Please select the year for which you wish to view archived events.


November 17, 2013

Tree Tour: Rock Creek Park

Offered by Casey Trees

Leaders:  Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Explore some of the magnificent Washington, DC woodlands with City of Trees author Melanie Choukas-Bradley.

We’ll walk along a scenic stretch of Rock Creek beginning at Boundary Bridge on the Maryland-DC line, looking closely at bark, twigs, fruit and the last remaining leaves on the deciduous trees, learning to identify trees during late autumn. Large sycamores, white and green ashes, several maple species, American elms, cottonwoods, ironwoods, river birches, tulip trees, pawpaws and bladdernuts are among the trees we’ll encounter. We’ll pass a skunk cabbage swamp and switchback into an upland forest where extremely old oaks and beeches grow.

If weather permits, we’ll picnic on a dramatic rocky ledge crowned with American beech, blooming witch-hazel (the only native woody plant to blossom during autumn in our region), native azalea and mountain laurel. We’ll also see black walnuts and butternuts, three hickory species, and a nice specimen of hop-hornbeam as we mosey along the creek, through the upland woods and back to Boundary Bridge.

Getting There
Beach Drive is closed to vehicles on weekends south of the gate at the District line so you will have to approach the meeting location from the north. From DC take Connecticut Avenue north. Turn right on East-West Highway (east), turn right on Beach Drive (south). Take Beach Drive headed south to the district line where Rock Creek Park gate blocks the road on weekends. Park in the parking lot at the gate or along the road if the parking area is full.

The meeting location is at the parking lot just before the locked gate on Beach Drive. The closest intersection to the meeting location is listed above, Wyndale Road & Beach Drive.

Who Should Attend?
Open to the general public for anyone interested in learning about some of the beautiful specimens found in the forests located in Rock Creek and how to identify these species during late autumn.

Come Prepared
This event will take place rain or shine but will be postponed if weather is hazardous or miserable (such as heavy snow or heavy cold rain). Please dress in warm layers and bring rain gear if precipitation is possible.  Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes or boots that can get muddy. Bring water, snacks, lunch and (optional) binoculars (very good for looking at twigs and fruit). A small hand lens is also helpful for examining trees up close.

Site Information
This walk is along a loop trail which covers a distance of about 2.5 miles. There are no restrooms available on site.

Registration Information
Please register here.


November 10, 2013

Preparing for Winter at Carderock

Audubon Naturalist Society

Leaders:  Melanie Choukas-Bradley & Elizabeth Rives

In April, woody plant instructors Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Elizabeth Rives led our Budbreak at Carderock foray. In this hike, they’ll return to Carderock and the Billy Goat (B) Trail along the Potomac River to explore the woodlands as trees and shrubs let go of their last fall leaves, reveal their mature fruits, and set next year’s buds in prep for winter dormancy. We’ll examine and compare the fruits of many species, including hornbeam, hophornbeam, oaks, hickories, black walnut, American beech, sycamore, bladdernut, spice-bush and other woody plants. We’ll get a jump on winter botany by looking closely at twigs, buds, and bark, using Elizabeth’s TSI (tree scene investigation) techniques. Our hike will cover 1.5-2 miles of the towpath and parts of Billy Goat B, mostly at a leisurely naturalist’s crawl. Some stretches will be rocky, moderately steep, and possibly muddy. Registration required, please use registration form.

Sunday, November 10 (9:30 am-1:30 pm)
Members $24; nonmembers $34


October 26, 2013 - 9am-2pm

A Year at Boundary Bridge

Audubon Naturalist Society

Leader: Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Melanie Choukas-Bradley at Carderock
Photo by Sophie Choukas-Bradley

Join the author of City of Trees for our sixth year of hikes in one of Washington, DC's most beautiful wild areas. Starting at Boundary Bridge and following the same 2.5-mile loop trail each season, we'll explore the large trees, diverse shrubs, and exceptional wildflowers along a scenic stretch of Rock Creek. We'll also see and hear many species of birds, butterflies, and amphibians. On our winter walk, an ideal time to admire the Park's topography, we'll look and listen for winter flocks and identify many species of woody plants. In April, we'll witness the spring magic of Rock Creek's myriad wildflowers. As summer arrives in the Park, we'll hope for a glimpse of a kingfisher as we look for ferns and early seasonal wildflowers such as enchanter's nightshade. Autumn is glorious in Rock Creek Park, and we'll conclude our 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 will be on trails with moderate uphill and downhill walking. An ANS/Rock Creek Conservancy partnership.

