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September 27, 10am-3pm

Sugarloaf Mountain Field Trip, Maryland Native Plant Society Fall Conference

Join Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of Sugarloaf: The Mountain's History, Geology, and Natural Lore and An Illustrated Guide to Eastern Woodland Wildflowers and Trees: 350 Plants Observed at Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland for a field trip to Sugarloaf Mountain. The trip will include a short steep slow hike to the summit of Sugarloaf, a quartzite monadnock and the only real mountain in Maryland’s historic Piedmont. The black birches and tupelos along the way may be showing some early autumn color. Table mountain pines, several species of oak, American chestnuts and witch-hazels grow near the trail as well as many shrubby members of the heath family. We will then explore the springs and creeks along the western side of the mountain looking for fall wildflowers such as great blue lobelia, two species of jewelweed, and aster family members. We will talk about the history and geology of this National Natural Landmark and Montgomery County’s adjacent Agricultural Reserve, a national model for farmland preservation.

Registration Required

October 3, 1-3pm

Fall Tour of the National Garden Trees, United States Botanic Garden on the Mall in Washington, DC
Spend an autumn afternoon learning to identify trees of the Mid-Atlantic Piedmont and Coastal Plain as you tour the National Garden of the US Botanic Gardens. Melanie will teach you how to identify tupelo, hop hornbeam, red buckeye, pawpaw, oaks, pines, and many other native trees as you spend time strolling the grounds of the National Garden. She will also share some of the arboreal history of Washington, DC, which has long been known as the “City of Trees,” and offer ideas for self-guided tree tours in and around the nation’s capital.

Code: TH100309
Date: Saturday, October 3
Time: 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Location: National Garden Lawn Terrace
FREE: Pre-registration Required

October 10, 9:30am-12pm

Casey Trees Historic Tree Walk
Frederick Douglass Home and Grounds, Anacostia, Washington, DC

Melanie Choukas-Bradley - Author
Discover historic Cedar Hill, Frederick Douglass' family home, overlooking the Anacostia River with Melanie Choukas Bradley. Marvel at the impressive views stretching past Navy Yard and the ground's collection of trees just beginning to take on vibrant fall colors. Participants will also be treated to a guided tour of the home led by U.S. National Park Service staff. Bring your camera and binoculars! View slideshows from past tree walks here.

Code: TW101009
Date: Saturday, October 10, 2009
Location: 1411 W. St. SE
Time: 9:30 AM - 12:00 pm
Donation: $20.00 per person - includes signed copy of City of Trees
Pre-registration required

October 15, 7pm

Melanie Choukas-Bradley—Klingenstein Lecture Series presentation
Washington, City of Trees and Sugarloaf Mountain
Slide Presentation and Book Signing
Location: The Barnesville School, Barnesville, Maryland
Time: 7:00 pm

October 17, Noon-3pm

Celebrate Tree Hugger Day at the Jefferson Memorial in the Nation’s Capital
Presented by American Forests and IKEA in cooperation with The National Cherry Blossom Festival and the National Park Service

[NOTE: Music and Melanie's guided tree walks cancelled due to heavy and cold rains.]

  • Free musical performance by folk duo Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer!
  • Tree walks at the Tidal Basin by Melanie Choukas-Bradley (2:00-3:00) and National Park Naturalists
  • Free I’m a Tree Hugger t-shirts and buttons
  • Community Tree Hug at 1:30 pm
  • Special activities, crafts and photo opportunities for children
  • Appearance by the larger than life Treeture character, Blossom.
  • Free raffle of historic trees, new tree guide books from Melanie Choukas-Bradley and David Sibley, and more.
  • Help begin a new national tradition. Be part of the first Tree Hugger Day in the Nation’s Capital.

For information on National Tree Hugger Day, the photo contest and more, visit:

October 21, 7-10pm

Chez Nous Reston Evening Salon
Melanie Choukas-Bradley, Naturalist
“Historic Trees of Washington”
Slide Presentation and Book Signing

Buffet and Wine
11180 Ridge Heights Road, Reston, VA 20191
Tickets: $30 advance, $35 door
Checks for $30 (advance or $35 door) should be issued payable to Najwa Saad and mailed to Najwa at 2036 Lakebreeze Way, Reston, VA 20191.
Questions: 571-235-3556.

