Herndon Elementary to Host Vaccine Clinic Today — The Fairfax County Health Department will provide COVID-19 vaccinations at Herndon Elementary School from 3:30-7 p.m. today (Monday), as the county urges adolescents to get vaccinated in time for the upcoming school year. Appointments can be made for individuals 12 and older through the Vaccine Administration Management System. [FCHD]
Thomas Jefferson HS PTSA Put on Probation — The Virginia Parent Teacher Association has reinstated the president of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology’s Parent Teacher Student Association after she was ousted by opponents of admissions changes at the magnet school. The organization stopped short of revoking the PTSA’s charter in response to parents’ complaints about its leadership. [WTOP]
Virginia Will Support Small Businesses with Relief Funds — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wants to use $353 million of the $4.3 billion in American Rescue Plan funds available to the state to help small businesses and industries hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic…The General Assembly will oversee the allocation of the funds during a special session.” [Patch]
How Reston Residents Can Help Pollinators — Walker Nature Center manager Katie Shaw explains how bees and other pollinators support local ecosystems by fertilizing plants, but their populations are declining due to habitat loss, pesticides, climate change, and invasive species. Reston property owners can host bee hives if they get approval from Reston Association. [RA/YouTube]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Monday, March 29
- Draw Nature (4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m) — Get out your pencils and get ready to draw the trees, sky, and birds around you. Join naturalist and artist Margaret Wohler on the trails of Fairfax County’s Huntley Meadows Park. Learn basic skills, color theory, perspective, shading, gesture, contour and realistic rendering. This is a four-week class.
Tuesday March 30
- Storytelling, Roots of Resistance (6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) — Explore the role of folktales in resistance with local storyteller Diane Macklin. She’ll talk about the history of storytelling as a means of liberation and introduce the audience to American folk hero High John. This virtual event is presented by the Fairfax County Public Library.
Wednesday, March 31
- Scrawl Books Trivia (8:00 p.m.) — Experience another version of virtual literary trivia, hosted by Scrawl Books in Reston and emcee Kate Clark. This time, though, there will be new competitors looking to take the prize from Twice-Told Tales New and Used Books in Kansas.
Thursday, April 1
- Egg-stravaganza (10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.) — Join the Reston Association for a woodland walk to find all the Easter Bunny’s eggs. Start the journey at Walker Nature Center and search high and low for those eggs. At the end, grab a selfie with the Easter Bunny or the nature center’s mascot, Walker the Woodpecker. Face masks and social distancing are required.
Friday, April 2
- Movie Under the Stars (7:00 p.m.) — Grab a blanket and chair to take in a Hollywood blockbuster under the stars. “Lego: Batman” is the first in a series of movies presented by the Reston Association at Hunter Woods Park. Concessions will be available to purchase, but a threat of rain will cancel the event.
Saturday, April 3
- Dino Safari (9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.) — Take a trip back in time and see dinosaurs. Head to National Harbor for a drive-thru adventure across a Jurassic safari populated by robot T-Rexes and lost Spinosauruses.
- Anime Movie Days at the Wharf (3 p.m. & 7 p.m.) — Cherry blossoms aren’t the only symbol of the U.S.’s and Japan’s friendship. Come to downtown D.C. to watch one of Japan’s most loved exports — anime movies! Over the next 10 days, a series of popular anime movies will be played outside on the 20-foot LED screen at the Wharf.
Photo by Annie Spratt
Kia Coles-Hines, a business engagement and sales manager for RA, will take over for Katie Shaw, RA’s Walker Nature Center manager who is leaving her position after 16 years.
Although Shaw will continue her position at the center, she said she is working with Shaw to ensure a smooth transition. Carol Nahorniak, president of FOR, said the organization is understandably disappointed about Shaw’s departure.
“At the same time, we are excited to be working with Kia, and very pleased that our new Executive Director has an equivalent perspective of Reston and the good works of FOR. With her strong ties to the community, she is a great match for this organization,” Nahorniak wrote in a statement.
Here’s what FOR said about Shaw and her work
Donors, partners, FOR’s founders, past and present board members are familiar with Shaw’s outstanding representation and administration of Friends of Reston over 16 years, which includes her instrumental work in the successful capital campaign to build Nature House, completed in 2009. In the past 2 years alone, Shaw has overseen approximately $200,000 in funding for projects such as camp and tennis scholarships for children, park improvements, habitat restoration, and tree planting. T
Cole-Hines previously worked with connecting businesses with sponsorship opportunities for RA events and special projects.