Saturday (9am-2pm)
Members: $30; Nonmembers: $42

Registration required, please use registration form.


October 18, 2013

The Natural and Cultural History of the Ag Reserve

Audubon Naturalist Society

Friday, October 18 (10 am-3:30 pm)

Leaders:  Melanie Choukas-Bradley & Stephanie Mason

Members $30; nonmembers $42

Thirty-two years ago, with regional farmland rapidly diminishing, Montgomery County had the foresight to set aside more than 90,000 acres of farms and open space in the western and northern third of the county as an “Agricultural Reserve.” Come explore this scenic, biologically diverse area and learn how it contributes to clean air and water, the availability of fresh local produce, and the overall quality of life for residents of the metro area. Our trip will visit a working CSA farm, a fall produce and pumpkin stand, an historical site, and an artist’s studio, time permitting, to experience the rich diversity of plants and wildlife (and human livelihoods) that thrive in the Reserve’s fields, meadows, wetlands, and rocky woodlands. We’ll begin and end the tour in some of the beautiful parkland along its borders: Seneca Creek State Park and Dickerson Conservation Park, site of an American sycamore, officially the largest known tree in MD. Registration required, please use registration form.


October 13, 2013

Leaf-Peeping at Sugarloaf Mountain

Hike to Surgarloaf Mountain’s rugged summit and experience the natural, cultural and geological treasures of the Maryland Piedmont’s only mountain with Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of City of Trees: The Complete Field Guide to the Trees of Washington, DC, and Sugarloaf: The Mountain’s History, Geology and Natural Lore. Melanie will help us see the splendor of the forest for the trees as the first blush of autumn color enlivens our walk and we take in the mountain’s many ecological and cultural offerings. Be sure to bring a bag lunch for a picnic on the summit as we enjoy breathtaking views and keep an eye to the sky for a glimpse of migrating hawks!

Date: Sunday, October 13
Location: Dickerson, MD
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Skill Level: moderate
Cost: Free
To RSVP, please email: GetOutside@tnc.org, or you may call Lauren Ludi at: 301-897-8570, x239.


October 5, 2013

Sugarloaf Mountain Autumn Hike

Audubon Naturalist Society

Leaders: Melanie Choukas-Bradley & Tina Thieme Brown

Join the author and the illustrator of two books about Sugarloaf Mountain for an autumn equinox nature hike on Sugarloaf Mountain. We'll admire maturing fruits on oaks, hickories, black birch, witch-hazel and many other woody plants, and look for the first blush of color in the tupelo trees. Several species of wildflowers in the aster and mint families, plus great blue lobelia, should be blooming. We will hike for 1-1/2 miles at a slow pace, covering some steep sections of rocky trail. Depending on the whereabouts of flowering plants at the time of the hike, the leaders may create a car shuttle to cover more ground. Tina will give a field drawing demonstration and Melanie will describe the history and geology of Sugarloaf over lunch. Registration required, please use registration form.

Date: Saturday, October 5, 2013
Time: 10:00am - 3:00pm
Members $30; Nonmembers $41


September 22, 2013

Tree Tour: Treeathlon with Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Offered by Casey Trees

City of Trees News 

On the Fall Equinox 2013 Melanie led Casey Trees’ inaugural “Treeathlon.” Following a hiking & cycling tour of the Capitol & National Mall, the group kayaked around Theodore Roosevelt Island. Part of the jovial group of “treeathletes” poses with their medals at the Key Bridge Boathouse on the Georgetown waterfront. Read about the event in “The Leaflet.”

Start: September 22, 2013 9:00 am
End: September 22, 2013 3:00 pm

Address: Olmsted Summerhouse on the U.S. Capitol Grounds, New Jersey Ave. NW & Constitution Ave. Northwest, Washington, DC, 20001, United States

Jump start the fall season with Casey Trees’ first ever Treeathlon, a Washington, DC tree tour conducted via bicycle, on foot and by kayak or canoe!

