Arlington Green Activities – June 2017

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Green Events

Go Solar With the Arlington Solar Co-op

Interested in going solar at a discount?   Arlington’s Rethink Energy program is partnering with VA SUN and ACE to launch another solar co-op for Arlington and other Northern Virginia Residents. Co-op members will save up to 20% off the cost of going solar and have the support of the co-op throughout the process. Over 80 Arlingtonians have already gone solar using co-ops like these. To get started, visit the co-op website for a no-obligation roof screening. You’ll provide your information using a form near the bottom of the site.

Firefly Festival

Sunday, June 25th.  7:30 – 9:30. Families ages 3 and up. Register children and adults; children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Come celebrate summer’s natural night lights as we learn about these bioluminescent beetles. Activities include; bug hunts, games, crafts, walks, and talks about fireflies. Bring a picnic blanket and dinner as we wait for sunset and the natural lights to come out. Cancelled if raining. For information: 703-228-6535. Meet at Fort C.F. Smith Park, 2411 N. 24th Street, Arlington, VA 22207. Registration Required.

RiverPalooza 2017

season-long event is designed to provide families and river enthusiasts with
memorable on-the-water experiences that build a deep and enduring appreciation
for rivers. Organized by Potomac Riverkeeper Network.  The next
scheduled events include:


June 24, 2017 — Ghost Fleet Paddle Mallows
Bay with Chesapeake Conservancy and REI

July 15-16, 2017 — Paw Paw Bends Float
& Camping

July 21, 2017 — Shenandoah River Fishing

For more information, see

Home Energy Rebates Available through June

Spring is here and warm weather is coming! Arlington’s Home Energy Rebates can help you cut your summer energy bills. Get up to $575 to upgrade your air conditioner or heat pump with a more efficient model, or add insulation or seal air leaks so your cooling system doesn’t have to work as hard.

Download the application to get started. You can also receive a rebate to replace your furnace, boiler, or water heater. Submit your application by June to guarantee rebate money is available.

Champion Trees Bike Ride

July 1, 10-12.   Marvel at some of Arlingtonís most spectacular trees on this leisurely ride over mostly level, paved pathways, while stopping at points of natural and environmental interest along the way. The route will pass by county and state champion trees. Bring your own bike, water, snacks, and repair kit. Teens ages 12 and up are welcomed, but must be accompanied by a registered adult.

For information: 703-228-1863. Meet at Barcroft Community center, at 2400 S Four Mile Run Dr. No registration required. Ride will be cancelled in case of inclement weather.

More information.

Cool Creek Critters

Multiple Dates.  Ages 5 to 9. Dress to get wet as we spend some time exploring waterfalls, trying to catch water striders, and taking a closer look at some creek critters. What do they have to tell us? Do different streams in Arlington have different critters living in them? Be prepared to want to keep playing in the creek when the program ends! Please wear closed-toe water shoes. For information: 703- 228-3403. Meet at Alcova Heights park fire ring, 901 S George Mason Drive, Arlington. Registration Required. Register children only, but an adult is required to attend with children under 7.

July 8, 10-11:30. Alcova Heights Park.

July 9, 10-11:30, Gulf Branch Nature Center

August 13, 10-11:30, Donaldson Run Park

Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional

Level 1 Training

new, voluntary credential system is for professionals who design, install, or
maintain sustainable landscapes such as stormwater BMPs, conservation
landscaping with native plants, riparian buffers, and some living shoreline
practices. A searchable CBLP Directory is available with more than 100
CBLP-certified professionals. The certification program includes two levels of
training with downloadable study guides, online webinars, live training events,
and a written exam. Because CBLP is a Bay-wide certification, candidates may
attend class and sit for the exam in any location. To learn more about the
program, see  For training information and
registration, see

July 17-18, 2017 – Virginia Beach

July 24-25, 2017 – Lancaster, PA

September 14-15, 2017 – Derwood, MD

Direct questions to Beth Ginter at

Four Mile Run Wildlife Walk

July 16, 10:30-12.  Families ages 3 and up. Register children and adults; children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Join us to see the native wildlife that lives along Four Mile Run. We’ll stop at sites along the way for activities as we see birds, fish, turtles and maybe even water snakes! For information: 703-228-6535. Meet at the Long Branch Nature Center.


