On Friday, April 28, the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV) honored Jim Waggener and his group of volunteers who have been documenting wildlife presence and diversity in the Occoquan Bay area for almost 30 years by dedicating a bench at one of the survey sites in the Meadowood Special Recreation Area on Mason Neck.
Jim Waggener and his volunteers have been conducting this citizen science survey since 1989. The survey covers a 15-mile diameter count circle centered at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge (OBNWR), and also includes regularly scheduled surveys at Meadowood Special Recreation Area, Occoquan Bay Regional Park, and Julie Metz Wetlands. Surveys are conducted on a year round basis, and document bird life, butterflies, dragonflies, and plants. Volunteers range in age from home-schooled teens to retirees. In addition to collecting and compiling the data, volunteers have also produced a butterfly field guide for the region, based on the survey data, as well as a butterfly checklist.