We’ll meet with our bikes at Olmsted Summerhouse, a brick grotto on the northwest grounds of the U.S. Capitol, at 9:00 on Sunday, September 22nd, the first day of fall. We’ll then bike through the grounds and along the National Mall toward the Lincoln Memorial, stopping and walking to admire and learn about many of the historic and botanically noteworthy trees along the route. We’ll arrive at Key Bridge Boathouse on the Georgetown riverfront around noon, where we’ll enjoy a box lunch overlooking the Potomac River.

We’ll then hop into kayaks and canoes for a tree-viewing paddle around Theodore Roosevelt Island (to complete our athletic trio of events!).

For more information and to register for this event, please click here. Registration fee required. Space is limited.  


September 18- November 13, 2013

Fall Woody Plant Identification Course, Natural History Field Studies

Offered by the Graduate School USA and the Audubon Naturalist Society

Instructor: Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of City of Trees

The Natural History Field Studies Certificate Program is offered through Evening and Weekend Programs.

Fall Woody Plant Identification      
NATH7145E, 3 CEU
Autumn's glory is created by colorful trees and shrubs, so fall is the ideal time to study techniques of woody plant field identification. Participants study the major woody plant families and species found in the Central Atlantic's forest communities. Field trips feature the use of recognition characteristics and botanical keys to identify many local woody plants. Students should have a 10x hand lens.

Class Night and Time: Wednesdays, 7-9:15 pm
Class meetings: September 18 - November 13
Field Trip Dates: September 28, October 12, November 2
Location: Woodend Sanctuary, MD
Tuition: $355
Instructor: Melanie Choukas-Bradley
To Register Online: please click here.

Required reading: Trees of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada by William M. Harlow
Required reading: The Sibley Guide to Trees by David Allen Sibley, 2010
Recommended reading: City of Trees by Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Polly Alexander, 3rd edition
Recommended reading: Woody Plants of Maryland by Russell G. Brown and Melvin L. Brown (limited availability)

You may apply for the certificate program online. For more information on certificate courses offered, please contact the certificate counselor at (202) 314-3349 or certificates@graduateschool.edu.



July 18, 2013

Trees of the Regional Garden Tour

U.S. Botanic Garden

Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of City of Trees

Spend a summer evening learning to identify trees of the Mid-Atlantic Piedmont and Coastal Plain as you tour the Regional Garden. Melanie will teach you how to identify tupelo, hop-hornbeam, red buckeye, pawpaw, oaks, pines and many other native trees as you stroll 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. Please note: This tour is held outdoors. We suggest bringing sunscreen, protective clothing and water. The tour is canceled if it rains or during times of extreme heat (heat index of 95 degrees or higher/Code Red weather alert).

Time: Thursday, July 18, from 5 - 7pm
Location: Tour will meet on the National Garden Lawn Terrace
Friends: $15
Non-Members: $20
FREE: Pre-registration required

 


July 3-24, 2013

Natural History Field Studies Program

Co-Sponsored by the Graduate School USA
and the Audubon Naturalist Society

Summer Wildflower Identification
NATH 7149E, 1 credit
Class dates: July 3-24, 2013, Wednesdays, 7-9:30 pm
Field Trip dates: July 13 & 20. Optional kayaking field trip July 27.
Location: Woodend Sanctuary, MD
Tuition: $259
Instructor: Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Register Online

From milkweeds and morning glories to orchids and asters, summer presents a diverse array of wildflowers for study of plant family characteristics and ways to identify different species. Field trips to two scenic locations for summer wildflowers provide an opportunity for practice in the use of identification guides. Previous Spring Flower Identification class or similar course is recommended but not required. Field Trips Dates: July 13 and July 20, 2013. Optional Kayaking field trip on July 27, 2013.

This course is part of the Certificate of Accomplishment in Natural History Field Studies.

Melanie Choukas-Bradley is the author of three natural history books, including two botanical field guides, and she is a freelance contributor to The Washington Post. She leads many field trips for ANS. B.A., University of Vermont.
Required text: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide by Lawrence Newcomb.
Required text: Finding Wildflowers in the Washington-Baltimore Area by Cristol Fleming, Marion Blois Lobstein, Barbara Tufty.
Recommended: An Illustrated Guide to Eastern Woodland Wildflowers and Trees: 350 Plants Observed at Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland by Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Tina Thieme Brown. Instructor has loaner copies
.


