Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Upcoming Ogleby MN Sessions

An announcement has been received from the Ogleby Master Naturalists. Attached is a schedule for all core classes for the coming year. They have also included some electives. Presently they are working on a variety of new electives that will be announced shortly, as well as some dates for group field work doing some surveying for citizen science projects on frogs, insects etc. They are also working to establish a joint day in a state park with master naturalists from other area chapters.

They are offering Master Naturalists the opportunity to re-take any of the classes offered that they have already attended free of charge! Just fill out the registration form, and return it to the zoo so they know you are coming! (Based on availability - if the class is filled, they will notify you.) Scholarships are available to those in financial need. Scholarship forms are available on the website at

They advise you to dress for the weather, as most classes will involve time outdoors in the field. In case of bad weather, please call 304-243-4068 after 8 am on the day of the class. The message will indicate if there is a cancellation or delay.

If you have any questions, please call Penny Miller at 304-243-4027 (, or Vickie Markey at 304-243-4068 (

Master Naturalist Classes

January, February and March 2010 Schedule

Master Naturalist Registration Form - January, February, March 2010

Master Naturalist Instructor Bios

Friday, December 18, 2009

Last Minute Gifts of Interest

Here are some last minute gift ideas from your friends at the Geological Survey!

Master Gardener Class Canceled

The class scheduled for tomorrow, Dec 19, has been canceled due to an impending snow storm.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

WVDEP 2011 Calendar Photo Contest

The Departments of Environmental Protection and Transportation invite the public to submit entries for the 8th Annual West Virginia Operation Wildflower 2011 "Roadsides in Bloom" Calendar contest. The following rules apply:

• Photographs must be taken in West Virginia.

• Entries must be submitted as an 8" X 10" color print and must be landscape orientation (PORTRAIT ORIENTATION WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED).

• Flowers must be growing along a road and the road must be prominently visible in the photo. They may be growing naturally or in an Operation Wildflower bed planted by the Division of Highways. Pictures of cultivated species planted in arranged beds, such as marigolds, pansies, etc. do not qualify.

• Name, address, phone number, e-mail address (if you have one) and a short description of the photo, including location and county where photo was taken, must appear in the upper left hand corner on the back of the photo. Photos become property of the state and will not be returned.

• No more than three entries per person. However, only one winning photo will be selected from any photographer’s entries. Winners will be required to submit a digital copy of photo.

• Twelve winners will be selected to represent the months of the year. A grand prize winner will be chosen to appear on the calendar cover.

Mail entries to: WV Operation Wildflower
Roadsides in Bloom Calendar Contest
WV Department of Environmental Protection/REAP
601 57th Street, S.E.
Charleston, WV 25304

2010 Roadsides in Bloom Calendar - Please click this link to order your free 2010 Roadsides in Bloom calendar.

Lore & Tracking Weekend Jan 15-17 Twin Falls Resort State Park

January 15-17, 2010
Lore & Tracking
The weekend focus is on learning how our ancestors tracked the animals that provided food and clothing in the 18th century. Attendees participate in track walks and then have the opportunity to put new skills into use. Other weekend topics include: Indian stories, edible and medicinal plants, and an 18th century trading camp. To learn more, visit about our instructors, and view flier for workshop agenda.
Reservations required. $
Contact: Twin Falls Resort State Park 304-294-4000

For participants enrolled in the Master Naturalist (MN) Program, this weekend may count toward class hours in: (1) TRACKING 4 hrs, (2) Nature In WINTER 3 hrs., and (3) Medicinal/Useful PLANTS 3 hrs.

Eagle Survey Jan. 9th Pipestem Resort State Park

January 9, 2010
5th Annual Eagle Survey
Pipestem Resort State Park
Volunteer survey of wintering eagles in southern West Virginia.
Contact: For lodging reservations, 304-466-1800; for event info, Naturalist Jim Phillips, ext. 344

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Master Gardeners to hold backyard workshop Saturday

Monongalia County Master Gardeners are holding a workshop Saturday on "Creating a Wildlife-Friendly Backyard." The program is from 10am - noon at the WVU-Monongalia County Extension Office, Wes-Mon Plaza, Westover.
It is open to the public. The cost is $10 per person.
Monongalia Master Gardeners will share the ins and outs of how to attract birds, bats and butterflies to your yard or garden. This is part of the Learn to Grow series of gardening workshops. They will continue next year.
For a schedule: 304-291-7201

This may count as elective hours. Check with Ellen and/or Bev.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

WVU will host forum on environment

The WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design's Environmental Research Center will host an environmental forum from 3-5pm Dec 15 in Room 101 A and B of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy on WVU's Evansdale Campus.
A short, formal presentation about ERC goals and how researchers, communities and industry can become involved will begin at 3:30pm.
Light refreshments will be served.
The public is welcome to attend.
RSVP to Amanda White at by Friday. Info: Anderson at 304-293-3825 or

