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


Quick Guide to Fall Events —Click on the date for details or scroll down for complete guide.
September
9/22 US Botanic Garden: Autumn Equinox Evening Tree Tour (Full)
9/27 Smithsonian Associates: Rock Creek Park—Washington’s True Wild Side (Honoring the National Park Service Centennial) Evening Lecture & Book Signing
9/30 Smithsonian Associates: Rock Creek Park Daytime Bus Tour (Wait List)
October
10/8 DC EcoWomen: Rock Creek Park Nature Hike (Full)
10/12 Maryland Native Plant Society: Shinrin-Yoku or Forest Bathing Walk in Rock Creek Park (Full)
10/15 Politics & Prose: A Fall Walk Through Rock Creek Park with Melanie Choukas-Bradley & Susan Austin Roth (with 20% discount on A Year in Rock Creek Park) (Wait List)
10/26 Audubon Naturalist Society: Tour of Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve with Melanie Choukas-Bradley & Stephanie Mason
10/29 Audubon Naturalist Society: A Year at Boundary Bridge Series Autumn Walk (Wait List)

November

11/5 The Nature Conservancy: Family Hike in Rock Creek Park (Full) (Wait List)
11/6 Maryland Native Plant Society: Conifer Walk on Sugarloaf Mountain (Full)
11/12 United States Botanic Garden: Tree Tour of the Capitol Grounds (Full)
11/16 Audubon Naturalist Society: Fall Nature Hike on Sugarloaf Mountain with Melanie Choukas-Bradley & Tina Thieme Brown
11/18

The Association of Oldest Inhabitants of the District of Columbia: November’s Luncheon Event: "The History & Natural History of Rock Creek Park with Melanie Choukas-Bradley"

11/20 Rock Creek Conservancy: Shinrin-Yoku or Forest Bathing Walk in Rock Creek Park
11/30

Rachel Carson Council: Rachel Carson 75th Anniversary Jubilee Celebration and Colloquium

December
12/3 Rock Creek Conservancy: Nature Hike in Rock Creek Park

September 22, 2016

United States Botanic Garden

Tour: Autumn Equinox Evening Tree Tour

Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of City of Trees and A Year in Rock Creek Park.

Spend the evening of the Autumn Equinox strolling through the Regional Garden where fall fruits are maturing and the first splashes of leaf color are beginning to show through. Learn to identify trees of the Mid-Atlantic Piedmont and Coastal Plain as you tour the Regional Garden with Melanie. She will teach you how to identify tupelo, hop-hornbeam, red buckeye, pawpaw, common persimmon, oaks, and many other native trees. 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).

DATE: Thursday, September 22
TIME: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
LOCATION: Tour meets by the entrance to the Conservatory on the Terrace
Free. Preregistration required (202) 225-1116. This program is full.



September 27, 2016

Smithsonian Associates

Rock Creek Park: Washington’s True Wild Side
Honoring the National Park Service’s 100th Anniversary

Evening Program with Book Signing
Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 6:45pm-8:15pm

Location:
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)

Tickets: $20 for members, $30 for non-members

Quick Tix Code: 1B0-168

Please note if you would like to attend this program with a bus tour to Rock Creek Park on Sept. 30, please click here.

Right in the heart of Washington, DC, is one of the oldest and largest of the country’s urban national parks. Rock Creek Park, established by an Act of Congress in 1890, is made up of 2,100 acres of National Park land that stretches from Northwest DC, into Maryland. It’s twice the size of New York’s Central Park and as old as Yosemite National Park.

Local natural historian Melanie Choukas-Bradley talks about the park’s history andshares her impressions of its natural wonders, drawing on her book, A Year in Rock Creek Park – the Wild, Wooded Heart of Washington DC. The presentation, a virtual journey through the magnificent stream valley, focusing on the native plants of the Rock Creek Park flood plain, forests, and upland woods. She also talks about what needs to be done to ensure the survival of this remarkable wild space for generations to come.

Choukas-Bradley leads field trips and tree tours for the Audubon Naturalist Society, the Nature Conservancy, the Rock Creek Conservancy, the US Botanic Garden, the Maryland and Virginia Native Plant societies, and other organizations in and around the city.  

A Year in Rock Creek Park is available for signing.


September 30, 2016

Smithsonian Associates

A Rock Creek Park Tour
Honoring the National Park Service’s 100th Anniversary
(Wait List)

Daytime Bus Tour
Friday, September 30, 2016 - 9:30am-4:00pm

Location:
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)

Quick Tix Code: 1B0-169

This program is sold out.
Please call us at (202) 633-3030 to get on the Wait List. Additional tickets may become available or additional sessions may be added.

If you would like to attend a lecture about Rock Creek Park on Sept. 27, please click here.

Photo by Susan Austin Roth

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of our National Park System with a daylong guided visit to DC’s own contribution to that spectacular natural collection: Rock Creek Park.

Local natural historian Melanie Choukas-Bradley leads a tour of the wondrous sights, both manmade and natural, in the park.  Local experts and historians join the tour along the way to provide historical context and comment on some of the park’s natural highlights.

The tour includes walks through diverse terrain. Trails can be muddy, please wear appropriate ‘off-roading’ shoes and layers of comfortable clothing. Bring binoculars if you wish.

