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Walker Nature Center

A LOOK INSIDE • Calendar 4 • Kids’ Corner 6 • Spring Festival 8

BRANCHING OUT

Nature Notes Fleeting Flowers MARCH By Katie Shaw

Bluebirds are building nests.

Wood Frogs and Spring Peepers are calling.

Hazelnut trees have long, yellow flower clusters.

Maple trees have red blossoms.

APRIL •

American Toads are trilling and laying eggs.

Spring Azure butterflies are in flight.

Virginia Bluebells and Foamflower bloom.

Dogwood and Red Bud trees bloom.

MAY •

Eastern Box Turtles lay eggs.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are in flight.

Wild Geranium, Mayapple and Jack-in-the-Pulpit bloom.

Tuliptrees have large, light green blossoms.

of Spring By Susan Sims

March and April bring snow melt, longer days and more sunshine. This whisper of warmth triggers the spring ephemerals – flowering plants that last for a brief time – to emerge and begin their rapid cycle of growth. By the time the heat of summer arrives, these flowers will be but a memory, dormant until the next spring. Spring ephemerals are striking early in the season and provide a lovely backdrop to the warming weather, but they’re more than a pretty addition to the forest. They serve an important ecological purpose by supplying food for early pollinating insects including bees, beetles, butterflies and flies.

Early Spring Rainbow

Various ephemerals begin popping up in forests throughout Reston in March bringing a burst of color. One iconic spring ephemeral known for its color is the Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica). These true blue, bellshaped flowers paint swaths throughout woodland areas and are at their peak in late April, the perfect time to ring in spring with a nature hike. Look for their chameleon color change as pink buds open to display blue flowers. Like hydrangeas, the color change is due to pH changes—the more acidic the soil, the deeper the shade of blue. Other ephemerals bring nature’s paintbrush to the woodlands, and some have exciting names!

Springbeauty, Dutchman’s Breeches and Trout Lily are common spring flowers that brighten the forest floor. Delicate Springbeauties grow from small tubers and produce five-petaled white flowers with pink stripes. Its scientific name, Claytonia virginica, is Linnaeus’ homage to the early Williamsburg colonist John Clayton, who co-authored the first Flora of Virginia in 1739 with Johann Friedrich Gronovius of the Netherlands. Dutchman’s Breeches are named for exactly what they sound like – pants! Flowers bloom in March and will disappear by April; with a careful eye you can spot them along the trails at the Nature Center. Look for a fern-like plant with flowers that resemble white, upside down pants with yellow accents.

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Spring | 19 | Volume Twenty One


Fleeting Flowers of Spring continued from page 1

WALKER NATURE CENTER

While some Native Americans and early European settlers used it for medicinal purposes, scientists have discovered several alkaloid compounds in the plant which can produce deleterious and even life-threatening effects on the brain and heart, much like similar plants in the Dicentra genus, such as Wild Bleeding Heart.

11450 Glade Drive, Reston, VA 20191 Enjoy year-round access to trails, free parking and restroom facilities dawn to dusk.

Trout Lilies also garner their common name from their appearance. These plants have mottled green and brownish leaves that look like trout. Trout Lilies send up a single stalk with a conspicuous yellow flower that soaks up sunshine through leafless branches of the trees. Trout lilies provide a food source for early rising bees, and beetles, until summer arrives and the plants go dormant.

FEATURES

72 acres of forested land, a picnic pavilion, demonstration gardens, educational signage, a campfire ring, two streams, a pond, the entrance to 44-acre Lake Audubon and an interpretive green building, known as Nature House.

NATURE HOUSE HOURS

Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays Saturday 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Sunday 1–4 p.m.