Thursday, December 3, 2009

FODC sets stream cleanup for Saturday

Friends of Deckers Creek will hold a stream cleanup from 10am - 5pm Saturday to honor the six-month anniversary of the passing of Ed Gaker.
Deckers Creek was one of his favorite places, and he spent a lot of time cleaning up trash dumps near the creek.
The local Morgantown crew is going to work on parts of Deckers Creek, focusing on the Pioneer Rocks stretch of the gorge along WV 7, just upstream from Dellslow, starting around 10am. If they run out of work there, then they'll probably head to Bull Run. Bring gloves and trash bags if you can.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

2010 WV wildlife calendars available

The 2010 West Virginia wildlife calendars are available now, according to Curtis Taylor, chief of the Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section.
The cover of this wall calendar features an outstanding painting of an alert male turkey in the fall, This detailed, lifelike work of art is only one of the 12 beautiful paintings in this year's calendar. Others include a pair of northern pintails, an immature red-tailed hawk and cedar waxwings. A red squirrel, cottontail rabbit, green frog and a tulip tree silkmoth also grace the pages of this large-format calendar.
Feature articles highlight Didymo (an invasive algae), the Archery in the Schools program, and a look at all the 25 Wildlife Calendar covers produced by the DNR.
The calendar also contains the 2010 hunting and fishing license fees.
The calendar is available at DNR District Offices, department stores, newsstands, convenience marts and food stores statewide or from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, PO Box 67, Elkins, WV 26241, phone 304-637-0245.
Make checks payable to "WVDNR" for $14 per calendar, which includes shipping and handling (state residents add 60 cents for tax). VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are accepted.
Organizations, clubs and civic groups can raise money by selling the calendar. Contact the DNR for more information.

Group questions timbering in WV state forest

A group that promotes recreation and wildlife protection in Coopers Rock State Forest is questioning the state's plan to timber in a section of the park.
Members of the Coopers Rock Foundation said they're concerned about the forest's trails and the flat-spired three-toothed snail, which is only found in the Cheat River Gorge.
The state Division of Forestry said the project is designed to improve wildlife habitat and the oak tree population in an area near Scotts Run.
State Lands Manager Barbara Breshock said the goal is to improve conditions for the oaks to regenerate by reducing some of the shade on the forest floor.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Marion County Master Naturalist Classes Starting

Saturday, Nov. 14th, 2009 from 8am to 6pm
Sunday Nov. 15th, 2009 from 12 noon to 6:30pm

Location: Crossroads Community Cntr. Rt 310/East Grafton Rd.
From 1-79, take exit 137, go South on Rt 310, aprox 3.5 miles.
Turn Left onto Grassy Run road. Building is first one on the right.
Pot Luck on Saturday- Bring a dish to share!
( kitchen on site to heat food )
...and a cushion for your chair ;) (hard metal folding chairs)

*Classes for this weekend will be:
Saturday, November 14, 2009 8:00 am to 5:45 pm

8:00 am - 8:30 am Intro to WVMN

8:30 am - 10:30 am Birds In Winter ( elective ) Sue Olcott

15 min break

10:45 am - 12:30 pm Ecology pt 1 ( Core ) Erin Himmel

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Lunch- POTLUCK bring a dish to share

1:30 pm - 3:15 pm Ecology part 2 ( Core ) Erin Himmel

15 min break

3:30 pm - 5:30 pm ID Trees In Winter ( Elective ) Ellen Hrabovsky

Sunday, November 15, 2009 12:00 pm to 6:30 pm

12:00 pm - 3:00 pm Mammals ( Core ) Charles Lefebure

15 min break

3:15 pm - 6:15 pm Amphibians and Reptiles ( Core ) Jim Fregonara

Classes will have both in-class lecture AND field component-
~Coats, hiking boots, umbrella, gloves, hat, etc...
Melissa, volunteer coordinator
(304) 282-2260
Marion County MN Schedule 2009 - 2010

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mountaineer Audubon hosts birding talk

Mountaineer Audubon will hold a presentation entitled "Winter Birding in North Central West Virginia" at 7pm Tuesday at the Morgantown Public Safety Building, corner of Spruce and Walnut streets.
Guess speaker will be Sue Olcott, of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and past president of Mountaineer Audubon. The free program is open to the public.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Deckers Creek park dedication set for Sunday

