Category Archives: NEWS MEDIA

ANS Naturally Latinos 3 Conferene

NEWS RELEASE

ANS's Naturally Latinos Conference Celebrates "Superpower" Within Latinx Community

Anti-racism, Queer Experiences, and Trailblazers in the Outdoors in the Spotlight

For more information, contact caroline.brewer@anshome.org, or 240-899-9019, or lglisagoodnight@gmail.com, or 301-523-5394

For Immediate Release – November 2, 2020

CHEVY CHASE, MD – The Audubon Naturalist Society and its partners are proud to announce the third annual Naturally Latinos Conference (NLC3) happening virtually on Dec 2-4.

This year’s conference theme “Una Comunidad, Many Voices” underscores the reality that the Latinx community is not monolithic – Indigenous, Afro-Latinx, and LGBTQ+ perspectives matter.

“Each community brings its own superpower honed through the challenges they have faced. When you bring them together... it’s really powerful,” said NLC3 Conference Co-Chair Serenella Linares.

Conference highlights include, “A Conversation on Becoming Latinx Anti-Racists in Our Environmental Movement,” "The Queer Latinx Experience in the Outdoors,” and “Green Careers.”

Pinar Ateş Sinopoulos-Lloyd, the indigenous co-founder of Queer Nature, is one of five environmental champions being honored. The two keynoters are José G. González,
Founder and Director Emeritus of Latino Outdoors and Natali Fani-González, Vice-Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board. She is the first Latinx and first millennial to serve on the five-member board.

Because the event is happening online, ANS is expecting audience members from the Caribbean and beyond to participate. The full agenda is here:  https://anshome.org/nl3-agenda-2020/

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

App Lets People Take Action For Water Quality

NEWS ALERT

New Mobile App Lets People Take Action for Water Quality

It’s an easy, fun and fascinating way to safely collect and report water quality data

For Immediate Release: September 30, 2020
Photos available upon request

CHEVY CHASE, MD – The Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) and Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) have launched a brand-new version of Creek Critters®, an innovative smartphone app that empowers people to collect valuable data and report on local water quality. Using only a smartphone and a small aquarium net, everyone can learn about stream health and become advocates for their own natural resources.

“It always fascinates me to see how excited people get by discovering life in their streams,” says Gregg Trilling, Conservation Outreach Manager for the Audubon Naturalist Society. “Creek Critters helps newcomers and experienced stream monitors alike experience that thrill of discovery.”

Water quality in the United States is under threat from a wide range of sources, from excessive road salt use to stormwater runoff. Professional water quality experts are unable to monitor even half of the more than 3.5 million miles of streams and rivers across the country. ANS and IWLA have trained community scientists for decades to collect critical water quality data and engage local communities.

Creek Critters uses simple step-by-step instructions and an interactive guide to help users find and identify organisms in local streams. Collecting and identifying these small, fascinating animals, called benthic macroinvertebrates, is one of the most effective ways to assess stream health. Benthic macroinvertebrates live in creeks and streams and have different tolerance levels to water pollution. By identifying and reporting the macroinvertebrates they find in a stream, anyone, including students, can help paint a picture of water quality and pollution threats across the country.

“For students, Creek Critters is a splashy introduction to the stunning biodiversity that can be found if you learn to look,” says Dani Moore, science teacher at Wilson High School in DC.

The data collected by app users is uploaded into the Clean Water Hub, the water quality database managed by IWLA. The first database of its kind, the Clean Water Hub brings together data collected by volunteers across the country in a single, user-friendly website.

“With the Creek Critters app now connected to the Clean Water Hub database, people across the country are empowered to do their own water quality monitoring, share their results and use their data,” says Samantha Briggs, Clean Water Program Director for IWLA.

The app can be used by people working alone or by small groups, making it an easy activity to do while social distancing. It is also family friendly and can be used by schools, camps and clubs to educate and engage students of all ages.

The free app is available for download on iOS and Android devices.

CONTACT:

Caroline Brewer
Director of Marketing and Communications
Audubon Naturalist Society
(240) 899-9019 or caroline.brewer@anshome.org

Gregg Trilling
Conservation Outreach Manager
Audubon Naturalist Society
gregg.trilling@anshome.org

Samantha Briggs
Clean Water Program Director
Izaak Walton League of America
(847) 650-5112 or sbriggs@iwla.org

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About The Izaak Walton League of America: Founded in 1922, the Izaak Walton League of America (www.iwla.org) and our more than 40,000 members protect America’s outdoors through education, community-based conservation, and promoting outdoor recreation.