CLOSED

May 27

Memorial Day

Plant and Insect Partnerships

Spring ephemerals have unique relationships with pollinators, boasting adaptations from flower structures to heady aromas. Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), one of the earliest bloomers can be found in the woodland hillsides of the Nature Center in partial to full shade. This specialized plant has a partnership with ants and relies on them to help disperse seeds. Bloodroot is named for its reddish orange sap that flows from its roots. It blooms for two to five days – vibrant white petals form a square shape, surrounding a sunny yellow center. Bloodroot seeds have attached structures called elaiosomes that attract ants who like to eat the tasty little bits. Ants carry the seeds to their nests, eat the elaiosomes, and toss away the rest in a process called myrmecochory. The remaining seed will germinate in the soil made richer by debris deposited from ants. Everyone knows about ants in pants, but what about bees? Dutchman’s Breeches have a unique relationship with native queen bees. Hibernating queens emerge at the time the Dutchman’s Breeches are blooming, and the flower provides a much-needed food source for the queens.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

703-476-9689 • www.reston.org naturecenter@reston.org www.facebook.com/walkernaturecenter @restonnature @walkernaturecenter Groups: Please call ahead to arrange your visit. Branching Out is a quarterly publication of the Walker Nature Center (WNC), owned and operated by Reston Association. The mission of the WNC is to foster an environmental stewardship ethic in the community. It is named after Reston’s first Open Space and Nature Center Director, Vernon J. Walker.

Branching Out is printed on 100 percent recycled paper using soy ink. It is produced using 100 percent wind power. Please recycle.

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Photo by: Sheryl Pollock

Another adaptation exists between Sessile Trillium, also known as Toadshade or Wakerobin Trillium, and its pollinators. These plants are found in woodlands, flood plains and forests with rich soil and limestone geology. The plant’s bold maroon flower is stalkless and sits atop three large, ovular leaves. The flower gives off a foul, meatsmelling odor that attracts flies and beetles, which in turn help to pollinate the plant. It’s a natural partnership that only lasts for a few weeks until the flower desiccates.

Ephemerals in the Garden

Love these special spring plants? Bring them to your garden! Most native ephemerals prefer partial to full shaded areas. Flowering plants can be added to the garden in spring or bare root plants can be added in summer or autumn when they’re dormant. It’s a good idea to plant them with companion plants that can fill in the space once their evanescent bloom cycle is over; native ferns are a good option and enjoy similar conditions. Consider planting ephemerals near a pathway or by a window so they can be enjoyed during their brief bloom time – blink and you might miss them! Interested in finding spring ephemerals? We encourage visitors to hike the Nature Center trails in early spring and see if you can spot these elusive plants as they work to support our healthy woodland habitat. One of the best spots is the Soapstone Wildflower Trail, maintained by the Reston Garden Club, across the street from the fire ring. It was featured in the book, Finding Wildflowers in the Washington-Baltimore Area.


Bird Walks

7:30 am - 10:30 am • Adults • Free No registration required. Beginning and expert birders are invited to search for birds in Reston’s beautiful natural areas. Copresented by Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and The Bird Feeder store.

March Bird Walk: Brown’s Chapel Park

Sun 3/17 Park at 1575 Brown’s Chapel Road.

Early April Bird Walk: Bright Pond Sun 4/7 Park at the end of the cul-de-sac on Bright Pond Lane.

Late April Bird Walk: Lower Glade Stream Valley Sun 4/28 Park on Glade Drive near Twin Branches Road.

Early May Bird Walk: Glade Stream Valley/Sapsucker Woods Sun 5/12 Park at Glade Pool, 11550 Glade Drive.

Late May Bird Walk: Stratton Woods Sun 5/26 Park at Stratton Woods Park, 2431 Fox Mill Road.

NATURE CAMPS AT WALKER NATURE CENTER Give your child a five star summer experience.

Please and Thank You By Katie Shaw Volunteers and donors play essential roles in Nature Center operations and environmental stewardship in Reston. We’d like to thank all of the volunteers who decked our halls and spread good holiday cheer in the cold months of winter. Spring is now bursting with great volunteer opportunities if you’d like to get involved, including Reston’s Arbor Day on April 5, the Nature Center 5K Run/ Walk on April 13, the Earth Day Project on April 22 and Spring Festival on May 4. Contact Volunteer Reston Manager habrock@reston.org or fill out the volunteer application at www.reston.org. Charitable donations are gratefully received by our 501c3 supporting organization, Friends of Reston, 11450 Glade Drive, Reston, VA 20191 or donate online at www.friendsofreston.org. Include a note that your donation is for the Nature Center. You will receive a letter for tax purposes.

