Prince William Conservation Alliance
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Dicentra spectabilis

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

Community Report
May 21, 2009
Newsletter Archive

Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.
—Aldo Leopold
Pileated Woodpecker by Julia Flanagan
Woodpeckers - the hollow sound of their territorial drumming has delighted many a woodland hiker.
But pounding one’s head into wood all day – how do they manage? With special adaptations.
Bones at the base of the bill have special construction to act as shock absorbers. Their feet have 2 toes front and 2 back, making for a better grip in a vertical position and a stiff tail is used for balance and support.
An especially long tongue with a barbed and sticky tip makes extracting insect larvae their specialty.
Click here to read more about Northern Virginia birds.
 Merrimac Farm Stone House Opens    
Stone House
Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Sundays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Where: Merrimac Farm Stone House Visitor Center, 15020 Deepwood Lane, Nokesville
Merrimac Farm is a great place to watch wildlife with your family, friends or binoculars and camera. Beginning this weekend, you can stop by the Stone House to ask questions, find some good spots to hike or share info about the cool critters you saw.
And there's plenty to discover right around the Stone House. Last Saturday we casually observed 10 species of butterflies, including dozens of Spring Azures. A mysterious caterpillar was seen climbing a small hill, only to tumble down time and again. There are five eggs in the Eastern Phoebe nest near the Stone House and newly fledged Bluebirds.
So far, the forecast shows a beautiful weekend for an outdoor adventure. If you head over to Merrimac Farm, stop by to say hi and check out what's happening at the Stone House. 
  Silver Lake - New Public Hearing Date   
When: Tuesday, June 23 at 2:00 pm
(June 2 public hearing canceled)
Where: Board Chambers, McCoart Government Center, PW Parkway

Silver Lake has been closed to the public since the land was transferred to the County in December 2006. During that time citizens provided input on Silver Lake on multiple occasions.
In response to community input, the intensive uses featured in the PWCPAs original plan were revised to focus on passive recreation and horseback riding. 
Now, instead of moving forward with their plan as presented to the public, the PWCPA proposes to begin a Master Planning process to develop a new plan (we're back to the beginning).
Before Silver Lake is transferred to the PWCPA, Supervisors could ensure that previous commitments are honored by authorizing deed restrictions that limit the range of recreation uses at Silver Lake to those included in the plan the Park Authority presented to the public.
It's time to stop talking about Silver Lake and concentrate on opening the park for public use, as supported by 2+ years of community input.
Decisions are made by the people who show up. Share your views with Supervisors at the June 23 public hearing (no need to sign up in advance) or click here to email Supervisors. Read more...
   Climate Change Close to Home   
Frogs are cool.
When: Thursday June 4, 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: Bull Run Unitarian Universalist Church, 9350 Main Street, Manassas
Please join PWCA for a presentation provided by Austin Kane, National Wildlife Federation, on how climate change can affect Northern Virginia. Bring your questions! Read more...