size explains how well its invasive plantsContinue reading “Restoring Nature by Whittling Away at Woodlawn Park’s Invasive Plants”

The Grass Seeds, My Friend, Are Blowin’ In the Wind

Text and photos by Noreen Hannigan, unless otherwise noted. Yes, grass seeds are blowin’ in the wind, but they’re not necessarily producing a pretty song! The list of non-native invasive grasses that escape cultivation from yards and gardens keeps growing. The 2022 edition of Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas, Field Guide by Jil M.Continue reading “The Grass Seeds, My Friend, Are Blowin’ In the Wind”

English Ivy, a Deadly Invasive, is a Winter Target for Removal from Local Parks

Text and photos by Nancy Cleeland Like rust, English ivy never sleeps. It escapes yards and creeps down embankments and over rocks and up trees all year long. Planted by colonists in the 1700s and still sold in garden centers as a carefree ground cover, this ivy smothers the ground with dense mats and drapesContinue reading “English Ivy, a Deadly Invasive, is a Winter Target for Removal from Local Parks”

What is Killing Our Oak Trees and What Can We Do to Help?

By Colleen O’Hara Oak decline has been a growing concern in our region. In fact, many of us have experienced this outbreak firsthand in our own back yards or neighborhoods. But why are these oak trees dying and what can we do about it? How do we know that we have a problem with ourContinue reading “What is Killing Our Oak Trees and What Can We Do to Help?”