June 29, 2013 - 9am-2pm

© Susan A. Roth

A Year at Boundary Bridge

Audubon Naturalist Society

Section C: June 29
Section D: October 26
Each walk members $30; nonmembers $42

Join the author of City of Trees for our seventh year of hikes in one of Washington, DC’s most beautiful wild areas. Starting at Boundary Bridge and following the same 2.5-mile loop trail each season, we’ll explore the large trees, diverse shrubs, and exceptional wildflowers along a scenic stretch of Rock Creek. We’ll also see and hear many species of birds, butterflies, and amphibians. On our winter walk, an ideal time to admire the Park’s topography, we’ll look and listen for winter flocks and identify many species of woody plants. In April, we’ll witness the spring magic of Rock Creek’s myriad wildflowers. As summer arrives in the Park, we’ll hope for a glimpse of a kingfisher as we look for ferns and early seasonal wildflowers such as enchanter’s nightshade. Autumn is glorious in Rock Creek Park, and we’ll conclude our 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 will be on trails with moderate uphill and downhill walking. An ANS/Rock Creek Conservancy Partnership. Registration required, please use registration form.



June 2, 2013, 10am - 1pm

Mountain Laurel and Other Heaths of Sugarloaf Mountain

Maryland Native Plant Society

Witness the blooming of the mountain laurel, the botanical event of the year at Sugarloaf Mountain, and see and learn about the mountain’s other heath family members. We will hike to the summit of Sugarloaf at a leisurely pace, stopping to identify and admire native plants in the heath family: blueberries, huckleberries, mountain laurel, pinxter, trailing arbutus and wintergreen. The heath family has been expanded to include striped or spotted wintergreen and Indian pipe, which we are also likely to see. Other woody plants along the trails and at the summit will be noted, including black jack oak and table mountain pine. We will also see some early summer wildflowers and ferns.

Field Trip Leader: Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Online Registration is required. Please register by May 31st. Trip limited to 25 participants.

Directions: Meet at the West View parking lot on Sugarloaf Mountain


May 19, 2013

Tree Tour: Lincoln’s Cottage with Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Casey Trees Event

Author and naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley will lead participants around the grounds of President Lincoln’s Civil War era summer home following a historic tour of the cottage conducted for Casey Trees.

President Lincoln spent about a quarter of his presidency living at the Lincoln Cottage and it is here that he developed the 150-year old Emancipation Proclamation. An ancient osage orange, several oak species, venerable ginkgoes, lindens, magnolias and a sugar maple (President Lincoln’s favorite tree species, according to his son, Robert) are among the trees we will see on the tour. Rock Creek Cemetery is adjacent to the cottage and we may pay a stop there after the cottage tree tour, time permitting. The cemetery is home to many historic trees, a famous sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and the gravesite of Alexander “Boss” Shepherd, who planted 60,000 trees during the 1870s as the second and last governor of DC, contributing to the lasting legacy known as the “City of Trees.”

The ticket cost includes both the tour of the cottage and the tour of the grounds. No refunds will be provided. However, since space is limited please let us know if you’re unable to make it and your reservation will be opened for someone else and your registration fee will be processed as a donation.

Getting There
The entrance to President Lincoln’s Cottage is the Eagle Gate, located at the intersection of Rock Creek Church Road NW and Upshur Street NW. The street address is approximately 140 Rock Creek Church Road, N.W., Washington DC  20011.  Free, on-site parking is available adjacent to the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center. The closest Metrorail station is Georgia Avenue-Petworth  (Green & Yellow Lines) which is 0.8 miles downhill from Eagle Gate. The closest Metrobus stops are immediately in front of the Eagle Gate entrance near Rock Creek Church Rd NW and Upshur Street NW (served by the H8) or at the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro station. There is a Capital Bike Share at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Rock Creek Church  Road, across from the metro station, where you can rent a bike. By bike, follow Rock Creek Church Road to Eagle Gate.

Instructor
Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of City of Trees If you would like to purchase an autographed copy of City of Trees to be picked up the day of the event, please email Melanie Choukas-Bradley (mcb@melaniechoukas-bradley.com) by May 15th. Each copy is $20. Cash or check, made out to Melanie, are accepted.

