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Tulip trees are dropping blossoms

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Hiking at Potomac Overlook Regional Park today, I was searching for news from the woods, and I found some. First of all, I made an administrative stop at the Nature Center where I spoke with Park Manager, Roy Geiger. Roy clarified something about which I wasn’t clear about park jurisdictions. If you look at the map of the park, the boundary that is managed by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority is adjacent to the National Park Service Authority that manages the park along the George Washington Parkway to the east. To the west, the park is adjacent Donaldson Run which is a part of the Arlington County Regional Park Authority as is Marcey Park to the south. That’s the politics of parks, and it becomes important when considering how to support them with funding, and where to provide feedback.

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Today’s discoveries

  • Sassafras trees are throughout the park and region. They are important to birds and animals as a host of them feed on their leaves, fruit, and bark. Sassafras is not only used to brew tea, it is the essence of rootbeer. There is a large sassafras outside the Nature Center that is marked with a sign.
  • Trees blossom in the springtime, and a special one is the liriodendron tulipifera — known as the tulip tree, American tulip tree, tuliptree, tulip poplar, whitewood, fiddle-tree, and yellow poplar. They grow very large and one is hanging over the roadway that runs through the park. They are dropping their blossoms and that makes a nice slideshow.
  • Not to get people excited, but I also discovered scat along the trail today that looks very much like bear scat. I sent a picture to Roy Geiger so he can be on the lookout. I have seen bears around Great Falls before, and it is possible for them to wander along the Potomac River (however improbable that they are visiting Arlington County).
  • Inside the Nature Center, there is a nice snapping turtle.

Potomac Overlook Regional Park
Managed by Norther Virginia Park Authority
2845 N. Marcey Road
Arlington VA 22207

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