Every year, the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation awards a local volunteer or group for supporting the county’s parks.
Bill Browning of Arlington is this year’s winner. Since 2014, he’s been restoring Powhatan Springs, a small park that had become overrun with invasive plants and trash.
“In this small, two and a half acre park…I don’t know anything else in the county that’s such a focused effort in returning to the natural world,” said Browning.
For about 10 hours each month, Bill and a group of volunteers, many from the Arlington Regional Master Naturalists, clear invasive species from the park and plant native ones.
Browning says he’s been seeing more wildlife in the park than ever before; including raccoons, owls, and a fox.
Browning is the fourth Arlington Regional Master Naturalist to win the award. The organization itself has also been awarded. The group is a chapter of the Virginia Naturalist Program, formed in 2008, which completes service projects in the state.