Who Should Attend?
Open to the general public for anyone interested in learning about the historic Lincoln Cottage and some of the interesting tree species found on the surrounding grounds.

Come Prepared
The cottage tour will begin promptly at noon so we ask that everyone meet at the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center by 11:45 a.m. After the hour-long cottage tour, the tree walk around the grounds will begin. This event will take place rain or shine barring severe weather so please wear appropriate clothing and comfortable walking shoes. Participants may wish to pack a snack and water.

Site Information
The walk will cover a slight distance over relatively even terrain. Restrooms are available at the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center where the tour begins.

Address: 140 Rock Creek Church Road Northwest, Washington, DC, 20011

Cost: $25.00


May 17 and May 18, 2013

Politics and Prose Event

THIS GREEN CITY
and its SPRING glory!

This class is now fully enrolled. Please email mravenscroft@politics-prose.com to be added to the waitlist.

Price:
Price: $50 ($40 members)

Date:
EVENING SESSION:
Politics & Prose, Friday, May 17, 6-8pm
TREE TOUR of the Capitol grounds, Saturday, May 18, 10:30am-1:00pm

Suggested Reading

Book: City of Trees: The Complete Field Guide to the Trees of Washington, DCby Melanie Choukas-Bradley with illustrations by Polly Alexander.

REFUND POLICY: Please note that we can only offer refunds within seven (7) days of the first class session.

On Friday, May 17, 6-8 p.m., join City of Trees author and natural history teacher Melanie Choukas-Bradley for a slide presentation about the arboreal history and botanic diversity of Washington, DC Melanie will share stunning visual images of the White House and Capitol grounds, Rock Creek Park, the National Arboretum, the Tidal Basin, Mount Vernon and many other storied landmarks in and around Washington, DC as she takes you on a historic tour of the “City of Trees.” Learn a secret side of political Washington: the love of trees that goes back to founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and has endured through the ages. Melanie will also teach the basics of tree identification using specimens of leaves and fruit, and she will give guidance for identifying Washington’s hundreds of native and international tree species.

On Saturday, May 18, meet in front of the United States Botanic Garden at 10:30 a.m. for a 2 ½ hour tour of the historic trees of the Capitol grounds. The lush and botanically diverse Capitol grounds were designed by the preeminent 19th century landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted—designer of New York City’s Central Park and many other North American landscapes—and they have been described as one of the world’s finest arboretums. We will explore the historic groves of the Capitol, admiring and learning about the trees that grace the grounds, including species from around the United States and the world. We will see giant sequoias, Kentucky coffee-trees, and numerous species of magnolia, oak, and maple. Many trees will be in peak spring bloom. The national champion Jujube tree and several official state trees and memorial plantings will be highlighted.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Melanie Choukas-Bradley is the author of three highly acclaimed natural history books, including City of Trees: The Complete Field Guide to the Trees of Washington, DC The Washington Post Book World called City of Trees: "…a splendid field guide—practical, botanically sound, and filled with good stories." Melanie leads tree tours and field trips for the Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS), the Nature Conservancy, the U S Botanic Garden and Casey Trees and she teaches two courses for the Natural History Field Studies Program of the Graduate School USA and ANS. Melanie lectures widely and has been a guest on the Diane Rehm Show, the Kojo Nnamdi Show and All Things Considered. She is on the Board of the Maryland Native Plant Society and she serves on the Chevy Chase Tree Ordinance Board and the Advisory Committee of the Montgomery Countryside Alliance.


Saturday, May 12, 2013 (10am-3pm)

Spring Hike on Sugarloaf Mountain

Audubon Naturalist Society

Leaders Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Tina Thieme Brown
Members $30; nonmembers $41

Join Sugarloaf author Melanie Choukas-Bradley and artist Tina Thieme Brown for an outing devoted to the botany, wildlife, geology, and history of Sugarloaf Mountain, a monadnock in the rural Piedmont northwest of Washington, DC. The 1.5-2.5 mile hike, with some uphill and downhill on rocky terrain, is timed to coincide with the flowering of many woodland plants, including pinxter, fringe-tree, Canada mayflower, several violet species, and possibly one or more orchids. Bring binoculars to look for Wood Thrushes, Worm-eating Warblers, Ravens, and other bird species. Tina will give a brief demonstration on illustrating plants in the field during our lunch break. Registration required, please use registration form.