Donors:

Charlie & Julie Bond, Doug & Penelope Britt, Don & Farideh Coram, Marilyn Dicke, Friends of Reston, Janine & Ralph Greenwood, Neal Grunstra, MSE Productions, Reston Garden Club, David Shaw Birthday Friends of Corbin Benesch

Volunteers:

Joanne & David Bauer, Chris Bender, Matt Bender, Julie & Charlie Bond, Bill Brown, Bill Burton, Anne Cannizzaro, Ian Carmack, Don Coram, Freya De Cola, Marilyn Dicke, Jody Douglas, Robin Duska, Sarah Eddins, Betty Eidemiller, Millan Fentress, June Ferrara, Janine Greenwood, Neal Grunstra, Carol & Jay Hadlock, Renee Jakobs, Nathaly Juarez, John & Heidi Lankau, Liam Lawrence, Pat Lenz, Paulette Lincoln-Baker, Sharon McHugh, Colin Mills, Farax Mirza, Cynthia O’Connell, Terri Ostrowski, Barbara Paolucci, Ellen Perrins, Sara Piper, Judy Richards, Jasmine Reed, Jim Seret, Mireya & Richard Stirzaker, Sandra Twohie, Brenda Van Doorn, Jenny Vick, Verna Webb, Mary Weinhold

CATERPILLARS COUNT Nature Tots (Ages 3-5) Walker’s Rangers (Ages 6-9) Each one-week session has a fun, nature theme, developed and directed by WNC staff. These half-day camps run M-F, June 24-August 16. Fee $95/RA Member, $120/Non-member

To register or get more information, go to www.restonwebtrac.org. Click the Camps button, then select Walker Nature Center in the location field.

April 23, 7-8 pm

Learn about one of the latest national citizen science projects and our efforts to report data from Reston. Volunteers are needed to collect data on the abundance and phenology of caterpillars and other insects during spring and summer. Guest presenters: Elise Larsen, Georgetown University and Don Coram, Virginia Master Naturalist.

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Register online with WebTrac www.restonwebtrac.org

Advance registration, including payment, is required for all nature activities unless otherwise noted. A WebTrac account is required for online registration. New accounts may take up to two business days for approval. If you have questions, need assistance or prefer not to register online, contact naturecenter@reston.org or 703-476-9689 ext. 5.

All programs will be held at the Walker Nature Center, 11450 Glade Drive, unless otherwise noted. Refunds are available with two weeks’ notice or if we cancel for any reason. Activities may be canceled due to severe weather, severe weather warnings or low enrollment. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

MARCH

A SEUSS-ICAL CELEBRATION

Celebrate the birthweek of Dr. Seuss. Let the Cat in the Hat lead you on an adventure through the woods in search of the Lorax and truffula trees. Listen with Horton for the sound of a “Who,” and make green eggs and ham that even Sam I Am would eat! Register by Feb. 28. 106011008 Sun All Ages

3/3 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm $6/RA members, $8/Non-members

106201006 3/13 Wed 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Adults Free BOUNCING BUNNIES

Spring is almost here, which means it’s a great time to learn about rabbits. Create adorable marshmallow bunnies. Make a rabbit mask and bounce like a bunny to music. Look for hidden rabbits while strolling through the forest. Register by March 13. 106121008 3/16 Sat 10:30 am – 11:30 am Ages 3-5 $7/RA Member, $9/Non-member

SPRING PEEPERS

Spring Peeper frogs are among the first animals to make their way out of winter hibernation and welcome the new spring season. Listen to the loud call of these little frogs and discover where they live. Feel some slime and make a froggy craft. Register by March 8.

