Friends of Mason Neck State Park
 
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Join Us for the Friends of Mason Neck State Park's

Annual Meeting




The Friends of Mason Neck State Park will hold their annual meeting starting at 2 PM on Saturday, February 11. This will be a virtual meeting on Zoom. Our program will be "Why Do They Do That? Randy Streufert Explains Interesting Bird Behavior." Randy is an award-winning photographer and a member of the Friends' Board of Directors. Randy’s program will be preceded by a brief formal meeting at which members will vote on a slate of Directors and President Hillary Clawson will discuss the Friends’ key achievements in 2022 and plans for 2023. We’ll email a link to the program to our members and contacts a few days beforehand.


All the Board’s current directors are standing for re-election. You can review their brief biographies here.

It is very important to cast a vote for the slate of directors even if you cannot attend the meeting. Our bylaws require that a significant percentage of the membership must vote for an election to be valid. If you cannot be present for the meeting and election, please email your proxy vote to friendsofmasonneckstatepark@gmail.com before the meeting. 


On-Line Program on

Wetland Dynamics through the Seasons


  

       

Wetlands like those at Mason Neck State Park experience dramatic changes over the course of a year. The Friends of Mason Neck State Park are co-sponsoring the Friends of Dyke Marsh’s on-line program on Wetland Dynamics through the Seasons at 7 PM on March 1. The presentation will explore the secrets and wonders of freshwater and tidal wetlands and associated woodland over the course of a year: spring's avian migrations, quickening of vegetation, burgeoning of myriad invertebrates and the assaults of extreme weather conditions; summertime's proliferation of flora, fish, fowl and mammals; amazing feats of biological inventiveness during the autumnal preparation for winter; and how fauna and flora adapt to winter's harsh conditions. 

 

The program will be presented by Dr. Colin Rees, retired biodiversity specialist at the World Bank, and professor of Zoology at the University of Maryland. He is one of the developers and founders of Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary on the Patuxent River, part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed in Southern Maryland, which is the focus of his recent book, Nature’s Calendar: A Year in the Life of a Wildlife Sanctuary.

You can register for the program here.

 


 

Join the Park Staff for Guided Hikes


There are still opportunities to see the Tundra Swans on a guided hike led by Park Staff. Join the Staff on the Woodmarsh Trail to see the Tundra Swans on February 12 and 26. You also can join the staff for guided walks to see the swans on the fully-accessible Great Marsh Trail on February 11 and 25. The park will also have family-friendly talks and Tundra Swan-themed crafts on January 22. Please note that registration is required for these events. You can learn more about the hikes and register here




Photo of the Month: 

The Buck doesn't Stop Here!




Simone Benson sent us this photo of a buck chasing a doe past the Visitor Center. Unlike the customary nearly-silent movement of deer, this buck wasn’t making any attempt at being quiet – he had other things on his mind. Simone said the ground rumbled as he flew by.


Do you have an interesting, beautiful, funny, or informative photo you'd like to share? Send it to us at friendsofmasonneckstatepark@gmail.com and we may publish it in our newsletter or website.



Join the Fight Against Disposable Plastic


The Friends of Mason Neck State Park are doing their part to slow the production and disposal of plastics.  Plastic bottles take as long as 450 years to decompose in the environment.  Before they do, they break down into "micro-plastic" bits that are eaten by animals and can end up in our own bodies.  On land, plastic adversely affects soil fertility, and can choke our streams and rivers.




The Friends of Mason Neck State Park have stopped offering disposable water bottles to Park volunteers and at Friends events.  Instead, they are offering free multi-use bottles that recipients can take home with them.  Hopefully, people will use these bottles instead of buying more disposable ones.  


Mason Neck State Park also is committed to reducing the use of disposable plastic bottles and has installed water bottle filling stations at the Visitor Center and the picnic area.           


Do your part too:  find ways to limit your use of disposable plastics, including those grocery store bags that have a typical useful life of 15 minutes -- the time to get from store to home -- and take 1000 years to decompose in a landfill.  


The Friends of Mason Neck State Park



The Friends of Mason Neck State Park is a Section 501(c)(3) organization that works to conserve, enhance, and interpret the Park's natural, educational, recreational, cultural and historic resources. We assist the Park Staff in implementing its programs and activities such as the annual Eagle Festival, shoreline cleanups, and outreach events.  We also sponsor special events such as our annual Owl Moon and Swanfall, our Holiday Party, help guide canoe and kayaking trips and lead hikes.Ang               

           


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Mason Neck State Park 

Mason Neck State Park is located on the Mason Neck peninsula in southeastern Fairfax County, Virginia. The Park's wetlands, forest, water, ponds, and fields are home to a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, osprey, geese, ducks, swans, and other birds living on or near the Potomac River, Kane's Creek, and Belmont Bay. 


The Park has hiking trails, three miles of paved multi-use trails, a large picnic area, a playground, a car-top canoe and kayak launch, and a visitor center. Canoe, kayak, and bicycle rentals are available.

© 2017 Friends of Mason Neck State Park, Inc.
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