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The Izaak Walton League of America

"The Oldest Conservation Organization that you have never heard of."

In 1922, the Izaak Walton League was founded in Chicago by a group of recreational fishermen who were growing increasingly concerned about the damage being done to their favorite fishing spots by the unregulated discharge of raw sewage and industrial effluent into the local waterways. As it turns out so were a lot of other people. In a few short years the organization grew by leaps and bounds. Five years later, when Will Dilg, the first president of the League died, the Washington Post reported in his obituary1 that the Izaak Walton League had grown to 300,000 members in over 2000 chapters across the United States.

Today, however nationwide membership in the Izaak Walton League stands at about 30,000 as the organization works to rebuild itself to deal with the more complex pollution problems that now plague our Nation.

The mission of the League however remains essentially the same;
to conserve, maintain, protect, and restore the soil, forest, water, and other natural resources of the United States.

The Arlington Fairfax Chapter of the Izaak Walton League

Our Chapter was originally chartered in 1936 as the Falls Church Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA). In January of 1941 the Chapter name was changed to the Arlington Fairfax Chapter of the IWLA. With over 2200 Members, our group is currently the largest Izaak Walton League Chapter in the United States.

If you had to sum up the mission or purpose of our organization in one sentence, then it would be;
to improve the quality of life for our membership and the Community at large.

Our members come from all walks of life and have many varied interests.

The basic idea that ties us together is that nature and the great outdoors have value for all of us and should be preserved for current and future generations.

We seek to promote this concept through local conservation and community activities.

Many of these activities are centered around our headquarters at 14708 Mount Olive Road in Centreville, Virginia, which we have occupied since 1953. The property is about 110 acres and is mostly wooded with some open fields and a 1 1/2 acre pond. It is used extensively by numerous youth groups including the boy scouts, girl scouts, 4 H and cub scouts to camp, fish, learn archery, marksmanship and gun safety.

Photographs of the Chapter Property and its Facilities

Over the years through the volunteer efforts of our membership we have developed a very fine facility for the use our members and guests for a wide range of outdoor activities.

Some of these activities are;

Nature Watching
The property is home to many species of mammals, birds, reptiles, insects as well as a wide variety of flora.
Click here for a partial list of Wildlife that have been seen on the grounds.
A hiking trail runs through many types of habitat.
There are several primitive campsites near the pond with fire rings and picnic tables.
The 1 1/2 acre pond supports a good population of Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Crappie, Red Ear Sunfish, Bluegills and it is stocked with Rainbow Trout in the spring.
Fishing in the pond
Target archery
There is a large practice field with Olympic style targets out to 90 meters.
Field Archery
There is a field with targets out to 60 yards as well as a 28 target 3-D course.
Skeet and Trap Shooting
There are three combination skeet and trap ranges and one trap only range.
Target Shooting
There is a 17 position rifle and pistol range out to 100 yards.
Air Rifle
There is an Air Rifle range used by the Boyscouts and youth shooters.

Additional Information and Links

Chapter Bylaws
Catalog of printed Articles referencing the Arlington Fairfax Chapter of the Izaak Walton League and its members.

1. Washington Post Mar 29,1927 p. 11 Dilg Rites Tomorrow; Was Fish Enthusiast