Friends of Deckers Creek (FODC)and BOPARC invite the community to an Outdoor Learning Park Dedication at 2pm Sunday, along the Deckers Creek Trail behind the Sabraton Kroger.
The celebration begins with a short dedication ceremony featuring several speakers, including Morgantown Mayor Bill Bryne, and a seating area dedication in memory of local master naturalist Bill Grafton.
The BOPARC Senior Center will provide light refreshments and FODC Youth Advisory Board members will play old time music.
The will be a celebration of the environment and the arts as we dedicate this public greenspace to the community and recognize all of the hard work put into the project by FODC staff, community partners and countless numbers of volunteers.
FODC has its 2009 T-shirts for sale. They are made of organic cotton in chocolate brown with a scenic photo of the Deckers Creek gorge in the fall, taken by WVU professor and amateur photographer Dave Smaldone. T-shirts are $15 and can be ordered at 304-292-3970 or

Be a volunteer at Coopers Rock, get Halloween candy

The Coopers Rock Foundation is hosting its annual Coopers Rock Halloween Candy Trailwork Weekend. Volunteers will be supplied with Halloween candy.
Hours are from 10am-6pm today, at the entrance to the front gate parking lot, and from 1-5pm Sunday, at Pavilion No 3 in the lower picnic loop. A map will be attached to the kiosk near the restrooms in the parking lot. Volunteers may work as much or as little as they wish.
The work consists of maintaining drainage features, including water bars, dips, drainage ditches and culverts; removing downed limbs and branches over the trails; trimming vegetation growing into the trail corridors; cleaning out grills and cleaning off stone steps in the lower picnic loop. Tools and work gloves will be provided.
BlissBlissBliss will offer $1-per-minutes CHAIRity massages and Seated Thai Yoga from 1-4pm Sunday at Pavilion No 3. Proceeds go to the Coopers Rock Foundation. Info:

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Soils walk led by WVU Professor of Pedology and Land Use Dr James Thompson, Sunday, November 8, 2009, at 2pm, at the West Virginia Botanic Garden.
Jim will tell us how to identify the many soils of the WV Botanic Garden and their importance.
All ages are welcome.
Attendees should wear hiking footwear, preferably waterproof.
The WVBG is located on Tyrone Road between Snake Hill Road and Route 7.
The entrance gate will be open to allow parking at the lower parking lot.
Due to the popularity of this walk in the past, you are encouraged to be early or at least prompt.

Additional information about Professor Thompson is available at

Sierra Club hosts talk on Dunkard Creek

The WVU Sierra Student coalition and the Monongahela Group of the West Virginia Sierra Club are co-sponsoring a presentation by Dr Duane Nichols titled "Dunkard Creek: 1750-2010" at 7pm Nov 12, in Room 406 Allen Hall on the Evansdale campus of WVU. Local singer/songwriter Jim Savarino will complement the program with offerings from his Appalachian-rooted, original folk music.
Nichols - a local retired chemical engineer with experience in coal research and water chemistry and a longtime activist with CLEAR, Sierra Club, and more recently, the Upper Monongahela River Association - will discuss the conditions that led to the recent fish kills in Dunkard Creek, a tributary which extends about 40 miles from the Monongahela River to the western boundary of Monongalia County.
In the past two months, all the fish, mussels and many other creatures of Dunkard Creek have been killed by toxins released from the golden algae. Nichols will explain why conditions were right for the golden algae to bloom and kill the local stream when it was known previously in this country only as a threat to water bodies in the deep South. He will address the questions of whether this could have been prevented, whether it will happen again in Dunkard Creek and whether there are other streams in our area under threat. An opportunity for individuals and groups to address these concerns will be provided.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: contact Candice at 304-594-3322

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

WVDNR Grant Opportunities

The WVDNR has its annual call out for Cooperative Research and Educational/Management Grants. This is a great opportunity for Master Naturalists to use and share what they have learned. Topics for Educational/Management projects include:

--Develop educational trunks with a specific learning theme. (i.e. streams, ponds, etc)
--Improve a stream by controlling bank erosion or creating habitat for fish and other aquatic animals.
--Develop and staff a booth at fairs and community gatherings promoting WV’s non-game wildlife and botanical resources.
--Construct interpretive trails, viewing towers, blinds etc. for wildlife observation.
--Construct nest box trails for key bird species.
--Design and develop wildlife demonstration areas such as hummingbird and butterfly gardens.

For more information visit:

Closing date for proposals is November 20, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

FODC Green Space Dedication

Sunday Nov. 8th from 2pm to 5pm
Community open house - come celebrate the official unveiling of the Friends of Deckers Creek Outdoor Learning Park! This dedication ceremony will recognize the numerous community partners and volunteers that made this beautiful outdoor learning space possible. Warm beverages and snacks provided. Everyone is welcome!
Location : FODC Outdoor Learning Park behind Kroger in Sabraton along the rail-trail.
Contact : Amanda Lachowski -

Of special interest to us, a bench built by a friend and colleague, Becky Friend, will be dedicated in Bill Grafton's honor.

