Children examine stream samples from Snakeden Branch at the Reston Spring Festival Saturday, May 5.
Photo by Alex McVeigh.
Reston Outdoor and nature enthusiasts of all ages flocked to the Walker Nature Education Center Saturday, May 5 for the annual Spring Festival. Stations were scattered around the center and the adjacent paths allowing children to participate in a variety of natural activities, including stream monitoring, plant identification and fishing in nearby Lake Audubon.
"The fishing was my favorite part, because I learned the right way to cast," said Elizabeth Murdoch, 6, of Reston. "I didn’t catch anything, but at least I’ll know what to do the next time I come out."
Murdoch and others could walk down the path to fish or examine life at the nearby Snakeden Branch, in stations maintained by the Reston Association. Guests could also rent kayaks and canoes to take out on the lake.
Closer to the nature center, a number of displays about smart energy use, invasive and harmful plants, gardening and recycling were available. Members of the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia were out with several native birds, and spoke about their tendencies and habitats.
"We like to get out to events like this to show people the birds that they can find around here, so they know what to do if they come across an injured bird," said Gabby Hrycyshyn of the conservancy. "More importantly, if they learn about where these birds live, maybe we can avoid a lot of injuries altogether."
David Burks, 10, said the birds were his favorite part.
"I hear a lot of birds in the fields near my house, but I don’t see them very much, especially not up close," he said. "I was glad to learn about ways we can keep them safe, and what to do if I ever seen one that has fallen out of a tree or something."
Throughout the day, local musician Tom Bodine performed folk music inside the building, and children who managed to make it to all the station and answer 10 questions about the area surrounding the Nature House.