Rain Barrel Workshop

July 29, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Mount Vernon Government Center

Provide your plants with water that is naturally soft and untreated. Water stored in rain barrels is also better for washing your cars and watering indoor and outdoor plants. Rain barrel water saves you money by decreasing the water used from your municipal water system. And, rain barrels reduce the storm water runoff decreasing stream erosion and pollution to the Chesapeake Bay.

Register for a rain barrel workshop here.

Only Rain Down the Drain!

stormwater runoff is the number one cause of water pollution in Northern
Virginia. Please pick up the dog stuff, recycle used motor oil, and don’t over
fertilize your lawn.

Visit Clean Water Partners at

Cricket Crawl Prep

August 11, 7:30-8:30.  Adults. Every summer we are serenaded by crickets and katydids. Learn to identify their different calls, how and why they sing, and more. Then help us census Arlington’s cricket and katydid populations as we monitor our parks and backyards for eight different species. The survey itself, or Cricket Crawl, will take place later in August. Teens ages 12 and up are welcomed, but must be accompanied by a registered adult. For information visit or call 703-228-3403. Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. Registration Required.

Apply for Energy Masters!

Energy Masters, an
award-winning program that promotes a more energy efficient and
sustainable community, is now accepting community and student volunteer
applications for the 2017-2018 program
. Our volunteers complete a training course
on energy efficiency and water conservation techniques to equip them
to deliver community education and outreach programs in Northern Virginia and
to improve efficiency in low-income housing. The program is open to community
members and high school and college students age 16 and older.

To date, more than 180 volunteers have been trained and performed
thousands of hours of community service to improve energy efficiency in the
homes of 729 families living in affordable housing. Read more about the tremendous impact that the Energy Masters program has had on the affordable housing community in Arlington
County and the City of Alexandria.

For more information
about Energy Masters, including an overview of the program
requirements and fall training dates, or to begin your application process,
visit our website:

The application period will close on September 15, or earlier if the class has filled. Apply before July 31 to
receive a $10 early bird discount on the program fee!

Bat Fest

August 27, 6:30-9:30.  Adults, teens, families ages 4 and up. Register children and adults; children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Enjoy a thoroughly batty evening and add to your knowledge of local night life! Live bat shows are presented by the riveting Leslie Sturges, director of the Save Lucy Campaign established to protect and conserve bats in this region. Registration for one of our live bat talks is required. All other activities are on-going from 6:30 thru 9pm: habitat walks, games, crafts and much more! For information: 703-228-3403. Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. Registration Required.

Mile Run Restoration Project

Project Details

The project location is along Four Mile Run between Mt. Vernon Avenue and Route 1. The work in the stream will include naturalization of the stream bank and construction of living shoreline features along the edge of the stream.  Living shorelines are small stone breakwaters with wetland plants behind them, and they are a more environmentally sensitive way to protect streambanks and coastal areas. They provide numerous benefits including reducing erosion along the bank, improving water quality by capturing sediment and utilizing nutrients, and providing habitat for fish and waterfowl.

More information.

Natural Arlington Blog

Did you know there is a blog with all kinds of local nature and wildlife information?  Sign up for the Natural Arlington Blog. Topics include information on compost and mulch, the eastern gartersnake, and tree identification.  The recent posts talks about Becoming StormwaterWise in 2017, plastic recycling, bird-friendly homes and wood frogs.

Plug into the first Energy Lending Library in the country!

The collection includes thermal imaging cameras, energy meters and books that will help residents identify areas of energy waste in their homes and provide real solutions.

thermal camera image.

The Energy Lending Library was created by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE) in partnership with Arlington Public Library.