Marion County Master Naturalist Classes

Melissa has created a blog for the Marion County Master Naturalist chapter. (See link at right.) Here are the classes planned for November:

Saturday, Nov. 14th, 2009 from 8am to 8pm
Sunday Nov. 15th, 2009 from 12 noon to 6pm

****Location near Valley Falls to be announced****
Pot Luck on Saturday- Bring a dish to share!
( kitchen on site to heat food )

*Classes for this weekend will be:
Mammals - Charles Lefubure
Ecology - Erin Himmel
Reptiles and Amphibians - Jim Fregonara
Identifying Trees in Winter -Ellen Hrabovsky
Birds in Winter - Sue Olcott
WV Geology - Jim VanGundy
( *exact schedule to be announced soon! )
Classes will have both in-class lecture AND field component-
~Coats, hiking boots, umbrella, gloves, hat, etc...
Melissa, volunteer coordinator
(304) 282-2260

Look over the list to see if there is a class or two that you might need to fulfill your requirements. Beverly Riffon ( can let you know what classes you've already taken and what you might still need. But even if you don't need any of these classes, it looks to be a fun weekend.

Mountaineer Audubon

Nov 10, the Mountaineer Audubon chapter has scheduled "Preparing for the CBC." The meeting will be held at 7pm in the Public Safety Building. Will update as more information becomes available.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Adventure Day benefits FODC

Adventure Day will be from 1-5pm Sunday. Starting point is at Hazel Ruby McQuain Park. Teams of three can sign up until 5pm Friday. volunteers are also needed to help with the race and community festival. Those interested can call 304-292-3720. For more information about the race and registration forms, go to
Proceeds from Adventure Day, which is put on by Friends of Deckers Creek (FODC), Adventure's Edge and WVU's College of Physical Science, keep the lights on and pay for other essential costs at FODC.

Help clean up Aarons Creek

Friends of Deckers Creek seeks volunteers for a litter cleanup along Aarons Creek in Morgantown, as part of Worldwide Litter Cleanup Day, on Nov 7.
Volunteers should meet at the Friends of Deckers Creek office off WV 7 in Sabraton, behind Rent-a-Center and next to Wendy's at 1pm. Cleanup along Aarons Creek and Green Bag Road will run 1-4pm. Info:; (304) 292-3970

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Notes from Ellen:

Greetings all!

I wanted to let all of you know that after a couple of very productive meetings and with incredible assistance from Melissa we now have a new structure with which to go forward. With the help of 5 co-coordinators (Rob, Erin, Adolia, Denise and Beverly) I will be leading us on. We will be meeting soon to sketch out the plans for the coming year. I welcome your thoughts. The best way to reach me is through e-mail - I do check it regularly!

I look forward to working with you. You MN candidates please get your hours in to Beverly so we can determine how many graduates we have for 2009 and what to expect for next year.

Ellen Hrabovsky

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Carlson named to work with Deckers Creek group

Brian Carlson was sworn in Americorps VISTA as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The Recovery Act is placing an additional 13,000 Americorps members throughout the nation to meet the needs of communities, which are vulnerable during the recession. For 40 Americorps VISTA has been helping bring communities and individuals out of poverty.
Today, nearly 7,000 Americorps members serve in hundreds of nonprofit agencies throughout the United States, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, increase housing opportunities, improve environmental conditions and bridge the digital divide.
Carlson is part of the Appalachian Coal Country Watershed Team, an organization created by the Office of Surface mining and Americorps, which supports 50-plus VISTAs over the Appalachian region.
He will work with Friends of Deckers Creek, a local nonprofit watershed clean-up organization dedicated to the revitalization of the Deckers Creek watershed. He will monitor, assess and map sediment inputs in the watershed, specifically Aarons Creek, that will be prioritized for restoration efforts. He will also recruit and manage volunteers, write grants, sample streams, lead service projects, assist with data analysis and reports and help with fundraising and community outreach events. Currently, he is conducting water quality monitoring throughout the Deckers Creek watershed.
A graduate of Ohio State University, Carlson received a bachelor's degree in environmental policy and management. Info: or

Friday, October 16, 2009

WVBG Work Day

Given the weather forecast for Saturday, the two work projects planned for tomorrow morning at the West Virginia Botanic Garden will be rescheduled. There is a possibility that later on next week George will be planning a bulb planting session. Will keep you posted.

