NOVA Parks Roving Naturalist

NOVA Parks Roving Naturalist Through guided nature walks, hikes, canoe and kayak tours, night explorations, stream and pond studies, and live animal programs, participants gain the opportunity to discover our native flora and fauna in a safe and fun environment.

Programs are catered to kids, adults, and anyone interested in the natural world! Programs are offered in many of the Northern Virginia Regional Parks including Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Pohick Bay Regional Park, Bull Run Regional Park, Fountainhead Regional Park, Occoquan Regional Park, Algonkian Regional Park, Temple Hall Farm Regional Park, Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, and all five NVRPA waterpark facilities (in-season only). Join us for a chance to explore the natural world of northern Virginia!

Mission: The mission of the NVRPA Roving Naturalist Program is to connect the citizens of northern Virginia with the natural world in our Northern Virginia Regional Parks.

THROWBACK THURSDAY--NOVA PARKS--“PULL!”As NOVA Parks (formerly the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority) celebr...
05/02/2019

THROWBACK THURSDAY--NOVA PARKS--“PULL!”

As NOVA Parks (formerly the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority) celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, looking to the early days can reveal some very interesting things. Today, we do just that, throwing it all the way back to that time and discovering how the first regional park, Bull Run, incorporated an already existing business into its grounds. And the amazing part is, the asset has been in continuous use since then and is just as popular as it ever was.

For the complete story: http://ow.ly/git950tAKud

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #60Years #NOVAParks

Explore the sights and sounds of the forest at night under a moonlit sky.For more information: http://ow.ly/kqcU50q0dxL#...
04/15/2019

Explore the sights and sounds of the forest at night under a moonlit sky.

For more information: http://ow.ly/kqcU50q0dxL

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #NOVAParks

Join us on Sunday, April 14th, 10:00-11:30, for our Wonders of Wildflower hike at Bull Run Regional Park.Explore all the...
04/09/2019

Join us on Sunday, April 14th, 10:00-11:30, for our Wonders of Wildflower hike at Bull Run Regional Park.

Explore all the fascinating secrets of spring wildflowers. You’ll discover where and when the first flowers ever appeared, why flowers exist, and how they help promote life on Earth.

For more information: http://ow.ly/SWI250pDuEX

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #BullRunRegionalPark #NOVAParks

This Saturday, come on a nature hike to explore all the fascinating secrets of spring wildflowers. You’ll discover whe...
04/08/2019

This Saturday, come on a nature hike to explore all the fascinating secrets of spring wildflowers. You’ll discover where and when the first flowers ever appeared, why flowers exist, and how they help promote life on Earth.

We only have 6 spots remaining so book early!

For more information: http://ow.ly/iItv50pxee1

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #BullRunRegionalPark #NOVAParks

Explore the sights and sounds of the forest at night under a moonlit sky during our Moonlit Night Hike at Pohick Bay Reg...
03/22/2019

Explore the sights and sounds of the forest at night under a moonlit sky during our Moonlit Night Hike at Pohick Bay Regional Park.

For more information: http://ow.ly/NLaY50nPmpk

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #PohickBayRegional Park #NOVAParks

Explore the sights and sounds of the forest at night under a moonlit sky. Our moonlit night hike will be led by NOVA Par...
03/20/2019

Explore the sights and sounds of the forest at night under a moonlit sky.

Our moonlit night hike will be led by NOVA Parks Roving Naturalist, David Garcia. For more information please contact him at (703) 268-6064 or email here.

To reserve your spot: http://ow.ly/2cIK50nCYQp

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #PohickBayRegionaPark #NOVAParks

Spring season has arrived! Explore the visible changes that can be seen in animal behaviors and plant life. This adventu...
03/18/2019

Spring season has arrived! Explore the visible changes that can be seen in animal behaviors and plant life.

This adventure shows how a forest bursts alive with wildlife, excitement and activity. Ages 8 and older. This program will be led by NOVA Parks Roving Naturalist, David Garcia.

For more information please contact him at (703) 268-6064 or email here.

To register: http://ow.ly/qUaX50nsrZh

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #NOVAParks

Here comes Spring! It's hard to believe with all the crazy weather we've been having but Spring is right around the corn...
02/28/2019

Here comes Spring! It's hard to believe with all the crazy weather we've been having but Spring is right around the corner.

Come enjoy a hike to see how our natural world undergoes the amazing seasonal transformation from Winter to Spring.

For more information: http://ow.ly/4sQJ50mjbYI

#HappinessHere #DiscoverWhatsNext #BullRunRegionalPark #NOVAParks

On Saturday, Sep 29, seventeen 3rd graders and 5 adults took a kayak trip at Pohick Bay Regional Park. It was the first ...
10/01/2018

On Saturday, Sep 29, seventeen 3rd graders and 5 adults took a kayak trip at Pohick Bay Regional Park. It was the first time on a kayak for many of the students. They not only experienced how much fun kayaking can be, but they also learned about the natural world along our waterways.They loved it!

