Note From The Boat House

Greetings from the Conservancy Team! – In the last two weeks, our staff has been getting ready for the busy season. Thousands of transplants are now in the ground (think lettuce, onions, broccoli) and thousands more have been direct sown (beets, spinach + more). We hope you are excited about the abundance that will be ready when the Farm Stand re-opens and our Summer CSA kicks off on Thursday, May 16. We also have been busy working on our trails and grasslands.

There also have been some great recent engagement activities. We welcomed Secret Garden Birds and Bees for two educational birds of prey demonstrations – Raptors Up Close. And, two Girl Scout troops worked with us this month, one doing a trash clean up on Old Farm Lane and the other holding a meeting at Cedar Pond Pavilion. Reach out to us at if your Scouting group wants to work with us. Finally, we also have been getting ready for Earth Day and we hope to see many of you tonight.



Camping Reservations Open
One of the best aspects of living in Willowsford is the ability to pitch a tent and enjoy the outdoors close to home. Did you know that the Conservancy offers three types of camping opportunities? Yep!The Grant Family Campground located in The Grant Village is a great spot for camping newbies and families who are looking to gather with friends and family. Hidden Meadow, a secluded spot in The Greens Village is a gem for larger groups and is the location of our popular Community Bonfire & Camp-over. You can even book Cedar Pond Pavilion for an indoor or porch sleepover for a kids’ birthday party or Scouting overnight.

Springtime camping discount! Do not miss the opportunity to save, secure your campsite before June 30 using discount code HAPPYCAMPER24 for 20% off your next camping adventure. Reservations and additional details about campsite features can be found on the Conservancy website, here.

Wetlands Way Trail Highlight

We hope you are enjoying the beautiful spring weather and taking advantage of the more than 40+ miles of trails the Conservancy maintains! Today we are highlighting, Wetlands Way, a 3.5-mile hiking trail in The Greens that winds through forest, grassland, and wetland habitats. If you are looking for a more robust hike, this trail connects with the Bull Run Overlook Trail forming a 9-mile loop. As the trail transitions between ecosystems, it creates valuable edge habitat that supports a variety of wildlife. Be sure to listen closely – during this time of year, it is especially noisy with frog mating calls, especially at dusk.


Speaking of frogs, are you interested in learning more about the amphibians in your backyard? Join us for the upcoming Guided Amphibian Walk on Saturday, April 27 from 7 – 8 PM. Registration and additional information, here.

The Greens Village Trail Map

Food Choices Impact Our Planet

Latest Field Note From Farm Team – This month we celebrate Earth Day – and today we’d like to share a bit about how agriculture plays a role in the world we live in and what you can do to help us cultivate a brighter future.

Some of you have probably already experienced when shopping for groceries or trying to connect with farms and food brands that it can be exceedingly difficult to find resources without bias and clear nutritional comparisons. Even we have moments where we need to re-read the label and then do more research because marketing and the numerous labels on packaging today make it difficult to understand – and unfortunately this lack of clarity is intentional, putting more of the burden on the individual to be well informed and diligent.

Check out the rest of this article written by Farm Director, Andy Dunham, and contractor, Mel Dunham, for recommendations on how to best stay informed and to learn more about the importance of voting with your food dollar.

And, Better Yet – Take Action + Support the Earth Today by by joining the Willowsford Farm CSA today. With our wide selection of products that are cultivated and sourced with the planet in mind, you’re sure to find something that suits your dietary and lifestyle needs. Products include: fruit, eggs, veggies, honey, local cheese and meats, gluten free baked goods + more. Select CSA options are becoming limited – secure your spot at the Farm Table today!

CSA Share Information & Registration

Only YOU Can Prevent Wildfires

In the last couple months, several residents and staff have seen evidence of open fires at Hidden Meadow, near Cedar Pond Pavilion, and on our trails. A few of these were still smoking – meaning someone not only started these, but they also left them unattended which is incredibly dangerous given how close our open space is to residential homes, utilities, and neighboring communities. With higher wind events like we’ve recently experienced, this is incredibly risky. We know that the vast majority of residents understand these rules, but we ask that all residents consider this issue. Especially parents – we ask that you monitor your children’s behavior and speak to them about the importance of not starting open fires and the potential catastrophic consequences that could occur should they choose to disregard this warning.

Starting an open fire during the majority of the year is a Class 1 Misdemeanor in Loudoun County.

Where are fires allowed? The Conservancy enjoys a good campfire as much as anyone – but for the safety of our community we ask that you keep your fires contained to backyard fire-pits and in fire rings when renting campsites at the Grant Family & Hidden Meadow Campgrounds. Fires should always be attended and fully extinguished before walking away. Note that fires are not permitted at Cedar Pond Pavilion.

