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: