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Walker Nature Center

A LOOK INSIDE • Calendar of Events 4 • Kids’ Corner 6 • Fairy Festival 7 • Film Fest 7


Nature Notes The Lakes of Reston JUNE By Sharon Gurtz

By Idalina Walker

• • • •

Butterfly Weed, Threadleaf Coreopsis and Bee Balm bloom. White-tailed Deer fawns are born. Elderberry and Viburnum shrubs in bloom. American Goldfinch nest.

JULY • • • • •

Green Frogs are calling. Black Cohosh, Cardinal Flower and Purple Coneflower bloom. Annual Cicadas and Katydids are common. Tent Caterpillar moths emerge from cocoons. Damselflies and dragonflies are active.

AUGUST • • • • •

Copperhead snakes give birth to live young. Eastern Box Turtle and Snapping Turtle eggs hatch. Mountain Laurel and Rhododendron shrubs are in bloom. Asters, goldenrods and sunflowers bloom. Southern Flying Squirrel young are born.

In Reston, we work hard to protect out The water from Lake Anne eventually treasured trees and backyard habitats. flows into Anne’s Run which flows into This practice has given many of us a Lake Fairfax. This 28-acre lake collects sense of identity as a Tree City USA to runoff from a watershed of over 600 acres. hold with great pride. Reston’s lakes, Its average depth is 13 feet. When studying though all manmade, are also held in the health of a lake, it is important to high esteem for their beautiful viewsheds consider the volume of the lake in in all seasons. These lakes enhance our comparison to its watershed area. Reston experience, offering habitat Pollutants in the runoff greatly affect for wildlife, complementing the water quality. Common the lakeside pathways and pollutants include fertilizer offering a perfect escape and lawn care materials, aboard your watercraft of paint products, pet waste, choice. While you enjoy asphalt sealers and gasoline. the lakes this summer, it Extra nutrient load can is important to remember result in an overabundance the hard work they do for of algae. To prevent the lake the community—retaining from looking like pea soup, stormwater runoff in Reston the water is treated with a and improving water quality copper sulfate compound downstream. Here are some during the summer months. Photo by: Jim Kirby interesting facts about these aquatic workhorses and the challenges they face. Lake Thoreau Reston’s deepest lake was created in Lake Anne 1971. It was known to early residents as Reston’s founder, Bob Simon, named Lake Elsa. In 1979, its name was changed Reston’s oldest lake after his second to Lake Thoreau after the larger Elsa was wife. It was created in 1962 through the divided by the South Lakes dam to create impoundment of Colvin Run. Today, the it and its sister lake, known today as Lake lake is still fed by 2 branches of Colvin Audubon. Reston’s high school, South Run, one of which includes overflow Lakes gets its name from these two lakes. from Lake Newport and runoff from the Thoreau is located in Reston’s largest surrounding area. watershed, Snakeden Branch. Continued on page 2

Summer 16 Volume Eighteen

The Lakes of Reston Continued from page 1

Walker Nature Center 11450 Glade Drive, Reston, VA 20191

Most of Lake Thoreau’s waters enter from storm drains that serve Reston National Golf Course, Campus Commons and Soapstone Drive. This 46-acre lake has an average depth of 20 feet and retains runoff from 397 acres. In 2012, an overabundance of pondweed led to the release of Grass Carp, which today happily munch on this aquatic salad. Eurasian Milfoil, Fanwort and Floating Heart invasions have been treated with an aquatic herbicide.

Enjoy year-round access to trails, free parking and restroom facilities dawn to dusk.


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.


Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays

Saturday 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Sunday 1–4 p.m.

Lake Audubon

With a surface area of 48 acres, Reston’s largest lake also has the largest watershed, 1,554 acres. Its average depth is 10ft. It receives water from Snakeden Branch and Lake Thoreau. The large watershed area makes this lake difficult to protect from runoff pollutants and sediment from erosion. One way to combat these problems is to enhance the buffers and transition areas surrounding the lake. Biologs are recommended to lakeside residents and installed on RA property. These coir logs are made of coconut fiber. They are biodegradable structures that can be planted with water-loving, native plants. The plant roots help to secure the structure and re-establish a natural shoreline in eroded areas.

