Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fairfax County Residents – share your views on the environment – January 17th


The Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council has scheduled a public hearing to solicit comments on the state of the environment in Fairfax County.  The public hearing will be held on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in the Board Auditorium of the Fairfax County Government Center.  

The public is encouraged to attend EQAC's public hearing to share views on the state of the environment and to identify environmental issues applicable to Fairfax County.  Environmental issues considered by EQAC include water quality, air quality, noise, hazardous materials, solid waste, stream valley protection, wildlife management, light pollution, visual pollution, climate change response and adaptation, energy conservation, land use, transportation and the use and preservation of ecological resources.  EQAC welcomes written and/or verbal testimony.

A Bee’s Eye View of Native Plants

What: A Bee’s Eye View of Native Plants Seminar

When: Thursday, January 19, 2012, 7:30 pm

Where: Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Rd, Alexandria, Virginia

Reverse the lens and look at native plants from the perspective of a key slice of life that is tied to these plants...bees. Regionally, there are over 400 species of native bees and many are only found on the flowers of specific plants. Why 400? Why not just one kind of bee? The complexity of color, architecture, and phenology of native flowers is a clue to that relationship.

Explore the plant-pollinator relationship from the bee point of view and learn why what we plant has consequences for these fascinating creatures

Presented by the Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society. VNPS programs are free and open to the public. No reservations are necessary. and

Information provided by Kathy Jentz, editor of Washington Gardener Magazine

How/Where do you give back? Do you have a favorite charity?

As the year draws to a close, now is the perfect time to remember the organizations that help to bring happiness to your life, and to the lives of others. We still have a few days left to make our charitable donations for the 2011 tax year.

I once read a short book entitled The Five Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me About Life and Wealth,  by Richard Paul Evans.

I especially like lesson five: Give Back.

Evans says, "Hoarding wealth will make your life small and cold. Giving will expand it." He goes on to say, "And service, through sharing our wealth and our time, is love made visible."

Evans believes in financial karma: that "we get back when we give", and I agree. I believe that life, like gardening, is all about sowing what you hope to reap.

I admit that I don’t always feel like I have extra money to donate. But between the two, I usually find that I have more money than time to contribute. There are so many worthwhile charitable organizations that are doing so much for all of us.  So I make an effort to make at least one donation during each tax year and I encourage you to do the same.

You probably already have a favorite charity. There are many groups that help to preserve nature, create public gardens, educate potential green gardeners, etc. But if you are looking for a new group to make a donation to, the IRS has an online resource that can help.

On the IRS site, you can put in a keyword and a state, and the site will display a list of organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable donations. You can search for keywords such as nature, wildlife, garden, Chesapeake, DC, trees or anything else that comes to mind.

There are also other sites, such as and but these lists don’t seem to be as comprehensive.

Happy giving!
Albert Einstein: It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.

Anne Frank: No one has ever become poor by giving.

John D. Rockefeller Jr.: Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege.

Maya Angelou: I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.

Peyton Conway March: There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life -- happiness, freedom, and peace of mind -- are always attained by giving them to someone else.

Thornton Wilder: Money is like manure; it's not worth a thing unless it's spread around encouraging young things to grow.

Winston Churchill: We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

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