9:45 a.m. Thompson’s Boat House
It sits where Rock Creek meets the Potomac River, at mile marker 0 on the C&O canal.

10:15 a.m. Peirce Mill
Meet local historian Steve Dryden, who interprets this 19th-century mill, the remains of the historic orchard, and the fish ladder installed for spawning shad.

11:15 a.m.  Blagden Mill and Pulpit Rock
Before crossing the aptly named Boulder Bridge, see Teddy Roosevelt’s favorite spot for rock climbing.

11:45 a.m.  Rapids Bridge Nature Walk
Flood plain trees and plants, and the lovely Rapids Bridge footbridge.

12:15 p.m.  Glover Road Tree Walk on Western Ridge Trail
Flood plain vegetation gives way completely to upland woods—including a magnificent historic black walnut—within a distance of only a few yards.

12:45 p.m.  Boxed Lunch at Rock Creek Park Nature Center
Box turtles, foxes, and of course, deer, make their home in the park. Learn about the abundant wildlife in Rock Creek from Park Service naturalists.

1:45 p.m.  Milk House Ford and Joaquin Miller Cabin
Native Washingtonians may remember driving right across Rock Creek at Milk House Ford, where the water was only a few inches deep.

Eccentric poet Joaquin Miller (1837-1913) originally built this cabin in Meridian Hill Park, but it was moved to Rock Creek Park in the early 1900s. Miller and his cabin were a tourist attraction for years.

2:30 p.m.  Boundary Bridge
On the border between DC and Maryland, Boundary Bridge was constructed by the Public Works Administration in the 1930s. The bridge leads to a footpath bordered by towering Sycamores, and abundant wildflowers.

Please note: The bus leaves in front of the S. Dillon Ripley Center and will return to this location at the tour’s end.


October 8, 2016

DC EcoWomen

Rock Creek Park Nature Hike

(To register, visit http://dc.ecowomen.org/events/226/walking-tour-of-rock-creek-park/)


October 12, 2016

Maryland Native Plant Society

Shinrin-yoku or Forest Bathing Walk in Rock Creek Park

When: 10/12/16 9:30am-12:30PM
Location: NW DC

ONLINE REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Limited to 15.
Registration through September 12 for members only.

FREE 

Register here.

Join MNPS and natural history author Melanie Choukas-Bradley for our first Shinrin-Yoku or Forest Bathing walk and learn about the health benefits of spending time immersed in nature. 

We will meet in the Pinehurst Branch area of Rock Creek Park for a quiet, slow walk through the floodplain forest. While we will walk beneath tall trees and see autumn wildflowers blooming, Melanie says that Shinrin-Yoku is “more about being than IDing.” 

Numerous health studies in Japan, North America and around the world have demonstrated measurable improvements in physical health and mood following sensory immersion in nature, including lowered blood pressure, lowered levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increased immunity to disease. 

Melanie will share some simple techniques she has learned to help us connect more deeply with the beauty and wonder of Rock Creek Park and its tree canopy.  She has a lightweight portable forest bathing stool to lend to each participant for the duration of the walk. We will be sitting by Pinehurst Branch for part of the time. 

Feel free to contact Melanie mailto:mcb@melaniechoukas-bradley.com if you have any questions about the walk.

Leader:  Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Notes:There are no restrooms at our meeting place. There are restrooms at the Rock Creek Park Nature Center, 5200 Glover Road, 1.3 miles south of our meeting place. Nature Center opens at 9:00 a.m. 

Please arrive on time or notify the trip leader if you are going to be late as the introduction to this walk will be important.

Bring: Bring water and snacks, wear sunscreen and protect yourself from ticks.

Cancellation Policy:  This event will take place in a light rain. However, in the event of inclement weather where safety could be jeopardized or conditions would be very unpleasant, the tour will be rescheduled.

Contact: (for additional information; not to register)  
Melanie Choukas-Bradley 301-502-7410 

Directions: included in registration confirmation


October 15, 2016

Politics & Prose

A Fall Walk through Rock Creek Park
     with Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Susan Austin Roth (Wait List)

When: 9:30am to approximately 1:30pm

Join Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Susan Austin Roth, the author and photographer of A Year in Rock Creek Park—the Wild, Wooded Heart of Washington, DC, for a walk under the trees in the Boundary Bridge area of the park, which was created in 1890 and celebrates its 126th anniversary this year. Melanie and Susan are naturalists who frequently lead guided walks in the park. They are intimately acquainted with the trees and wildflowers growing along Rock Creek. Melanie and Susan will share their love of nature and knowledge of the area’s wildlife, including how to identify various species of trees. See the blaze of autumn glory in the trees as we learn to identify them by their acorns, nuts, and other fall fruits. The fragrant native witch-hazel will be in bloom, and we’ll keep our eyes out for fall wildflowers, too. The group may catch the calls of pileated woodpeckers in the tall trees or the loud chatter of a belted kingfisher cruising the creek for fish, all while exploring some of the author’s and photographer’s favorite spots. These include Boundary Bridge, the Skunk Cabbage Swamp, the Laurel Ledge, and the Meditation Rock.

