Monday, November 23, 2020

Reflecting with Gratitude

River NEAR exploring the marsh
As Thanksgiving approaches, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge and thank those who have made our program year a success, even in the face of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Thank you to the many volunteers that have removed litter from the park and the water, planted native plants, and helped lead youth programs and community outreach. In particular, we appreciated the volunteer efforts put forth by Arlington Regional Master Naturalists and the Tree Stewards of Arlington and Alexandria.

Volunteers plant native shrubs
Thank you also to the grant funders who supported our work this year: to the Greater Washington Community Foundation and its Spring Creek Environmental and Preservation Fund for operating support that boosted our summer internship program and upcoming field station project; to Virginia American Water for enabling the weekly pop-up nature center earlier this fall; to Dominion Energy for robust support of our Nature Explorers And Restorers (NEAR) program providing neighborhood youth with opportunities to learn and live in their nearby nature; and to River Network and the National Park Service for providing the resources needed for us to offer youth on-water programming (River NEAR).

Summer interns at work
We are grateful for the positive working relationships we enjoy with the Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities, with Arlington County's Parks and Natural Resources Division, and we were pleased to work with the Alexandria Workforce Development Center and Georgetown Day School  to host a talented cohort of high school summer interns.

Pop-up nature center visitors
All that we've accomplished during the pandemic has been possible thanks to the broad community support we have received through your time, donations, likes/shares on social media, and word of mouth. And we are honored to have been chosen as one of five local organizations being supported by the Old Town Business Association on Giving Tuesday--see details here on how you can support the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation while you shop and dine in Old Town Alexandria on Tuesday, December 1!

Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope to see you out along the Run this winter.

Kurt Moser, President

Above right: River NEAR participants explore the interior marsh; volunteers plant native shrubs; summer interns at work; pop-up nature center visitors learn about microplastics. Below: catching a bluegill with NEAR.

Catching a bluegill with NEAR