Leader: Stephanie Mason When it comes to protected natural areas in and around the DMV, it’s really an embarrassment of riches! We’ve planned these broad-based field outings to introduce three of them featuring wetland habitats which support diverse animal and plant communities. Governor’s Bridge Natural Area, along the Patuxent River near Bowie, MD, offers nature lovers open meadows, pond and stream, and forested edges. Northern Virginia’s Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1969 to protect nesting Bald Eagles, sits along the Potomac River and Occoquan Bay and is home to Great Marsh, a 207-acre freshwater marsh. Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens sits inside the Beltway and on the east bank of the Anacostia River, where it protects freshwater tidal wetlands and the wildlife that depends on them. Expect up to a couple of miles of walking on natural surface trails that could be muddy.