October 18, 2009 Fall Color Walk

Fall Color Walk led by WVU Arboretum Specialist Jon Weems will be at 2pm at the West Virginia Botanic Garden. Come enjoy and learn about the fall foliage and the old growth forest! Attendees should wear hiking gear, preferably waterproof. The WVBT is located on Tyrone Road off of Route 7.

Fall foliage plentiful but may not last long

CHARLESTON -- Red, yellow and golden foliage is abundant across West Virginia but state foresters say the fall colors might not last long.
The Division of Forestry said the leaves will drop quickly if the state receives rain that's expected over the next few days. Some areas could even see snow flurries.
Foliage across the state range from 85 percent peak to 70 percent.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mountaineer Audobon sponsors presentation

Mountaineer Audubon is sponsoring a free presentation by Dr Larry Schwab, MD, at 7pm today on the first floor of the Public Safety Building, corner of Spruce and Walnut Streets, downtown Morgantown.
The presentation will consist of PowerPoint photographic images of birds of Africa and Central and South America, accompanied by narrative description.
Similarities and contrasts of species and colorful and unique bird families will be described, and special experiences with birds recounted.
The public is invited to attend. Info: John Super at (304) 292-4336 or at or Alan Clark at (724) 437-2524 or at

Monday, October 5, 2009


This is a great volunteer opportunity. Workers are needed starting at 10:00 on Sunday to help with the setting up. Contact Linda Bagby

Click on image to enlarge.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Watchers Needed to Track Changes in Bird Populations

Ithaca, NY—What happens in the backyard should not stay in the backyard—at least when it comes to bird feeders. By sharing information about which birds visit their feeders between November and April, backyard bird watchers can help scientists track changes in bird numbers and movements from year to year, through Project FeederWatch, a citizen-science program from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada.

Project FeederWatch begins on November 14 and runs through early April. Taking part is easy. Anyone can count the numbers and kinds of birds at their feeders and enter their information on the FeederWatch website. Participants submitted nearly 117,000 checklists last season. Since 1987, more than 40,000 people from the United States and Canada have taken part in the project.

“To get the most complete picture of bird movements, we always need new sets of eyes to tell us what species are showing up at backyard feeders,” says David Bonter, leader of Project FeederWatch. “Participants always tell us how much fun it is and how good it feels to contribute to our understanding of birds by submitting their sightings.”

Project FeederWatch is for people of all ages and skill levels. To learn more and to sign up, visit or call the Cornell Lab toll-free at (866) 982-2473. In return for the $15 fee ($12 for Cornell Lab members) participants receive the FeederWatcher’s Handbook, an identification poster of the most common feeder birds, a calendar, complete instructions, and Winter Bird Highlights, an annual summary of FeederWatch findings.

Participant Nancy Corr of Harrisburg, Oregon, sums up her Project FeederWatch experience: “Thanks for the wonderful opportunity to share our love of birding and to participate in something meaningful!”

Regional highlights based on 2008-09 FeederWatch reports:

* Southwest & California: On most lists: House Finch. Fewer reports: Western Scrub-Jay. Increasing: Lesser Goldfinch and Eurasian Collared-Dove.

* Southeast & South-Central: On most lists: Northern Cardinal. Increasing: White-winged Dove and Eurasian Collared-Dove. Rare bird: Yellow-headed Blackbird (Florida).

* Pacific Northwest & Rocky Mountains: On most lists: Dark-eyed Junco. Increasing: Anna’s Hummingbird and Golden-crowned Sparrow. Rare bird: Yellow-throated Warbler (Alberta).

* Northeast quarter of U.S. & Southeastern Canada: On most lists: Black-capped and Carolina Chickadees. Fewer reports: Evening Grosbeak. Rare bird: Green-tailed Towhee (New Jersey).

* North-Central & Mid-Central: On most lists: Downy Woodpecker. Fewer reports: American Crows. Increasing: American Robin and Cedar Waxwing. Rare bird: Cape May Warbler (Saskatchewan).

* Alaska & Northern Canada: On most lists: Common Redpoll. Increasing: Pine Grosbeak and Bohemian Waxwing. Fewer reports: Steller’s Jay. Rare bird: Purple Finch (Alaska).