ENVIRONMENTAL FILM: JANE

OR Tue 3/5 10:00 am – 11:00 am Ages 18-35 months $7/RA Member, $9/Non-member

106201051 3/22 Fri 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Adults Free

Using a trove of never-before-seen footage, the film tells the story of Jane Goodall’s early explorations and research in Tanzania, focusing on her groundbreaking field work as well as her personal relationships with the humans in her life and the chimpanzees that were 106111001 3/4 the subject of her study. Registration recommended by Mon 10:00 am – 11:00 am March 21.

RASER PRESENTATION: RESTON’S ANNUAL STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT REPORT

Reston’s Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) presents the findings and recommendations of the second annual RASER Report. RASER reflects more than 1,000 hours of research by volunteer scientists, citizen scientists and RA staff. As Reston continues to change, the report evaluates Reston’s air quality, water resources, wildlife, light pollution and more. Presenter: Doug Britt, Virginia Master Naturalist, EAC Committee Member, and RASER Project Director. Register by March 10.

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SPRING EGG-CITEMENT

Spring marks the beginning of a season when life returns to the trees, and baby animals are born. Discover which animals lay eggs, and how many different types there are. Look at bird nests and do some “egg-speriments.” Make paper egg decorations and a small planter out of an eggshell. Register by March 25. 106011008 3/29 Fri 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm All Ages $7/RA Member, $9/Non-member

APRIL

RESTON’S ARBOR DAY-RAIN OR SHINE

Reston is a Tree City USA, certified by the National Arbor Day Foundation. Join us as we plant native trees and shrubs. Learn about Reston’s trees, and show our appreciation for trees. An Arbor Day presentation and flag-raising ceremony will take place at 11:45 a.m. followed by a pizza lunch for volunteers. Perfect for students, corporate groups and scouts. Contact Ha Brock at habrock@reston.org or 703-435-7986 to sign up! 206011201 Fri Ages 5-Adults

4/5 9:30 am – 12:00 pm Free

KIDS TROUT FISHING DAY

Snakeden Branch stream will be stocked with hundreds of trout. All equipment provided. Learn to bait, cast, hook and cook your freshly caught dinner. Northern Virginia Trout Unlimited members will help clean fish. Adults may not fish during the kids’ time. In partnership with Wetland Studies & Solutions, Friends of Reston, VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries, and Wildlife Foundation of Virginia. Register by March 20. 106101301 3/23 Sat 8:00 am – 12:00 pm Check-in at 2303 Soapstone Drive Ages 3-15 Free

POLLINATOR PALS

Learn about tiny critters with amazing superpowers. Create colorful tissue paper flowers. Buzz like a bee, moving pollen from one flower to another. Explore the forest and look for blooming flowers, soaring butterflies, and buzzing bumblebees. Register by April 3. 206121008 Sat Ages 3-5

4/6 10:30 am –11:30 am $6/RA Member, $8/Non-member


WONDERFUL WILDFLOWERS

Before leaves appear on trees, wildflowers bloom to soak up the sun. Make a pretty flower craft to take home, and take part in a scavenger hunt to find different colored wildflowers. Register by April 5. 206111001 4/8 Mon 10:00 am – 11:00 am OR Tue 4/9 10:00 am – 11:00 am Ages 18-35 months $7/RA Member, $9/Non-member STEAM WORKSHOP- PAPER MAKING

Since ancient Egyptian times, people have been making paper for artistic and practical purposes. Discover how to make your own recycled paper and learn how to use it in future craft projects. Experiment with adding different materials to the paper and see how they change your results. Register by April 13. 206131012 4/17 Wed 10:00 am – 11:30 am Walker Nature Center Ages 5 -12 $6/RA Member, $8/Non-member

May

SPRING FESTIVAL

Free fun for all ages. See ad on back page. 206011305 5/4 Sat 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm MOTHER’S DAY TEA

