Walker Nature Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Nature House

This Sunday (Dec. 8), the Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive) will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its indoor facilities.

The center invites the community to come by its Nature House for an afternoon of nostalgia and celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. The event features live music, guest appearances from Santa and the center’s mascots, ornament crafting, sing-alongs and a cake-cutting ceremony.

The event organizers also ask that attendees bring along photos that they’ve previously taken and hang them to a wall along with written notes about memories surrounding the center, which will be on display through January.

A cake-cutting ceremony will take place at 1:15 p.m. and Santa is expected to arrive around 3 p.m.

Before the Nature House opened in 2009, the center was forced to turn people away due to a variety of reasons, Katie Shaw, the center’s manager said. Inclusion of the nature house was a gamechanger, she said.

The implementation of the facility allowed the center to host guests and student groups regardless of inclement weather, which Shaw said often left dozens of kids disappointed when their field trip was canceled.

“The fun goes on, the learning goes on. It has been wonderful,” she said.   

Though the Walker Nature Center is nearly as old as Reston, Robert Simon included a suggestion for an indoor nature facility in his original plans, which was finally built thanks to financial assistance from the Friends of Reston.

Now, the center includes on-site naturalists to answer community questions, running water and plumbing, seasonal programs for all ages, event space and even an environmental film series for adults.

“Our environment, especially here in Reston, is under a lot of pressure now,” Shaw said. “Having this center here in the middle of this community engages people in something bigger than themselves.”

Photo via Friends of Reston

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Restonians Band Together to ‘Light Up Reston’

Restonians have banded together to launch “Light Up Reston,” a community-wide initiative that aims to encourage residents to support charities and decorate homes for the holidays.

The initiative aims to show residents’ community spirit and raise funds for Public Art Reston, Friends of Reston, and Cornerstones. It draws inspiration from Lake Thoreau Entertainment Associations’ “Festival of Lights,” which raises money for local charities and brings lights to the lake.

This year, residents — some friends and others strangers — decided to spread the initiative throughout the.

With expanding this effort across Reston, we are hoping to raise holiday spirit as well as  awareness of these wonderful Reston based charities by raising $25,000,” said Mary Prochnow, one of the organizers.

So far, $400 has been raised as the initiative kicks off. Last year’s “Festival of Lights” raised more than $8,500 for local charities.

Residents can donate funds to charities by contributing the dollar amount used to put up holiday decorations, the number of homes decorated in your neighborhood, or the number of times residents’ have thought about falling off a ladder while putting up lights.

Melissa Romano, who is also helping organize the initiative, said Restonians involved in lighting up Reston were drawn by their common desire to promote “great events in Reston.”

Photo via Charlotte Geary Photography

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Scholarship Campaign for Reston Association Camps Kicks Off Tomorrow

Friends of Reston will hold its annual fundraising campaign for camp scholarships this week.

On Wednesday, June 26, 10 percent of all food and drink purchases made between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. at Glory Days Grill will go toward scholarships.

The nonprofit organization, which supports Reston Association, raises funds to send students with demonstrated financial need to RA camps this summer.

Glory Days Grill is located at 1400 North Point Village Center.

Over the past 18 years, the organization has launched similar campaigns to raise funds for children seeking to attend summer camps.

Photo via North Point Village Center

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Scholarship Campaign for Reston Association Camps Kicks Off

Friends of Reston has launched an annual fundraising campaign for camp scholarships. The nonprofit organization that supports Reston Association is seeking to raise $12,000 to send at least 22 students with a demonstrated financial need to RA camps this summer.

On July 18 (Wednesday), 20 percent of all frozen yogurt purchases at SweetFrog in North Point Village Center will go toward the camp scholarship fund.

Over the past 17 years, the organization has launched similar campaigns to raise funds for children seeking to attend summer camps.

“Summer is such an important time for children to stay engaged, make new friends, explore their community, learn new skills – camp is the perfect place to do all of that,” said FOR Executive Director, Katie Shaw. “We are thankful for all of the donors who make this possible for children whose families could not afford this experience.”