Planting Environmental Seeds

At the Conservancy, we believe every experience in nature plants an environmental seed – from a routine walk on your favorite trail to a Farm-sourced meal, this unique forward-thinking Agrihood we call home is full of opportunities to plant an abundance of environmental seeds in every young human and adult alike. Read about how our team’s environmental seeds were planted and learn who’s who above, here. We hope you’ll use these stories as food for thought and consider planting  your own environmental seeds: one walk in the woods, one camping trip, one volunteer opportunity and one Farm-sourced meal at a time.

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Did your experiences as a youth inspire you to live at Willowsford? Share your story with us and we’ll highlight it – hopefully through sharing our experiences we’ll inspire others to plant their own environmental seeds – one experience in nature at a time.

Local Happenings

The Dulles North High School (HS-14) application permit was approved as submitted by the Planning Commission last week (5 in favor, 2 against, 1 abstention and 1 absence). The spirited debate before the vote did show that all the emails and the public comments are important, so thank you to everyone who participated. The result, however, means there is no inclusion of a fence, no agreement to pursue DarkSky certification or compliance, and no reduction to the size of the 5,000 seat stadium. We will update residents when we know the date of the Board of Supervisors public hearing and steps to take before then.

Supporting Lightridge High School Clubs – The Conservancy and Farm Teams are excited to be donating a campsite rental (valued at $50), a Farm gift certificate along with some other goodies to the Lightridge High School PTSO for their upcoming silent auction. This silent auction is raising funds for their school clubs. The fundraiser will take place on May 1 from 5 – 7 PM at Lark Brewing in Aldie. Buy your tickets, here. Happy bidding!

Volunteer Opportunities

Invasive Removal Workdays with Banshee Reeks
Willowsford Conservancy and Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve are partnering together to put on a series of volunteer work days aimed to help us eradicate some pesky invasives before summer arrives!
May 16th at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve from 4-6 PM: Register Here
May 18th at Willowsford Conservancy from 9 AM-12 PM: Register Here
Greenhouse Seeding
Are you interested in learning more about where your food comes from? Join us at the beginning of its journey in the greenhouse with greenhouse lead, Farmer Rachel. She’ll show/talk to you about: how to make flats, the recommended depth of the seed based on variety, germination rates and more. By the end you’ll be a pro!
Date: Recurring, Tuesdays through early May
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Register: Here

Programs & Events

Earth Day Celebration – TONIGHT
Join us today for our annual Earth Day celebration at the Willowsford Boat House – there will be live music, beer & wine sponsored by Honor Brewing and Stroll Willowsford, face painting, nature crafts and more. Bring a lawn chair, a favorite yard game, blanket and picnic basket (if you didn’t pre-order from Willowsford Kitchen) to make your experience a good one!
Date: Friday, April 19
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Amphibian Walk
Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy  volunteer Jenny Erickson for a guided walk around Spring Peeper Pond to learn about the amphibians that live in Willowsford’s ponds and waterways. Open to all ages, but especially fun for young ones.
Date: Saturday, April 27
Time: 7:00 – 8:00 PM
Register: Here

Intro to Archery
This activity is hosted by the Willowsford Archery Club and limited to Willowsford Residents and their guests. A small class, with high instructor/student ratio, which covers topics including an introduction to the Willowsford Archery Club, shooting styles, safety, eye dominance assessment, basic shooting technique, and equipment purchase advice. All equipment will be provided (bows, arrows, finger tabs, arm guards).  If you have your own equipment, you are welcome to use it during the class.
3 Date Offerings: April 21, May 19, June 2
Time: 12:00 – 3:00 PM
Register: Resident portal login, here + event registration, here

Conservancy Board Meeting – Updated Link
The Conservancy Board of Trustees and staff will next meet to discuss Conservancy business in late April. Residents are welcome to attend in person at the Boat House or by Zoom. The Agenda has been uploaded to the Resident Document Center
Date: Tuesday, April 30
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Location: Boat House or by Zoom (passcode: 580212)

Farm Stand Re-Opens May 16!
It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for – join us for the re-opening of the Farm Stand! There will be live music, food trucks, vendors sampling their products and activities for all ages. So mark your calendars and save the date because the Farm team is looking forward to seeing you soon!
Date: Thursday, May 16
Time: 4:00 – 7:00 PM
Location: Willowsford Farm Stand, Ashburn

Full Calendar of Events + Programs

Our Mission Is
To protect our land and promote conservation and sustainable farming so that our community discovers a deeper connection to nature and each other.