About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

ANS Will Keep Up The Pressure

NEWS ALERT

ANS WILL KEEP UP THE PRESSURE TO ALTER 'SHORT-SIGHTED' BELTWAY/I-270 EXPANSION

Organization's opposition based on threats to people, wildlife, and the environment

For more information and to arrange interviews with speakers, contact caroline.brewer@anshome.org, or 240-899-9019, eliza.cava@anshome.org, or 202-503-9141, or lglisagoodnight@gmail.com, or 301-523-5394

For Immediate Release – August 27, 2020

Chevy Chase, MD – Lisa Alexander, the executive director of the Audubon Naturalist Society, on Tuesday, Aug. 25 voiced the organization’s opposition to the Beltway/I-270 expansion project that will lock in traffic and development patterns for the next 50 years, impose enormous financial risks, and threaten the lives of people, wildlife, and the environment.

“In the face of dual crises of Climate Change and the Covid Pandemic, expanding a roadway at the expense of water quality, parkland and tree cover is short-sighted,” Alexander said in her testimony which was included in WTOP’s coverage of the issue.

Eliza Cava, ANS’s Director of Conservation, will offer additional testimony at a hearing scheduled for September 3. She’ll discuss how the proposed expansion would increase air pollution, noise pollution, and stormwater pollution. The Beltway I-495/I-270 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is out for public comment review until Oct. 8. ANS is part of a coalition that has been working toward providing alternatives to the expansion and demanding a more transparent process.  ANS’s Beltway Blog offers information on how to testify/submit written comment.

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Is the Fairfax City Council Bored with Fighting Climate Change?

NEWS ALERT

 IS THE FAIRFAX CITY COUNCIL BORED WITH NEED
TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE, PROTECT STREAMS, AND CLEANER AIR?

More environmental groups voice opposition to Northfax West’s destruction of creek and forest

For Immediate Release – July 7, 2020

For more information, contact caroline.brewer@anshome.org, or 240-899-9019, or Renee Grebe, renee.grebe@anshome.org, 703-261-4668; or lglisagoodnight@gmail.com, or 301-523-5394

FAIRFAX, VA – Environmental groups throughout the region are joining forces with the Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) and dozens of residents who have spoken out against the destruction of a portion of the Accotink Creek and forest in a proposed development in Fairfax City.

The Fairfax City Council is to decide at a hearing on July 14 if it will move forward with the Northfax West development plan, which calls for removing nearly five acres of protected riparian habitat, while permanently burying the North Fork of the Accotink Creek, home to fish, salamanders, and frogs. The plot of land and stream might seem small, but it represents a precious natural space that needs to be protected to enhance human health and well-being, provided by the existence of wildlife.

The Audubon Naturalist Society has made a key ask of the mayor and council: Deny or postponed a decision on this application to ensure alternatives are sought which preserve the healthier, “A1” section of the stream. Doing so better matches the city’s Northfax Small Area Plan vision to help the city reach its land use and environmental goals.

In June, ANS submitted an 18-page letter in opposition to the plan which would bury the creek and destroy the forest. It testified at two nights of public hearings related to that plan and is submitting a new three-page letter to the Fairfax City Council this week outlining strong opposition to a significant waiver of stream protections put in place in 1990. If granted, that waiver would set a terrible precedent that could imperil streams and their forested buffers throughout the state. Sixteen environmental groups have signed on.

“Once a building burns, you can never get back the original or its contents. And once we bury streams and destroy forests, it’s nearly impossible to get them back, to get back all the wildlife they supported, to get back the cleaner, breathable air that they provide,” said ANS Northern Virginia Advocate Renee Grebe. “A decision by the Fairfax City Council in favor of this project as proposed would set a terrible precedent for protecting streams and forested buffers. In the face of overwhelming evidence of climate change and the need to preserve natural spaces for our own mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Is the Council saying to the people of this region that it doesn’t care?”

Renee Grebe, Northern Virginia Conservation Advocate
Audubon Naturalist Society
Audubon Society of Northern Virginia
Chesapeake Legal Alliance
Clean Fairfax
Clean Water Action
Climate Reality Project, NOVA Chapter
Earth Rise Indivisible
EcoAction Arlington
EcoLogics Design and Consulting, LLC
Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions
Friends of Accotink Creek
Green Muslims
Natural Resources Defense Council
Potomac Riverkeeper Network
The Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection
Waterkeepers Chesapeake

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Rachel Carson Birthday

NEWS ALERT

CELEBRATING RACHEL CARSON WITH PIONEERING WOMEN AND NEW ONLINE APP

The Show, of Birthday Love for Carson, Will Go On (Online)!

For more information, contact caroline.brewer@anshome.org, or 240-899-9019, or lglisagoodnight@anshome.org, or 301-523-5394

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 21, 2020

Chevy Chase, MD – To honor the life and legacy of Rachel Carson, the mother of the modern environmental movement, the Audubon Naturalist Society is throwing her a Zoom birthday party starting at noon ET on May 27. Click here to register.