Lake Newport

The newest of the Reston lakes was formed in 1981 by the impoundment of an unnamed tributary of Colvin Run. Lake Newport has a surface area of 13 acres and a watershed area of 132 acres. average depth is 9 feet. Current management efforts are aimed at reducing the amount of Bladderwort and White Water Lilies. 130 triploid Grass Carp were released in November of 2015 to help tackle this problem.


July 4 Independence Day


703-476-9689 • www.reston.org naturecenter@reston.org www.facebook.com/walkernaturecenter Photo by: Jim Kirby

@restonnature 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.

How can I help keep our lakes healthy? • • • • •

Reduce lawn area, and minimize fertilizer/herbicide use. Plant trees and maintain a leaf layer in forested areas to reduce erosion and improve soils. Construct retention features on your property such as rain barrels or rain gardens. Don’t dump motor oil or cooking oil outside or down storm drains. They are for rain water only. Resist feeding geese and ducks which add nutrients to the lakes through their droppings.

What type of wildlife can I see at Reston’s Lakes?

Many species of ducks, turtles and fish can be observed. Some exciting waterfowl to watch for include Bald Eagles, Ospreys, Double-crested Cormorants, Great Blue Herons, and the not so common Common Loon and don’t forget to check out the turtle platforms on Audubon. They were built by Eagle Scout Vijay Iyer.

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


Wildlife Counts & Classes Dedicated to the memory of environmental volunteer Carolyn Badila Adults, ages 16 and over. Meet at the nature center. Counts are free. Classes are $5 or free for count participants. Volunteers are invited to enjoy a free lunch, tally results and swap stories at Nature House after the Bird and Butterfly Counts. The Dragonfly Count will include a refreshment break.

Bird Class: An Introduction Thursday, June 2 ∙ 7 - 8:30 p.m.

Learn basics 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 bird guides and take home a Reston bird checklist. Reservations required by May 30.

Summer Bird Count

Saturday, June 4 ∙ 6:45 a.m. - Noon

Meet local bird experts, learn tips on identification and have fun while helping us obtain important data about our feathered friends. Reservations required by June 1.

Butterfly Class: An Introduction Thursday, July 7 ∙ 7 - 8:30 p.m.

Discover the colorful and diverse lives of Reston’s “flying flowers”. Learn to identify Reston’s common butterflies, and get a basic introduction to their life history. Reservations required by July 5.

Butterfly Count

Saturday, July 9 ∙ 9:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Meet fellow butterfly lovers, learn tips on identification while helping to collect information on our fluttering friends. Data will be submitted to the North American Butterfly Association for the national 4th of July Butterfly Count Report. Reservations required by July 6.

Dragonfly Class: An Introduction Thursday, July 28 ∙ 7 - 8:30 p.m.

Discover the fascinating lives of Reston’s “flying dragons”. Learn to identify Reston’s common dragonflies, and get a basic introduction to their bizarre behavior and complex natural history. Guest Naturalist: Ken Rosenthal, Arlington County Parks. Reservations required by July 25.

Dragonfly Count

Sunday, July 31 ∙ 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Join local dragonfly fans, learn tips on identification while helping to obtain data on our fast-flying friends. Guest Naturalist: Ken Rosenthal, Arlington County Parks Reservations required by July 28.

You Make It Possible By Katie Shaw, Manager Just as the spring season burst with new life and energy, so did the activities at the nature center. We are grateful for all of our donors and 112 volunteers who supported us through a season jampacked with educational events, fundraising and resource projects.


All Beaded Up; David Barry; Better Said Than Done; Bonnie Haukness; Canoe, Kayak & Paddle Company; Cardinal Bank; Chadwick, Washington, Moriarity & Bunn; Charlie & Julie Bond; Cindy Beyer Design; Dogfish Head Ale House; Fairfax Screen Printing; Glory Days Grill; Great Harvest Bread Compnay; Hand & Stone Spa; Harris Teeter; Nancy & Craig Herwig; Jim Kirby Photography; Leidos; Lucia’s Italian Ristorante; MassagePro; Mon Ami Gabi; Not Your Average Joe’s; Odin, Feldman & Pittleman; Red’s Table; Reston Community Center; Reston Farmers Market; Reston Garden Club; Reston Sport & Health; Reston Spring Triathlon; Reston Town Center; RP Slater Financial Management; David Shaw; Smith Commons; Surf Reston; Pam Tobey; Chuck Veatch, and all 166 Nature House 5K runners/walkers!


