The Gulf Branch Nature Center at 3608 Military Road will be hosting its annual Fall Heritage Festival on Saturday.
The festival will feature live music and family-friendly autumn activities. Admission is $5 per person, though children under three may attend for free.
The nature center issued the following promotional blurb about the event.
On Saturday, October 13 from 1 to 5 p.m., visit Gulf Branch Nature Center for old-timey fun for the whole family. This is a beloved community event that has been attracting hundreds of Arlingtonians for over a dozen years. “We’re starting to see the second generation now – young families coming whose parents remember making cider here when they were little.” said Jennifer Soles, staff naturalist. Last year, two more activity stations were added: pumpkin-painting and scarecrow making, so bring old clothes! Families can also participate in activities such as butter-churning, candle-dipping, cornhusk doll-making and LOTS more. “Everyone always wants a chance to explore the log cabin when they visit” reports naturalist Marty Pross. The Blacksmithing Guild of the Potomac has ongoing demonstrations in the forge. “Kids love to see the sparks – but the dads are the ones who often have to be dragged away” smith Curt Welch remembers. Festival goers enjoy music by Andrew Acosta & the New Old-Time String Band too! Summing up, 4-year old Mason Schnell says of the whole festival “It’s my favorite!”
For details, please call (703) 228-3403. Gulf Branch Nature Center is located at 3608 Military Rd, Arlington, VA 22207. $5 per person (children under three enter for free). Parking lot is closed for the event. On-street parking available on Military Road and 36th Road North.
The Gulf Branch Nature Center (3608 N. Military Rd.) is hosting its popular annual Bat Fest Arlington event on Saturday, with a live bat presentation and a “bat walk” for adults, weather permitting.
“Bat rehabilitator” Leslie Sturges will explain the mysterious nocturnal mammals with a 6:30 p.m.- 7:15 p.m. live presentation.
The event includes crafts and games for families and a walk through the woods to check out the bats’ habitat. Adults are welcome to stay until later, when Nature Center guides will go out to search for flying bats.
The bats typically don’t start flying until 8:30 p.m.
Bat Fest draws about 100 people each year, so the Nature Center is asking those interested to register in advance online. Admission is $5.
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Borland
The nature center was saved from potential closure and demolition in 2009 when supporters rallied to have it removed from a list of county budget cuts. Now, the nonprofit Friends of the Gulf Branch Nature Center organization is throwing the wooded outpost another birthday party.
The free event is scheduled from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 16. The program includes:
- Live music by the New Old Time String Band
- Live animal encounters and nature fun for everyone
- “Open forge” with the Blacksmiths’ Guild
- Birthday cake
Photo via friendsofgbnc.org
“Bring the kids and be immersed in 19th century Virginia life,” beckons county parks spokesperson Nate Spillman. “This is a great outdoor event for the whole family!”
The fun includes watching blacksmiths in action, touring a log cabin, as well as making your own apple cider, corn husk dolls and hand-dipped candles.
There will also be old-timey music, historical interpretation, folks dressed up in traditional 19th garb and more. Tickets are $5 per perform, with a maximum of $20 per family. Kids 3 and under are free.
The event it being held on Saturday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The parking lot will be closed, but street parking will be available nearby. For more info call 703-228-3403.
See other weekend events around Arlington here.
Naturalist Jennifer Soles is looking for volunteers who want to call part of the nature center their own. Volunteers would be responsible for keeping the area free of invasive plants and litter. In recognition of their work, a small marker will be placed in the ground bearing the name of the volunteer or the volunteer group.
Soles said that adopting an area is a great way to get to know the forest in greater detail.
“It’s your area,” she said. “You see the long-term health and recovery of that area, and that’s very gratifying.”
“Eventually I’d like to see the whole park adopted,” Soles added, while acknowledging that would require a lot of volunteers.
Children as young as middle school may be able to effectively manage an adopted area on their own, Soles said. Adoption is also an ideal volunteer opportunity for groups.
For more information, call 703-228-3404 or email jsoles[at]arlingtonva.us.
Photo c0urtesy Community Volunteer Network
Firefighters ultimately determined the substance was non-toxic. A subsequent Department of Environmental Services investigation revealed that the cloudy white water was caused by runoff from concrete work at a nearby home.
The incident is not altogether uncommon — DES investigates 50 to 100 complaints of stream contamination each year — but it serves as a reminder that many residents still don’t know where the county’s storm drains go.
Arlington’s 300 miles of storm sewers all empty into local waterways said Aileen Winquist, an environmental planner with the county.
Paint, antifreeze, petroleum products and portable toilet chemicals have all wound up in streams around Arlington due to people –purposely or inadvertently — dumping into storm drains.