Into the Glop: A Tale of Eagle and Duck

If all goes well, you’ll see more of Hidden Pond next summer thanks to the work of an Eagle Scout candidate. Chad Denman of Boy Scout Troop 1140 recently was talking with staff at Hidden Pond Nature Center in Springfield, Va., when he saw the site’s namesake pond enveloped in duckweed. That sighting was all he needed.

On Saturday, September 26, Denman gathered friends, family, fellow scouts and classmates from the New School of Northern Virginia for some gloppy work in the muck and the mud at the pond. He tells the story:

The duckweed removed from the pond during the project is being recycled into a fertilizer test. Hidden Pond Nature Center Manager Mike McCaffrey and staff hauled the removed plants to a small area behind the park office, where the duckweed was placed into a clearing of about 100 square feet. McCaffrey plans to clear an identical area next to the duckweed station, but this second area will get no duckweed. His plan is to plant matching flowers and vegetables in each area next summer and compare the results.

If the duckweed area produces more or better flowers and vegetables than its neighbor, McCaffrey may invite residents to come to the pond and remove duckweed, which they could then take home and use as fertilizer or a planting material.



Fairfax County Park Authority parks welcome Eagle Scout and Girl Scout Bronze, Silver and Gold Award projects. Contact the manager at any staffed park for information. Learn more about scouting programs in parks on the Park Authority website. Visit Hidden Pond Nature Center at 8511 Greeley Blvd. in Springfield, Va.

Author David Ochs is the Manager of Stewardship Communications for the Resource Management Division of the Fairfax County Park Authority.

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About Fairfax County Park Authority

About Fairfax County Park Authority HISTORY: On December 6, 1950, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors created the Fairfax County Park Authority. The Park Authority was authorized to make decisions concerning land acquisition, park development and operations in Fairfax County, Virginia. To date, 13 park bond referenda have been approved between 1959 and 2016. Today, the Park Authority has 427 parks on more than 23,000 acres of land. We offer 325 miles of trails, our most popular amenity. FACILITIES: The Park system is the primary public mechanism in Fairfax County for the preservation of environmentally sensitive land and resources, areas of historic significance and the provision of recreational facilities and services including: • Nine indoor RECenters with swimming pools, fitness rooms, gyms and class spaces. Cub Run features an indoor water park and on-site naturalist • Eight golf courses from par-3 to championship level, four driving ranges including the new state-of-the-art heated, covered range at Burke Lake Golf Center • Five nature and visitor centers. Also nine Off-Leash Dog Activity areas • Three lakefront parks including Lake Fairfax, Lake Accotink and Burke Lake, with campgrounds at Burke Lake and Lake Fairfax. The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax, Our Special Harbor Sprayground at Lee as well as an indoor water park at Cub Run RECenter • Clemyjontri Park, a fully accessible playground in Great Falls featuring two acres of family friendly fun and a carousel, as well as Chessie’s Big Backyard and a carousel at the Family Recreation Area at Lee District Park • An ice skating rink at Mount Vernon RECenter and the Skate Park in Wakefield Park adjacent to Audrey Moore RECenter • Kidwell Farm, a working farm of the 1930s-era at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, now with historic carousel • Eight distinctive historic properties available for rent • A working grist mill at Colvin Run in Great Falls and a restored 18th century home at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly • A horticulture center at Green Spring Gardens in Annandale • Natural and cultural resources protected by the Natural Resource Management Plan and Cultural Resource Plans, plus an Invasive Management Area program that targets alien plants and utilizes volunteers in restoring native vegetation throughout our community • Picnic shelters, tennis courts, miniature golf courses, disc golf courses, off-leash dog parks, amphitheaters, a marina, kayaking/canoeing center • Provides 263 athletic fields, including 39 synthetic turf fields, and manages athletic field maintenance services at 417 school athletic fields. PARK AUTHORITY BOARD: A 12-member citizen board, appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, sets policies and priorities for the Fairfax County Park Authority. Visit for Fairfax County Government's Comment Policy.

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