The tour will take place on Saturday, October 15, from 9:30 a.m. to roughly 1:30 p.m. The group will meet at the Boundary Bridge parking lot found along Beach Drive, where attendees can park. To get there, take the East-West Highway (Route 410) east from Connecticut Avenue (a right-hand turn if driving north on Connecticut from DC and a left-hand turn if driving south from the Beltway). Take the East-West Highway to Beach Drive and turn right (south) and drive to the locked gate across Beach Drive at the District line. Park in the parking lot just before the gate or along the road if the parking lot is full. Note: Beach Drive is closed to motorized vehicles south of the park gate on weekends.

Because the tour will last at least three hours, attendees are encouraged to bring water, snacks, and/or a light lunch. In addition, depending on the day’s weather, sunscreen and bug spray may be needed. Bring binoculars if you wish.

We will cover up to 2 ½ miles at a slow hiking pace with some elevation change on hiking trails. There are no restrooms at the meeting location or along the route.

For more information, contact Justin Stephani at jstephani@politics-prose.com.

NOTE: Those buying both a spot on the walk and a copy of Melanie and Susan's A Year in Rock Creek Park—the Wild, Wooded Heart of Washington, DC will receive 20% off the list price of the book!

Return Policy: Refunds are only guaranteed up to seven days before the trip.

A Year in Rock Creek Park: The Wild, Wooded Heart of Washington, DC Cover Image

A Year in Rock Creek Park: The Wild, Wooded Heart of Washington, DC (Paperback)

By Melanie Choukas-Bradley, Susan Austin Roth (Photographer) $29.95 9781938086243 In Stock—Click for Available Locations George F. Thompson Publishing - December 12th, 2014

October 26, 2016

Audubon Naturalist Society

Tour of Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve
   with Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Stephanie Mason

Wednesday, October 26 (10am-4pm)
Leaders: Melanie Choukas-Bradley & Stephanie Mason
Members $30; nonmembers $42

Thirty-four 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 perhaps 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. 


October 29, 2016

Audubon Naturalist Society

A Year at Boundary Bridge

Saturdays (9am-2pm)
Section D: October 29

Leader: Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Each walk members $30; nonmembers $42

Join the author of the award-winning book, A Year in Rock Creek Park—the Wild, Wooded Heart of Washington, DC, for our 10th year of hikes in one of DC's most beautiful wild areas. Celebrating the National Park Service's Centennial during 2016, we'll start at Boundary Bridge and follow the same 2.5 mile loop trail each season, admiring and IDing the rich plant life along a scenic stretch of Rock Creek. We'll also see and hear many species of birds, butterflies, and amphibians. Melanie will introduce the Japanese concept of "forest bathing" or shinrin-yoku, a mindful and sensory form of nature meditation with proven health benefits, during a portion of each of her 2016 walks. On our winter walk, an ideal time to admire the Park's topography, we'll look and listen for winter flocks, identify many species of woody plants, and find the first skunk cabbages in bloom. 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 hike will be on trails with moderate uphill and downhill walking. An ANS/Rock Creek Conservancy Partnership.


November 5, 2016

The Nature Conservancy

Family Hike in Rock Creek Park

November 05, 2016
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Rock Creek Park
Boundary Bridge parking lot on Beach Drive

*** THIS EVENT IS FULL (10/4) *** Space was limited for this event and we have reached capacity. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list please contact Sarah Hamang at 240-630-7041 or email shamang@tnc.org.

Join The Nature Conservancy and Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of A Year in Rock Creek Park and City of Trees, for a family nature hike in Rock Creek Park!

We will gear our walk to suit the ages of your children with lots of stops to explore the wonders of the forest including the aerodynamics of winged seeds! 

If weather and children’s abilities permit, we’ll picnic on a dramatic rocky ledge crowned with American beech, pinxter flower, mountain laurel and blooming witch-hazel.

The timing of the walk should coincide with late fall color and allow for the study of many different types of autumn fruits: acorns of several oak species, three species of hickory, black walnut, hop-hornbeam and many others.

We’ll walk along a scenic stretch of Rock Creek beginning at Boundary Bridge on the Maryland-DC line. Sycamores, maples, American elms, cottonwoods, ironwoods, river birches, tulip trees, pawpaws, spicebush and bladdernuts are among the woody plants we’ll encounter. 

We’ll pass a skunk cabbage swamp and switchback into an upland forest where extremely old oaks and beeches grow (ages and abilities of children permitting).

To Register
This free walk is limited to 20 participants, including children. Preregistration is required via email to getoutside@tnc.org or by phone to (240) 630-7041. In your message, please include the ages and abilities of your children if you are planning to bring them so that we can plan appropriately for the hike.
What to expect
We will be covering up to 2 ½ miles at a slow pace (depending on the ages and abilities of children), with some moderate elevation change.

Please note: there are no restrooms at our meeting place.

Wear sturdy boots or shoes with good soles as trails may be muddy. This is a rain or shine event, unless conditions are dangerous or miserable. Wear sunscreen and bring water, snacks and a light lunch.

Meet our Guide
Melanie Choukas-Bradley is the author of four critically acclaimed books about the natural history of Washington, DC and Sugarloaf Mountain, MD. She is a naturalist and teacher who enjoys leading nature walks throughout the Washington area and at Sugarloaf Mountain for many non-profit organizations. Her most recent book, A Year in Rock Creek Park—the Wild, Wooded Heart of Washington, DC, won an independent publishers’ IPPY award in 2015 for mid-Atlantic nonfiction. Melanie received one of Casey Trees’ inaugural canopy awards in 2014 for her efforts to educate the public about the historic and botanically diverse trees of Washington.  