Treat your mom to a delightful morning at the Nature Center. Sip tea or juice and sample a variety of pastries and fruits. Make a bouquet of paper flowers for mom to display on her special day. Take a guided stroll through the gardens and a short woodland walk to look for wildflowers and birds. Register by May 8. 206011008 5/11 Sat 10:30 am – 12:00 pm All Ages $10/RA Member, $12/Non-Member DIG THE DIRT

ENVIRONMENTAL FILM: THE GUARDIANS

An indigenous community in Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve must confront internal divisions and illegal loggers in order to recover the ancient forest they nearly destroyed. Like the millions of monarchs that also call this forest home, their survival depends on it. Learn about some local monarch conservation efforts after the film. Contains subtitles. Registration recommended by May 23. 206201051 Free Adults

5/24 7:00 pm–8:30 pm Free

WORLD TURTLE DAY

In honor of World Turtle Day, discover the different types of turtles found in Reston. Meet a terrestrial and an aquatic turtle up close. Make a fun turtle craft, and take an optional hike to turtle habitat at Lake Audubon. Register by May 22.

In the ground beneath our feet lies a whole world of life. Discover which animals make their homes in the dirt and take a peek under some logs to look for a few. Use dirt to make an art project. Register by May 10.

206011008 Sat All Ages

Celebrate Earth Day by digging in to spruce up the Nature Center with new plantings and fresh woodchipped trails. Individuals, families and companies are encouraged to participate. Register by April 20. Groups with more than 5 people, contact habrock@reston.org or 703-435-7986.

206111001 Mon 5/13 10:00 am – 11:00 am OR Tue 5/14 10:00 am – 11:00 am Ages 18-35 months $7/RA Member, $9/Non-member

BIRD CLASS: AN INTRODUCTION

206011202 4/22 Mon 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Adults and Children 5+ Free

Make your own 52-gallon rain barrel from a recycled pickle barrel. Rain barrels collect water from the roof and store it for use later. If you already have a barrel, volunteer to help others master the drill or place screens on barrels. To register, visit https://www. fairfaxcounty.gov/soil-water-conservation/rain-barrel by May 15. Limit 2 per household. In partnership with the Northern VA Soil & Water Conservation District.

EARTH DAY PROJECT

ENVIRONMENTAL FILM: BEFORE THE FLOOD

A look at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do to prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems and native communities across the planet. Actor and United Nations Messenger of Peace, Leonardo DiCaprio, travels the globe to witness the effects of impending environmental disaster. Registration recommended by April 25. 206201051 Adults

4/26 Free

RAIN BARREL WORKSHOP

206201012 5/18 Sat 10:30 am - 12:30 pm Adults $55 per barrel

5/25 10:30 am–12:00 pm $6/RA Member, $8/Non-member

Learn the basics of bird identification, and how to look and listen for the common birds of Reston. Discover the major groups of birds and the best places to watch for them. Discuss a variety of bird guides and take home a Checklist of Birds of Reston. Learn how to use eBird and support Reston’s biodiversity projects. Register by May 28. 206201205 5/30 Thu 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Adults Free for bird count volunteers or $5 SUMMER BIRD COUNT

Join us for a half-day annual count through Reston’s natural areas. Meet local bird experts, learn tips on identification and have fun while helping obtain important information to help our feathered friends. Volunteers enjoy a free lunch, tally results and swap stories at Nature House following the count. Register by May 29. 206201205 Sat Adults

6/1 6:45 am – 12:00 pm Free

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Mason Bee House Materials

Small waterproof container (ex. 1 or 2 liter soda bottle, coffee can or old mug) Scissors Cardboard rolls (from toilet paper or paper towels) Paper bags Pen or pencil Tape String

Steps 1. Clean and dry a waterproof container. If using a plastic bottle, have an adult cut off the neck of the bottle. 2. Cut your cardboard tubes to match the height of your container. Stuff as many as you can into the container. They should fit snugly and not fall out when you turn it upside down. 3. Make some smaller bee tubes. Cut paper bags into small pieces 4-5 inches wide and the same height as your container. One at a time, roll the pieces of paper around a pen or pencil. Slide them off and tape them to stay rolled. 4. Fill the cardboard rolls in your container with these paper tubes. 5. Use string to hang your bee house from a tree so that the tubes face out, not down towards the ground. Watch and wait for these amazing pollinators to arrive!

