Prince William Conservation Alliance
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Birdfoot Violet

Prince William Conservation Alliance
Explore, Enjoy & Protect Local Natural Areas

Community Report
April 22, 2009

   -  Coyotes of
Northern Virginia
   - Climate Change
Close to Home

   - Bluebird Trail at
Chinn Park
   - Wildlife Counts

   - Greet Visitors at
Merrimac Farm
Fern Fiddlehead
 We cannot solve the problems we have created with the same thinking that created them.
- Albert Einstein
Bay Journal; April 2009
Annapolis Capital; April 21 2009
Lynchburg News Advance; April 20 2009
Washington Post; April 19 2009

Your support is critical to our efforts to conserve important natural areas, such as Merrimac Farm, and provide opportunities for people to explore, enjoy and protect our natural areas.

Please join our circle of friends working to conserve and restore
Prince William natural areas! Click here for more information.

   Merrimac Farm Master Naturalists     
Take a closer look...
New Session Begins on May 21!

Participating with the Merrimac Farm Master Naturalists is a fun way to learn more about nature close to home and meet new friends.
We hope you will join us to take a closer look at Northern Virginia's cool critters and the places they live. Volunteers from the first session are now having a great time monitoring Bluebirds, investigating vernal pools, counting birds, and more.
You can review the class topics and preliminary schedule here. Registration is due by May 15. Read more...
  1st Thursday Nature Tales     
Coyotes of Northern Virginia

When: Thursday, May 7 from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Where: Bull Run Unitarian Universalist Church, 9350 Main Street, Manassas
The Mid-Atlantic is the last region of the continental United States to be colonized by coyotes, which began arriving in the 1980s. Where did they come from? How well do they co-exist with red and gray foxes? 
Kristi J.K. Robinson's study of the coyotes at Marine Corps Base Quantico included scat identification, tracking, and DNA analysis.
Her presentation will include the basics of coyote ecology and then go on to discuss how coyotes came to arrive in the Mid-Atlantic and right here in Prince William County.

Open to the public, free of charge. For more information, email PWCA at or call 703.499.4954. Read more...
imageClimate Change Close to Home

When: Thursday June 4, 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: Bull Run Unitarian Universalist Church, 9350 Main Street, Manassas

The pressure that global warming will put on the state’s habitats may also make it harder to reach the state’s existing and future conservation goals.  From sea-level rise to warming air and water temperatures, many of Virginia’s cherished wildlife species will be significantly affected by global warming.

Please join us on June 4 when Ausin Kane, National Wildlife Federation, will share information about the impacts global warming will have on wildlife and habitats in Virginia and Prince William County. Presentation followed by Q&A.
   Featherstone Refuge Wildlife Tour    
Featherstone NWRWhen: Saturday, May 9, 8:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Where: Meet at the Rippon VRE main parkinWHEN: Thursday June 4, 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

WHERE: Bull Run Unitarian Universalist Church, 9350 Main Street, Manassasg lot at the intersection of Rippon Blvd. and Farm Creek Drive
Join PWCA naturalists on Saturday, March 21, for a guided tour of the 325-acre Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge, located at the confluence of Neabsco Creek and the Potomac River.
Open to the public and free of charge. For more information and to RSVP, email PWCA at or call 703.499.4954. Click here to ead more about the Featherstone Refuge.
   Volunteer - Good deeds & new friends   
Contact us at 703.499.4954 or for more information on these volunteer opportunities. Click here to read more...
Eastern BluebirdBluebird Trail at Chinn Park
We have 11 nesting boxes for Bluebird Trail located at and around Chinn Park includes 10 nesting boxes. We need volunteers to check the boxes, record information about what's happening in each and discourage House Sparrows (because they kill Bluebirds and their young). No previous experience is required.
Wildlife counts at Merrimac Farm Wildlife Management Area
Help develop species lists for Merrimac Farm by participating in or leading in a survey, sharing information on your wildlife sightings, or helping organize data.  
Greet Visitors at Merrimac Farm Wildlife Management Area
Volunteers are needed to help staff the Stone House on weekends to greet visitors and help develop educational displays. Qualifications include a cheery personality and an interest in developing a working knowledge of Merrimac Farm habitats and wildlife.
  Bluebell Festival at Merrimac Farm   
Bluebells are popular, even in the rain.
Despite a drizzle that continued all morning, about 200 people took nature walks, examined frogs and turtles, and explored skins and skeletons of local mammals at Merrimac Farm Wildlife Management Area at the second annual Bluebell Festival on Saturday, April 11. Read more...
  Birding the Route 234 Mitigation Area   
Mist rising off the Rte 234 Wetland
The Route 234 Wetland Mitigation Area is 89 acres of forested and emergent wetlands protected by an upland corridor. This site was developed by the Virginia Dept. of Transportation (VDOT)to replace wetlands and wildlife habitat lost to the construction of the Route 234 Bypass.
Permanently protected by a conservation easement, the Route 234 Wetland Mitigation Area preserves both upland and wetland habitats and is quickly becoming a refuge for wildlife in a rapidly developing area. After just four field trips, the bird list for this site is up to 90 species. Read more...