“I am extremely excited and honored to become Executive Director of Friends of Reston,” stated Cole-Hines. “As a native Restonian, this position will further allow me to have a hand in preserving and enhancing the community where I live, work, and play.”
Photo via Friends of Reston
The 17th annual Friends of Reston run/walk fundraiser for the Walker Nature Center, the Virtual Nature Center Walk-or-Run, is officially set to begin Friday, Oct. 9, and end Sunday, Oct. 18.
The fundraiser has run every year since April 2004, and it benefits the Walker Nature Center and its Nature House. After initially being postponed in April due to the coronavirus, the event is now a virtual run/walk event and is aiming to attract participation from more ages and abilities, according to a statement from the non-profit.
Participants can select a 5K, 10K, or one-mile route to complete over a 10-day time span. The distance can be completed from anywhere, from one of Reston’s trails to a treadmill at home.
“Reston’s 55 miles of trails have received all the more use and appreciation since pandemic-distancing began in March,” said Carol Nahorniak, the president of Friends of Reston. “This event is an excellent opportunity to put all those extra walks and runs toward a good cause.”
Participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt if registered by Friday, Sept. 25. Registration is open now through Oct. 2. T-shirts will be available for contactless pick-up at the Walker Nature Center’s Nature House (1140 Glade Drive) on Mondays through Fridays beginning Oct. 5 until Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Additionally, those who post photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #WalkerRun2020 will be eligible for prize drawings.
Friends of Reston is a non-profit organization aiming to support the Reston Association with charitable, educational and scientific activities. They offer various programs, projects and scholarships to engage the Reston community.
Photo via the Friends of Reston website
Reston Association has canceled all committee and board meetings through the end of next month.
The move was prompted by efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The association is also canceling all activities, programs, and events until further notice.
Here’s more from RA:
The association has installed signs at tot lots throughout Reston that offer the following tips related to preventing the spread of COVID-19:
– Wash your hands before and after using playground equipment.
– Stay at least six feet away from other children and adults.
– Do not gather in groups of 10 people or more.
– Please do not use this recreational facility if sick.
– Sneeze or cough into a tissue or inside your elbow.
We have also closed public restrooms at Lake Newport, Glade and Autumnwood recreation facilities.
RA encourages all its members to stay safe and abide by the guidelines set by Fairfax County, state and federal agencies.
Although the association’s member service department is closed, staff will be on-call on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Walker Nature Center and Central Services Facility is also closed to the public.
Phone call hours will be extended until 8 p.m.. on Monday, March 20 and Tuesday, March 31 to allow members to pay assessment fees by phone or via WebTrac. Fees are due by March 31.
It is unclear how the closures will impact RA’s ongoing election for its Board of Directors.
Photo by Marjorie Copson
In order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, several local governmental entities and businesses are closing their doors until further notice. Fairfax County Public Schools are closed until at least April 10. Libraries, parks, and centers are also closed for at least two weeks.
The following list of the latest closures will be updated regularly as the situation evolves.
The Walker Nature Center is closed until further notice. All activities are canceled through March 29, but trails will remain open.
All recreational activities and events by Reston Association are canceled through March 20 as well. This Thursday’s Board of Directors meeting will be held by conference call. Members can still catch the livestream on YouTube.
While most gyms and restaurants are still open in the area, some are closing their doors temporarily.
New Trail Cycling Studio at Lake Anne Plaza is also temporarily closing.
“I am leaning heavily on the knowledge that I would rather regret closing out of an abundance of caution than regret staying open and discovering we have contributed to the spread of the illness,” wrote owner Liz Camp in an email.
The Herndon Community Center is closed through March 27.
The Herndon Police Department is suspending the following non-emergency services: the community room, tours of facilities and vehicles, ride-along program, and Friday afternoon fingerprinting services.
All building inspections of homes or interior spaces are indefinitely suspended.
The list below will be updated regularly as the situation evolves rapidly.
Photo via Unsplash
Runners and exercise enthusiasts can take part in the sixth annual For the Love of It 10K this Saturday.
Beginning at 8 a.m. outside South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive), participants can compete to make it across the finish line first, according to the website.
There will be awards for the first three male and female participants to finish the race as well as other awards in various age categories, the site said.
