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October 2018 Update

As always, we have a short article for you to share. Please see it below and send it out via any newsletter or social media you can think of. Feel free to adapt it for your own group.

“Beautiful Solutions for Stormwater Pollution” Are you having flooding or erosion on your property? Could you be eligible for reduction of your stormwater fee? Worried about run-off into our waterways?

Come to our stormwater forum!

WHEN: Saturday, November 10, from 10AM to Noon

WHERE: Arlington Mill Community and Senior Center, 909 South Dinwiddie Street, Arlington VA 22204 Attendance is limited so please RSVP as soon as possible to

Plant NOVA Natives receives an award! The Fairfax Tree Commissioners have selected our campaign to be one of the recipients of a Friends of Trees Award. It will be presented at The Second Annual Fairfax County Design and Environmental Achievement Awards that will take place in the Board Auditorium on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. The ceremony begins at 7pm and shouldn’t last more than one hour. There will be a reception for the Achievement Awards following. All are welcome to come celebrate.

Event in need of volunteers: Please sign up here to talk to people about the value of planting native plants. It should be a very fun event!

 November 10, 7:15 to 11:15 am - Mount Vernon District Environment Expo: Saving the Earth One Person at a Time

Send us your HOA success stories. We will shortly put up a section on our website for homeowners’ associations, which will include examples. Please email to tell us what you have accomplished.

30% off native plants at Nature by Design in Alexandria! Click here for details.

Next Steering Committee meeting – Thursday, December 6 – All are welcome! Email for details (and to check for schedule changes).

This month’s newsletter article – Please reprint or link to this article on our blog, which includes previous articles in this series. (For posting on, use this URl instead.)

Mark Your Ballot: Goldenrods or Asters?

While humans are bustling about on election campaigns, the rest of the world’s citizens are frenetically preparing for winter. Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators seek out the last of the flowering plants. In the Mid-Atlantic area, goldenrods and asters provide that critical food source (just as red maples fill that need at the other end of the growing season, when bees start to emerge in the spring before anything else is blooming.)

If you pause for a minute in front of blooming goldenrods and asters, you will be astonished at the number of bees foraging for nectar and pollen, including many of the hundreds of species of native bees and the non-native honeybees. If the sun is shining and the temperature is high enough, you will also be treated to the sight of butterflies and skippers flitting from flower to flower. Look very closely at the goldenrod flowers and you will find a whole world of tiny beetles and other creatures hiding between the blossoms.

There are many species of goldenrods and asters, all very easy to grow. They come in different sizes, and asters come in different colors. Some self-seed exuberantly, some are more contained. You can find out the details by consulting the Plant NOVA Natives online search app. Late autumn is not too late to plant, as the roots will continue to grow even as the tops die back.

Cast your ballot on our Bloom Time Table page by clicking here to choose your favorite. Or vote instead on the Plant NOVA Natives Facebook page. Polls close at 7 pm on November 6, of course! We know who the insects are voting for: there is nothing elective for them about native plants, upon which they are completely dependent. To help you choose, check out the “campaign ads” on this short video, and be sure to turn on the sound!

Plant NOVA Natives is a joint marketing campaign of over forty private, public, and non-profit organizations and hundreds of individuals. Our mission is to educate the community and to promote the benefits to water quality and natural habitat of planting beautiful Northern Virginia natives, through the efforts of committed volunteers using multimedia outreach and events, and by working with local growers and sellers of native plants. All are welcome to participate in this collective action movement.

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