“Grasses for the Masses” workshops

By Kasha Helget

ARMN volunteers conducted two “Grasses for the Masses” workshops at the Fairlington Community Center in February, 2013 in a program sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for Virginia residents all over the state. During the workshops, a total of 35 individuals, families, and teachers received simple kits and instructions to grow underwater celery grass (Vallisneria americana) in their homes or schools for 10-12 weeks during the winter/early spring months. At the end of the grow period (late April to early May), the growers will gather to plant their grasses in the Potomac River at Mason Neck Park. These aquatic grasses filter nutrients and provide important habitat for fish and other aquatic creatures, and help restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

For more information on the program, see: http://www.cbf.org/grasses

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All photos courtesy of Master Naturalist Leigh Pickering.

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 armneditor@gmail.com to share photos, including the name of the photographer and a caption of your Earth Day 2012 volunteer service.

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Citizen Science: Stream Monitoring in Arlington County

By John Bernard

John Bernard volunteers to monitor stream health at Lubber Run. Photo by J. Bernard.

I began my career as a citizen scientist with the Spring 2010 ARMN training class.  Among the volunteer activities approved for service hours, I enjoy participation in one of several Arlington County sponsored stream monitoring volunteer teams.  After I completed a class given by the County, I joined the team volunteers at Lubber Run.

Stephanie Martin, Lubber Run Stream Monitoring Team Leader. Photo by J. Bernard.

There under the direction of Team Leader Stephanie Martin, we monitor the Macroinvertebrates in Lubber Run.  We collect and count these “stream bugs” 4 times yearly in the winter, spring, summer, and fall.  It is safe, fun, and gives an opportunity to make a difference. Continue reading