After the race, attendees can enjoy Valentine’s Day-themed treats, refreshments and photo opportunities. People who preregister will receive a long sleeve t-shirt.
- Ukelele Jam Session (10:30 a.m.) — At Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) kids are invited to a performance by the Northern Virginia Ukulele Society and have a chance to learn about rhythm. This event is free and open to the public.
- Groundhog’s Shadow (10:30 to 11:30 a.m.) — The Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive) invites young kids to learn about groundhogs, make puppets and make weather predictions. Tickets are $6 for RA members.
- Annual Freezin’ for a Reason (2-5 p.m.) — This charity event raises money for Camp Sunshine, which serves kids with life-threatening illnesses. This event is donation based and anyone who raises over $100 will receive a t-shirt. Participants can gather at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road).
Sunday (Feb. 2)
- Kickstart Your Sweat Life (8-10 a.m.) — Lululemon at Reston Town Center (11957 Market Street) offers free sweat sessions every week. Refreshments will be provided.
- Super Bowl Watch Party (5:30-10 p.m.) — The Lake Anne Brew House (11401 North Shore Drive) invites people to come to view the SuperBowl. Tickets are $25 and include an unlimited nacho bar and other snacks. Drinks are available separately on-site. This event 21+.
Photo via For the Love of it 10k/Facebook
Bird lovers have an opportunity to check out award-winning photography at an upcoming exhibition at the Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive).
The Audubon Photography Awards Traveling Exhibition will run from Feb. 5-26 and give people the chance to view 10 winning photographs, according to an email from the Reston Association.
This year, on the 10th anniversary of the competition, a photo of a Red-Winged Black Bird by Kathrin Swoboda took first place, according to the event page.
“This particular bird was very vociferous, singing long and hard,” Swoboda said. “I looked to set it against the dark background of the forest, shooting to the east as the sun rose over the trees, backlighting the vapor.”
The panel of six judges included photographers and conservation program directors from across the county.
On Sunday (Feb. 9) from 1-3 p.m. the Nature Walker Center will host an open house for the community and on Feb. 21 from 7-9 p.m. there will also be a “Birds on Film” event.
Attendees will have the chance to learn about birds around Reston and from areas where award-winning photos were taken, according to the email.
All ages are welcome to attend this free event.
Photo via Walker Nature Center/Facebook
More than 50 artists from around the region will create live artwork using their preferred media at a live fundraising event tomorrow (Saturday).
The Greater Reston Arts Center will host the third annual Monster Drawing Rally, which helps raise funds for its programs, at Signature apartments (11850 Freedom Drive).
As works are completed, they will be hung on a wall and will be available for purchase at $75 each. The event is free and open to all.
- Gifts from the HeART Shopping Event (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) — Residents can buy artwork, jewelry, and other items at Reston Community Center Lake Anne’s annual event.
- Mystery Authors Extravaganza (1-4 p.m.) — Authors from the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in crime will prevent their 2019 novels. Books will be available for sale and signing.
- Reston Friends Holiday Book Sale (10. a.m. to 4 p.m.) — Gently-used books will be available for purchase at the annual event at Reston Regional Library.
- Lake House Open House (10 a.m. to noon) — Light refreshments will be available at the open house which takes place at the Lake House.
- Reston Town Center Holiday Performances — Over the weekend, several performers and groups will perform at the Reston Town Center promenade. Performances continue through Saturday, Dec. 21.
Sunday (Dec. 8)
- Reston Friends Holiday Book Sale (1-4 p.m.) — Gently-used books will be available for purchase at the annual event at Reston Regional Library.
- Holiday Open House (1-4 p.m.) — A holiday open house to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Nature House takes place at the. Walker Nature Center. The event is free and registration is not required.
- Best Kept Secrets with Dr. Charles Thomas (2 p.m.) — Dr. Charles Thomas, CEO of Clear Cloud, discusses his new book, “Best Kept Secrets from Invisible Walk-ons to Life Champions.” The event takes place at Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive).
Photo via GRACE
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
The annual “Turkey Trail” event in Reston invites community members to take a nature hike and learn about wild turkeys.
People can take a guided tour from a naturalist on Saturday (Nov. 30) from 11 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Walker Nature Center (1140 Glade Drive). Participants will learn about turkey facts and the climate, according to the Facebook page.