Banu & Manu Balasubramanian; Joanne & David Bauer; Sandoval Beatriz; Jordan Becker; Anya Beldon; Matt Bender; Ben & Olivia Bond; Julie & Charlie Bond; Roma & Rosa Bradbury; Bill Brown; Anne Cannizzaro; Emma & Karen Cantwell; Jessica Chou; Christopher Chun; Alexandra & Erin Curtis; Diana, Lenord & Norma DeBeer; Freya De Cola; Marilyn Dicke; Aurelia, Ashley & Kathleen Dinoso: Ellen Douglas; June Ferrara; Ruth Franco; Emma Frank; Sofia Garay; Suzanne & Taylor Goodwyn; Stefan Gorski; Ellen Graves; Ryan Gray; Janine Greenwood; Ellen Ha; Carol & Jay Hadlock; Carol Hartgen; Bonnie Haukness; Burt Heacock; Nancy Herwig; Millie Hollis; Avril Hook; Kristin Irving; Aleandro & Guillermo Jaimes; Muslima Jawid; Diana Kalaly; Brian Kempe; Leanna Kirkland; Leon Kolankiewicz; Helaine Krob; Pat Lenz; Leidos; Pat Lichy; Paulette Lincoln-Baker; Caitlin Lundquist; Ryan & Veronica Malani; Bharathi, Sheela & Vasanth Mathivanan; Mary Ann Mcgovern; Karen Montagne; Merritt Group; Sharon McHugh; Andrew & Hannah McLauchlin; Ilene & Jim McNeal; Arjun Nachiappan; Molly O’Boyle; Lynn O’Connell; Patrick O’Malley; Terri Ostrowski; Barbara Paolucci; Mireya Pasa; Barbara Pelzer; ; Ellen Perrins; Christopher Querubin; Charles Reed; Jasmine Reed; Jessica Robinson; Mina Rosales; Pradith Santapur; Eveleen Sass; Megan Schaeffer; Megan Sebasky; Deborah Schram; Amber Shah; Rana Shaheen; JoAnn Shaub; Janelle, Kieron & Kierston Skyers; Bonnie Stauber; Katie Strong; Jean Tatalias; Lori Thomas; Cathy Tunis; Milena Urrutia; Brenda Van Doorn; Sirapriya Vishwanathan; Glenn Walker; Verna Webb; Ryan Wilson; Rebecca Zhou Congratulations to Ilene McNeal for winning the Reston Association’s Volunteer of the Year Award in large part for her hundreds of hours of service to the nature center.



EXPLORE LAKE ANNE BY CANOE/ KAYAK Friday, June 3 ∙ 6:30 - 8 p.m. $7/person RA members ∙ $9/person Non-members Lake Anne Public Boat Docks - Washington Plaza in the Lake Anne Village Center. Adults and children 10+ years

Explore Lake Anne from a different perspective. Paddling is a leisurely and enjoyable way of getting up close to waterfowl, fish and turtles that seem far away from shore. Learn about lake ecology and what you can do to help the lake and its aquatic wildlife. Beginner paddlers welcome. Boats and equipment provided. Co-sponsored by Reston Community Center. Reservations required by May 30. COUNT TO 10 Monday, June 6 ∙ 10 - 11 a.m. Or Tuesday, June 7 ∙ 10 - 11 a.m. $7/child RA members ∙ $9/child Non-members Ages 18 months to 35 months

The summer woods offer lots of opportunities for counting. Enjoy a guided nature walk and look for a series of fun items to count. 1 log to walk along, 2 large rocks, 3 birds in the sky - give your child a fun head start on preschool skills and notice numbers in our natural world. Snack and craft included. Reservations required by June 2. OWL PROWL Thursday, June 9 ∙ 7 - 8:30 p.m. $7/person RA members ∙ $9/person Non-members All ages

