October Walk at Dyke Marsh

posted Aug 6, 2010, 11:10 AM by Marty Nielsen
Please join us on Saturday, October 23rd, for a walk to enjoy the fall colors and observe the wildlife at Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve.

We plan to meet at 10 a.m. in the south parking lot of the Belle Haven picnic area. 

To get there, take the George Washington Memorial Parkway and look for the sign for “Belle Haven Picnic Area/Dyke Marsh” (which is about two miles south of Old Town, and on the left if you are traveling south.)

Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve is part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, and is located along the Potomac River just south of Alexandria.  The Preserve consists of approximately 485 acres of tidal marsh, floodplain, and swamp forest.  More than 360 species of plants have been recorded in the Preserve.  The dominant species of the marsh itself is the narrow-leafed cattail.  Other species associated with the tidal marsh include arrowhead, arrow arum, pickerelweed, sweetflag, spatterdock, and northern wild rice.

We are very fortunate to have Ed Smith as our walk leader.  Ed works as a biologist in the Amazonia Department of the Smithsonian National Zoo, focusing on amphibian conservation and husbandry, and a few weeks each year also find him taking groups to Central and South America as a Smithsonian Journeys Study Tour Leader.  A lecturer for Smithsonian Associates and an instructor for Smithsonian Scholars in Schools programs, Ed enjoys teaching elementary, lay, collegiate, and professional audiences alike.  When not in a lab, aquarium, conservatory, or classroom he’d rather be outdoors gardening, birding, botanizing, or searching for amphibians and reptiles.

 We are co-sponsoring this walk with the Friends of Dyke Marsh, a volunteer group dedicated to preserving and enhancing Dyke Marsh, the last enduring substantial freshwater tidal marsh in the DC area.