Monthly Archives: April 2013

Come Learn Sustainable and Alternative Urban Agriculture

It may be chilly today, but in a month, we will be complaining about how hot it is; and everything will be growing like gangbusters. In addition to an impressive line-up of guest speakers, Extension is also pleased to be providing classes for the Adult Education program of Arlington Public Schools and at special events. The April line up of Urban Agriculture and Natural Resource management offerings is extensive and has a lineup of excellent program presenters.  It all begins with a double header of programming on April 2; Dr. Marcus Comer will teach Shiitake Mushroom Production from Virginia State University.  This is a hands-on grow your own workshop and demonstration of the Organic Vegetable Garden’s mushroom growing logs and gardens. Potomac Overlook Park 1-4pm; $35.  From 7-9 pm the same evening, Dr. Comer will provide a public program at the Fairlington Community Center on Sustainable and Alternative Urban Agriculture Production. FREE! For more information please go to or call the Horticulture Help Desk at 703 228 6414.  April 3 from 7-8:30 author and guest speaker Evelyn Hadden talks about lawn alternatives in her program entitled  Beautiful No Mow Lawns followed on April 10th with a program called Incorporating Native Plants in Your Garden from 7- 8:30 pm at Fairlington Community Center. We are pleased to present our guest speaker for this event, Alan Ford of the Virginia Native Plant Society
All programs are free unless otherwise stated.  Register to attend by calling the Horticulture Help Desk at 703 228 6414 or email to
Look for ANR volunteers at the Arlington Central Library Wednesdays in the Garden Talks:  starting March 18 through October, Alexandria Earth Day at Ben Brenman Park on April 20, NoVA Food Coalition events at George Mason University on April 21 and at our plant clinics at many local farmer’s markets in both Arlington and Alexandria.
For more info about all of these programs and more look at the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia

Energy Masters Volunteers Win Green Giant Award

The Arlington Energy Masters, the corps of volunteers who make energy and water saving improvements in low-income apartments, will be featured in the May issue of Washingtonian magazine as one of the winners of the publication’s Green Giant awards. The awards recognize groups and individuals in the Washington, DC area who are making significant contributions to addressing environmental issues.
               The Energy Masters program was started in 2011 by Virginia Cooperative Extension, Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment, and Arlingtonians Meetings Emergency Needs. Since its inception, the partners have trained 56 volunteers who have made energy and water improvements in 201 apartments, with the goal of completing at least 50 more by the end of the fiscal year in June. In each apartment teams of volunteers replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones, install outlet gaskets, low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, and power strips, caulk leaks, and clean refrigerator coils. The goal of the program is to help low-income residents reduce their utility bills while also reducing the greenhouse gas emissions released from multi-family properties. The energy and water-saving improvements have already started to pay off, with one building where the volunteers worked last May reporting a 5% average decrease in residents’ utility bills.
               If you are interested in learning more about this program or becoming an Energy Master, contact Jennifer at The next training for volunteers will be held in the fall of 2013.
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