Thus far, the scholarship fund has received $5,731 from the Realtors of Long and Foster, $750 from Reston Historic Trust’s board of directors and $2,270 from residents of the Paramount Condominiums.

Photo via RA

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Nature House 5K Benefitting Friends of Reston Set for This Weekend

The 14th annual Nature House 5K run/walk is slated for Saturday at the Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive).

The event, open to all ages, benefits the Friends of Reston. The course mostly consists of paved walkways in neighborhoods as well as pathways at the Nature Center and through Glade Stream Valley Park.

The course is very similar to that of the Reston Sprint Triathlon, according to RA Parks & Recreation Director Larry Butler, making this a “great warmup race.”

T-shirts will be given to all pre-registered participants, and to walk-in registrants as supplies last. Post-race festivities will include an awards ceremony and a prize drawing, in addition to the presentation of overall and age group medals and prizes.

Registration is $30 for ages 13 and up, $20 for those 12 and under. Walk-in registration will begin Saturday at 7 a.m., with the race to start at 8.

The Friends of Reston is a nonprofit organization that works to support Reston Association in performing charitable, educational and scientific purposes. The Nature House, gifted to RA in 2009, is its flagship project.

Photos via Active.com registration page

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More ‘Restonesque’ Recycling Bins Coming to Community

Reston recycling bin via Friends of Reston

More than a dozen new recycling bins are being installed around Reston in the attempt to reduce trash in the community.

Reston Association says it has purchased 13 custom-made recycling bins, designed to fit the “Restonesque” style approved by the Design Review Board.

According to information provided by Reston Association:

RA staff will install the bins in high-use areas throughout the community, including sports fields and recreational facilities. RA is working on additional strategies to reduce trash and increase recycling.

Mike Leone, RA’s communications director, said local businesses sponsor the cost of the bins.

“We are always seeking individual and business donors to fund the purchase of new recycle bins,” Leone said. “The Friends of Reston, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit volunteer organization of Reston Association, works with our staff doing the fundraising for the purchase of more bins.”

The “Adopt a Bin” program is an attempt to drum up support for the recycling effort in the community. Donations can be made in any amount. For a $1,000 donation, an individual or company can have their name or company logo placed on a plaque on the bin.

RA crews service the bins and deliver their contents to the Fairfax County collection site.

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Wanted: One Bird To Represent Reston

Friends of Reston, the nonprofit that supports Reston Association, is trying to determine which bird best represents Reston. The organization is asking citizens for vote for a bird.

The finalists were chosen by Friends of Reston based on their year-round presence here and ease of recognition, says Katie Shaw, executive director of Friends of Reston.

“In recognition of Reston’s 50th anniversary this year, it seems like a good time to honor one of the wonderful wild neighbors in our diverse community,” says Shaw.

 The five nominees:

American Goldfinch/Credit: Allaboutbirds.org

 American Goldfinch

 

 

 

  

Barred Owl/Credit: Allaboutbirds.org

Barred Owl

 

 

 

 

Eastern Bluebird/Credit: All About Birds

Eastern Bluebird

 

 

 

 

Great Blue Heron/Credit: Allaboutbirds.org

Great Blue Heron

 

 

 

 

Pileated Woodpecker/Credit: Allaboutbirds.org

Pileated Woodpecker

 

 

 
To vote:

Visit Friends of Reston’s Facebook page, Like it, and vote in the survey, which will show results during the campaign.

In person, vote by ballot at Walker Nature Center, 11450 Glade Dr. Polling will end on Sept. 30, and the elected bird will be announced and celebrated at the Friends of Reston annual meeting in November.

Bird counts confirm that 182 species of birds live in Reston, which has an abundance of trees and appropriate habitat. For the 20th consecutive year, Reston has received designation as a Tree City USA for 2014, and in 2000, Reston was the third in the nation to be certified as a Community Wildlife Habitat by National Wildlife Foundation.

Photo Credit: Allaboutbirds.org

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