Meet a wildlife rehabilitator from the Raptor Conservancy for an up-close look at some live owls of Virginia. Then prowl along the trails in search of the nature center’s resident owls. It will be a hootin’ good time. Reservations required by June 6. SOLAR OVEN WORKSHOP Sunday, June 12 ∙ 2 - 3:30 p.m. $7/person RA members ∙ $9/person Non-members Adults and children 10 + years

Solar ovens use sunlight to slow cook or warm foods without electricity or other fuel sources. Join us for a solar cooking demonstration and build a simple oven to take home for your yard or next camping trip. All supplies and recipes provided. Co-sponsored by Reston Community Center. Reservations required by June 9. BIRD WALK: LOWER GLADE STREAM VALLEY Sunday, June 12 ∙ 7:30 - 10:30 a.m. Free Park on Glade Drive at Twin Branches Road. Adults Leader: Joanne and David Bauer


CALEND WHOSE BEAK IS IT ANYWAY? Wednesday, June 15 ∙ 10 - 11 a.m. Or 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. $5/child RA members ∙ $7/child Non-members Ages 3 to 5

How have bird beaks adapted to different types of food? Birds have developed a wide variety of beak types. What type works best for finding grubs in a tree or cracking open nuts? What about eating fish? Experiment with these useful adaptations yourself. Reservations required by June 12. WALKING STICK WORKSHOP Saturday, June 18 ∙ 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. $7/child RA members ∙ $9/child Non-members Ages 5 to 12

School’s almost out, and it’s time to explore new territory. Make a walking stick that can travel with you on your next hike. Choose the perfect stick, make a leather grip, and with help, engrave your name or initials to make it your own. All supplies included. Reservations required by June 15. ENV. FILM: ANTARCTIC EDGE-70° SOUTH Friday, June 24 • 7 p.m. • Adults • Free ($5 suggested donation)

A thrilling journey to the world’s most perilous environment. Follow a team of world-class scientists as they explore the West Antarctic Peninsula. See the stunning landscapes and seascapes of Earth’s southern polar region. While navigating through 60-foot waves and dangerous icebergs, the film tracks the team as they make land on Charcot Island to study the Adelie Penguin, considered one of the greatest indicator species of climate change. Co-sponsored by Friends of Reston. Reservations requested. CAMPING: THE ULTIMATE FAMILY EXPERIENCE Saturday, June 25 ∙ 2 - 3:30 p.m. $5/person RA members ∙ $7/person Non-members WNC Campfire Ring on Soapstone Drive, between Glade Drive and Lawyers Road. Adults and children 7+ years

Prepare for a positive family camping trip. Learn about different camping styles (tent, hammock and bivy), how to set up and break down your campsite, and build Leave No Trace habits to last a lifetime. Essential packing lists and local family camping destinations will be provided. Co-sponsored by Reston Community Center. Reservations required by June 22.


BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLIES Monday, July 11 ∙ 10 - 11 a.m. Or Tuesday, July 12 ∙ 10 - 11 a.m. $7/child RA members ∙ $9/child Non-members Pony Barn Pavilion at the corner of Steeplechase Drive and Triplecrown Road. Ages 18 months to 35 months

Butterflies flutter on multicolored wings. Some love sunny meadows. Others prefer dappled forests. Discover these creatures’ amazing ability to change from caterpillars to beautiful butterflies. Make a butterfly craft, sing songs, and play a butterfly game. A summer snack will be provided. Reservations required by July 7. FABULOUS FIREFLIES Friday, July 15 ∙ 7:30 - 9 p.m. $6/person RA members ∙ $8/person Non-members Brown’s Chapel - 1575 Brown’s Chapel Road. All ages

Fireflies, also known as lightning bugs, are fascinating insects. Discover what makes them glow and why they blink their lights on and off. Find out what they eat, how they grow and where they live. Learn how to attract them to your yard. Play a firefly game and take home a fun craft. Reservations required by July 11. BIRD WALK: BUTTERMILK CREEK TRAIL/LAKE FAIRFAX Sunday, July 17 ∙ 7:30 - 10:30 a.m. Free 11032 Ring Road, park at Uplands Pool. Adults CAMPFIRE FOLKLORE Thursday, July 21 ∙ 7 - 8:30 p.m. $7/person RA members ∙ $9/person Non-members WNC Campfire Ring on Soapstone Drive, between Glade Drive and Lawyers Road. All ages

The campfire has always been a great place to gather and hear stories of past and present. Did you know that many a lesson has been passed down from generation to generation while sitting around the fire? Hear a few fables and share a story of your own if you would like. Roasting marshmallows will be part of the fun. Reservations required by July 18.

