Marine Corps Base Quantico --
Nature enthusiasts seeking to welcome spring and get closer to nature won’t want to miss this weekend’s Bluebell Festival at Merrimac Farm in Nokesville on Sunday.
The farm, which connects the forests and wetlands aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico with the 300-acre wetland mitigation bank, is loaded with wetlands and vernal pools, and boasts one of the largest patches of Virginia Bluebells in the Northern Virginia region, according to the Prince William Conservation Alliance website. Native to North America and considered among the first annual signs of spring, Virginia Bluebells are generally considered to be among the prettiest of wildflowers. Blooming starts in early- to mid-spring with the formation of pink buds that later mature into lavender-blue flowers. Wetlands, upland fields and hardwood forests can also be readily found at Merrimac Farm.
“It’s an early spring, family activity that welcomes spring and celebrates nature,” said Kim Hosen, executive director, Prince William Conservation Alliance.
The festival, which is sponsored by the Prince William Conservation Alliance and Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries with support from MCB Quantico, will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and highlight the area’s all-around beauty with various events, including tours and other learning opportunities. Admission is free.
Appropriate attire for Merrimac Farm is always sturdy shoes and long pants, no matter the season. Visitors are asked to tuck their pants into their socks to help keep bugs out.
Merrimac Farm first opened for public use on March 31, 2008 through a conservation partnership between Quantico, the Va. Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries and the PWCA.
For directions to the Stone House Visitor Center at Merrimac Farm, use the address 15020 Deepwood Lane, Nokesville, Va., 20181. When you are on Deepwood Lane, drive past the North Entrance to the very end of the road. Deepwood Lane dead ends at the Stone House. For directions to the North Parking Lot, use the address 14712 Deepwood Lane, Nokesville, Va., 20181.
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