Monday, September 14, 2009

Natural Happenings; 9/14-9/20

Each week, we list opportunities to get outdoors or learn about nature. Click through to the organization hosting each event for more details -- some events require registration or charge a fee.

This week's highlights: Saturday is Children's Day at Brookside Gardens, aimed primarily at families with children in pre-school through elementary school. There will be music, crafts, activities, and displays on the theme "Nature's Fun in Your Backyard.""Get outdoors amongst fun-filled nature activity tents, listen to the sounds of the RTT’s, and learn what to do with nature’s treasures in your own backyard. Check in at the information desk to obtain your “passport” for a schedule and map of the day’s event."

Also on Saturday, from 9 to 1, our very own Matt Cohen will be leading a wild edibles hike at Scott's Run for Ancestral Knowledge. Among some of the wild foods we’ll keep an eye out for will be pawpaws, hickory nuts, jewelweed, ramps, spicebush berries, wild grapes, and fungi such as chicken-of-the-woods, hen-of-the-woods, oyster mushrooms, and puffballs. Register here.

Also this week:

District Department of the Environment
Thu eve and Sat AM: 2-part workshop on backyard wildlife habitat and landscaping with native plants. At Walter Pierce Park. Contact

Sierra Club
Sat: work, hike, canoe at American Chestnut Land Trust (res. required for canoe)
Sat: Bear Church Rock, SNP. (13 mi, 3000’ elevation gain)
Sun: Knob Mountain - Jeremy's Run, SNP (12.3 mi.; ~5200 ft. of elev. change)

Potomac Appalachian Trail Club
Many cabin and trail crew work trips.
Tue: Conway River Over and Back (18 mi, 4200 ft elevation gain)
Wed: Sandy Spring Underground Railroad Trail (5 mi)

Center Hiking Club
Sat: Alexandria to National Harbor and back via the Woodrow Wilson Bridge (10 mi, from King Street Metro)
Sun: Doubletop Mountain, SNP (11 mi, from Vienna Metro)

Capital Hiking Club
Sat: Edinburg Gap to Mine Gap / Woodstock Tower, Massanutten Mtns.(9.1-12.8 mi, 1300-1500 ft ascent, bus transport)

Maryland Outdoor Club
Thu: Gunpowder Falls State Park
all weekend: Campout and Primitive Cooking Workshop at Earth Connection

Northern Virginia Hiking Club
Sat: Mt. Marshall, AT to Waterfall Branch in SNP (12-16 mi, 3400 ft elevation gain)
Sat: Hightop Mtn – Simmons Gap, SNP (10 mi)
Sun: North Mountain Trail in GWNF (13 mi)

Sat: Trout Pond and Rockcliff Lake, GWNF (8 or 12 mi, Farragut and Vienna Metro pickups)

Audubon Naturalist Society
Thu eve and Sun: Fall Wildflowers: Confusing Composites (class and field trip)
Thu to Fri: Fall Migration at Cape May
Fri: Late Summer Wings and Wildflowers at Lois Green Conservation Area in Mont. Cty
Sun: Thornton River Trail in SNP (5.5 mi)

Mycological Association of Washington
Sat: foray at Cabin John Regional Park (check to make sure it's happening)

United States Botanic Garden
Sat and Sun: Demonstration - Creating Dyes and Baskets with Native Plants
Sat and Sun: Art class - Painting Succulents in Gouache

Bladensburg Waterfront Park
Tue-Fri: free tour by pontoon boat at noon
Sat-Sun: free tour by pontoon boat at 5PM

Potomac Conservancy
Sat-Sun: Canoe camping on the Potomac

The Nature Conservancy
Tue: birding at Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens

Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Sat: Fall River Discovery Program on the Nanticoke River


Audubon Naturalist Society
Sat: The Salamander Room (ages 3-6)
Sat: Centipedes (ages 6-9)

Rock Creek Park
Wed: Art in the park - drawing outdoors (ages 10+)
Wed: Pierce Mill walk (ages 5+)
Thu: Nature journal (ages 9+)
Fri: Creature Feature (all ages)
Sat: Hiking basics 101 (ages 7+)
Sun: Ranger-led horseback tour (ages 12+)
Sun: Mushroom Madness (ages 7+)

Museum of Natural History
Daily tarantula feedings in the insect zoo and museum tours.
Tue: Hands-on activities in the Dig It! soil exhibit
Wed: Look at specimens or artifacts with a scientist in the Ocean Hall

Like the photos in this post? Mouse over for credits; a click takes you to the photographer on Flickr.