How to Volunteer and Help

Share Your Talents

 

Current Opportunities to Help

The Friends of Dyke Marsh welcome the help of everyone, efforts big and small. We hope you will help us preserve and restore the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. Everyone’s efforts make a difference.

If you wish to participate, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and indicate how you would like to help. We will put you on a list for the activities you volunteer for and send you an email as opportunities arise.

We need help in the following areas, but feel free to indicate other ways you would like to contribute:

  • controlling invasive plants
  • planting native plants
  • helping with trash cleanups
  • staffing tables at FODM and community events
  • testing water in streams that feed into Dyke Marsh
  • helping with school groups (with other volunteers)
  • contributing articles for the Marsh Wren (newsletter) or website. What subject?
  • planning programs and meetings; bringing refreshments
  • planning and leading nature walks (Do you have a particular expertise?)
  • providing photographs for our website and publications
  • adding photographs in Facebook and Instagram posts
  • conducting research:  ____(1) scientific  ____(2) issues
    ____ (3) other
  • designing print materials
  • updating, maintaiining and operating our website and online membership systems
  • raising funds
  • hosting a fund raiser or other event
  • meeting with elected and other officials
 

Help Tackle Invasive Plants

Notice:  Because of weather conditions the invasive plants work scheduled for this Saturday, January 8, has been cancelled.

Join FODMers 10 a.m. to 12 noon on

  • February 5 and 19
  • March 5 and 19

Nancy Herman

Nancy Herrman is a dedicated invasive plant volunteer.

Help protect native plants by pulling and clipping invasive plants. We will train volunteers to identify the five or so target plants. Sign up by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Put "invasive plants" in the subject box Invasive plants can threaten and outcompete native plants.

Bring gloves, hand clippers and water. We will supply instructions, examples and trash bags Wear long sleeves and pants and sun protection. We will have some tools to share. We will cancel if lightning or severe storms are anticipated.

Meeting Place and Directions

Meet at the Haul Road trail entrance bench.

Haul Road Trail directions and parking: GPS coordinates: 38.777739, -77.050540 South of Alexandria off the GW Memorial Parkway at the sign for Dyke Marsh Nature Preserve and Belle Haven Marina, turn east onto the road toward the Potomac River. Take the first left and park in the Belle Haven Park lot. Walk back to the marina road and turn east, toward the river. Walk 30 yards. On your right is a Dyke Marsh sign and the entrance to the Haul Road trail.

Trash Cleanup / Control Invasive Plants

trash4a

Join us for the rescheduled Martin Luther King Day of Service, for two events.

  • Clean up Potomac River shoreline trash
  • Control invasive plants

Due to inclement weather, this event has been rescheduled for January 29, 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

To find more information and register for the rescheduled eventclick here.

 

Spotted Lanternfly Alert

Spotted Lanternfly NPS small
Spotted lanternfly
(Lycorma delicatula)
Photo by NPS

The National Park Service (NPS) asks that everyone be on the lookout for an invasive insect called the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula). As of November 1, 2021, there have been no reports of these insects on the GW Memorial Parkway properties, but be on the lookout for their egg masses on trees and other smooth surfaces (including rocks and vehicles) from now through spring. Egg masses look like smears of mud or mortar. NPS asks that if you see one, try to scrape it off and put it into a baggie with some rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer.

The insect can be very destructive to trees and has been reported on a range of plants around homes and in the landscape. It has been documented in four jurisdictions in the Winchester, Virginia, area.

There is more information in an article by a NPS official here.

For information in another article by the US Department of Agriculture click here.

Help Stop the Spread of a New Species of Water Chestnut

chestnut

Water chestnut. Photo from MISC, Maryland Invasive Species Council

Be on the lookout for a new species of water chestnut (genus Trapa) (http://mdinvasives.org / iotm/june-2018/) found in the Potomac watershed, Trapa bispinosa Roxb. var. iinumai Nakano.  It has been spreading since 1995 and is floating aquatic vegetation growing over the surface of a pond, lake or other fresh waterbody.

This species is identified by the seed cases having two spines instead of four found on Trapa natans. Report all invasive aquatic species to  the US Geological Survey’s Nonindigenous aquatic species website (https://nas.er.usgs.gov / SightingReport.aspx).

Water chestnut (an annual) sprouts in May, spreads over the water surface and then flowers and fruits by July.  It drops seeds all season until it senesces after a hard frost. To stop the spread, management by harvesting the plants by early July is very successful in eradicating the plants, but it may take several years of effort, if some seeds fall before the plants are harvested or lay dormant in the current year and sprout in a later year.

         

 

 

 

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