October 31, 10am-2pm

Casey Trees Rock Creek Park Tree Walk
Tree Tour of Rock Creek Park
"City of Trees"
Walk with Melanie Choukas Bradley as she highlights trees in Rock Creek Park. The autumn tree hike will cover 2 ½ miles of scenic Rock Creek woodlands. Participants will learn to identify many native trees and see large specimens growing along the creek and in the upland woods.

Code: TW103109  
Date: Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009
Location: Boundary Bridge at Beach Drive and the Washington DC border.
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Fee: $20.00. Hikers will receive a copy of the newest edition of Ms. Choukas Bradley's book, City of Trees. To pay by credit card, go to: Or send a check, payable to Casey Trees, to Rukshani Lye, 1123 11th St. NW, Washington DC 20001.
For questions, call 202-349-1907 or email
Preregistration required

Saturday, November 7, 9am-2pm

Audubon Naturalist Society Field Trips (

A Year at Boundary Bridge
Leader: Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Autumn is glorious in Rock Creek Park, and we'll conclude our seasonal series with a walk through colorful oaks, maples, and ashes, searching for the flowers of an early witch hazel in bloom. Our 2.5 mile circuit hike, starting at Boundary Bridge just inside the Maryland/District line and following along Rock Creek, will be on natural surface trails with moderate uphill and downhill walking. Our leader is the author of City of Trees and knows this area well.
Members: $25; Nonmembers: $35
Registration required. Please use the registration form.

Saturday, November 14, 10am-3pm

Fall Hike on Sugarloaf
Leaders: Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Tina Thieme Brown

November is the perfect time for a hike to observe Sugarloaf Mountain’s rocky outcrops, free of summer shadows, and to develop an appreciation for the monadnock’s unique place in the historic Maryland Piedmont. There should still be some autumn color in the trees, and we’ll see fall fruits such as persimmons and hickory nuts. Common witch-hazel will be in bloom and we’ll work on winter diagnostics of Sugarloaf’s trees and shrubs. Bring binoculars to observe resident birds. Our leaders are co-authors of two books on Sugarloaf. Tina will give pointers on drawing in the field, and Melanie will share historic and geologic highlights of this popular destination. Our hike will be short (less than two miles), but will include uphill and downhill walking and a fairly steep ¼ mile hike up to the summit and back—all at a slow pace.
Members: $25; Nonmembers: $35
Registration required. Please use the registration form.

Monday, November 16, 8pm

Please join the Silver Spring Garden Club for:

City Of Trees: Washington, DC

Celebrate autumn and winter beauty and regional history through the trees! Join the author of City of Trees: The Complete Field Guide to the Trees of Washington, DC for a slide presentation on the history and botanic diversity of the capital city’s trees. Author Melanie Choukas-Bradley will highlight Washington’s trees from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson’s time to the present day. Learn how Washington, DC, came to be known as the "City of Trees" and why our historic canopy is more essential than ever in the 21st century. Melanie will share stunning visual images of trees through the seasons at the White House, Capitol, National Arboretum, Mount Vernon, Tidal Basin, and other storied locations.

Melanie Choukas-Bradley is also the author of two natural history books about Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland (illustrated by Tina Thieme Brown) and she has been a long-time free-lance contributor to The Washington Post and other publications. Melanie leads tree tours and field trips for the Audubon Naturalist Society, the Nature Conservancy, the US Botanic Garden, and Casey Trees and she teaches summer wildflower identification through the Natural History Field Studies Program of the Graduate School and ANS. She lectures widely and has been a guest on the Diane Rehm Show, the Kojo Nnamdi Show and All Things Considered. She was interviewed earlier this year on WAMU’s Metro Connection. In 2005, Melanie served as Programs and Education Director for the 25th anniversary celebration of Montgomery County Maryland’s nationally recognized Agricultural Reserve. As a staff member of the House Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Melanie played a major role in the first post-Love Canal Congressional hearing on hazardous waste disposal. The hearing was chaired by Al Gore. Melanie is a former news director for a New Hampshire radio station. She is Vice President of the Maryland Native Plant Society and she serves on the Chevy Chase Tree Ordinance Board. Melanie lives in Chevy Chase, MD with her husband, Jim, an energy attorney. Her daughter is in graduate school and her son is a college freshman.

WHEN: Monday, November 16, 8:00pm, doors open at 7:30pm
WHERE: Brookside Gardens Visitors Center/Education Building, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD
This event is FREE and is open to the general public.

Silver Spring Garden Club dues are just $10 per year per individual/couple/household. Please consider joining and supporting this great organization.

Feel free to forward this announcement on.

Nature photographs by Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Polly Alexander.

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