November 6, 2016

Maryland Native Plant Society

Conifer Walk on Sugarloaf Mountain

Table Mountain Pines and Other Pines and Deciduous Woody Plants of Sugarloaf Mountain

November 6, 2016
10:00am to 2:00pm
Sugarloaf Mountain, Frederick County

FREE 

We will meet at the West View parking lot on Sugarloaf Mountain and hike to the summit on the short steep Green Trail at a leisurely pace. We will see and learn about four native pine species, including the intriguing table mountain pines that grace Sugarloaf’s summit. We will also see and study several native oak species, including chestnut, red, black, white and blackjack. Witch-hazel will be in full bloom and we’ll see many black birches, tupelos, mockernut and pignut hickories, sassafras and persimmon. We’ll also encounter several heath family members. We will pause on the rocky summit for a picnic lunch under the table mountain pines, returning to West View via the Red and Blue Trails.

Late autumn views of Montgomery County’s Ag Reserve, the Monocacy River Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains from the quartzite summit are spectacular!

Leader: Melanie Choukas-Bradley (author of two books about Sugarloaf Mountain)

ONLINE REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Limited to 20. Registration through October 12 for members only.

Bring: Light lunch/snack. Water. Binoculars, hand lens, field guides, optional. Dress for the weather keeping in mind that the summit of Sugarloaf is about 3 degrees cooler and often windier than Baltimore and Washington.

Cancellation Policy:
We will cancel in a heavy rain or if conditions are dangerous or miserable.

Contact: (for additional information; not to register)
Email and/or phone mcb@melaniechoukas-bradley.com. Cell: 301-502-7410.

Directions: included in registration confirmation. 


November 12, 2016

United States Botanic Garden

Fall Tree Tour of the Capitol Grounds

When: 10am to 1pm
Location: Tour meets by the entrance to the Conservatory on the Terrace
Free. Preregistration required (202) 225-1116. This program is full.

Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of City of Trees and A Year in Rock Creek Park.
Autumn is a magnificent time to appreciate the architecture and colorful foliage of the historic trees that grace the U.S. Capitol grounds. Stroll around the Capitol, admiring and learning about grand old tree specimens from around the country and the world, including many official state trees and memorial plantings. Melanie Choukas-Bradley will focus on autumn fruits and leaves, and teach how to identify diverse species of oak, maple, beech, buckeye, and many other trees. She will share history of the Capitol Grounds and the city of Washington. Binoculars optional, but recommended. Participants are encouraged to bring their own brown bag lunch to enjoy with Melanie after the tour. Please note: This tour is held outdoors. We suggest bringing sunscreen, protective clothing, and water. The tour is canceled if it rains. Hearing aid compatible assistive listening devices are available during the tour.


November 16, 2016

Audubon Naturalist Society

Fall Hike on Sugarloaf Mountain
    with Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Tina Thieme Brown

Wednesday, November 16 (10am-3pm)
Members $30; Nonmembers $42

The author and the artist on two books about Sugarloaf Mountain team up once again for a seasonal nature hike on our local monadnock. We’ll explore the preserve’s botany, wildlife, geology, and history while covering 2-2.5 miles. We’ll search for late-season wildflowers and the maturing fruits of oaks, hickories, black birch and other woody plants. Fall color should be lingering, and witch hazel just coming into bloom. Our ears will be open for the sounds of wildlife, including Ravens, Eastern Towhees, and active Chipmunks. During lunch, Tina will offer pointers on drawing in the field. Our hike includes uphill/ downhill walking over rocky trails and a fairly steep ¼ mile hike up to the summit—all at a leisurely pace.

To register online, please click here.


November 18, 2016

The Association of Oldest Inhabitants of the District of Columbia

November’s Luncheon Event: "The History & Natural History of Rock Creek Park with Melanie Choukas-Bradley"

Please join us…

Friday, Nov. 18, at the Capitol Skyline Hotel (free Parking) 10 I (‘eye’) Street, SW. (Metro Rail to Navy Yard Station), Social Time (cash bar) 11:45 a.m., Luncheon served at 12:30 p.m.

($35 per person - please make your check payable to “AOI” and have it completed prior to arrival or bring exact payment).

Reservations are a must! Otherwise your food preference may be unavailable. RSVP to our voice mail 202-342-1865, not later than noon Tues., Nov. 15, 2016.

This voice mail box number is the only means to make a reservation. Late reservations make planning very difficult for us and failure by you to cancel prior to Noon on Thurs., 11/17, will result in you being charged. Please be prepared to leave your name, the number in your party, your guest’s names for name tags, your meal preferences (Grilled Salmon with Kang Pao sauce, Grilled Skyline Chicken Breast, Grilled Black Angus Flank Steak, or Braised Ratatouille of Vegetables) and a telephone number where you may be contacted should we have a question or a last-minute event cancellation.


