Parks, Streams and Birds


This course shares the seasonal view of Arlington,
its flora, fauna and birds. Take a look at how our area
changes with the seasons and enjoy the richness of the
area. All sessions will be held in various Arlington parks
and community centers; some will involve walking and
hiking. Be prepared!

1. A Fall Look at Arlington’s Parks
(Cliff Fairweather): In a hike through Glencarlyn
Park, participants will be introduced to the local
biodiversity found in the fall in Arlington’s parks.
Along the way we will discuss the educational,
environmental and health benefits that local
natural areas provide the community. We will also
consider some of the challenges of managing
natural resources in an urban area.

Recommended website: Arlington Natural
Resources Management Plan: http://projects.

2. Issues Facing the Arlington Watershed
(Aileen Winquist): Learn about the challenges
facing Arlington County’s streams and water
quality and how the County is addressing these
challenges. Learn how residents can get involved
in protecting water quality.

Recommended website: https://environment.

3. Fall Finds in Arlington Parks and Streams
(Marty Suydam): Arlington’s 33 miles of streams
are an important part of the beginnings and development
of the county. Like most modern urban
areas, streams and creeks appear very different
than in the past. The old natural water conduits
have been relocated, piped underground, siphoned
off for irrigation, or have disappeared. This class
will provide a stream overview and focus on Four
Mile Run with an on-site tour and explanation.

4. Introduction to Birding in Arlington (Tom
Nardone, Joan Haffey): The instructors, from the
Northern Virginia Bird Club, will introduce the
class to birding in Arlington. The class will be a
combination of an interactive classroom session of
resource-sharing and new birder tips, and a walk
in the park to start identifying birds. Participants
will learn about key birding organizations and regular
birding activities in the area as well as local,
web-based, and smartphone app resources for
Arlington birders. Bring binoculars if you can.

5. Invasive Species — What to do in the Fall
(Sarah Archer): This hands-on session will discuss
the problem of invasive, non-native plants in
Arlington parks. The discussion will cover which
invasive species are here, how they get into our
parks, and what can be done in the fall to stop
the spread of these pests and manage those that
have already been established in the parks.

Cliff Fairweather is a Natural Resources Specialist for
the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation,
where he manages the Long Branch Nature Center. He
has been a professional naturalist since 1996 and holds a
Master of Natural Resources degree from Virginia Tech.

Aileen Winquist has 20 years of experience in environmental
outreach and communication. She has a
Master’s degree in Environmental Science from the
University of Virginia. She manages outreach for
Arlington County’s stormwater programs, including public
engagement for stream restoration and storm sewer
projects. In addition, she manages the StormwaterWise
Landscapes incentive program, and coordinates educational
programs on rain barrels and rain gardens.

Marty Suydam is a retired Army officer, government
and corporate executive and professor. A long-time
resident of Arlington, he published Walks with Charley:
Sniffing Arlington Ridge History and Mystery
in 2017.

Tom Nardone volunteers as a bird-walk leader for
the Northern Virginia Bird Club and the Friends of
Dyke Marsh. He frequently leads the walk on the first
Wednesday of the month at Long Branch Nature Center.

Joan Haffey is an Arlington Regional Master Naturalist
who participates in monthly natural resource surveys in
two Virginia wildlife areas. Joan regularly participates in
activities of the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia,
Audubon Naturalist Society (MD), Friends of Huntley
Meadows Park and the Northern Virginia Bird Club.

Sarah Archer is a Natural Resources Specialist for
Arlington County’s Department of Parks and Recreation,
where she coordinates the Invasive Plant Program.
She has been with the County since 2009: first as an
AmeriCorps member, then with the Landscape and
Forestry Unit. She graduated from Virginia Tech’s
College of Natural Resources with an Executive
Master’s degree in 2012. Sarah has also worked with the
Student Conservation Association, the Bureau of Land
Management and The Nature Conservancy.

Additional Information


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Multiple Instructors 10/9 - 11/6 We 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM $55.00 View