Friends of 
Mason Neck State Park

May 2019 Newsletter

01 May 2019 9:39 AM | Thomas Blackburn (Administrator)

May 2019 Newsletter

Eagle Festival 

10 AM to 6 PM on Saturday, May 11, 2019  

Mason Neck State Park's Eagle Festival is bigger and better than ever!  This year we'll have 8 live animal shows in the Main Tent -- hawks, owls, a Bald Eagle, reptiles and local mammals.  


We'll have children's activities from our conservation partners all day in the Hartwell children's tent, as well as pony rides and hay rides for children.


You'll have a chance to use telescopes and binoculars to watch Bald Eagles in their nest or watch them on an Eagle Cam in the Visitor Center while you look over a Wildlife Photography Exhibit.


Do you want to try out a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard? Head down to the boat launch area.  

Twenty environmental organizations will have interactive displays.


Two live bands will provide music for the day, and food and drink will be available for purchase.     

The Audubon Society of Northern Virginia will lead a bird walk on the Bayview Trail at 8:30 am. Meet at the Picnic Area, not the Visitor Center.  Registration is required.  You can sign up for the bird walk at Register for Bird Walk.  


And our costumed fox, eagle, owl and raccoon will be there to greet you as you tour the festival grounds.  


Funding for the Eagle Festival was provided by generous donations to the Friends of Mason Neck State Park by our donors:  





Volunteers Needed to Help Make the Eagle Festival a Success

We still need a few volunteers to help with parking cars for the Eagle Festival.  Can you spend a couple of hours helping out before or after youvisit the festival?  You can sign up to help at Volunteer for the Eagle Festival


We'll give you a vest and a special hat, and a walkie-talkie to communicate with the other helpers.  And you have access to the Friends' snacks and drinks, which are only available to volunteers and exhibitors. 


Bird Versus Bird


Birds sometimes compete for nesting space to raise their young.  Friends of Mason Neck State Park Board Member Randy Streufert was watching a pair of Carolina Chickadees bring nesting materials to a nest box when a Downy Woodpecker landed at the nest box.  The resulting confrontation lasted only about one second, but Randy caught it in a series of ten photos taken 1/10 second apart. You can view a slide show of this amazing interaction here: Carolina Chickadee versus Downy Woodpecker.  

Dr. Mike Johnson Talks about Native Americans at Mason Neck State Park at 10 AM on June 15

Join us for a two-part program to explore the park through an archaeologist’s interpretation of the Native Americans who lived here many years ago.  Learn about the Taft Archaeological Site where Native Americans lived for 3,000 years, and view some of the artifacts found during excavations. This program will be led by Dr. Mike Johnson, the former Chief Archaeologist for Fairfax County Park Authority, who directed the excavation of the site in the 1980's.  We'll meet at the Visitor Center, where Dr. Johnson will discuss this site, and then walk closer to the site.  

This event is FREE, but please register so we know how many people to expect.  You can register at Native Americans at Mason Neck.

Enthusiastic Volunteers Cleaned

the Park Shoreline

Thirty volunteers participated in the Alice Ferguson Foundation shoreline cleanup on April 20.  The tide was high, but that didn't stop them from collecting over 400 pounds of trash that had washed onto the shore, including  a large amount of decking that had been knocked into the rivers during last year's storms.  



Would you like to help keep the Mason Neck State Park shoreline clean?  The next cleanup will be on June 1, starting at 9 AM.  You can pick up debris from the shore or from a canoe.  Put it on your calendar!

Mason Neck State Park Programs

Mason Neck State Park is offering more than 30 family-friendly activities in May.  You can learn about ospreys; the critters that live in the marsh; take a canoe or kayak trip; and much more. 


You can find a complete list of the Park's programs at Mason Neck State Park May Events.  





We would love to have you join the Friends of Mason Neck State Park!  Memberships fund the many Park activities we support each year.  And for as little as $20 per year, you will enjoy monthly newsletters, emails about special events and priority registration for special events such as our members-only Owl Moon in September, and Swanfall in December, and other activities during the year. You can sign up right here:  Join the Friends of Mason Neck State Park  

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