Visit the “Explore Data” section of the website to find the top 25 birds reported in your region and bird summaries by state or province.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a membership institution dedicated to interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Visit the Cornell Lab’s web site at

Questions or Comments?
Call us toll-free at (800) 843-BIRD (2473)

Adventure Day scheduled for Oct 25

Local watershed clean-up organization, Friends of Deckers Creek (FODC) and Adventure's Edge will host the third annual Deckers Creek Adventure Day at 1pm Oct 25 at Hazel Ruby McQuain Waterfront Park.
This event will feature a family friendly, three-hour adventure race, designed by Nathan Kile of the WVU College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences. Racers in teams of three decked out in costumes and uniforms will compete in numerous events such as canoeing, biking, foot racing, orienteering and mystery challenges for the title of Adventure Day Champions.
Proceeds from the event will go toward FODC and its mission to clean up the Deckers Creek watershed. Anyone who is interested in racing or volunteering for the event should contact FODC at (304) 292-3970. More information at

Volunteers sought for weekend cleanup at Cooper's Rock

The Coopers Rock Foundation (CRF) invites area residents to "get down and dirty" by joining foundation members Saturday for The Cliff and Trail Habitat Restoration Day at Coopers Rock State Forest.
Volunteers will meet at the "Climbers' Kiosk" in the lefthand corner of the overflow parking area for assignment to work from 11am-4pm. Come for all or part of the day and be prepared to get dirty. Work gloves are helpful.
The activity is co-sponsored by CRF, Adventure WV, Adventure's Edge and the WVU Outdoor Recreation Center.
Volunteers also are needed for the trailwork marathon Nov 7-8, better known as "The annual Coopers Rock Foundation Halloween Candy Trailwork Weekend."
Work times are 10am-6pm Nov 7 and 1-5pm Nov 8. Volunteers are to meet at the entrance to front gate parking lot, also known as the day use parking lot.
Info on either event:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Announcement for Oct 3 Botanic Garden Walk

Sue will tell us how to identify native mosses, ferns, and lichens growing in the garden by their vegetative and reproductive characteristics. Come enjoy these little mysterious plants and the old growth forest!
All ages are welcome.

Attendees should wear hiking footwear, preferably waterproof.

The WVBG is located on Tyrone Road between
Snake Hill Road and Route 7.
The entrance gate will be open to allow parking at the lower parking lot.

For more information about your Sue Studlar who will lead this walk read on.

Dr. Sue Moyle Studlar has taught botany for over 30 years. For the past 15 years she has taught Plant Diversity, Plant Geography, and Plant Anatomy at West Virginia University as a Visiting Associate Professor. She has led many public moss walks, most recently for the West Virginia Wildflower Pilgrimage. The walk may also consider human uses of mosses: traditional, current, and future.

Dr. Studlar graduated from Carleton College in Minnesota with a B.A. in Biology, and was inspired to specialize in mosses by a field botany course in the North Woods. She earned a Ph.D. in botany at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville), where she studied bryophytes under Aaron J. Sharp. Dr. Studlar has spent most of her professional career in or near the Appalachians. Her first job was at Wellesley College in Massachusetts where she taught Basic Horticulture and Plant Biology. At Centre College (Danville, Kentucky) she became an Associate Professor of Biology and maintained an active research program at the University of Virginia's Mountain Lake Biological Station. Her research projects (and publications) at Mountain Lake included studies of : host specificity of epiphytic bryophytes, bryophytes in bird nests, bryophytes and slime molds, and trampling effects on bryophytes. She also studied the bryophytes of the New River Gorge of Kentucky and compiled a checklist of Kentucky bryophytes. While at Centre, Dr. Studlar switched to Adjunct status to meet the challenges of raising two boys; since then, she has also held Visiting positions at Oklahoma State University and West Virginia University.

In West Virginia Dr. Studlar's collaborative projects have included: effects of stream acidification on bryophytes, a checklist of West Virginia bryophytes, and moss harvest in West Virginia (the stripping of forest mosses from logs and rocks for use in arts and crafts). She and Elizabeth Byers reported the re-discovery (by E.B.) of dung moss (Splachnum ampullaceum) in West Virginia. Also (with two WVU engineering students) she reported on the survival of peat mosses (Sphagnum) launched into the stratosphere by two WVU engineering students. Dr. Studlar curates bryophytes at the WVU Herbarium, and has helped develop a Plant Conservatory (Teaching Collection) and Native Wildflower Garden for the Department of Biology.

Dr. Studlar lives in Morgantown, WV with her husband Don. She enjoys hiking, nature photography, and gardening. Her extensive summer travels have included visits to their fledged, adventurous sons in Vermont, El Salvador, and Japan. She has also studied plants abroad, including in Australia (as a Visiting Fellow at Australian National University) and Saskatchewan (as a Visiting Research Scholar at the University of Regina).

Sierra Club sponsoring moderate intensity hike

On Sunday, Oct 4, the West Virginia Sierra Club is sponsoring a 7.2 mile moderate intensity hike at Cooper's Rock North. The hike will connect Ken's Run Trail with the Virgin Hemlock Trail in a less well-known area of Cooper's Rock State Forest. Info: Ann Devine-King, or (304) 594-2636.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Update on Sept 24 Wildflower Class

From Ellen Hrabovsky:

As I understand it, the only class you lack for this year is the wildflower class which was to take place on the 17th. I will be conducting that class this coming Thursday 09/24/09 from 5:30 till its too dark to continue at the WV Botanic Garden at 1061 Tyrone Road.

