Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Beekeeping with Nathan

Nathan Bean can do a session on beekeeping on Saturday afternoon April 24. Please let Ellen know who would like to do this so he can have enough equipment. This will count as an elective.

Taxidermy class scheduled at WVU

"Taxidermy 102," offered by WVU's Division of Forestry and Natural Resources, originally scheduled for March 20, will be from 9am - 2pm April 17 in 308 Percival Hall on WVU's Evansdale Campus. The course will be taught by award-winning taxidermist Rick Dunlap, of Buckhannon. Cost is $25 per person, including lunch.
Register at the door. Info, to preregister: Ann Anderson at 304-293-4343, 304-276-8950 or

Letter from the Master Naturalist Program at Oglebay

Hi everyone. Hope you all survived the winter with your sanity intact. Here is the entire MN class schedule for our chapter, we may add more electives but all remaining cores and some electives are listed here. If you have a student needing to make up a missed class from your chapter, our class registration info can be found at

“Birds” was already offered in January, and some classes on this schedule have already been held. The registration form gets updated about once a month, so it only includes the classes thru spring. Please call me if you have any questions. We love students from other chapters. Please share your schedule so our students can make up missed classes too.

Thanks! Have a Happy Easter and a sunny warm spring!


Penny Miller, Zoo Director
Oglebay's Good Zoo
465 Lodge Drive
Wheeling, WV 26003
304-243-4027 phone
304-243-4110 fax website

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Trout Unlimited hosts clean-up

Trout Unlimited will hold its annual North Fork C&R Cleanup from 10am - 2pm on Saturday, at Seneca Rocks.
Participants will meet at the Seneca Discovery Center at 10am. After the cleanup, several pots of chili will be served for lunch inside the center. For more information, contact Trout Unlimited at

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mark Your Calendar

June 26, 2010
50th Anniversary Celebration of the Nature Conservacy's Cranesville Swamp Preserve

....more information as it becomes available

Nearby MD Opportunities for Volunteer Hours

Two upcoming opportunities to earn volunteer hours will be taking place at Nature Conservancy perserves in Garrett County, Maryland.

John Friend Cave Preserve Tree Planting
Date:Thursday, April 8, 2010
Time:11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

The Glades Preserve Spruce Planting
Date:April 24, 2010
Time:10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Both sites are within an hours drive from Morgantown and are sponsored by the MD chapter of the Nature Conservancy. To sign up for either events contact Genese Leach at

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Going-On's at the Garden

Click on images to enlarge

Cornell Lab Nest Watch

Anyone can monitor nests - it's a rewarding way to spend time outdoors and participate in science.

NestWatch is a continentwide citizen-science project and nest-monitoring database of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, funded by the National Science Foundation and developed in collaboration with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.

This is a great way to earn volunteer hours. Click on this link for more information:
Cornell Lab NestWatch

Monday, March 22, 2010

WVU plans class in organic gardening

Organic gardening is a knowledge-intensive, ecologically friendly and delicious approach to growing your own food; however, careful planning is required. WVU will help with that planning by offering a new course, "Planning and Planting Your Organic Garden."
The one-credit-hour course, taught by James Kotcon, associate professor of plant pathology in WVU's Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, will help students learn about organic certification procedures, soil fertility and pest management with hands-on planning and applications.
Course sessions will be from 6 - 8:45pm Thursdays, March 25 through May 6, in 1030 South Agricultural Sciences Building on WVU's Evansdale Campus.
Enrollment is limited to 40 students. Info: Kotcon at 304-293-8822 or

Learn how to keep bees at workshop

The Monongalia County Beekeepers Association will host a beginner's beekeeping class from 10am - noon Saturday at the Monongalia County Extension office in Westover. Info: 304-291-7201 or

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Raptor rehabilitation the 'in' thing to do

The West Virginia Raptor Center is run by Mike Book, a former wildlife student at WVU with the help of 40 or more volunteers. Presently their education program is assisted by Vadar, a turkey vulture, and William, a non-releasable barred owl. The center schedules educational programs which run one hour, but can be flexible. Donations are requested to help defray the costs of holding and feeding the birds.
There are several programs already booked for the next few months when you can see these great birds and learn more about their ecology:
Noon-2pm today, Marion County Mast Naturalist Program, Fairmont.
11am and 1pm, April 17, Martinsburg.
Noon-3pm, April 24, Clay Center Earth Day Festival, Charleston.
May 1, Cheat River Festival, Albright.
2pm, July 17, Festival of Memories, Lincoln Theater, New Martinsville.
July 17, Springfield Volunteer Fire Co. Festival.
Oct 2, Freshwater Folk Festival, White Sulphur Springs.

