U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Events and Activities at Meadowood
NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY 2013
MEADOWOOD BENEFITS FROM VOLUNTEERS
September 28, 2013, was a banner day at the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Lower Potomac Field Station (LPFS). It was a Saturday morning and over 200 volunteers met at the Mustang Trailhead to participate in the 20th Anniversary of National Public Lands Day. Luckily, the predicted rain did not happen!
In a few short hours, 9:00 am - noon, volunteers and staff made record progress on a variety of projects at the Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Freedom High School Students, the general public, BLM Washington Office administrators and staff, BLM retirees, Friends of Meadowood and BLM staff were anxious to make the most of the morning.
After a short welcome from BLM Principal Deputy Director, Neil Kornze followed by Eastern States Director, Dr. John Lyon, it was LPFS Acting Manager, Dr. Robin Hawks' turn to start the action and direct NPLD participants to task areas. Project leaders were ready with paint, gloves, tools and equipment to get the show on the road. Youth had many activities in store for them too like a Nature Walk and using a "Pollinator Wheel" to learn about pollinator friendly landscapes. The group leaders ask participants, "Did you know that domestic honey bees pollinate approximately $10 billion worth of crops in the U.S. each year?"
It was quite a site to see 200 volunteers in matching shirts heading off for work duties that included:
· Weeding the Pollinator Garden (created during last year's NPLD event)
· Enhancing access and improving landscaping at Enchanted Pond. People were already fishing in the new and improved surroundings within an hour after volunteers left the scene.
· Volunteers of all ages and abilities painted over 9,400 linear feet of fencing (over a mile and 3/4's - 1.76 to be exact) and that doesn’t include the fence posts! What a difference a morning makes!
Faces may have had touches of paint, shirts and hands were mighty dirty, and all were very tired, but the smiles told the story. LPFS's small staff of 5 could not have done all this work even if given 6 months. Everyone was proud, appreciative and ready to take a break when the 3 hours was over. Meadowood looks like a new place! So much was accomplished!
Here are some quotes from volunteers:
“Never thought painting could be fun.”
Youth: “We got to go on a Nature Walk and saw lots of birds and butterflies and learned about animals who live in the forest.”
“We can come out to Meadowood seven days a week for free?” (Yes you can.)
“I want to come out and fish at Enchanted Pond.” (Lots of these comments.)
Youth: “Will the horses like the painted fence?”
NPLD 2013 was a wonderful success at Meadowood. As a result of their hard work, volunteers were rewarded with a t-shirt, public lands recreation pass for a year, a new Meadowood brochure as well as a submarine sandwich lunch that even included cookies. Most importantly, everyone left with a feeling of pride in the positive difference they made to their public lands.
But there is always more to do. Please plan to join us for 2014 NPLD. Watch for the announcement on our web site:http://www.blm.gov/es/st/en.html . You will be more than welcome to lend a hand at Meadowood. Want to get an early start? Call Diane Hendry at 703-339--8561 or email email@example.com to volunteer now.
Conceptual Site Plan: etc/medialib/blm/es/es_media_library.Par.56923.File.dat/Mason Neck Kiosk conceptual drawing-EN06_029_121_Plans 9-1 (1).pdf
Mason Neck Kiosk Project
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area, along with many partners, is pleased to announce that construction of a Mason Neck Gateway Kiosk will begin shortly. Planning for the Gateway exhibit began almost seven years ago and will highlight the area’s history and exceptional outdoor recreational opportunities.
Construction of the kiosk is scheduled to begin the first week of November and will last through early winter. BLM staff will be working with the Federal Highway Administration Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division and their contractor to complete the construction.
This wayside exhibit will provide an opportunity for visitors to learn about the many historic, environmental and recreational opportunities available on the peninsula. Also part of a larger network, the kiosk will also serve as a major trailhead for the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail and Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail, as well as an introduction to other trails in the National Trails System. A network of existing and planned trails will enhance the visitor experience by facilitating access to Gunston Hall (a National Historic site), Pohick Bay Regional Park, Mason Neck State Park, Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, and Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area.
Project features will include an access road, a 12-space parking lot, covered kiosk with information panels, lighting, current access to the South Branch Loop Trail and a rain garden for storm water drainage.
Many federal, state and local government agencies collaborated on this project, as well as the Friends of Meadowood, who submitted the initial successful proposal for partial funding in 2006. Project funds are from a variety of sources: the Virginia Department of Transportation Transportation Enhancement Program; Bureau of Land Management; Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail Office, National Park Service; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Virginia State Parks; Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority and Gunston Hall. The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District will also install a rain garden at the site.
An information meeting has been scheduled from 8:30am to 9:30am on Monday, November 4, 2013, at the Lower Potomac Field Station, Building 2 Conference Room at 10406 Gunston Road, Lorton, Virginia 22079.
Please contact John Reffit, (703) 339-3467, for further information. A conceptual site plan for the project is available on request.
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!