The gate will be open so drive down to the lower parking area. We will meet there to start.

If you have any questions you can e-mail Ellen at:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

National Hunting and Fishing Days show next weekend

West Virginia wildlife officials are gearing up for the largest single weekend event in the state for outdoors pursuits like hunting, fishing and bird-watching.
The state's annual celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Days is scheduled for Sept 26-27, at Stonewall Resort State Park.
The event, sponsored by the state Division of Natural Resources, includes demonstrations on everything from fly casting to field dressing squirrels.
DNR Director Frank Jezioro said the goal of the exhibition is to recruit people for pastimes like hunting, fishing and camping.
For more information, contact Jerry Westfall at (304) 558-2771

Friday, September 18, 2009

Volunteers sought to help restore public lands

The US Army Corps of Engineers is looking for volunteers to restore America's public lands.
The Pittsburgh District corps will host National Public Lands Day at Tygart Lake on Sept 26. In honor of this year's theme, water quality, volunteers will be cleaning up and restoring the lake's shoreline.
The work day lasts about 5 hours and will be followed by a picnic at the project pavilion at Tygart Dam.
Volunteers are to assemble at 9am Sept 26 at the Tygart Lake State Park Marina boat launch area to register and organize the day's events (call office for directions).
All volunteers are to wear proper safety attire, such as long pants, boots, weather gear and gloves.
Preregistration is encouraged, but not required. Info and directions: Park Ranger April Hawkey, (304) 265-1760.

Earn certification through workshop on saving streams

The Society of Environmental Professionals, a WVU student organization, will host its second annual "Save Our Streams" workshop and certification program Saturday. The program is designed to give citizens the knowledge needed to monitor and make general health assessments of the streams and rivers in their communities. Certification is obtained following successful completion.
The workshop will be led by a representative of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. All participants will meet at 9:30am, in 1030 South Agricultural Sciences Building, on WVU's Evansdale Campus and, following lunch, will travel to Cobun Creek at White Park for additional hands-on instruction. The workshop will conclude at about 4:30pm.
The workshop is free and open to the public. Preregistration is required. To register: Info: or Amanda Savage at or (304) 288-3099.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Next week we will be meeting at 5:30 at the WV Botanic Garden. Initially we will be studying fall wildflowers then we will move inside as it gets dark. Will post more details as they become available.

September 17 MN Class

Bill's original plans were for us to meet at the Botanic Garden for two hours of wildflowers tonight. In case of rain we were to meet at Percival Hall for an hour of Names & ID followed by two hours of autumn wildflowers.
We will still be meeting tonight at Percival Hall where we will be discussing our current program and what our future plans will be. Melissa Brodsky, volunteer coordinator for the Marion County MN program will be there. Additionally Emily Grafton will join us. Please be ready to share your stories about Bill and bring any pictures you might have.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ellie and I send out our heart felt sympathy to Emily and the rest of Bill's Family. I am thankful to have made his last Master's Naturalist class on thursday nite. He was happy and I remember him laughing it up with the rest of us while Erin taught the class on Ecology. He left us healthy happy and teaching with no suffering at the end. I even took a picture of him with my cell phone, I will treasure it and all he taught us. He was a fine man and a great teacher to us all.

Dr. David Ahrend.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bill Grafton

It is with great sadness I bring you the news that Bill Grafton passed away Friday, September 11, 2009.

Bill was a leading supporter of our West Virginia Master Naturalist program and did so much to pass on his love of nature, discovery and education through the tireless efforts and countless hours he selflessly dedicated to WVMN.

In speaking with his wife Emily, she tells me Bill simply collapsed on campus while outside speaking with a student and never regained consciousness.

Emily says there is a memorial service to celebrate Bill’s life tentatively scheduled for Saturday September 26, mid-afternoon. She asks that you watch your emails for further updates once she confirms the time.
Bill's currently scheduled Mon County MN classes are canceled for the time being. Until further notice Bill's MN students, graduates and certified MN's can feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns regarding the Mon County MN program.
I apologize that some of you may receive this notice multiple times as we are using several of Bill's list serves to ensure proper notification to all those that knew and loved Bill.
Melissa Brodsky, volunteer Coordinator
Marion County Master Naturalists
Rt. 4 Box 569B, Tunnel Hollow Rd.
Fairmont, WV 26554
(304)-366-1420 office/fax
(304) 282-2260 cell

