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April 2017 update

Updated: Apr 25, 2018

As usual, we have a new article for you to circulate. See below. Please send it out to all your groups (particularly groups who don’t already know all about native plants! For example, if everyone reading this sends it out to their wider neighborhood on, we would blanket the region.)

Many, many volunteers needed for tabling – please sign up here. No experience necessary!

4/22 Burke Centre Conservancy Earth Day

4/25 Northern Virginia Community College (Annandale campus) Green Festival

4/25 School Environmental Action Showcase at George Mason University

4/29 Northern Alexandria Native Plant Sale

4/29 Prince William Compost Awareness Day

4/29 Alexandria Earth Day

5/7 Huntley Meadows Wetland Awareness Day

5/20 Mason Neck State Park Eagle Festival

Upcoming screenings of Hometown Habitat (Could you plan a screening of your own?)

4/19, 7 pm Crossroads United Methodist Church, Ashburn

4/26, 7 pm Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington. Click here for details.

4/29 Alexandria Native Plants Sale. The introductory segment will loop all morning, then the complete movie will start at noon.

Free tree and shrub seedlings from Fairfax ReLeaf. Click here to see the species available (while supplies last).

Seeking a volunteer to help with grant applications. As our grant from the Coastal Zone Management program will be expiring in a few months, we hope to find other grant sources to fund the campaign. If you can help with that search, please email

Next steps for weed ordinances – can you help in your jurisdiction? Now that the Northern Virginia Regional Commission has adopted model language for weed ordinances, the next step is to take it to the local jurisdictions and ask them to incorporate it into their regulations. We would also like to encourage each jurisdiction to include language in the next update of its Comprehensive Plan that requires government agencies to use only native plants and reduce lawn in public spaces, and to work on expanding the Conservation Corridors.

There are fourteen jurisdictions in Northern Virginia (counties, towns, and cities). If you enjoy working on policy-making with public servants and could spearhead (or partner with someone) on this initiative, please let us know.

This month’s newsletter article –

You can copy and paste, or link to it on our blog.

Plant your bird food today!

The season is underway, and now is a great time to start planning for your spring and summer garden! This spring support additional habitat by planting more native species in your home or balcony garden. Once established, native plants typically need less care because they evolved with local soil and climate conditions. Natives also support butterflies, birds and pollinators such as the Monarch - which is the poster child for so many more important invertebrate species. Get to know some of our native beauties! The resources of the Plant NOVA Natives initiative can support you in this.

Here are three easy native plants for each season that every gardener can enjoy:

Native Plants for All Seasons (pictured above)

Spring Blooming

Red Columbine Aquilegia canadensis

Virginia Bluebells Mertensia virginiana

Wild Geranium Geranium maculatum

Summer Blooming

Orange Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa

Scarlet Bee Balm* Monarda didyma

Blazing Star Liatris spicata

Summer Blooming

Black-Eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta

Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis

Blue Lobelia* Lobelia siphilitica

* In the right conditions, the species marked with a star may spread quickly. Plant carefully!

These native plants are all featured in the Plant NOVA Natives guide, a resource specifically designed for Northern Virginia gardeners with information on locally native species. Download a free copy of the guide and see where you can find these plants at The website offers listings of native plant sales, nurseries, deer resistance information, and much more. There's even a new app developed to go on the road (and to the nursery or plant sale) with you! Tell your neighbors about it, and look for copies of the guide at events and sales - it makes a great gift for a friend or neighbor (hard copies can be ordered directly online courtesy of the Virginia Native Plant Society, one of its many sponsors).


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