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June 2017 Update

Updated: Apr 25, 2018

Newsletter article – as usual, a new short article is included at the end of this update. Please spread it around, and feel free to adapt it to your own situation. Plagiarism is totally fine!

Donations and grants needed for our campaign Please see the letter below from our co-chair and consider making a donation or helping us apply for grants.

Can you ask someone to commit to planting a native plant? Social science research has shown that simply asking people to make a commitment tremendously increases the likelihood that they will follow through. So please sign the Pledge to plant NOVA natives, and ask your friends and neighbors to do the same. It is easily shared on social media.

Event planner needed Do you enjoy putting on events? A volunteer would be very welcome to help us arrange a fall event to help promulgate the science behind the native plant movement. Email us at if you can help.

Inventory manager needed Actually, our “inventory” is very small (some posters, mail-able packages for people to use at events, and a few other things), but someone needs to do the printing and ordering, mail stuff, and dole things out from the office at 3040 Williams Drive, Fairfax.

Virginia Master Naturalist trainings. Are you interested in becoming a Virginia Master Naturalist? The application process for fall classes will be starting soon.

· Fairfax county:

· Banshee Reeks (Loudoun):

Dear Friends of Plant NOVA Natives,

As you know, the grant from the VA Coastal Zone Management Program to the Northern Virginia Regional Commission that funds this program will end at the end of this year and will not be continuing.

We need to raise private funds to help continue this popular educational program; without such support our ability to provide the materials, staff support etc. to operate the program after December 31 will be severely diminished. To help raise private funds for this program, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission has partnered with the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia and have created a Plant NOVA Natives Fund.

You can make a tax deductible donation to support this program by clicking here. If you are aware of a company that is willing to match your donation or is willing to support this effort please feel free to share this information.

Plant NOVA Natives has been a considerable success. Our web site receives more than 50,000 unique visits – and, the program outreach through volunteers has helped hundreds of residents understand the value of Northern Virginia’s native plants.

Please consider supporting this program through this Fund. Thank you.


Corey Miles Co-Chair Plant NoVA Natives Campaign and Senior Environmental Planner/Coastal Program Manager Northern Virginia Regional Commission

This month’s newsletter article – Please reprint these articles on social media and in any newsletter you can – work, faith community, HOA, club, etc. Or link to them on our blog, which includes previous articles in this series.

Beat the Deer While Living on the Edge

📷However cute we may all find Bambi, he and his relatives are responsible for large-scale degradation of the environment in Northern Virginia. You might suppose that human habitations are crowding out the poor things, but actually the opposite is true. The deep woods that made up so much of our area used to support only a limited number of deer, which do best in edge habitat. Our roads and housing developments have turned Northern Virginia into one huge edge! The problem is compounded by the fact that chopping up forests into tiny pieces allows invasive introduced plants to encroach from all directions – think Kudzu and other vines blanketing the trees along the Beltway.

The hugely bloated deer population has decimated the tree seedlings as well as all the other native plants which are the basis of the entire ecosystem. What is left tends to be small, impoverished parcels of woods consisting only of adult trees and little else to support the wildlife.

But all is not lost! We have the power to turn this situation around and make Northern Virginia a place where butterflies and songbirds can thrive alongside their human neighbors. All it takes is to plant and protect native plants in our own yards (and even on our own balconies). Two strategies are needed when you live in deer country:

1. Protect the plants. Small fences around shrubs and trees until they grow are very effective for taller plants. Various sprays and other strategies for shorter plants can be effective if you are conscientious about using them. And where a deer fence around a whole section of yard is practical, gardening becomes nirvana!

2. Where protective measures are impractical, choose plants that are relatively unpalatable to deer. Many plants that are native to Northern Virginia fill this need. Check out the list (as well as other strategies) here or look them up on our plant search app.


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