A local wildlife garden tour sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, in partnership with landscape designer John Magee, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 12, features Ashburn sites among its 15 locations in Loudoun and Fairfax counties.
The Ashburn sites include homes and .
Newton-Lee’s native habitat garden was created in 2008 by a team of parent, staff and student volunteers. Sarah Newton recently helped expand the project in memory of her father Christopher Newton, a local victim of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and one of the school’s namesakes. The garden is one of Loudoun County’s more than 550 Certified Wildlife Habitat sites.
Kelly Senser, an Ashburn wildlife gardener who also works at National Wildlife Federation, said that there will be family-friendly activities at the school on Saturday, including garden-related crafts, a scavenger hunt and a visit from Ranger Rick.
"I'm excited for people to see the outdoor classroom that members of the school community have created," said Senser.
The tour departs from the National Wildlife Federation's headquarters, 11100 Wildlife Center Drive, in Reston, where a native plant sale takes place Saturday. Participants can then visit the gardens of their choice.
Tickets purchased in advance at www.nwf.org/VAgardentour are $15 per person or $30 per family. Tickets purchased the day of the tour cost $20 per person or $40 per family and are available at NWF’s office in Reston or at Newton-Lee Elementary.
“Ashburn and Loudoun County have demonstrated a continuing commitment to engaging homeowners, students and businesses in keeping the wild alive in their communities," said Eliza Russell, director of education for the NWF. "I hope that individuals will take time on Saturday to come and see the amazing work their neighbors and children have done for their community.”
Funds raised through the garden tour benefit the National Wildlife Federations’ Habitat Programs. NWF has dedicated May as Garden for Wildlife Month. For more information, visit: www.nwf.org/gardenmonth
LOCAL SITES ON THE TOUR:
- , 43335 Gloucester Parkway, Ashburn—Newton-Lee Elementary is named for two of the people who lost their lives in the 911 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, Dong Chul Lee and Christopher Newton. Come see an “all Virginia” garden planted by Newton’s daughter, in remembrance of her father. There will be children’s activities, and Ranger Rick will be there to give away copies of his famous nature magazine.
- Simpson Residence, Broadlands, VA—The Simpson family has worked not only to transform their own yard into a wildlife oasis, but also the entire community of Broadlands. Oya Simpson is the team leader for the Broadlands Community Wildlife Habitat project. The family has seen fox and deer behind their house, as well as pollinators galore.
- Phaneuf Residence, , Leesburg, VA—This yard is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in Landsdowne. A large patio, deck and waterfall have been added to the backyard, while the front is graced by stone walls and plantings of pollinator-friendly plants to complement the builder’s original landscape.