The efficiency tools are available to anyone with an Arlington Public Library card and can be checked out like any book or movie.

Choose a Green & Clean Landscaping Company  

Do you hire a company to take care of your lawn and property?
Landscaping companies registered with the Virginia Department of Conservation
and Recreation as “Green & Clean” agree to follow landscaping
practices that will reduce the amount of fertilizer runoff into our streams and
rivers. Such practices include testing the soil for nutrient content before
applying any fertilizer, adhering to caps on the amount of nitrogen applied to
grass throughout the year, sweeping up any fertilizer that lands on hard surfaces
such as sidewalks and driveways, and recycling grass clippings back into the
soil. To learn more about the program and see the full list of
companies on the Green & Clean registry, please visit

If you contract with a landscaping company that uses your County-provided collection services to dispose of yard waste, you are responsible for coordinating with your contractor to ensure that any yard waste is placed in your County-provided yard waste cart, paper bags, bundles or household containers and set out for collection after 5 p.m. on the day prior to your service day. Your contractor may not set out yard waste in plastic bags for collection. Plastic isn’t compostable and won’t be collected. Only biodegradable paper yard waste bags will be collected.

Turn Your Yard into a Wildlife Sanctuary!

Would you like to turn
your garden into a welcoming space for birds, butterflies and other native
wildlife and help enhance the value of our urban green spaces?  Get free
advice on how to make your yard more wildlife friendly!  The Audubon at
Home Wildlife Sanctuary certification program assists homeowners in restoring
their home’s natural habitat by providing information on sustainable gardening
practices. These practices include using native plants, removing invasive
species, reducing use of pesticides and fertilizers, and creating space for
native flora and fauna.

Audubon at Home ambassadors will visit and consult with you on suitable native
plants, landscaping, water retention, or other best practices. To learn more
about the program in Arlington or Alexandria, you can contact Elizabeth Gearin,, 703
980-2258. Volunteer ambassadors will arrange a site visit and talk with you
about ways to enhance habitat in your garden.

For further information about the Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary program,
you can visit the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia’s website at

Invasive Plant Removal Events

Help protect our watersheds and keep Arlington County
parks beautiful. There are several monthly invasive plant removal events
sponsored by Arlington County Invasive Plant
. For more information and to register, email Sarah Archer or call
703-228-1862. See a map of these

  • First
    Saturdays @ Haley Park, 9 am – 11 am
  • Second
    Saturdays @ Gulf Branch Nature Center, 2 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Third
    Saturdays @ Tuckahoe Park, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Third
    Sundays @ Long Branch, 2 pm – 5 pm
  • Fourth
    Saturdays @ Benjamin Banneker Park, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Fourth
    Sundays @ Ft. Bennett Park, 10 am – 12 pm

Take the Guess Work Out of Choosing Native Plants for Your Yard!  

Maybe you
know a little about native plants and how they are important for the
ecological functioning of our landscapes, including assisting our sagging
populations of butterflies and other pollinators. Maybe you know nothing about
natives and just want some new ideas for beautifying your
landscaping. Whatever your
goal and whatever your knowledge level, the Plant
Nova Natives 
website includes terrific, picture-filled, and
easy to follow information that will help you choose native species that are
suited to your property and available at local nurseries. On the website, you
will find a colorful guide to local native species, a list of local businesses
that supply natives, and links to organizations that will come to your property
and offer customized landscaping recommendations.

Tree Care Resources


Concerned about your trees? The pruning
of medium to large trees is best left to qualified arborists both in terms of
evaluating the need, and applying the treatment. While well executed pruning
can reduce the risk of storm damage, poorly executed pruning can increase the
risk. And always deter tree topping as a risk reduction treatment.

For a list of certified arborists in this area: and
look for the Find an Arborist tab.

Selecting and Working with an Arborist:

Tips for Checking and Caring for Storm Damaged Trees:

Storm Damage and Tree Pruning

VA Dept. of forestry has some tips also at