ANS has long and precious relationship with Carson who was a beloved member, former board president, and friend to many esteemed members of the organization. The celebration, hosted by ANS Executive Director Lisa Alexander, will feature women leaders and women in science reflecting on Carson’s contributions to the world and their own careers. Special invited guests include Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who succeeded in getting a National Park Service panel honoring Carson established in DC’s Glover Archbold Park and her Definitive Biographer Linda Lear, a longtime ANS member.

ANS will pay homage to Rachel Carson by spotlighting women to be speakers who are persevering in her footsteps and forging their own paths. The pre-birthday celebration kicks off Memorial Day weekend with social media posts and the release of engagement tools, such as the region’s FIRST interactive map of places in the Washington, D.C. region that honor Carson or that she in some way touched, along with downloadable activities for children and families

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

ANS Virtual Tree Tour

NEWS ALERT

DURING THIS TIME OF GREAT UNEASE, GO ONLINE AND GET CLOSER TO TREES

ANS Launches Virtual Tour of Remarkable Trees at Woodend Nature Sanctuary

For Immediate Release: April 1, 2020
For more information, contact caroline.brewer@anshome.org, or 240-899-9019, or Alison Pearce, Director of Restoration, alison.pearce@anshome.org, 301-704-5864 or lglisagoodnight@gmail.com, or 301-523-5394.

CHEVY CHASE, MD – Just in time to ease some of the stress and anxiety of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Audubon Naturalist Society is launching a virtual tree tour, featuring photos, histories, and uses of 21 trees on its sanctuary.

Featured trees include natives, such as the American beech, sassafras, and white oak, Maryland’s state tree, which can live up to 500 years and grow up to 100 feet tall, and a 240-year-old walnut tree.  “Learning to identify local trees is a great way to be in touch with your natural environment and develop a ‘sense of place,' about where you live,” says ANS Restoration Director Alison Pearce, who oversaw development of the tour, which includes Montgomery County Champion Trees.  “We have had a printed tree tour brochure available in the past, but things have changed. We have technology that allows for a more interactive and convenient online format and now seems the perfect time to make it accessible to the region.”

In addition to providing natural beauty, shade, and food for wildlife, such as birds, pollinators, and squirrels, studies have found that trees offer a bounty of other benefits, including playing a huge role, of course, in mitigating the effects of climate change. Click here to begin your adventure in the new ANS Virtual Tree Tour.

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Join ANS for Earth Hour

NEWS ALERT

NO LIGHTS SATURDAY NIGHT: JOIN ANS AND THE REST OF THE WORLD FOR PLANET-LOVING EARTH HOUR  

Earth Hour Goes Digital Amidst Pandemic

For Immediate Release: March 27, 2020
For more information, contact Caroline.brewer@anshome.org or lglisagoodnight@gmail.com, 301-523-5394.

CHEVY CHASE, MD – The Audubon Naturalist Society encourages the public to observe Earth Hour as part of ongoing efforts to combat climate change.

WHAT IS EARTH HOUR?

The event itself is quite simple. Businesses, organizations, and individuals are asked to turn off home and building lights for at least one hour. Earth Hour's mission is to (virtually) unite people and bring awareness about the need to take action for our planet in the midst of climate change.

 WHEN IS EARTH HOUR?

Saturday, March 28, 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm.

WHAT CAN I DO DURING EARTH HOUR?

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

ANS to testify before the Maryland legislature

NEWS ALERT

Gov. Hogan's Beltway Expansion, Climate Change and Destruction of Trees on ANS's MD Legislature Agenda Tomorrow

ANS, its Partners, and Fellow Coalition Members Urge Support of Several Bills to Mitigate Harms from Highway Expansion and Destruction of State Forests 

For Immediate Release – February 26, 2019

For more information, contact Caroline Brewer, Director of Marketing and Communications, caroline.brewer@anshome.org or Eliza Cava, Director of Conservation, eliza.cava@anshome.org.

CHEVY CHASE, MD - ANS's Director of Conservation, Eliza Cava, as a member of the Stormwater Partners Network of Montgomery County, will testify before the Maryland legislature tomorrow regarding proposals for the Capital Beltway expansion on I-495 and I-270 in Maryland. This State Highway Administration (SHA) effort is proceeding rapidly and with little opportunity for public input. In effect, Cava and the Stormwater Partners Network are insisting that any changes to or expansions of Interstates 495 and 270 comply with current state and county stormwater design statutes and principles as part of an open and transparent process, which is the least the public has a right to expect.

As it stands, the coalition of civic and environmental groups believe the proposal is too large and too important to get wrong, because if not done in a reasonable and appropriate manner, it would leave current and future generations of Marylanders paying the cost of a degraded environment and communities. ANS and the Stormwater Partners urge Support of HB 695/SB 788 with amendments to strengthen stormwater analysis provisions, as well as HB91 to mitigate the harms of highway expansion.

