Join ARMN Volunteers for June HOG Pull

Come see the results of our May efforts and join us for our June HOG Pull.

HOG Pull, Saturday, June 2, 9-11 AM at Haley Park

[Haley Park, Oakridge Elementary School, Gunston Middle School Invasive Plant Pull]

This is a continuing project on the first Saturday of each month to reclaim the natural area between Haley Park, Oakridge Elementary School and Gunston Middle School from invasive plants. It is a RiP and ARMN approved project.

Meet at Haley Park
2400 S. Meade St., Arlington, VA 22202

Appropriate clothing, gloves, including good footware. Some parts of the area are steep and contain poison ivy.

Tools – weeders, clippers, whackers, small saws. We will provide extra tools if you don’t have any of your own.

Drinking water

Insect repellant.

Marti Klein,
Jennifer Frum,
Mary Ann Lawler,
Bill McLaughlin,

Everyday is Earth Day for ARMN Volunteers

By Monique Wong

“Everyday is Earth Day for ARMN volunteers,” Robin Davis, ARMN Outreach Committee Chair, remarked at the April ARMN Board Meeting.

How right she is! Since ARMN’s mission is to provide environmental education, research, citizen science, outreach, and stewardship of Virginia natural resources and public lands, everyday is indeed Earth Day for all ARMN members.

Wherever you are volunteering your time on Earth Day 2012, enjoy your day, rain or shine!  E-mail to share photos, including the name of the photographer and a caption of your Earth Day 2012 volunteer service.

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Alexandria Neighborhood Presentation on Choking Hazard Campaign

By Christine Matthews

My neighborhood in Alexandria (Beverley Hills), which borders Monticello Park, is known for its beautiful mature trees. Unfortunately, storms, age, and construction have claimed many of them and English ivy threatens to overtake many that remain. So, I was happy to be able to put my training from the Choking Hazard campaign to good use at the April meeting of our citizens’ association ( Using the Powerpoint template on the website as a guide, I created a presentation incorporating photos and details from our neighborhood. Given the casual nature of the meeting and the evening’s prior presentations, I opted not to set up my computer and projector and just talked about the Choking Hazard campaign using the handout as a guide.

The 30 or so people in the room were highly receptive and most were aware of the damage ivy can do to trees. Continue reading

Meet Me On A Sunday At Potomac Overlook Park

By John Bernard

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Arlington Regional Master Naturalists (ARMN) partners with regional parks for great volunteer outreach opportunities.  One such weekly outreach is Meet Me on a Sunday at the Potomac Overlook Park in North Arlington run by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.  Among numerous activities on this beautiful Easter Sunday, I joined fellow Master Naturalist Nancy Bagwell at the park from 1:30 – 3:30 to talk to visitors about a couple of subjects dear to our hearts.

First, Nancy shared her knowledge of hawks, owls, and other raptors and birds with guests using some great exhibits.  She generated a lot of interest from park visitors.  Second, not as jazzy, but just as important, I spoke to passing visitors regarding invasive plant species.  Continue reading

ARMN First Anniversary of Barcroft Park Invasive Pull

By Jim Hurley

Dedicated volunteers help monthly with Barcroft Park Invasive Pull, an important ARMN Focus Project. Photo by R. Ayres.

The March invasive pull was the first anniversary of the Arlington Regional Master Naturalist monthly focus work on Barcroft Park.  Having bought coffee and doughnuts (hint, hint), I arrived to the area of Barcoft Park we were going to work on an hour before start time to tag Multiflora Rose stems for clipping and digging.

But what was this?  Blue dye on the Rose?  And then in the same area, blue dye on Japanese Honeysuckle?

Up to twenty people were about to show up to work on the area.  And after that, another twenty members of the current Master Naturalist training class were scheduled to arrive for two more hours of work.  What were we to do? Continue reading

ARMN Sponsors “HOG” Pull on the State-wide Invasive Plant Removal Day

Come one, come all!

ARMN will be sponsoring the “HOG” pull for the fourth annual state-wide invasive plant removal day on Saturday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to noon at Haley Park.

“HOG” Pull:  Haley Park, Oakridge Elementary School, Gunston Middle School Invasive Plant Pull

Number of volunteers needed:  50.

ARMN Contact: Jennifer Frum (703-300-2496,

This is an area used by the Elementary School and the Middle School for nature programs, and we would like to have it more truly representative of our local native plants!  Volunteers will be freeing up some native plants which are overrun (and removing some trash).

The work is mostly on rough terrain, steep hillsides, with uneven footing.  We will focus on ivy, honeysuckle, wisteria, and garlic mustard.  Continue reading

Backyard Nature Photography

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By Monique Wong

When Christine Freidel moved into her home near Potomac Overlook Park five year ago, she inherited a typical suburban lawn in her backyard.  Inspired by the book “Bringing Nature Home,” Christine applied her training as a Master Naturalist and spent two years introducing native species to her backyard.

“We spotted butterflies and dragonflies almost immediately,” said Christine, “and during the first summer, different birds came to visit the native plants.  Ruby-throated hummingbirds, for example, love to nectar on our bright red Cardinal flowers.”

An avid photographer since high school, Christine enjoys nature photography.  Continue reading

Choking Hazard – English Ivy Threatens Virginia’s Trees

By Caroline Haynes

ARMN volunteer removes English ivy off a suffocating tree. Photo by R. Olsen.

To the passing eye, English ivy seems like a lovely little green plant. But, it is actually a serious threat to the beautiful trees that give yards and neighborhoods shade and character.

Ivy strangles trees. It can accelerate tree rot by holding moisture close to the tree bark, while also stealing the trees’ nutrients and water. This aggressive little green plant can actually cause mature trees to fall down during storms by adding massive weight to overburdened branches.

“Our trees add financial value to our properties and quality to our lives. Continue reading

February Invasive Pull at Barcroft Park

By Jim Hurley

Barcroft workgroup posed with ARMN banner

ARMN Volunteers at Barcroft Park. Photo by J. Hurley.

We had another strong turnout on February 18 in Barcroft Park, as 15 volunteers, including Tree Stewards, Americorps, Master Naturalists and Wingate residents answered the call of native plants needing to be rescued from exotic invaders.  As has become customary, we began and ended the work with coffee and donuts, and in between continued to work on the stretch of the park between the bikepath and drainage ditch, near the picnic shelter.  Again, we did more good damage to Multiflora Rose, cutting the canes back to a foot to get access to the root systems, Continue reading