All ages are welcome and programming is designed to interest a variety of participants, the event page said.
Tickets are $5 for Reston Association members and $7 for non-RA members. Anyone wishing to participate needs to register by Wednesday (Nov. 27).
Photo via Walker Nature Center/Facebook
Collect for Kids Campaign Exceeds Goals — The annual campaign, a drive for backpacks or school supplies for students in need, raised more than $28,400 this year. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Campus Commons Moves Forward — “The Campus Commons project near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro stop is moving forward after the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors gave the final okay. It is the latest in a rash of approvals to redevelop office parks close to the Silver Line, but this particular project has provoked a new wave of opposition against long-planned changes–like new housing and offices–in Reston.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Fun at Reston’s Halloween House — “Children three through ten years of age delighted in Reston Association’s non-ghoulish Halloween House and Trick-or-Treat Trail at Walker Nature Center, held Oct. 25-26. Even though the association added more tickets for this year’s event, according to Katie Shaw, Nature Center Manager, advance times sold out once again before the weekend.” [The Connection]
Photo via Flickr/vantagehill
The Walker Nature Center is urging residents to keep be on the lookout for an invasive insect. Officials in Pennsylvania and other states are urging residents to kill the insect, which is called a Spotted Lanternfly.
“If you find one here, please put it in a ziplock bag and bring it to the nature center,” the center recently tweeted.
The insect has red and block inner wings and outer wings with black spots.
We are worried about the invasive Spotted Lanternfly coming to Reston. If you find one here, please put it in a ziplock bag and bring it to the Nature Center. https://t.co/D4TvkpcEqV
— Walker Nature Center (@restonnature) October 18, 2019
The insect is native to China, Bangladesh and Vietnam. It is known to cause major damage to trees, including. Oozing. Sap, wilting, leaf turning and tree dieback, according to officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services established a quarantine for Frederick County and the city of Winchester in late May to slow down the spread of the insect.
Here’s more from state officials:
Spotted Lanternfly feeds on more than 70 plant species, including grapes, apples, stone fruits, hops and Ailanthus altissima (Tree of Heaven), which is its preferred host. It poses a threat to Virginia’s peach, apple, grape and wine industries. Spotted Lanternfly can also be a nuisance pest to homeowners when numbers are high.
The spotted lanternfly was first detected in Winchester in January 2018. Subsequent surveys conducted by VDACS indicate that the pest has become established in the city of Winchester and spread into Frederick County, just north of Winchester. Prior to the January 2018 detection in Virginia, the only Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) found in the U.S. was in Pennsylvania. Populations are now established in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and northern Virginia.
The Walker Nature Center is located at 11450 Glade Drive in Reston.
Photo by Ray Copson
Reston’s own Beverly Cosham, an entertainer known for her work in the local theatre and cabaret scene, returns to Reston Community Center’s stage tomorrow (Saturday).
Cosham presents her personal interpretation of the Great American Songbook at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for Reston residents and $20 for all others.
- Hispanic Heritage Literary and Culture Fair (1-5 p.m.) — Celebrate Hispanic heritage month at this festival at Reston Regional Library, which features local authors who share selections of poetry and stories.
- STEM Club (10:30 a.m. to noon) — Children between ages 5 and 10 can enjoy hands-on engineering activities at Reston Regional Library. Registration is required online.
Sunday (Oct. 6)
- Picture This! (1-4 p.m.) — Children between ages 6 and 11 can drop in and create an illustration inspired by an excerpt provided by the library. Supplies are available at Reston Regional Library.
- History of World War II (2-4 p.m.) — Hatty Butowsky of George Mason University kicks off his six-part lecture series on the war at Reston Regional Library.
- Fall Favorites (2-3 p.m.) — Families, couples and individuals can complete hands-on activities at the Walker Nature Center. Registration is $8 for Reston Association members and $10 for all others.
Plant lovers can take advantage of a local sale for native shrubs this month. All orders for the Walker Nature Center’s annual native shrub sale must be placed by September 27.
All shrubs are sold a pre-order basis and are native to Virginia. All sales are final and orders must be picked up on October 5 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m at the nature center.
The following plants are available for $32 in three-gallon containers:
- American Beautyberry
- American Witchhazel
- Fragrant Sumac
- Inkberry Holly
- Possumhaw Viburnum
- Virginia Sweetspire
Orders can be placed online.