May 4, 2013, 10:00am - 1:00pm

Spring Tree Tour of the Capitol Grounds

U.S. Botanic Garden

Spend a May morning strolling under the venerable trees that grace the U.S. Capitol grounds with Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of City of Trees. The lush and botanically diverse Capitol grounds were designed by the pre-eminent 19th century landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted--designer of New York City's Central Park and many other North American landscapes--and they have been described as one of the world's finest arboretums. We will explore the historic groves of the Capitol at the height of spring foliage and flower, admiring and learning about the trees that grace the grounds, including species from around the United States and the world. We hope to see magnolias, fringe-trees, buckeyes, horse-chestnuts and other flowering trees in bloom. The tour begins at the USBG Conservatory and continues to the Capitol. Learn some basics of tree identification and a secret side of political Washington: the love of trees that goes back to founding presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and led to the capital becoming known as the "City of Trees." Memorial trees planted by Members of Congress-- including one that is 100 years old--are among the trees on the tour. Hear arboreal highlights of the city's planning history and recommendations for local natural areas for further exploration. Please note: This tour is held outdoors. We suggest bringing sunscreen, protective clothing and water. The tour is canceled if it rains or during times of extreme heat (heat index of 95 degrees or higher/Code Red weather alert).

Date: Saturday, May 4
Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Tour meets on the Terrace by the entrance to the USBG Conservatory
FREE: Pre-registration required



For more information visit the Loudoun County Master Gardener website:
www.loudouncountymastergardeners.org or call
the Loudoun Extension Office if you have questions at 703-777-0373.


April 26 and 27, 2013

Can You ID a Tree? Workshop

U.S. Botanic Garden

Join City of Trees author and teacher Melanie Choukas-Bradley for a Friday evening tree ID workshop, followed by a Saturday morning tree ID session in the USBG Regional Garden. Spring is the perfect time to dust off your tree ID skills and there is no better place for study than the USBG's Regional Garden with its many native woody plant species. On Friday evening, Melanie will teach tree ID basics specific to our Washington, DC, native and cultivated tree populations. On Saturday morning, she'll lead the class through the Regional Garden to practice these new skills among the native trees in full leaf and flower. Please note: Registrants will receive a copy of City of Trees for use as a guide during this course. This course will be limited to 20 participants. Participants are invited to bring a bag lunch on Saturday to eat with Melanie after the program.

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday
Location: Lecture will meet in the Conservatory Classroom; Tour will meet on the Terrace by the entrance to the Conservatory
Friends: $15
Non-Members: $20
Pre-registration required.


Sunday, April 7, 9:30am – 1:30pm

Budbreak at Carderock

Audubon Naturalist Society

Where: Carderock (C&O Canal)

Leaders: Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Elizabeth Rives

Members $24; nonmembers $34

During spring in Washington, all eyes seem to be on the colorful wildflowers and showy migrating birds. But one of the greatest miracles of spring, the bursting buds of native trees and shrubs, is often overlooked. Join Natural History Field Studies woody plant ID teachers Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Elizabeth Rives for a walk devoted to the identification and admiration of native trees and shrubs as their buds break and their leaves and flowers emerge! The 2-3 mile hike will mostly follow the C&O canal towpath, but we will venture down to the Potomac River on Section B of the Billy Goat Trail for a portion of the hike. This stretch involves some scrambling over rocks, a few steep sections, and some up and down, but we will move at a slow pace. Trail conditions could be muddy. Registration required, please use registration form.


