PURCELLVILLE, VA, August 7, 2019 — Join the Purcellville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Purcellville Tree and Environment Sustainability Committee, and the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy to catch and count creek creatures at the Chapman DeMary Trail. On Sunday, August 25 from 1 to 4 p.m., certified stream monitors from the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy will lead this fun activity that gives students, scouts, and others a chance to be citizen scientists to help determine the health of the South Fork Catoctin Creek. Dress appropriately for getting in the creek. Register online to participate.
Small creatures that live on the bottom of streams are good indicators of water quality. These creatures are called benthic (bottom dwelling) macroinvertebrates (organisms without backbones that can be seen without a microscope); some don’t tolerate polluted waters, and others do. During this activity, participants will use large nets to catch the creatures, bring the nets to tables, look for the creatures in the nets, sort them, identify and count them, then release them back into the creek. The experts from Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy will guide the activity, and using the data collected by the participants, will make calculations to determine what the creatures indicate about the health of the creek. In past, an interesting variety of creatures have been found, including water pennies, dragonfly larvae, mayfly nymphs, and crayfish.
The Chapman DeMary Trail is a 10-acre area considered to be the last stand of old-growth forest in the Town of Purcellville. It runs along the South Fork Catoctin Creek, part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The area is open to the public for environmental recreation, exploration, and education. The Town of Purcellville holds the conservation easement for this privately-owned property. The entrance and parking for the Chapman DeMary Trail is behind the building at 205 East Hirst Road in Purcellville.
The Discover Nature’s Secrets guided nature walks are held the last Sunday of each month and hosted by the Purcellville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Throughout 2019, walks will be led by experts from The Piedmont Environmental Council, the Virginia Department of Forestry, Loudoun County Tree Stewards, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, and a variety of other experts. Topics include wildlife clues, wildflowers, natural dyes, native plants, pollinators, art and nature, tree identification, and more.
Learn more and register online on the Monthly Nature Walks page in the Events and Activities section of the Town of Purcellville’s website at www.PurcellvilleVa.gov.