Parks, Streams and Birds


This course will share a seasonal view of Arlington featuring
its flora, fauna and birds. Take a look at how our
area changes with the seasons and enjoy the richness.
Sessions will be held in various locations.

1. A Spring Look at Arlington’s Parks (Cliff
Fairweather): In a brief lecture and hike through
Glencarlyn Park, participants will be introduced to
the local biodiversity found in the spring in all of
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. This
class will meet at Long Branch Nature Center, 625
S. Carlin Springs Road.

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 them. Learn how
residents can get involved to protect water quality.
This class will meet at Arlington Mill Community
Center, 909 S. Dinwiddie Street.

Recommended Website: https://environment.

3. Spring Finds in Arlington Parks and Streams
(Marty Suydam): Arlington’s 33 miles of perennial
streams are an important part of the beginning

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 they have disappeared.
This class will provide a spring overview
and focus on Four Mile Run with an onsite tour
and explanation. Class meets at Four Mile Run
Park, 4109 Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria.

4. Introduction to Birding in Arlington (Tom
Nardone, Joan Haffey): The instructors, both from
the Northern Virginia Bird Club, will introduce the
class to birding in Arlington. This will be a combination
of interactive classroom session, 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. Class will be held at Fort C.F.
Smith, 2411 24th St. N.

5. Invasive Species: What To Do in the Spring
(Sarah Archer): This hands-on session will discuss
the problem of invasive, non-native plants in
Arlington parks. The discussion will cover the invasive
species, how they get into our parks and what
can be done in the spring to stop their spread and
manage those that have already been established.
This class will meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center,
3608 Military Road.

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’s degree from Virginia Tech’s
College of Natural Resources and Environment.

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, management of the StormwaterWise
Landscapes incentive program and coordination of 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 held the first
Wednesday of the month at Long Branch Nature Center.

Joan Haffey is a master naturalist who participates
in monthly natural resource surveys in two Virginia
wildlife areas. She regularly participates in activities
of the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, Audubon
Naturalist Society, Friends of Huntley Meadows Park
and the Northern Virginia Bird Club.

Sarah Archer is a natural resources specialist for the
Arlington County 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 and Environment 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.


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