U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Mason Neck Eagle Festival
The Bureau of Land Management's(BLM) Lower Potomac Field Station (LPFS), Lorton, Virginia participated in the Mason Neck State Park annual Eagle Festival on Saturday, April 20. This event featured local and national environmental organizations, live music, canoe tours, hay and pony rides, trips to a great blue heron rookery, environmental education stations and bird-banding demonstrations. Live shows with reptiles, aquatic animals, hawks and owls were also on tap. And it's always free!
The LPFS booth featured an artistic rendition of a new proposed bike trail, exhibits, an opportunity for youth to decorate bird feeders and take them home to put up in their yards as well as trail maps and bike trail brochures. In spite of windy, brisk weather conditions, 4,500 people (1,000 more than in 2012!) attended the event. Food vendors with hot coffee provided a much needed service as well.
If you were unable to attend this year's festivities, follow the Mason Neck State Park web site for next year's date and time: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/
Team Wood Thrush
For the second year in a row, Team Wood Thrush paid a visit to the Bureau of Land Managment's Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area in Lorton, Virginia. On Tuesday, April 23, over 30 English As A Second Language students from Hayfield, Virginia, followed Mary A. Elfner, Virginia Audubon Council, into the woods at Meadowood. Students, teachers, and Bureau of Land Management staff followed the Wood Thrush Trail and listened for the sounds of birds.
Mary would hush the crowd as the "calls" would come out of the woods and in the sky overhead. Binoculars raised, ears tuned in to the sounds of the wood thrush, pileated woodpeckers, blue jays and many other species of birds would capture the attention of the students (and adults!). Mary told the crowd that more bird songs could be heard if the weather were sunny and warm, not the chilly temperatures experienced by the current group.
However, many birds did make their presence known. Students were able to identify many of the calls they heard. Virginia Audubon members are frequent visitors to the 13.2 miles of Meadowood trails, and have developed surveys for bird species that may be found here. Visit www.audubonva.org/
Meadowood trails are open to the public, sunrise to sunset, seven days a week, free of charge. Trail maps are available at each kiosk and parking area. Plan a visit soon!
Potomac River Watershed Clean-up
Many volunteers assisted the Bureau of Land Management's Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area staff to clean up a portion of the Potomac River watershed on April 13, 2013. Students and adults came prepared in old clothes,wearing boots and gloves as they picked up a dozen bags of debris and trash. There were also ten tires, a large metal frame of unknown origin, rebar and assorted other trash items.