“Big highways have locked our region into a pattern of increasing suburban sprawl for two generations. In this era of climate change, it is irresponsible to barrel ahead with bigger, wider highways without concern for consequences for the future. Bigger roads mean more traffic and sprawl. Plus more pavement will create hotter temperatures and more floods in our communities. This bill is critical to ensure we don’t repeat the mistakes of the 1950s,” said Cava.

Maryland has had a law to protect forests since 1991, but it’s got loopholes and is not doing the job it needs to do. ANS's Conservation Director Eliza Cava is making herself available to talk to the media beginning today to discuss what Maryland lawmakers need to do to ensure that more trees, “the lungs of our forests,” are better protected. Cava will be in Annapolis on Wednesday, February 27, with a coalition of other environmentalists to press legislators to pass three billsHB120/SB203, HB272/SB234, and SB729, that will make the Forest Conservation Act much stronger.

"Our native forest ecosystems clean our air and purify our drinking water. They form the bedrock of healthy environments for people and nature.  Maryland’s groundbreaking Forest Conservation Act is meant precisely to preserve our forests alongside communities and now it’s time to close the loopholes that are devastating our forests, which are the lungs of our earth,” said Cava.

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

ANS Statement on Amazon

STATEMENT

More flushes and showers on the way with Amazon HQ2

Audubon Naturalist Society issues statement warning of the need
for planning to protect human and environmental health

For Immediate Release: November 15, 2018
For more information, contact Caroline Brewer at caroline.brewer@anshome.org, Lisa Alexander at lisa.alexander@anshome.org, or Eliza Cava, eliza.cava@anshome.org, or 202-503-9141, cell, or 301-652-9188 x22, office.

CHEVY CHASE, MD – In response to Amazon’s announcement this week that it would bring half of its second headquarters (“HQ2”) to the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) Executive Director Lisa Alexander issued the following statement.

“As we all settle in to review and analyze the details surrounding HQ2, ANS will be looking closely for the potential impacts to environmental and human health. One thing we know for sure is, more flushes and showers are on the way, and that could be a serious matter.”

Alexander noted that even before all the details are known, ANS is urging area leaders, planners, and voters to start seeking answers to the following questions:

  • What will the environmental and community impacts be in Crystal City? How will we ensure that the redeveloped buildings will be bird-safe and use best environmental practices, including green infrastructure to capture polluted runoff from rainstorms? How will Amazon work to grow and enhance tree canopy and green space in and around Crystal City and make it available and accessible to all?
  • What will the environmental and community impacts be in the greater DC region? While this decision will be made by one jurisdiction, it affects all three. How will area leaders ensure that enough housing is constructed close to transit to counteract the trend toward sprawl? How will area leaders ensure that housing remains affordable so that those with fewer resources are not driven out to agricultural exurbs and then forced to endure long, polluting commutes on new pavement?

Alexander concluded, “Many in our region are rightly focused on housing affordability and transit access. We need to understand that these are also environmental issues. Sprawl development threatens the quality of our drinking water, threatens wildlife habitats, and creates conditions that could lead to horrible flooding. So that’s why we need to ensure that planning is put in place immediately to ward off these dangers, and also help people at all income levels live close to jobs that pay a living wage.”

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Dogue Creek Development Delayed

STATEMENT

Alexandria's Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day Just Got Better!

ANS celebrates news that Fairfax County Planning Commission Received Request to Indefinitely Delay Proposed Amendment to Develop 8800 Richmond Highway from Developer Mark Viani 

For Immediate Release: October 23, 2018

Contact: Caroline Brewer, caroline.brewer@anshome.org or Monica Billger at monica.billger@anshome.org

Hearing set for Wednesday, October 24 at 7:30 now cancelled.
The commission will vote in a private meeting tomorrow on the postponement. 

Chevy Chase, MD – The Audubon Naturalist Society released the following statement after being alerted to the news that the Fairfax County Planning Commission received a request to delay the proposed amendment to develop 8800 Richmond Highway from Developer Mark Viani. 

Regardless of what the reason for indefinitely postponing the plan amendment, we know that the proposed plan was a terrible, awful, horrible idea,” says Monica Billger, ANS’s Northern Virginia Advocacy Manager. “A floodplain is a floodplain, and this site is CLEARLY a bad place to develop. We consider this a victory for the residents and property owners in the Dogue Creek area, and for all of the wildlife supported by Dogue Creek and nearby green spaces. We do not want Fairfax County to become like Houston and pave all its floodplains. We will continue to encourage the Planning Commission to deny this amendment and set the RIGHT precedent that will allow Fairfax County to stand by its thoughtful and award-winning planning processes and continue to value environmental protection for its residents and wildlife.” 

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Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweet 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has played a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Dogue Creek