Trout for Cheat dinner to be at Prime Thyme

Trout for Cheat is hosting an elimination social beginning at 6pm Oct 10 at Prime Thyme at Preston Country Club. Tickets are $100 and admit two. Free cocktails will be available. Dinner includes barbecued ribs, grilled chicken, vegetables, salad and dessert. Info: Art George at (304) 288-8097 or (304) 329-1780.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sierra Club sponsoring hike of Quebec Run Wild Area

The West Virginia Sierra Club is sponsoring an 8.9 mile moderate intensity hike. Sept 19, in the Quebec Run Wild Area just north of Bruceton Mills.
Enjoy the heavily wooded forests as you hike along streams, pass the ruins of a grist mill, and appreciate the watershed area of several streams, including Quebec Run.
Participants should bring rain gear, lunch and water.
In order to participate, you will need to sign a liability waiver.
Info: Ann Devine-King,, or (304) 594-2636.
Carpooling is a private arrangement among the participants and Sierra Club assumes no liability.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Volunteers sought to plant trees during Public Lands Day

The Monongahela National forest, the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, and WVU Adventure Club have teamed up to host a National Pulic Lands Day event Sept 26.
Volunteers are being sought to help plant native red spruce seedling on the forest and adjacent refuge lands to protect high elevation streams and connect spruce in the higher elevations to the floor of Canaan Valley.
People willing to assist in the red spruce planting project should meet at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center at 10 am Sept 26.
Gloves, sturdy shoes or boots, long pants and appropriate rain gear should be brought by each volunteer, along with food and water. National Public Lands Day 2009 T-shirts will be given to the first 100 volunteers.
The project is part of a long-term landscape scale effort by a consortium of partners cooperating as the High Elevation Working Group to converve high elevation habitats in West Virginia.
A major focus of the group's efforts is on restoring a functioning red spruce-northern hardwood forest ecosystem across both public and private lands.
Among the wildlife species which will benefit from the additional planting of red spruce in Canaan Valley are the threatened Cheat Mountain Salamander, the West Virginia norhtern flying squirrel, which was only recently removed from the federal list of threatened or endangered species; rare birds such as the northern goshawk and saw-whet owl; and other species that inhabit the limited spruce-fir forests in West Virginia.

Friday, August 28, 2009


September 18 – 20
Nature Wonder Weekend
North Bend State Park
Wild food enthusiasts will enjoy this weekend of hikes, programs and a wild food banquet.
Contact: Emily Fleming 304-558-2754

View Info and Registration Form

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thursday September 3rd - Geology (3 hrs elective) from 6 to 9 pm: I will be presenting a general overview of geologic concepts and on West Virginia/Appalachian geology. If time permits, I will provide some information on some of the "hot" research at the Dept of Energy.

Monday, July 27, 2009

trail work at Tygart lake park

anyone interested in getting volunteer hours and going out on tygart lake for food and conversation after, contact Dave and Ellie at or call us at 304-288-0777 and we can set up a date for doing this.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Forgive me if this note sounds a bit incoherent. I volunteered to be a part of the search and destroy mission of invasive plants at the WV Botanic Garden this morning. There's got to be an easier way to earn volunteer hours.
Fortunately Bill reminded us last week that one way to earn volunteer hours is by sharing something you know about in a presentation to the class. Not only do you earn hours for the class time, you will also earn hours for the time you spend in preparing for the presentation.
So think about something you have a passion for that would be of interest to the class. We have already heard from Erin on interpretation and from Sue on photography. In September Rob will be discussing geology. The date to be announced.

Bird Songs

Guys, I have been trying to learn common bird sounds for ages. I found a great site that has some of the common birds from our backyards. It has about 40 seconds of each bird, sounding some variations. Take a look and see if it helps you.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Posting Pictures

We need to decide how best to protect any images or articles that we post. I have added a link at the bottom of this page with some suggestions on how to protect images. Perhaps a general statement on this page would be in order. We could also restrict this blog to only those people signed up as "authors." Let me know your thoughts.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I have added a bunch of pictures, to my facebook page, of my garden, check them out at or get there with
thanks for the reedville info plan to make it today. love walking with Bill he has so much knowledge.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Author, Author

I have added the e-mail addresses of everyone who gets Bill's e-mails. This will allow you to post to the blog. Anyone can read the blog, but only authors can post. Along with posting messages, you can also post pictures, videos, and web links. Please feel free to use this blog. If you have any suggestions let me know. This is my first blog and I have a lot to learn.

Challenge of Blogging

Someone in last night's class suggested that we create a blog. Not being shy about sharing my lack of knowledge, I took up the challenge. So here goes. Hopefully I will get more sophisticated as I gain experience. And hopefully you folks won't be shy about sharing pictures, news items or just your thoughts.