On Thursday evenings in February and March, the George Washington Memorial Parkway will host three programs on the plants and wildlife of the Potomac River.

While most area commuters know it primarily as a scenic roadway, the parkway is part of the National Park Service and was created in 1930 to protect the natural beauty of the Potomac shoreline and watershed.

The parkway's programs will feature speakers from organizations and agencies involved in environmental preservation throughout the Potomac River Basin.

The programs are as follows:

Feb. 7: "The Chesapeake Bay Connection"

Bruce Penland, education director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's District Program, will discuss the relationship that the Potomac River has with the Chesapeake Bay; in particular, the pollutants that go into the river, where they go and their impact on the bay.

Feb. 21: "Recovering the American Bald Eagle"

Uvetta Dozier, a field biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will discuss the service's bald eagle recovery program, which includes a site at Mason Neck State Park on the Potomac.

The wildlife service is considering removing the bald eagle from the endangered species list. Dozier will explain why the eagle has had such a dramatic recovery and where it can be seen in the area.

March 7: "The Fishing Is Good Again!"

James Cummins, associate director of living resources for the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, will explain how the improvement of water quality in the Potomac has improved fishing in the the river's basin.

The programs will be held in the meeting room of the Potowmack Landing Restaurant in Alexandria from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Admission is free, but reservations are required.

Call 285-2598, Monday through Friday.

The restaurant is just south of National Airport, off the parkway.