Powerful Pollinators By Earl the Squirrel (with help from Kelly Michienzi)

Pollinator Crossword

Spring is coming. Soon our forests and gardens will be buzzing with pollinator pals. Pollinators are special creatures that move pollen from flower to flower. Pollen looks like yellow dust, found inside flowers. Some plants have pollen that blows in the wind. You can see it on the surface of cars and windows in the spring. Even though pollen makes some folks sneeze, it is the important ingredient that helps flowers make fruits and seeds. In Reston, we have hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. These amazing pollinators feed on the sugary liquid inside flowers, called nectar. While they sip nectar from the flowers with their long tongue-like mouth parts, pollen sticks to them. A butterfly’s long “tongue” is called a proboscis. Each time a pollinator visits a new flower for nectar, some of the pollen stuck to their beaks or fuzzy bodies rubs off. This transfer is called pollination. Did you know that bees pollinate more types of plants than any other animal? Next time you see a bee on a flower, take a close look to see if her fuzzy legs are full of yellow pollen. Scientists have found that around 75% of the nuts, fruits and veggies that humans enjoy in the United States are pollinated by native bees! Remember to thank the bees next time you enjoy a juicy apple, crunchy cucumber or a sweet strawberry. As you can see, it is very important that our pollinator buddies stay healthy. Unfortunately, some pollinators have started to disappear due to loss of their home habitats and chemicals called pesticides. You can help our pollinator friends. Plant native flowers, trees and shrubs that attract bees and other pollinators such as beautiful coneflowers, beebalm and asters. Don’t forget to plant milkweed for our Monarch caterpillar friends. I hope you have fun digging in the dirt. I sure enjoy it! And if you happen to come across any acorns that I buried in the fall, please put them back.

Across 3. This beautiful insect begins life as a caterpillar. 5. Critters that move pollen from flower to flower are called ________. 7. What is used to make hummingbird food? 9. Plant that Monarch caterpillars eat. 10. Type of bee that doesn’t sting.

Down 1. Type of bird that is a pollinator. 2. The long mouthpart of a butterfly. 4. Powder made by flowers. 6. The color of pollen. 8. Insects that pollinate the most food plants.

Attract hummingbirds to your yard with a mixture of 1 cup of water and ¼ cup of white sugar in a hummingbird feeder. Another fun thing to do with your friends is to build homes for mason bees! Mason bees are amazing pollinators that don’t sting humans. Next time you see a bee, hummingbird or butterfly, remember they are busy using their pollinating superpowers to provide you with beautiful flowers, tasty fruits and delicious vegetables.

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Kids’ Corner


Green Living: Integrate Your Pest Control By Abby Stocking

Unwanted species often turn up around our homes and gardens. Many traditional methods of ridding spaces of these “invaders” rely on the use of chemicals that can have harmful effects to the environment, other species and ourselves. Perhaps it is time to consider using a more holistic approach like Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The EPA defines IPM as the “effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices.” IPM stresses the importance of using not just a single control method (like spraying pesticides), but to instead use a set of practices to reduce pests. Using IPM generally involves four stages.

1. Identify and monitor pests

Correctly identify what you are seeing in your home or garden. For example, the webby “tents” found in trees in the spring are not caused by the invasive Gypsy Moth, but by our native Eastern Tent Caterpillars that generally do not kill the trees. If you are unsure that you truly have a “pest”, send photos of the critter and/or the damage it has caused to naturecenter@reston.org. Fairfax Master Gardeners, part of the Virginia Cooperative Extension, is another great resource. You can find them at the Reston Farmers Market at Lake Anne plaza or drop off a sample for their Diagnostic Lab at any Fairfax County Library.