April 6, 2013 - 9am-2pm

Melanie Choukas-Bradley at Carderock
Photo by Sophie Choukas-Bradley

A Year at Boundary Bridge

Audubon Naturalist Society

Section B: April 6
Section C: June 29
Section D: October 26
Each walk members $30; nonmembers $42

Join the author of City of Trees for our seventh year of hikes in one of Washington, DC’s most beautiful wild areas. Starting at Boundary Bridge and following the same 2.5-mile loop trail each season, we’ll explore the large trees, diverse shrubs, and exceptional wildflowers along a scenic stretch of Rock Creek. We’ll also see and hear many species of birds, butterflies, and amphibians. On our winter walk, an ideal time to admire the Park’s topography, we’ll look and listen for winter flocks and identify many species of woody plants. In April, we’ll witness the spring magic of Rock Creek’s myriad wildflowers. As summer arrives in the Park, we’ll hope for a glimpse of a kingfisher as we look for ferns and early seasonal wildflowers such as enchanter’s nightshade. Autumn is glorious in Rock Creek Park, and we’ll conclude our 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 will be on trails with moderate uphill and downhill walking. An ANS/Rock Creek Conservancy Partnership. Registration required, please use registration form.



March 10, 2013 9am - 1pm

Casey Trees Event

Tree Tour: Carderock with Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Join City of Trees author Melanie Choukas-Bradley for a tree walk at Carderock, one of the most dramatically beautiful and botanically diverse areas near Washington, DC We’ll walk approximately 2 miles along the C&O Canal Towpath and the scenic Billy Goat B trail, stopping to identify and admire many trees in winter condition, just before they burst into leaf and flower. We will see hornbeams, hop-hornbeams, American and slippery elms, basswoods, several oak species, American beeches, large black walnuts, cottonwoods and sycamores, hickories, bladdernuts, spicebush and many other woody plant species. The trails skirt some of the most beautiful sections of the Potomac gorge south of Great Falls. We will walk at a leisurely pace but some stretches will be rocky, moderately steep and possibly muddy.

Come Prepared

This event will take place rain or shine barring severe weather so please wear appropriate clothing and closed toed shoes. We recommend participants wear layers and bring water and a snack.

Site Information

The walk will cover a moderate distance with some rocky and moderately steep terrain. Restrooms are available at the parking lot where the walk begins.

Click here for directions and to register


Saturday, February 23, 2013

United States Botanic Garden Event

Winter Tree Tour of the Capitol Grounds

Melanie Choukas-Bradley, Author of City of Trees

Winter is the best time to appreciate the architecture of the historic trees gracing the U.S. Capitol grounds. Meet on the Terrace in front of the entrance to the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory and stroll around the Capitol with Melanie Choukas-Bradley, admiring and learning about its magnificent trees from around the country and the world. Learn to identify Kentucky coffee-trees, Japanese pagoda trees, beeches, magnolias and dogwoods during winter. Melanie will focus on the bark, buds and overall growth habit of grand old trees, including many official state trees and memorial plantings. Giant sequoias and a massive willow oak are among the trees on the tour. Melanie will share history of the Capitol grounds and the city of Washington throughout the tour.

Code: TH022313

Date: Saturday, February 23

Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Location: Tour will meet on the Terrace by the entrance to the Conservatory

FREE: Pre-registration required: Visit www.usbg.go


February 16, 2013 - 9am-2pm

Audubon Naturalist Society Rock Creek Park Forays

A Year at Boundary Bridge

Saturdays (9am - 2pm)


© Susan A. Roth

Section A: February 16
Section B: April 6
Section C: June 29
Section D: October 26
Leader Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Each walk members $30; nonmembers $42; entire series $108/$150

Join the author of City of Trees for our seventh year of hikes in one of Washington, DC’s most beautiful wild areas. Starting at Boundary Bridge and following the same 2.5-mile loop trail each season, we’ll explore the large trees, diverse shrubs, and exceptional wildflowers along a scenic stretch of Rock Creek. We’ll also see and hear many species of birds, butterflies, and amphibians. On our winter walk, an ideal time to admire the Park’s topography, we’ll look and listen for winter flocks and identify many species of woody plants. In April, we’ll witness the spring magic of Rock Creek’s myriad wildflowers. As summer arrives in the Park, we’ll hope for a glimpse of a kingfisher as we look for ferns and early seasonal wildflowers such as enchanter’s nightshade. Autumn is glorious in Rock Creek Park, and we’ll conclude our 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 will be on trails with moderate uphill and downhill walking. An ANS/Rock Creek Conservancy Partnership.

Members: $26; Nonmembers: $36

Registration required. Please use the registration form.

Nature photographs by Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Polly Alexander.



©2017 Melanie Choukas-Bradley All rights reserved.
Site Design by Stone Graphics