Yesterday was a gorgeous fall day in northern Virginia! Since it was National Public Lands Day (NPLD), my family joined 170,000 other nationwide volunteers and headed out to do our part. We volunteered at Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane VA. When we arrived at the park, we were greeted by the ever cheerful Christa Kermode, Volunteer and Special Events Coordinator Extraordinaire, who gave us our instructions – we would be makin’ like squirrels, collecting nuts and acorns! We wouldn’t be storing the nuts for the winter; rather, the nuts and acorns are grown into seedlings and then distributed for planting throughout Virginia. Christa gave us a descriptive sheet which showed the different types of trees, nuts, and acorns for which we should look. Off we went! The hike through forest, under the canopy of orange and green leaves, was relaxing and fun – just what we needed after a full week of school, work, and extracurricular activities. Nothing wrong with an active life, but sometimes it’s nice to just stop and smell the flowers, or should I say, collect the nuts.
The forest was generous and we collected bags full of black walnuts and acorns from chestnut oaks and pin oaks. Soon, these little seeds will help to reforest areas of Virginia. When we look at a seedling in the next couple of years, we’ll be wondering if it came from one of our little acorns!