November 20, 2016

Rock Creek Conservancy

Shinrin-yoku or Forest Bathing Walk in Rock Creek Park

With author/naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Sunday, November 20th, 9:30- approximately 12:30

Join the Rock Creek Conservancy and Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of A Year in Rock Creek Park and City of Trees, for our inaugural Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing walk. We will meet in the Pinehurst Branch area of Rock Creek Park for a mindfulness walk under the tall trees near the scenic tributary. For more than 30 years, the forest agency of Japan has encouraged Japanese citizens to spend quiet time in the forest, taking in the sights, sounds, smells and tactile sensations of nature. Numerous health studies in Japan, North America and around the world have demonstrated measurable improvements in physical health and mood following sensory immersion in nature, including lowered blood pressure, lowered levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and increased immunity to disease. See the National Geographic January 2016 article: “This is Your Brain on Nature” and The Washington Post’s“’Forest Bathing is Latest Fitness Trend to Hit U.S. –‘Where Yoga Was 30 Years Ago,’” May 17, 2016.  Melanie will share some simple techniques she has learned to help us connect more deeply with the beauty and wonder of the forest and waters that the Rock Creek Conservancy works so hard to protect. (Melanie is training with the California Bay-area Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs with certification expected in November.)

Registration: Walk limited to 15 participants. Preregistration required. Cost per ticket is $20. INTERESTED PARTICIPANTS CAN PURCHASE TICKETS HERE!

Meeting Place and Directions: We will meet at the intersection of 6800 Oregon Avenue and 3000 Beech Street, NW. (Note, this is Beech Street, not Beach Drive.) The meeting place is 1 mile north of Military Road and .4 miles north of Nebraska Avenue on Oregon Avenue. From Connecticut Avenue, NW take Western Avenue east from the Chevy Chase Circle at the DC/MD line. In one mile turn right on Beech Street and take it to Oregon Avenue. There is parking along Beech Street near Oregon.

Please note: There are no restrooms at our meeting place. There are restrooms at the Rock Creek Park Nature Center, 5200 Glover Road, 1.3 miles south of our meeting place. Nature Center opens at 9:00 a.m.

What to Wear and Bring: Wear warm comfortable clothing and dress in layers for the weather. Wear sturdy shoes with good soles as trails may be muddy. This is a rain or shine event, unless conditions are dangerous or miserable. Wear sunscreen and bring water and snacks.

What to Expect: We will be walking very slowly and covering a distance of about a mile during our 2-3 hour forest bathing walk. We will provide light portable canvas chairs that we encourage you to carry for the sitting portions of the walk. (Given the slow pace of the walk, extra layers of clothing are recommended for comfort.)


November 30, 2016

Rachel Carson Council

Rachel Carson 75th Anniversary Jubilee Celebration and Colloquium

November 30, 2016
Click here for full program

You are cordially invited to join us to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s historic arrival on the American environmental and literary scene with her beloved first book, Under the Sea-Wind. Hear and meet leading authors, environmental leaders, and members of Congress at the Rachel Carson Council’s all-day, one-of-a-kind event on Wednesday, November 30, on Capitol Hill. Click here for map and directions.

Thanks to generous donors to the Rachel Carson Council, “A Sense of Wonder: A National Rachel Carson Jubilee and Civic Colloquium,” is entirely free including breakfast, a luncheon speech by award-winning author and advocate Sandra Steingraber, an authors’ book signing, and our gala evening reception at the Top of the Hill Conference Center, directly across from the U.S. Capitol.

But you must register to attend this free event. Please take a moment to sign up now since we anticipate a full house.

Our confirmed award-winning authors include Sandra Steingraber, Living Downstream; Jennifer Ackerman, The Genius of Birds; Deborah Cramer, The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, An Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey; Kristen Iversen, Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Shadow of Rocky Flats; Melanie Choukas-Bradley, A Year in Rock Creek Park; Susan Cohen, Shorewords, as well as the RCC’s own Bob Musil, Rachel Carson and Her Sisters and Washington in Spring. Their books will be available for purchase and personal signing. 


December 3, 2016

Rock Creek Conservancy

Nature Hike in Rock Creek Park

Saturday, December 3, 2016, 9:30-1:30

Join the Rock Creek Conservancy and Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of A Year in Rock Creek Park and City of Trees, for a late autumn nature hike in the floodplain forest and upland woods of Rock Creek Park. We’ll walk along a scenic stretch of Rock Creek beginning at Boundary Bridge on the Maryland-DC line. Sycamores, maples, American elms, cottonwoods, ironwoods, river birches, tulip trees, pawpaws and bladdernuts are among the woody plants we’ll encounter. We’ll pass a skunk cabbage swamp and switchback into an upland forest where extremely old oaks and beeches grow. The timing of the walk should allow for the study of many different types of autumn fruits: acorns of several oak species, three species of hickory, black walnut, hop-hornbeam and many others.

If weather permits, we’ll picnic on a dramatic rocky ledge crowned with American beech, pinxterflower, mountain laurel and blooming witch-hazel.


Registration: Walk limited to 20 participants. Preregistration required. The cost of the event is $20 per participant. INTERESTED PARTICIPANTS CAN PURCHASE TICKETS HERE.

Meeting Place and Directions: The Boundary Bridge parking lot, Beach Drive. Take East-West Highway (Route 410) east from Connecticut Avenue (a right-hand turn if driving north on Connecticut from DC and a left-hand turn if driving south from the Beltway). Take East-West Highway to Beach Drive and turn right (south) and drive to the locked National Park Service gate across Beach Drive at the District line (beyond the right-hand intersection of Wyndale Road). Park in the parking lot just before the NPS gate or along the road if the parking lot is full. Please note that Beach Drive is closed south of the NPS gate so you will have to approach the meeting place from the north.

