Friends of Dyke Marsh is a volunteer group dedicated to preserving, restoring and enhancing Dyke Marsh, a freshwater tidal marsh in Fairfax County on the Potomac River just south of Alexandria, Virginia. The Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve is administered by the National Park Service.

What Is Dyke Marsh?

The Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve is a freshwater, tidal marsh on the Virginia side of the Potomac River in Fairfax County. It is a unit of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, U.S. National Park Service. For more information, visit the NPS website at

Warming Up to Ticks and Mosquitoes

On May 17, 2023, the Friends of Dyke Marsh hosted a presentation by Kasha Helget on the value of ticks and mosquitoes, how to identify them, their life cycles and eco-friendly management responses.

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Owl Fascination Abounds

Spring 2023 brought a frenzy of reproduction in the natural world. Many people have stood for hours watching and photographing a barred owl (Strix varia) pair and a great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) pair raise their young. In early May, observers began to see the fledglings of both pairs exploring the immediate environs.

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Floodwall and Levee Near Dyke Marsh Is Questioned

In June 2022, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (ACE) proposed a “tentatively selected plan” to build a floodwall and levee in the Belle Haven, New Alexandria, Belle View and River Towers areas of Fairfax County near the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve.

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Many Birds Stand Out in Winter

Winter brings several species of migratory waterfowl  to the Potomac River and Dyke Marsh and many birds stand out as they perch on leafless tree limbs, search for prey and forage on the ground. Still some, like barred owls (Strix varia) are expert at camouflaging. 

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Getting the Real Story on Bats

On October 26, 2022, bat educator Deborah Hammer gave an online presentation on bats, dispensing bat facts and dispelling bat folklore. Deborah is a board member of both FODM and Bat Conservation and Rescue of Virginia.

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Fall Colors Bring Cheer


Though the October 24, 2022, sky was overcast, fall’s colors cheered 22 enthusiasts on a walk led by Margaret Chatham and Alan Ford with the Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society.

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Fall Plants Intrigue FODMers

Twenty FODMers delighted in studying the plants of the preserve on a walk led by Dr. Elizabeth Wells on September 17, 2022. Many plants were dropping or ready to drop their seeds to start the next generation.

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