Bird lovers of all feathers can head to Bluemont this weekend for a morning of avian education and exploration.
“World Migratory Bird Day Festival” will feature bird walks, games, activities, and free coffee from 9-11 a.m. Saturday at Lacey Woods Park, organizers say. Attendees to the free event are asked to meet at the park’s basketball court near the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. George Mason Drive.
The Wildlife Rescue League will also showcase some of its live feathered friends, including a blue jay named “Snafu.”
Arlington County naturalists Jennifer Soles and Ken Rosenthal are organizing the weekend event. Rosenthal told ARLnow on Monday that festival attendees have a chance to spot interesting birds because several species often flock to Lacey Woods Park, which he described as a “green oasis that will get the birds in.”
Last year, Rosenthal said attendees spotted a blackpoll warbler. These songbirds typically weigh less than an ounce but migrate over 1,800 miles across North America, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and 88% of blackpoll populations have died out in the last half century.
Many other birds that can be spotted in Arlington migrate between North to Central America — such as hummingbirds and osprey.
Soles and Rosenthal say all the printed materials for the event are in English and Spanish, but they are seeking one to two volunteers who can help translate some of the discussions on Saturday into Spanish.
Soles said these migratory birds “live half their lives in Spanish-speaking countries” and hopes that Arlingtonians with roots in Central American countries like El Salvador and Guatemala will attend the event and get a chance to recognize some familiar species.
“We sort of share these birds between us,” said Soles.
(Updated at 9:10 a.m.) Drivers and pedestrians should expect to see construction signs, crews and heavy equipment along parts of N. George Mason Drive and Washington Blvd near Lacey Woods Park through the fall.
The county kicked off sidewalk improvement work last week on N. George Mason Drive and Washington Blvd. from 14th Street N. to N. Evergreen Street. Projected changes include new five-foot concrete sidewalks, storm inlet enhancements and bus stop upgrades.
Construction crews are expected to occupy a lane along Washington Blvd. from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Fridays while work is underway. On N. George Mason Drive, crews will occupy a lane from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
No detours are expected while construction takes place.
Reconfigured W. Glebe Road Intersection Considered — Arlington and Alexandria are considering moving the intersection of W. Glebe Road and S. Glebe Road in order to lessen congestion on Glebe near I-395. The proposal is now part of Alexandria’s long-range planning process. [Patch]
New Picnic Shelter for Lacey Woods Park — The Arlington County Board is scheduled to vote this weekend on an enhancement to Lacey Woods Park (1200 N. George Mason Drive). The Board will consider awarding a $341,000 contract to reconstruct the park’s 100-person picnic shelter. [Sun Gazette]
Moran Decries Proposed Cuts to Food Stamps — Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) says a Republican plan to cut nearly $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will hurt low-income families and children and unemployed adults. Yesterday the House of Representatives passed the plan by a vote of 217-210. In his weekly newspaper column, Moran wrote: “it is disheartening to find House Republicans wasting valuable time on efforts to reduce food availability for the hungry instead of addressing urgent issues facing our nation.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Arlington Girl Raises Awareness of Rare Disease — A 5-year-old Arlington girl, who just started kindergarten at Abingdon Elementary, is battling a genetic, degenerative mitochondrial disease for which there is no known cure. Ellie McGinn and her parents have launched a campaign to raise medical awareness of the extremely rare disease. [Washington Post]
Arlington’s annual dog show, Dogtober Day, will return to Lacey Woods Park (1200 N. George Mason Drive) next month.
The event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., and will feature doggy competitions for: best kisser, most colorful pup, pet tricks, most adorable dog, best tail wagger, cutest costume, fastest pooch and Best in Show.
Ribbons and prizes will be awarded in each category. Best in Show will be determined by audience applause.
There will be also special games for dogs and their owners, plus stands for local vendors and organizations, such as the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Those interested in having their pet participate can print out a registration form, fill it out, and bring it on the day of the event.
Photo via Arlington County
There are several interesting volunteer opportunities available around Arlington in the coming weeks. Among them:
Dogtober Day — The annual Dogtober Day event will be held at Lacey Woods Park (1200 N. George Mason Drive) on Saturday, October 6. Volunteers are needed from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to set up and break down, register participants, hand out prizes and help with dog games. For more information, contact Hadyn Kihm at 703-228-4724.
Language Teachers — Native Arabic speakers are wanted to lead a conversation group at the Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street). The ideal candidates should be able to speak Arabic clearly and correctly, have an interest in meeting new people and be able to work both independently and as part of a team. Training will be provided. The sessions are tentatively scheduled for Saturdays from 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m., but could be changed to accommodate the group leader. Anyone interested can fill out the volunteer application online. Questions can be directed to Barbara Dean at 703-228-7688.
For more information about these or other opportunities, visit the Volunteer Arlington website.
On Saturday, Oct. 8, dogs will compete for prizes in categories like best kisser, best tail wagger, cutest costume and fastest pooch. The day will also feature dog training, grooming, treats and rescues.
Arlington is seeking up to 25 volunteers to help with set up, registration, ribbons and prizes, dog games, judges’ paper work and end-of-program break down. Anyone interested should contact volunteer coordinator Rhonda Nibert online or at 703-228-4724.
Although information for this year’s event hasn’t been placed online yet, the info page from last year’s Dogtober Day is still available.