The Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) this past summer launched an app called “Creek Critters” that guides you through finding and identifying small aquatic organisms and the creation of a stream health report based on your findings. Fairfax County Park Authority volunteers have used the app, including a group that conducted a monitoring session on October 11 in South Run, not far from South Run RECenter.
The Park Authority, ANS, the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, the Fairfax chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists, and Friends of Accotink Creek are partnering in this monitoring project. The Park Authority occasionally offers opportunities for you to join other volunteers and get into your streams, find and identify the living organisms (macroinvertebrates) that live there, and learn what these organisms tell us about stream health.
There are several places to seek information about joining any of these monitoring events.
For sites near Lake Accotink Park in Springfield, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or see the calendar at www.accotink.org. For South Run sites, email Vera.Tangiri@gmail.com. And for information about surveys at most other streams in the county, visit https://volunteer.fairfaxcounty.gov and search for “stream monitoring” or email Dan.Schwartz@Fairfaxcounty.gov.
Download the free Creek Critters app from either the Apple App Store or Google Play. If you volunteer, you’ll need your smartphone and shoes or boots that will get wet. At scheduled events, all of the collection and identification information will be provided. For more information, contact Dan Schwartz at Dan.Schwartz@Fairfaxcounty.gov or call 703-324-1422.