Please note: there are no restrooms at our meeting place.

What to Wear and Bring: Wear warm comfortable clothing and dress in layers for the weather, keeping in mind that we will be stopping often to look at trees so extra layers may be required. Wear sturdy boots or shoes with good soles as trails may be muddy. This is a rain or shine event, unless conditions are dangerous or miserable. Wear sunscreen and bring water, snacks and a light lunch.

What to Expect: We will be covering 2 ½ miles at a slow pace, with some moderate elevation change.

Register Rock Creek Park on the Move    |    The Boundary Bridge parking lot, Beach Drive



August 7, 2016

Audubon Naturalist Society

Forest Bathing Walk

Sunday, August 7 (9:30 am-12:30 pm)
Leader:  Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Members $24; nonmembers $34
Register here.

We are happy to offer a Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing walk on a farm in Comus, MD near Sugarloaf Mountain. Numerous studies in Japan, Europe and North America have demonstrated the health benefits of spending quiet time immersed in nature, including lowered levels of the stress hormone cortisol, lowered blood pressure, increased immune system function, and elevated mood (things that ANS members already knew!). We will walk less than a mile at a slow pace and spend quiet time sitting and watching summer wildflowers and nectaring butterflies.  Our leader says this walk is “more about being than IDing.” She has portable forest bathing stools to loan to each participant for the duration of the foray. Melanie welcomes any questions about this new form of nature meditation, which evolved from practices in Japan and Korea: mcb@melaniechoukas-bradley.com.


August 6, 2016

Audubon Naturalist Society

Morning Paddle on the Potomac 
Saturday, August 6 (9-11 am)
Leaders: Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Sujata Roy
Members $20; nonmembers $28 (does not include canoe/kayak rental fee)
Register here.

Spend a summer morning with two wildflower instructors paddling along the shoreline of the Potomac River. We’ll be looking for seasonal blooms, such as cardinal flower, monkey flowers, Virginia dayflower, vervains, mallows, shrubby St. John’s-wort, swamp milkweed, false dragonweed, pickerelweed, and many other colorful riparian species. We will also hope to glimpse a bald eagle or osprey flying overhead, in addition to herons, ducks, turtles, dragonflies, butterflies and other aquatic life. Rent a canoe or kayak at Fletcher’s boathouse, or bring your own. Both single and double kayaks and canoes are available. Bring binoculars and your wildflower field guide in a zip-locked bag. NOTE: registration fee does not include boat rental.


July 10, 2016

Casey Trees

Paddling Tour around Theodore Roosevelt Island

July 10, 2016 9:30am - 12:30pm
Key Bridge Boathouse
3500 Water St., NW, Washington, DC 20007

Register here.

Join Casey Trees and author/naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley for a mid-summer paddle around Theodore Roosevelt Island. We will tour the trees of the Theodore Roosevelt Island shoreline from our kayaks and canoes, pausing to admire and learn about the sycamores, maples, basswoods, cottonwoods, river birches, musclewood trees and many other woody plant species growing along the Potomac. There is a special magic to paddling right up under magnificent trees and drifting quietly beneath their branches! The views of the Lincoln Memorial, Kennedy Center and Georgetown waterfront are magnificent from the water and we may catch the soaring action of a bald eagle or osprey!

Instructor

Melanie Choukas-Bradley— naturalist and author of City of Trees and A Year in Rock Creek Park

Who Should Attend?
Open to the general public for anyone interested in learning about the wetland and forest ecology surrounding Theodore Roosevelt Island. No previous paddling experience required.

Registration
$30 per person. The registration fee covers the kayak, life jacket, and paddle rentals.

Advance registration is required; space is limited. Register here.

Please note refunds will not be issued. If you are unable to attend, please let us know prior to the day of and your registration fee will be processed as a donation to Casey Trees.

Come Prepared
This event will take place rain or shine. To ensure you enjoy your experience with us:

  • Dress for the event and weather. Be prepared for rain if forcasted. 
  • Wear layers and comfortable walking shoes.
  • Consider bringing binoculars, hand lenses, field guides, and notebooks. 

Site Information
We will meet at the Key Bridge Boathouse and kayak for approximately 2 hours covering a moderate distance around Theodore Roosevelt Island.

Restrooms and changing rooms will be available before and after the paddling tour at the boathouse.

Getting There
Parking: Key Bridge Boathouse is located at the very end of K Street, which turns into Water street. From Georgetown, follow Wisconsin Ave down toward the waterfront, taking a right onto K St/Water St.

Parking is extremely limited, but there is free 3-hour parking across the street, and a parking garage up by the Lowes Movie Theater.

Public Transportation:
From Rosslyn Metro (¾ mile): walk across Key Bridge and take the stairs on either side down to the canal. There are footbridges across the canal that lead to stairs on Water St. Walk back toward the bridge and we are located directly below Key Bridge!

From Foggy Bottom Metro (1 mile): From the rotary, walk West on K street toward the waterfront. If you follow the waterfront park, it is located just on the other side of Key Bridge.