Today, we took out the Camp Grow participants paddle boarding!
07/26/2018

Today, we took out the Camp Grow participants paddle boarding!

Today, our Camp Grow will be paddle boarding with our NOVA Parks Roving Naturalist! Stay tune for the fun!

What a great paddle board tour it was! Thanks for coming out!
07/09/2018

What a great paddle board tour it was! Thanks for coming out!

Our staff embarked on a fun team building activity at Pohick Bay Regional Park where we experienced a wonderful guided tour into the marsh wetlands led by David Garcia, Roving Naturalist at NOVA Parks. Check out some of the awesome photos from our morning adventure. Special thanks to Sandra Garduno from NOVA Parks for the incredible photography!

Would you be scared?
07/05/2018

Would you be scared?

's cover photo
07/03/2018

's cover photo

06/22/2018
NOVA Parks

Through rain or shine, our dream came true!

It may be raining today, but it looks like everything will be clearing in time for our Occoquan Recreated event tomorrow! Make your plans now to join us tomorrow for festival fun, food, exhibits and a free concert by JunkFood at Occoquan Regional Park!

Turns out, dreams do come true!

What started as a dream 10 years ago is just 1 day away from becoming a reality. Join us tomorrow June 23rd as we dedicate the Jean Packard Center, Riverview Banquet Facility, Brickmakers Cafe, new trails and outdoor pavilion at the rebirth of Occoquan Regional Park. This is a huge moment for our NOVA Parks family and we can't wait to share it with you!

Temple Hall Farm
09/22/2016
Temple Hall Farm

Temple Hall Farm

Only one more week until the BEST Fall Festival in Northern Virginia is here once again! Mark your calendars for the opening day of the Temple Hall Farm Fall Festival and Corn Maize. For more information on what activities will be taking place at this year's festival, check out the link below! #templehallfallfest

Sunset SUP Nature Tour- Sep 7, 2014
10/04/2014

Sunset SUP Nature Tour- Sep 7, 2014

Great Waves Waterpark / Cameron Run Regional Park
08/01/2013

Great Waves Waterpark / Cameron Run Regional Park

Snakes and turtles in the water park today. Cooling off and learning at the same time.

#4 Can you identify this?  This little guy was found at Temple Hall Farm Regional Park in Leesburg!
06/27/2012

#4 Can you identify this? This little guy was found at Temple Hall Farm Regional Park in Leesburg!

#3 Can you identify all 3 amphibians in this picture?
06/20/2012

#3 Can you identify all 3 amphibians in this picture?

#2 Can you identify the critter in this photo?
06/15/2012

#2 Can you identify the critter in this photo?

Starting a new "Can you identify this?" photo series.  Each week I will post a picture of an animal or plant that you al...
06/07/2012

Starting a new "Can you identify this?" photo series. Each week I will post a picture of an animal or plant that you all can guess what it is. Goodluck!

#1 Can you identify the three bird species in this photo?

06/07/2012
30 Seconds Outdoors: Stinging Nettle

30 Seconds Outdoors: Stinging Nettle

Find Potomac Overlook Regional Park on Facebook or on our website for our schedule of exciting nature programs and awesome wildlife facts and pictures: http:...

's cover photo
05/31/2012

's cover photo

05/30/2012
30 Seconds Outdoors: Northern Brown Snake

30 Seconds Outdoors: Northern Brown Snake

Find Potomac Overlook Regional Park on Facebook or on our website for our schedule of exciting nature programs and awesome wildlife facts and pictures: http:...

05/22/2012
30 Seconds Outdoors: Spring Peepers

30 Seconds Outdoors: Spring Peepers

Spring peepers are one of the first frogs that call in the Spring. Although not often seen, they're peeping song provides a soundtrack as the warm nights of ...

05/18/2012
30 Seconds Outdoors: Honeybees

30 Seconds Outdoors: Honeybees

Honeybees play an important role in agriculture. Although not a native of virginia, they help pollinate many crops worldwide.

These three Common Watersnakes (Nerodia sipedon) were found in the patrol boat at Fountainhead Regional Park.  This phot...
05/04/2012

These three Common Watersnakes (Nerodia sipedon) were found in the patrol boat at Fountainhead Regional Park. This photo is a great example of how the markings can vary greatly with each snake of this species. These snakes feed mainly on fish and can grow to a length of 24-42 inches.

Common Watersnakes are non-venomous but often are confused with the venomous Eastern Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)...aka Water Moccasin. Although we do have Cottonmouths in Virginia, they are not found this far north. Cottonmouths can be found south of Richmond, VA.

