PURCELLVILLE, Va., March 26, 2018 — On the bright and chilly afternoon of March 25, more than 40 people came to the third nature walk at the Chapman DeMary Trail hosted by the Purcellville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Gem Bingol with the Piedmont Environmental Council led the walk, explaining about “forest bathing” to slow down and become immersed in the natural environment, then helping participants find signs of spring. During the walk, people learned about skunk cabbage, sedges, and floodplains; saw buds growing on trees and the leaves of the spring wildflower called Virginia bluebells emerging from the ground; heard the tapping of woodpeckers and singing of birds; and discovered a praying mantis egg sack. Many of the younger participants sat quietly near the creek, enjoying the sound of the rushing water and the sparkles of the sun reflecting on the surface. Photos from the walk can be found on the Purcellville Parks and Recreation Facebook page: www.facebook.com/PurcellvilleParksandRec/
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 for the Chapman DeMary Trail is behind the building at 205 East Hirst Road in Purcellville.
Mark your calendar to join us for the next outing on Sunday, April 29 when we will plant hundreds of seedlings with the Virginia Department of Forestry to restore the riparian buffer at the Chapman DeMary Trail and help improve water quality of the South Fork Catoctin Creek. Please dress appropriately for being in the woods and bring your own shovel and work gloves.
The Discover Nature’s Secrets guided nature walks are held the last Sunday of each month at the Chapman DeMary Trail. Throughout 2018, walks will be led by experts from the Virginia Department of Forestry, Loudoun Watershed Watch, Loudoun County Tree Stewards, the Piedmont Environmental Council, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, and an Environmental Explorations Teacher from Loudoun Valley High School. Topics will include water quality, pollinators and monarchs, wildflowers, birds, tree identification, habitats, and more. These events are held rain or shine. Learn more and RSVP for these free walks on the Events and Activities page of the Town of Purcellville’s website at www.PurcellvilleVa.gov.