June 12, 2016

Casey Trees

Forest Bathing at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

June 12, 2016
9:30am - 12:30pm

Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens
1550 Anacostia Avenue NE,
Washington, DC, 20012

Join Casey Trees and author/naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley for the second in our series of “shinrin-yoku” or forest bathing walks—walks which will take us to all four quadrants of Washington, D.C. during 2016. We will meet at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens for a mindfulness walk under the trees growing near the marsh and water gardens — a magical realm where dragonflies and butterflies hover above fragrant flowering plants, turtles bask and bald eagles and ospreys patrol the waters for fish.

Numerous health studies in North America and around the world have demonstrated measurable improvements in physical health and mood following sensory immersion in nature, including lowered blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Melanie will share some simple techniques she has learned to help us connect more deeply with the beauty and wonder of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and the Washington, D.C. tree canopy that Casey Trees and our volunteers have been working to restore, enhance and protect for 15 years.

Stay tuned for more forest meditation walks later this year!

Instructors

Melanie Choukas-Bradley— naturalist and author of City of Trees and A Year in Rock Creek Park

Registration
Advance registration is required; space is limited. Register here.

Who Should Attend?
This tour is ideal for anyone who would like to learn about the health benefits of spending time in nature.

Come Prepared
This event will take place rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather where safety could be jeopardized, the tour will be rescheduled.

To ensure you enjoy your experience with us:

  • Dress for the event and weather. Be prepared for rain if forecast.
  • Wear layers and comfortable hiking boots or shoes that can get muddy.
  • Apply sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • Bring water and snacks.

Getting There
The closest Metorail station is Deanwood (Orange Line) which is a 20 minute walk from Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens. The Metrobus stop is near the  intersection of Eastern and Olive Street NE (served by the W4 and V8) or the Deanwood Metro station (served by the V8 and W4). There is also free parking available in the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens lot, which is the meeting spot for the walk.

Site Information
We will be walking very slowly and covering a short distance during our 3 hour forest bathing walk. We will provide light portable canvas chairs that you are welcomed to carry for the sitting portions of the walk. There are restrooms on site.


June 11, 2016

Audubon Naturalist Society

A Year at Boundary Bridge

Saturdays (9 am-2 pm)
Section C: June 11
Section D: October 29
Leader: Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Each walk members $30; nonmembers $42
Entire series $102/$143

Join the author of the award-winning book, A Year in Rock Creek Park—the Wild, Wooded Heart of Washington, DC, for our 10th year of hikes in one of DC’s most beautiful wild areas. Celebrating the National Park Service’s Centennial during 2016, we’ll start at Boundary Bridge and follow the same 2.5 mile loop trail each season, admiring and IDing the rich plant life along a scenic stretch of Rock Creek. We’ll also see and hear many species of birds, butterflies, and amphibians. Melanie will introduce the Japanese concept of “forest bathing” or shinrin-yoku, a mindful and sensory form of nature meditation with proven health benefits, during a portion of each of her 2016 walks. On our winter walk, an ideal time to admire the Park’s topography, we’ll look and listen for winter flocks, identify many species of woody plants, and find the first skunk cabbages in bloom. 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 hike will be on trails with moderate uphill and downhill walking. An ANS/Rock Creek Conservancy Partnership.

To register, please click here.


June 1, 2016

Montgomery County Cable Channel 21
"Forward Motion" hosted by Karen Allyn

Television Interview: “A Year in Rock Creek Park”

Airtimes:

Jun 1st 4 pm
Jun 10 4 pm
Jun 16th 4 pm
July 21
4 pm
Sept 7 9 pm
Sept 11
10:30 pm

Check back later for additional airtimes.


April 3, 2016

Audubon Naturalist Society

Budbreak at Carderock

Sunday, April 3 (9:30 am-1:30 pm)
Leaders: Melanie Choukas-Bradley & 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 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 start to emerge! The leisurely 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.

Registration required. For registration information, email Pam Oves or call Pam at 301-652-9188 x16. To register for a program, please mail or fax the registration form or register online. To download mail-in registration form, click here. To register online, go to http://www.anshome.org/index.php/nature-programs-2/adults#April, and click on the large button "RegisterOnline."


March 20. 2016

Casey Trees

Forest Bathing Walk on the First Day of Spring

March 20, 2016
9:30am - 12:30pm

Rock Creek Park
Beach Drive and Wyndale Road, Washington, DC, 20012

Join Casey Trees and author/naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley for our inaugural “shinrin-yoku” or forest bathing walk, the first in a series of forest bathing walks that will take us to all four quadrants of Washington, D.C. during 2016. We will meet in the Boundary Bridge area of Rock Creek Park for a mindfulness walk under the tall trees of the floodplain forest on the first day of spring. Numerous health studies in North America and around the world have demonstrated measurable improvements in physical health and mood following sensory immersion in nature, including lowered blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Melanie will share some simple techniques she has learned to help us connect more deeply with the beauty and wonder of the tree canopy that Casey Trees and our volunteers have been working to restore, enhance and protect for 15 years.

Stay tuned for more forest bathing walks later this year!

Instructor


Melanie Choukas-Bradley— naturalist and author of City of Trees and A Year in Rock Creek Park

Registration
Advance registration is required; space is limited. Register here.

Who Should Attend?
This tour is ideal for anyone who would like to learn about the health benefits of spending time in nature.

Come Prepared
This event will take place rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather where safety could be jeopardized, the tour will be rescheduled.