2. Set an action threshold

Determine if the pest’s presence is at a level that could cause a health hazard, structural damage to your home or long-term damage to your garden. If you see a single spider, centipede or ant, don’t immediately break out the bug spray. You risk exposing yourself, your family and/or your pets to unnecessary and potentially harmful chemicals. Understand that some presence is to be expected, and not all occurrences require action. Many of the unpleasant behaviors or consequences of pesky insects, such as exuding sticky honeydew or crawling on outdoor furniture, have a short time frame to endure and no long-lasting implications.

3. Set up preventative measures

Sometimes a simple barrier is all you need to prevent pests like screens on your doors and windows. For mosquito control, eliminating areas of standing water in your yard can reduce the places where these insects breed. Mosquito dunks that contain Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bt), a highly specific larvicide, can be safely used in ponds and gutters. For wood-boring insects, replace boards that are rotting and maintain the paint or varnish on these surfaces.

4. Control

• Encourage beneficial organisms like spiders, ladybugs, birds and bats. By creating a healthy and diverse habitat, you can attract things that help to naturally control pest species. You can also grow plants like mint or yarrow to attract beneficial insects that help with the control of unwanted species. • In your garden, take time to physically remove pest species. Hand weed instead of spraying herbicides. Hose down plants to knock off pests. Prune away diseased or insect-infested plant material and discard it in the trash so that you prevent the pest from coming back or spreading to other areas. • If you have tried everything else and must use a pesticide to regain balance, choose a lower risk alternative to the more common synthetic pesticides. Reduced risk pesticides break down faster in the ecosystem, are used in smaller quantities and do less damage to non-target species. They may include soaps, oils or pesticides made from naturally derived compounds. It is best to find one that will specifically target your problem species. • If you or your cluster/condo association decide to hire professional services, make sure their applicators are certified pesticide technicians that follow all necessary precautions on the product label as well as safety procedures such as posting signs about which pesticides have been used and when. Failing to have an informed tolerance for insects and meticulously following product labels can have dire consequences, including mass die offs of non-target species such as pollinators like bees and butterflies. Already banned for outdoor use by the European Union and tightly restricted in Canada, an increasing body of research discourages the use of neonicotinoid insecticides (aka neonics). By taking a more integrative approach to how we care for our lawns, gardens and homes, we can make great strides in protecting ourselves and the wildlife that share our community.

Native Plant Sale Place orders by Friday, April 5, • 5 pm Pick up on Saturday, April 20, • 10 am -1 pm

Species to include a variety of sun and shade loving wildflowers and ferns. See the plant list on the order form available online at www.reston.org and at Nature House. Contact naturecenter@reston.org or 703-476-9689 for more information.

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www.reston.org Walker Nature Center 11450 Glade Drive Reston, Virginia 20191

16th

Annual

PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID RESTON, VA PERMIT NO. 21

NAture Center

5K Run & Walk

SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 8 AM WALKER NATURE CENTER, 11450 GLADE DRIVE ADULTS $25 prior to April 1 $30 regular CHILDREN $15 prior to April 1 $20 regular Register at www.active.com or in person starting at 7 a.m. on race day. Get into nature on one of the most scenic courses in the area. There will be lots of prizes, music and refreshments following the race. The Walker Nature Center is the home of environmental education in Reston. Funds raised will support facility enhancements, educational exhibits and programs. Volunteers needed. Contact habrock@reston.org or call 703-435-7986. To become a race sponsor or donate a prize, contact Katie Shaw at kshaw@reston.org. Hosted by Friends of Reston, Reston Association’s 501c3 supporting organization. Donations above and beyond race entry fees are tax deductible.

Winter Volume Twenty | 1918/19 | Volume Spring Twenty One

Profile for Reston Association

Branching Out Spring 2019  

WNC Newsletter

Branching Out Spring 2019  

WNC Newsletter