DAR of Events KNEE DEEP IN A CREEK Saturday, July 23 ∙ 10:30 -11:30 a.m. $5/child RA members ∙ $7/child Non-members Ages 3 to 5

July’s hot days are perfect for dipping your feet into the cool water. Explore Snakeden Branch Stream looking for frogs, tadpoles, minnows and other aquatic creatures. Wear your wading shoes and clothes that can get dirty. We will provide nets and buckets. Reservations required by July 20. FAIRY FESTIVAL Saturday, July 30 ∙ 10 a.m. - Noon Free All ages

Calling all fairies young and old! We invite you to experience a magical morning full of gossamer wings, fairy wands, and enchanting tales of faraway places. Sip fairy tea and make a special fairy house. Reservations required by July 29.


BEAVER HIKE Thursday, August 4 ∙ 7 - 8:30 p.m. $5/person RA members ∙ $7/person Non-members WNC Campfire Ring on Soapstone Drive, between Glade Drive and Lawyers Road. All ages

Reston’s beavers are busy, and the Glade Stream Valley is the best place to observe their activities. Explore their history in Reston, their unique characteristics and the habitats they create. Meet “Buster the Beaver” then hike to the Beaver Management Area. Reservations required by July 31.

CRITTERS IN THE CREEK Monday, August 8 ∙ 10 - 11 a.m. Or Tuesday, August 9 ∙ 10 - 11 a.m. $7/child RA members ∙ $9/child Non-members Ages 18 months to 35 months

There is nothing better than getting knee deep in a creek on a hot summer day. Enjoy wading in The Glade stream looking for tadpoles, fish, frogs and other aquatic creatures. Wear your wading shoes and clothes that can get dirty. We will provide nets and buckets. Reservations required by August 5. CAMPFIRE FUN Friday, August 12 ∙ 7 - 8:30 p.m. $7/person RA members ∙ $9/person Non-members WNC Campfire Ring - On Soapstone Drive, between Glade Drive and Lawyers Road. All ages

Summer is winding down. What better way to end the season than around a crackling campfire. Sing songs, tell stories or jokes, play campfire games and roast marshmallows during this evening of old fashioned fun. Reservations required by August 8. NATURE CROWNS Tuesday, August 16 ∙ 10 - 11 a.m. OR 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. $5/child RA members ∙ $7/child Non-members Ages 3 to 5

These adorable and whimsical crowns turn an ordinary nature walk into something extraordinary. Notice new colors and patterns in nature and incorporate them in to your very own nature crown. Reservations required by August 12.

STREAM SLOSH Saturday, August 20 ∙ 10:30 a.m. - Noon $5/person RA members ∙ $7/person Non-members All ages

Dip into a cool stream to escape the heat of summer. Use a net to search for fish and frogs, and take a peek under rocks to look for insects. Wear your wading shoes and clothes that can get dirty. We’ll provide the nets and buckets. Reservations required by August 17. BIRD WALK: TWIN BRANCHES NATURE TRAIL Sunday, August 21 ∙ 7:30 - 10:30 a.m. Free Park at Twin Branches Road on Glade Drive. Adults KIDS OUTDOORS Wednesday, August 24 ∙ 9 a.m. - Noon $15/child RA members ∙ $20/child Non-members Ages 7 to 10 Summer fun is not over yet. Parents: Drop off your kids for a morning packed with outdoor activity!

Kids: Top off your summer with a walk on the wild side. Activities will include an “I Spy” nature adventure, fishing in Lake Audubon, creeking for critters in the stream, a trailside snack, and a natural craft to take home. Reservations required by August 19. DIGITAL SCAVENGER HUNT Saturday, August 27 ∙ 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. $6/person RA members ∙ $8/person Non-members All ages

Calling all shutter bugs! Bring your digital cameras, and search the trails for a list of interesting and creative pictures to compose. Gather back at Nature House where we will enjoy refreshments and share your favorite photos. Awards will be presented in kids and adult categories. Reservations required by August 24.