To ensure you enjoy your experience with us:

  • Dress for the event and weather. Be prepared for rain if forecast.
  • Wear layers and comfortable hiking boots or shoes that can get muddy.
  • Apply sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • Bring water and snacks.

Getting There
Our meeting location will be the Boundary Bridge parking area located approximately at Beach Drive and Wyndale Road. Detailed directions will be emailed to registered participants a few days before the walk.

Please note: There are no restrooms at our meeting place. 

Site Information
We will be walking very slowly and covering a short distance during our 3 hour forest bathing walk. We will provide light portable canvas chairs that you are welcomed to carry for the sitting portions of the walk.



March 5, 2016

United States Botanic Garden

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. 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 Choukas-Bradley 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 Choukas-Bradley will share history of the Capitol grounds and the city of Washington throughout the tour.

Please note: This tour is held outdoors. Please come prepared to be outside in the winter weather. The tour is canceled if it rains or snows.

DATE: Saturday, March 5
TIME: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
LOCATION: Tour will meet in front of the USBG Conservatory entrance on the Terrace
FREE: This program is full.

See more at: http://usbg.gov/events/2015/12/18/tour-winter-tree-tour-capitol-grounds#sthash.u2wctiaz.dpuf


February 27, 2016

Audubon Naturalist Society

A Year at Boundary Bridge

Saturdays (9 am-2 pm)
Section A: February 27
Section B: April 9
Section C: June 11
Section D: October 29
Leader: Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Each walk members $30; nonmembers $42
Entire series $102/$143


© Susan Austin Roth

Join the author of the award-winning book, A Year in Rock Creek Park—the Wild, Wooded Heart of Washington, DC, for our 10th year of hikes in one of D.C.’s most beautiful wild areas. Celebrating the National Park Service’s Centennial during 2016, we’ll start at Boundary Bridge and follow the same 2.5 mile loop trail each season, admiring and IDing the rich plant life along a scenic stretch of Rock Creek. We’ll also see and hear many species of birds, butterflies, and amphibians. Melanie will introduce the Japanese concept of “forest bathing” or shinrin-yoku, a mindful and sensory form of nature meditation with proven health benefits, during a portion of each of her 2016 walks. On our winter walk, an ideal time to admire the Park’s topography, we’ll look and listen for winter flocks, identify many species of woody plants, and find the first skunk cabbages in bloom. 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 hike will be on trails with moderate uphill and downhill walking. An ANS/Rock Creek Conservancy Partnership.

Members: $30; Nonmembers: $42

Registration required. For registration information, email Pam Oves or call Pam at 301-652-9188 x16. To register for a program, please mail or fax the registration form or register online. To download mail-in registration form, click here. To register online, go to http://www.anshome.org/index.php/nature-programs/adults/classes-field-trips#Feb, and click on the large button "RegisterOnline."

 
Click here to read about the edition published by George F. Thompson Publishing and distributed by the University of Virginia Press.
 
Click here to read about the
limited edition published by
George F. Thompson Publishing.

February 6, 2016

Casey Trees

Winter in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden


Winter Tree Tour and Ice Skating

Please note: Event rescheduled for February 6, 2016 due to snowstorm.

11am - 12:30pm

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
Constitution Ave NW & 9th Street NW
Washington, DC, 20530

Glide into winter tree identification with a tree tour at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Our tour will focus on trees such as the Kentucky coffee-tree and magnolia trees which are readily identifiable by their foliage, fruit, buds, bark and other winter features — but we will also highlight other species that may be more challenging to identify.

And if the day is a bit chilly, have no fear. Each participant will receive a Casey Trees thermos with hot cocoa to keep them warm throughout the tour.

When the tree tour concludes, participants are welcome to join Melanie in warming up over lunch and/or joining her on the ice for some skating in full view of many of the trees from our morning tour! Please note that lunch and ice skating fees as well as skate and locker rentals are handled by individual participants and are optional. 

Instructor: Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of City of Trees and A Year in Rock Creek Park

Registration
$25 per person. Registration includes one (1) Casey Trees thermos and hot cocoa. Advance registration is required; space is limited. Please register here.

Please note refunds will not be issued. If you are unable to attend, please let us know prior to the day of and your registration fee will be processed as a donation to Casey Trees.

Who Should Attend?
This tour is ideal for anyone interested in learning about winter tree identification in the beautiful setting of the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.

To ensure you enjoy your experience with us:
Dress for the event and weather. Be prepared for rain or snow if forecasted.

  • Wear layers and comfortable walking shoes.
  • Consider bringing binoculars, hand lenses, field guides and notebooks.

Getting There
The nearest Metrorail stops are Judiciary Square on the Red Line, Archives–Penn Quarter–Navy Memorial on the Yellow/Green Lines and Smithsonian on the Blue/Orange Lines. Metrobus stops are located on 4th Street and 7th Street NW. Public parking is limited to the surrounding streets and commercial garages in the area and may be limited.

The meeting location for the tour is right outside the Pavilion Café, between the café and the ice skating rink.

Site Information
The tour will cover a short distance. Public bathroom facilities are available.


January 20, 2016

Montgomery County Cable Channel 21
"Forward Motion" hosted by Karen Allyn

Television Interview: “A Year in Rock Creek Park”

January 20, 2016 at 4pm

Also airs:
February 24th at 4pm
March 11th at 4pm

Check back later for additional airtimes.



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