Our local parks and streams have given us places of respite and recreation in a stressful year. This spring we have several opportunities to return the favor.
Events below include neighborhood and Rock Creek Park cleanups, wildflower planting, and a census of sorts for frogs.
If you are familiar with Forest Hills Connection at all, you know we’re a bit obsessed with the frogs of Broad Branch and Linnean streams, and big fans of FrogWatch and its mission: to monitor the health of the ecosystem by collecting data on the frog population. A new season of the DC Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) program is getting under way.
FrogWatch is something of a misnomer. The program involves a lot of listening. DOEE trains citizen scientists to identify frogs in our streams by their mating calls.
This year, the training is entirely online and on demand. Your commitment as a volunteer begins with completing the three- to four-hour training, during which you’ll learn how to register or adopt a stream monitoring site and collect the data. Then you will visit your assigned location for at least 30 minutes, record what you hear, and upload the data. And you’ll do that at least three times from March through August. (Read more about the Frogwatch protocols.)
DOEE is also leading monthly listening walks on Kingman and Heritage Islands for FrogWatch volunteers who are interested. The dates and times of the evening walks are listed on the FrogWatch website.
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com.
Give the Rock Creek watershed a much-needed spring cleaning
Another way to look out for frogs and their ecosystem is to pick up litter in the streams – and stop the trash from getting there in the first place.
Mayor Muriel Bowser’s city-wide Spring Cleanup is on March 20th, and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Van Ness Main Street will be at its office at 4340 Connecticut Avenue handing out bags for trash pickup and suggesting routes along the corridor. Let Van Ness Main Street know you’re coming by registering here.
And then there’s the Rock Creek Extreme Cleanup, with events scheduled on the weekends of April 3rd and 10th.
If registering for a group cleanup, social distancing rules still apply, so space is limited. Register early and mask up!
Make Connecticut Avenue friendlier to pollinators
Van Ness Main Street is inviting the community to help plant seeds that will become colorful wildflowers, perennials, annuals and milkweed to attract pollinating monarch butterflies, bees, and birds. The blooms are going to look pretty nice to us humans, too.
On the six weekend planting days between March 27th and April 11th, volunteers will target the tree boxes lining Connecticut Avenue between Van Ness Street and Nebraska Avenue.
This all-ages activity will be led by local Master Gardener Kathy Sykes, who led Van Ness Main Street’s Spring Forward bulb planting initiative last fall. (They planted 1,900 bulbs! Incredible!)
Make sure you’re on the Van Ness Main Street mailing list so you’ll get updates on signing up for this Spring NOW event.
And you can support the growing things and growing businesses with donations to the Van Ness Main Street Growth Fund.
Forest Hills Connection is a project of Van Ness Main Street.