Green Events in Arlington – August 2017

Green Events

Beat the Heat with Home Energy Rebates

Warm weather is here, and 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.

Dragonflies: Masters of the Skies

July 29.  11 am – 12.  Ages 8 to 12. Dragonflies are fierce predators, catching other flying insects as their prey. View the world through dragonfly eyes as we search for these airborne hunters. For information: 703-228-3403. Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. $5.  Registration is required.  More information and registration.

Energy Masters Training

Now in its 7th year, the highly
successful and award-winning Energy Masters program
promotes a more energy efficient and sustainable community by
engaging  professionally trained volunteers in energy efficiency and
water conservation techniques, and in community outreach and education. The
program serves low-income families in Arlington County and the City of

You, too, can help improve the comfort of residents in affordable housing
apartments, reduce energy costs, and promote behavior change for sustained
environmental impact.

Student and community (adult) volunteer tracks are available. Get
details about the training program
 on our
website. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through
September 15 or until all spaces are filled.

by July 31 for priority consideration and enjoy a $25 discount off the
registration and background check fees.

  • Communication volunteer application form.
  • Student application form.
    Note – $84.95 total fees including $75 registration fee plus $9.95 fee for online background check paid separately. There are no fees for students.

 Apply for the Tree Canopy Fund

Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE), a community nonprofit organization
promoting sustainable lifestyles, is now accepting applications to the Tree
Canopy Fund for education/outreach projects based in Arlington County,
Virginia. The Tree Canopy Fund was established by the Arlington County
Board in 2007 in order to arrest the decline of tree canopy in the

Education/outreach projects must support the overall goal of the Tree Canopy
Fund to restore and increase the County’s tree cover over time and are limited
to projects that focus on outreach in Arlington County, Virginia.

To review
proposal guidelines and eligibility requirements, please visit our website: Proposals
for education/outreach projects must be emailed to ACE at
by midnight on Monday, September 18.

Mosquitoes and Ticks: Identification and Control

August 8, 7-8:30.  Learn the science of how to best control mosquitoes and ticks and keep them away from you and your family.  The presentation will include how to identify the ticks and mosquitoes prevalent in this area, their life cycle, how they reproduce, and where they go in the winter. We will also focus on sustainable options for you and your yard.

RSVP for event reminder; attendance is on a first-come, first-served basis.

In partnership with the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia.   More information.

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.  Open through October 1, 2017.

Only Rain Down the Drain!

Polluted 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.

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.

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

Arlington Regional Master Naturalist Training

Apply by August 15th!  You can make a difference in our community by becoming a Master Naturalist volunteer! The Virginia Master Naturalist program prepares volunteers to provide education, citizen science, and outreach to conserve and manage natural resources and public lands. Master Naturalist volunteers gain certification through state-approved natural history courses with a local focus. Recognized experts in a wide range of disciplines such as ecology, botany, herpetology, ornithology, forest and aquatic ecosystems, and much more provide fun and interactive training. Volunteers must commit to at least 40 hours of service annually to become certified.

Arlington Regional Master Naturalists will be holding evening and weekend training this fall, beginning September 5 through December 12, 2017 on Tuesdays from 7:00 to 10:00 pm at Long Branch Nature Center in Arlington. Four Saturday field trips will be scheduled at parks around the area. Applications are due Tuesday, August 15, 2017.

For more information and to complete an application, visit the Arlington Regional Master Naturalist website at .

Rain Barrel Workshop

August 19, 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.

Humane Gardener Author Talk

Saturday, August 19.  3-4:30

Nancy Lawson, a naturalist and columnist for All Animals Magazine, will share her expertise and talk about her recent book, The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife. She will have books available for purchase and signing.

Alexandria Library, 717 Queen St.  Alexandria

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.

Fall Vegetable Gardening

– Monday, August 28, 7-8:30, Beatley Library, 5005 Duke St., Alexandria 22304, or

– Tuesday, August 29, 7-8:30, Fairlington Community Ctr, 3308 S. Stafford St., Arlington, 22206

Now is the time to think about what to plant when the weather starts to cool. Join us for
this popular session on fall gardening―what to plant when and simple tips for
success. Think healthful greens like kale, collards, bok choy and a wealth of
lettuces. Fall is a delightful time to garden, with cool autumn days and waning
pest populations. Learn inexpensive techniques to extend your harvest and even
how you can enjoy some of your crops in the dead of winter!

Free. Advance registration at Questions 703-228-6414 or

Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional –

Level 1 Training

This 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

September 14-15, 2017 – Derwood, MD

Direct questions to Beth Ginter at

Four 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.

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 Program. For more information and to register, email Sarah Archer or call 703-228-1862. See a map of these locations.

  • 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