All programs will be held at the Walker Nature Center, 11450 Glade Drive, unless otherwise noted.

Call 703-476-9689 and press 5 or email naturecenter@reston.org for reservations and information. Advanced reservations are required for all fee-based programs. Programs may be canceled in the event of severe weather, severe weather warnings or low enrollment. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.


Clothespin Dragonfly Supplies: Clothespin Markers Waxed paper Glue or tape Google eyes (optional)

1. Color the clothespin with markers to make the dragonfly’s body. 2. Cut the waxed paper so it looks like wings. Use the sample photo to help you with the shape. Tape or glue the waxed paper wings onto the clothespin. Be sure to place them close to the clip end. 3. If you have google eyes, glue them onto the clip end of the clothespin or you can draw some eyes. 4. Once dry, you can make your dragonfly buzz around. You can also clip it onto something like curtains and use it like a decoration.

Darting Dragons By Earl the Squirrel with help from Abby Stocking They zip, they dart, and they do acrobatics in the sky. They are powerful predators who use their sharp vision and amazing flying skills to capture their prey. They do all this, and they are less than six inches long. The group of animals I’m talking about is the dragonflies, and they are spectacular. Dragonflies are insects with long, thin bodies, four wings and six legs. They have huge eyes that cover almost their entire heads. Those big eyes help them see all around. This helps them look for food and also to escape predators like frogs that try to eat them. Although they have the word dragon in their name, they don’t really breathe fire. But to smaller insects, dragonflies mean big danger. Dragonflies begin their lives in the water. When they hatch from eggs, they are called nymphs. They do not have wings and can swim. They eat different kinds of water insects, and some can even eat tadpoles and small fish! When they are ready to become adults, they crawl out of the water on a plant stem. They go through metamorphosis, which is a word that describes how they change from their young body to their adult body. Part of this change includes molting their outer layer of skin called the exoskeleton (similar to what a snake does). As adults, they will eat many types of flying insects, including mosquitoes. A single dragonfly can eat hundreds of mosquitoes in a single day.

Throughout this newsletter, there are hidden dragonflies, like the one above. Count how many you can find. The correct answer is on the bottom of this page.


Around the nature center, I usually see dragonflies at the pond, by the streams and sometimes resting on rocks in the gardens. They brighten up a summer’s day with their bright colors and dazzling flight patterns. Take a summer walk and see how many of these darting dragons you can spot.

Kids’ Corner

Answers: 8


Count the Hidden Dragonflies

Native Spotlight: Friday, August 5 7 - 9 p.m. Adults Free, $5 suggested donation Temperatures are hot outside, so join us inside for some of the coolest short films that shed new light on environmental topics in concise, creative and quirky ways. Popcorn and drinks for sale.


(Asclepias tuberosa) By Sharon Gurtz

Are you looking for more color in your landscape and longing for butterflies gracefully flying about? Set your sights on a sea of showy orange blossoms by welcoming one of Virginia’s native milkweeds to your yard. Butterfly Weed can be slow to get going in the spring and sometimes will not flower until the second year, but it can be successfully planted from seed, root cuttings or nursery stock. Vibrant orange flowers will grace your yard from June to September. In the fall, flowers give way to spindle-shaped seed pods (3-6” long) which open when ripe releasing silky-tailed seeds that dance in the wind. The silk has been used to stuff pillows and life jackets, and make candle wicks. This species of milkweed grows about 2 feet tall, likes to bask in the sun and can tolerate dry feet. Once established, it is difficult to transplant due to its large tough tap root. The root was eaten by Native and European Americans to treat lung inflammation (Pleurisy), and the plant became known as Pleurisy Root. The fiber was used to make cords and ropes, and there were many other medicinal uses as well. Although sometimes called Orange Milkweed, this species of Asclepias has little or no milky sap like other members of the group. Do handle with care, as the clear sap can cause contact dermatitis. Most milkweeds contain chemicals (cardiac glycosides) that are poisonous to humans and livestock if eaten in large enough quantities. This same chemical builds up in the butterflies wings and exoskeleton and makes the Monarch adults and larvae distasteful to their predators, providing an important chemical defense.

