Thanks for indulging us with weekly e-blasts through the month of April! We now return to our regular pace of about one e-blast per month.
In this e-blast:
The results of the international City Nature Challenge will be compiled through May 3. This year has been very different from past years, with a variety of stay-at-home orders nationally and internationally. Therefore, counts of observations and species vary widely from previous years due to those restrictions. We are very pleased that in the DC metro area, our count of observers is 1,511 - 15% over our observer count from 2019! Even with restrictions in our area, folks were able to get out and make at least one observation. You can visit DC's City Nature Challenge page to see what species were found in our area.Read more
This week we encourage you to celebrate Earth Day in new and creative ways.
We will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22nd, in ways that could not have been imagined just a few months ago. You have probably seen stories of the Earth renewing itself, and other stories about humans discovering nature in their midst. We invite you to pause on Earth Day to consider how your personal impact on the Earth has changed since March. What changes might you keep when the world returns to a semblance of "normal?"
Earth Day from the American Southwest to Southwest DC
Here's a great idea from Arizona: Celebrate Earth Day by creating art from nature you find in your backyard! Be sure to tag your creations on social media with #CelebrateEarth2020.
Water Quality monitoring
Water Quality monitoring is back on! The Anacostia Riverkeeper is re-tooling its training to offer virtual classes. If you were considering volunteering for this activity, there is still time to join in. Contact Corinne for details.Read more
We hope you continue to be healthy in body and spirit as we continue our social distancing measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Remembering the Anniversary of the Titanic Sinking
The RMS Titanic hit an iceberg and sank overnight on April 14-15, 1912. Our park is a daily tribute to this tragedy, and we encourage our Friends to join us in pausing to commemorate the anniversary. This year in particular, we want to recognize the loss of the heroes and the vulnerable onboard as well as those who played a role in the rescue. We rejoice remembering those who survived and mourn all souls lost.
The National Park Service has cancelled all gathering permits through at least May 15. Please keep in mind that DC remains under a stay at home order. We have postponed our Titanic Day of Service and will reschedule once these restrictions are lifted. In this spirit, we ask everyone to avoid any congregations at the Memorial this year as such gatherings do not constitute essential activities. Keeping ourselves and others safe is the best way to commemorate the anniversary this year.Read more
As promised, here are updated details about the City Nature Challenge. We hope you can join this Thursday's webinar, iNaturalist 101. (Note, April 9 is Thursday, not Friday!)
City Nature Challenge/City Nature Month
The City Nature Challenge is now City Nature Month! The focus is on observing nature in your own backyard, and this can be done through entire month of April, not just the last weekend. In the last 7 days, there have been over 8,000 observations!
There is still plenty of time to join in the fun. DC's 2020 City Nature Challenge site has been updated to explain what individuals can do during City Nature Month.
DC's CNC leaders will also provide on-line webinars to teach participants how to become involved. Here are the details for Thursday's webinar, iNaturalist 101:
- Thursday, April 9, 2020
- 12:00 noon - 1:00pm
- via Zoom - register here
iNaturalist 101 will cover the basics of using the iNaturalist app and provide more details about the re-vamped City Nature Challenge.Read more
As we all work to define our "new normal" of social distancing and protection from the threat of the novel coronavirus, the Friends Board is grateful that Titanic Memorial Park remains a place where we can all exercise and enjoy the beauty of nature. It has been wonderful to see the increased use of the Park (with proper social distancing) as Spring unfolds.
City Nature Challenge
The City Nature Challenge has undergone major modifications in light of the global pandemic. The focus now is on observing nature in your own backyard, and this can be done through entire month of April, not just the last weekend. DC's 2020 City Nature Challenge leaders will provide on-line webinars to teach participants how to become involved. The first webinar, iNaturalist 101, will be held:
- Friday, April 9, 2020
- 12:00 noon
We'll send an update next week with information about how you can connect to this webinar through Zoom.
iNaturalist 101 will cover the basics of using the iNaturalist app and provide more details about the re-vamped City Nature Challenge.
We hope this e-blast finds you all safe and well. We wanted to share some updates from the Park Service and from the Friends Board:
Titanic Day of Service
Our second annual Titanic Day of Service is cancelled. We will schedule work parties again once social distancing guidelines allow for them.
City Nature Challenge
The City Nature Challenge is undergoing major modifications in light of the global pandemic. DC's 2020 City Nature Challenge leaders have provided guidance about ways we can re-tool the challenge to help participants:
- Learn about our local plants and animals
- Enjoy nature’s restorative power in troubled times
- Promote everyone’s health & safety
We'll send an update in the next week or so with our updated plans.Read more
Thanks to everyone who answered our Engagement Survey this month! The survey results show that you want more events in the Park, and we're going to work toward that in 2020. On that theme:
Help us win some Pocket Change
We are a finalist for the SWBID's Pocket Change! The Friends' idea is to host a free community picnic featuring food, drinks, and family-friendly activities. We plan to hold the event in Titanic Memorial Park in May or June, and winning the Pocket Change grant will really help. Come vote for us at the Pocket Change Pitch Event:
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Riverside Baptist Church
699 Maine Avenue Southwest Washington, DC, 20024 (map)
Watch this space for more details about event. Will you help us to plan it? Email Claire Adrian-Tucci to volunteer!Read more
Happy 2020, Friends!
As we start the new year, we are interested in how best to connect with you! We want to make sure our supporters are getting the news they want without being overburdened by too much contact. We also have a few ideas and suggestions where we want to get your input.
In that spirit, we would appreciate you answering this 6 question survey. It should only take 2 minutes.
Please complete the survey by February 7, 2020.
Thank you so much for all your support and friendship!
The Winter Solstice has passed, and we are in the midst of celebrating the light in the darkness through Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the twelve days of Christmas. However you celebrate as we approach the turning of the year, we wish you a very happy 2020.
Titanic Memorial Park is once again the winter home for waterfowl. Look for ring-billed seagulls, cormorants, coots, buffleheads, ring-necked ducks, and more as winter progresses. Read this DCist article, DC Doesn't Have One Hot Duck, It Has Many, to find out more about our winter visitors, and see if you can identify different species of waterfowl as they arrive. Bonus: Record your observations using the iNaturalist app...that will be good practice for the City Nature Challenge in the Spring!
As part of our Community Science Program, we will test Washington Channel waters throughout the winter to understand how much road salt travels into our waterways after storm events.
We are testing the waters in partnership with the Izaak Walton League, who explains:
Road salt (sodium chloride) is everywhere during winter months. It keeps us safe on roads and sidewalks, but it can also pose a threat to fish and wildlife as well as human health.
Fish and bugs that live in freshwater streams can't survive in extra salty water. And many of us (more than 118 million Americans) depend on local streams for drinking water. Water treatment plants are not equipped to filter out the extra salt, so it can end up in your tap water and even corrode your pipes.Read more