27th Annual Potomac Overlook Open House & Heritage Festival!
05/02/2012
27th Annual Potomac Overlook Open House & Heritage Festival!

27th Annual Potomac Overlook Open House & Heritage Festival!

Join us for this wonderful springtime tradition full of fun activities and exhibits for all ages! This year marks the 27th year of this event and will include music, entertainment, food, community exhibits, games, a maypole dance, and much more!

This large leech was found in Bull Run Creek.  By far the largest leech I have seen in the area.  Streched out fully he ...
04/27/2012

This large leech was found in Bull Run Creek. By far the largest leech I have seen in the area. Streched out fully he was near 8" long. Leeches in the area prefer feeding on turtles, fish, and other aquatic animals.

Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor) posing for a picture on my porch. Hyla is Greek and means "belonging to the woods". Vers...
04/27/2012

Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor) posing for a picture on my porch. Hyla is Greek and means "belonging to the woods". Versicolor means various color. These treefrogs are very common but can be hard to spot because of their camouflaging abilities.

We have two native gray treefrog species in Northern Virginia which are identical in appearance. The Cope's Gray Treefrog and the Gray Treefrog. One way to tell the difference in by the call the frog makes.

This Eastern Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula) was found at Mason Neck State Park after the Eagle Festival yesterday.  Eas...
04/22/2012

This Eastern Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula) was found at Mason Neck State Park after the Eagle Festival yesterday. Eastern Kingsnakes are a relatively rare snake to come across in the area so this was a very exciting find. They can be easily identified by the white or yellow bands going down the length of their bodies.

Kingsnakes are strong constrictors which prey on other snakes along with lizards, rodents, and birds. These sakes are unique in a way that they are resistant to venom from pit vipers. This allows them to even prey on Copperheads which are a very common venomous snake in Northern Virginia.

Red Spotted Newt found under a log in a dried up vernal pool near Sandy Run Regional Park.
04/10/2012

Red Spotted Newt found under a log in a dried up vernal pool near Sandy Run Regional Park.

Spring Peeper calling near Bull Run Marina.  The call is a series of loud "peeps" heard in the spring while the males ar...
04/05/2012

Spring Peeper calling near Bull Run Marina. The call is a series of loud "peeps" heard in the spring while the males are searching for mates. These small frogs grow to a size no larger than one and a half inches. Spring peepers can be tan, gray, or brown but are easily identified by a dark "X" on their back.

03/29/2012
coyote 001

Coyote caught on camera at Potomac Overlook Regional Park!


Some facts about Coyotes:

The general coat color of a Coyote is a grey mixed with a reddish tint and the underside is typically paler. Coyote tracks are more elongated than that of a domestic dog. They are a highly adaptable species but often prefer hilly terrain. Their diet consists of a wide variety of things as they are largely opportunistic feeders. Common foods would be rodents, rabbits, berries, fruits, and carrion (dead animals). Coyotes breed from January to February and will have a litter of 5-7 pups in Arpil or May. The litter size is largely affected by the population density and food supply in the area. Coyotes avoid people and are most active at dawn and dusk.

American Coots spotted at Pohick Bay Regional Park!
03/08/2012

American Coots spotted at Pohick Bay Regional Park!

Keep an eye out for the busy Groundhog, or Woodchuck, or (my personal favorite name), Whistle Pig.  This large rodents l...
08/19/2011

Keep an eye out for the busy Groundhog, or Woodchuck, or (my personal favorite name), Whistle Pig. This large rodents latin name is Marmota monax. Monax is a native american word meaning 'the digger.' Living up to his name, the Groundhog will dig a large underground burrow and spend most of this time their. This burrow will have a main entrance and sometimes up to five separate 'plunge' entrances to serve as quick escapes from danger. This picture was taken at Bull Run Regional Park, one of many of our parks where the Groundhog is common.

A Barred Owl on the prowl!  Most likely going for a mouse.  This picture was taken by Tom Krial at Bull Run Regional Par...
08/14/2011

A Barred Owl on the prowl! Most likely going for a mouse. This picture was taken by Tom Krial at Bull Run Regional Park back in 2009. We observed a pair of Barred Owls feeding and we were aslo able to hear several begging calls of young Barred Owls near by. Bull Run Park offers these owls perfect habitats with abundant populations of rodents, amphibians, and even aquatic insects!

A Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus) found at Cameron Run Regional Park.  Great find!
08/13/2011

A Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus) found at Cameron Run Regional Park. Great find!

The breeding calls of the Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans melanota) are regularly heard around many sources of water in...
08/01/2011

The breeding calls of the Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans melanota) are regularly heard around many sources of water in the Regional Parks. This picture was taken at a small man-made pond at Potomac Overlook Regional Park. Listen for a 'Clunk' sound that resemles the pluck of an out of tune banjo string.

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5400 Ox Rd
Fairfax Station, VA
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