Co-sponsored by Friends of Reston. Reservations requested by August 4.

Perfect for the Butterfly Garden Butterfly Weed is one of several native milkweed that bloom in our area, adding a valuable food source for butterflies. Its nectar is favored by Silver-spotted Skippers, Sachem Skippers, hairstreaks, fritillaries, Painted Ladies and swallowtails. You may also see bees buzzing and a host of beetles using this plant. Milkweed leaves are crucial to the development of Monarch butterfly larvae.

Fairy Festival

Add some color to your yard and lend a helping hand to Monarchs at the same time. With its beauty and long bloom time this low-maintenance perennial could be a nice addition to your sun garden – and a bonus is that deer tend to avoid it.

Saturday, July 30 ∙ 10 a.m. - Noon Free • All ages

Calling all fairies young and old! We invite you to experience a magical morning full of gossamer wings, fairy wands, and enchanting tales of faraway places. Sip fairy tea and make a special fairy house. Reservations required by July 29.


Sun tea and refreshments Wand making Fairy House Building Music and singing The Fairy Queen’s Story

A Monarch Necessity With numbers of Monarch butterflies on a decline, there has been a push recently to plant this and other milkweed species. Milkweeds are crucial to the success of Monarch butterflies because the larvae feed exclusively on plants from this group. There has been a major reduction in native milkweeds due to habitat loss for development, herbicide-resistant crops and widespread chemical spraying on agricultural area and roadways. The thrust now is to ensure that milkweed and monarch nectar plants are available in other areas to support the species. Not all Milkweeds are Created Equal One milkweed on the watch list is a tropical species, Asclepias curassavica, that survives year-round in the Southern states. The problem is this milkweed hosts a protozoan parasite that weakens the infected adults, and the parasite can be passed on to future generations. Migration to Mexico breaks the cycle, but returning butterflies in the spring pass through these parasite-infected areas with potential harmful effects. If the plant is diligently cut back every few weeks in the winter, the problem can be avoided – or, better yet, plant natives! Consider adding these native milkweeds to your yard: • Swamp Milkweed (A. incarnata) • Common Milkweed (A. syriaca) • Whorled Milkweed (A. veriticillata) • Purple Milkweed (A. purpurascens) • Poke (Tall) Milkweed (A. exaltata) • White Milkweed (A. variegata)



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


Register online at www.reston.org, or in person at 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20191 For more information, call 703-435-6551 or email camp@reston.org.

Nature Tots

Ages: 3–5 by Sept. 30, 2016 Days: Monday – Friday, Four One-week sessions Time: 1-4 p.m. (AM Sessions are full) Fee: RA members – Sessions 1A, 3A & 3B=$90/session Session 1B=$72/session Non-members – Sessions 1A, 3A & 3B=$115/session Session 1B=$92/session Nature Story Time

Session 1A: June 27-July 1

Terrific Textures Session 1B: July 5-8 No Camp on July 4

Space Explorers

Session 3A: July 25-29

Walker’s Rangers

Ages: 6 – 9 by Sept. 30, 2016 Dates: Monday – Friday, four one-week sessions Time: 9 a.m.– Noon Fee: RA members - $90/session Non-members - $115/session Star Gazers

Mystery Solvers

Nature Art

Nature Superheroes

Session 2A: July 11-15 Session 2B: July 18-22

Session 4A: August 8-12 Session 4B: August 15 -19

Animal Olympics

Session 3B: August 1-5

Kids Outdoors Summer fun is not over yet.

Parents: Drop off your kids for a morning packed with outdoor activity! Kids: Top off your summer with a walk on the wild side. Activities will include an “I Spy” nature adventure, fishing in Lake Audubon, creeking for critters in the stream, a trailside snack, and a natural craft to take home.

AGES 7-10

Wednesday, Aug. 24 9 a.m. - Noon Reserve by Aug. 19.



Summer 16 Volume Eighteen

Profile for Reston Association

Branching out summer 2016  

WNC newsletter

Branching out summer 2016  

WNC newsletter