Healing the forest leads to healthier lives and gardens. This is the basic concept behind the Fairfax County Park Authority’s new Helping Our Land Heal initiative.
A family-friendly outreach event is planned for Saturday, Sept. 21, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly. The public is invited to attend the "TREEmendous Forest Festival" running from noon to 4 p.m. to celebrate the benefits of healthy forests. Admission is free; some activities are fee-based.
TREEmendous attendees will help make and decorate 500 butterflies to hang on the park’s “butterfly oak tree.” Children can have their faces painted as a butterfly or frog. Naturalists will present reptiles and amphibians, and a trained raptor handler will introduce audiences to birds of prey.
Attendees can browse information about local trees, and kids can explore natural textures by creating leaf rubbings. Tips on composting, native plans, and other garden information will be available, and attendees are encouraged to bring a sample of their garden’s soil to have it tested.
Along with information and activities about healthy forests and gardens, attendees can have their blood pressure checked and consult with experts about leading healthier lives.
Register online for fee-based activities, such as wagon rides, the frogs and sprites children’s program, and the raptors campfire.
About Helping Our Land Heal: A Natural Capital Stewardship Model
Helping Our Land Heal is a cooperative project sponsored by the Fairfax County Park Authority to restore ecosystems and foster stewardship. The project is focused on developing tools to restore our natural areas and their biodiversity and educating residents about their role in taking care of our valuable natural resources.
Natural resources can also be called natural capital – assets that provide valuable ecosystem services to include clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, quality of life benefits, and increased property values. Natural capital is not self-sustaining and needs the help of all residents to relieve the stresses caused by human activities, overabundant species like white-tailed deer, and non-native invasive species.
Resource Management Division staff developed an educational graphic to communicate the idea that how we treat the land has lasting impacts. View and download the Helping the Land Heal Poster.
Ellanor C. Lawrence Park is located at 5040 Walney Road in Chantilly. For more information, call 703-631-0013.