If you are interested in volunteering at the center, go online at and fill out an application, or call 304-366-2867.

Core Arboretum

WHAT: Wildflower walks
WHEN: 2pm the last three Sundays in April
WHERE: Arboretum parking lot
ABOUT: The Sunday afternoon wildflower walks are a 50-year tradition. Guides will be Jon Weems and Dr. Donna Ford-Werntz, of the WVU Department of Biology. Participants will walk about one mile, making frequent stops. Walks last about two hours. No reservations ar necessary.

WHAT: Morning bird walks
WHEN: 7:30 each Tuesday, April 20 through May 18
WHERE: Arboretum parking lot
ABOUT: Guides will be LeJay Graffious and other members of Mountaineer Audubon. Participants may leave before the walks end as dictated by their schedules. Birders of all levels of knowledge are welcome. No reservations are necessary, but participants should bring binoculars if they have them.

WVU - Morgantown Adventure Sport Series

WHAT: Get Lost! Orienteering Competition
WHEN: 1-5pm April 25
WHERE: Coopers Rock State Forest
ABOUT: In this event, solo competitors and 2-person teams will attempt to locate checkpoints within Coopers Rock State Forest while armed with only a map, compass and their sense of adventure. This event is open to participants age 16 and older for the solo division. The minimum age for the 2-person division is 12 years old with one person over the age of 18 also on the team.


WHAT: Redbud Weekend
WHEN: April 16-18
WHERE: Cacapon Resort State Park
ABOUT: This time of year the redbud trees abound with their beautiful color. Wildflower walks and spring talks will be held this weekend at Cacapon.
INFO, RESERVATIONS: 304-258-1022

WHAT: Spring Photography Workshop
WHEN: April 16-18
WHERE: Twin Falls Resort State Park
ABOUT: The workshop focuses on basic and intermediate photography methods with indoor and outdoor sessions. Instructor/student oriented. Reservations are required.
INFO, RESERVATIONS: 304-294-4000

WHAT: Annual Spring Bird Walk
WHEN: April 17
WHERE: Prickett's Fort State Park
ABOUT: Celebrate the joys of springer with a Saturday morning bird walk. WVDNR staff will lead the public on this annual rite of passage. Programs begin at 8am. Wear sturdy walking shoes and bring binoculars if you have them.
CONTACT: 304-363-3030

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Creek friends to host clean-up

Friends of Decker's Creek will hold its seasonal adopt-a-highway and adopt-a-trail clean-up efforts from 1-4pm, Sunday, along W.Va. 7 and Decker's Creek trail. Volunteers are needed and welcome, and supplies, snacks and beverages will be provided.
For more informations, e-mail Brian Carlson at

Friday, March 19, 2010

Public comment sought on polluted streams

CHARLESTON - The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is accepting public comment on a draft list of the state's polluted streams and lakes.
The updated list includes bodies of water that fail to meet state water quality standards. Failure to meet those standards makes them unsuitable for use as a public drinking water supply, aquatic life propagation or contact recreation.
By law, the list is updated every two years.
Public comments will be accepted through April 19.


George Longenecker has a great idea for a volunteer project. There are several bird houses in various sites at the Botanic Garden that have had no maintenance for at least two years. So anyone looking for a great volunteer project either solo or with a group, contact


Led by Jon Weems, Arboretum Specialist in the Department of Biology, WVU, the wildflower walks begin at 2:00 PM the last 3 Sundays in April. Groups assemble at the main entrance. No reservations are necessary for these walks, which last about 2 hours.
Wear suitable shoes for walking.








Intro/names&ID/ 2


Ellen Hrabovsky




Erin Himmel


Ecology /3


James Rentch




Erin Himmel


Trees, Shrubs, /3


Ellen Hrabovsky


Habitat Improvement 3


Emily Grafton


Ferns, Trees 1.5/1.5






John Jacobs


Aquatic Habitats/3


Sarah Valeska





Emily Grafton




Ellen Hrabovsky

Sept. 16




Bob Burrell




Sue Olcott



WVUE Extension Office

WVBG West Virginia Botanic Garden

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bird Walks Starting Soon

April- May Bird Walks
April 20 – May 18
WVU Core Arboretum Bird Walks. Tuesday mornings from April 20 – May 18. All walks start at 7:30 am at the main entrance.

These walks are conducted by Mountaineer Audubon. Check their website for more information about the club and to see what other walks are planned.

Latin Plant Names

While we will have this in our Master Gardener classes, I found a neat site that allows you to click on a name and hear how it is pronounced. The page is sponsored by Fine Gardening and of course they want to sell you something, but it's worth a listen.
Just go to Pronunciation Guide for Plants.

Friday, March 5, 2010


The Mountaineer Chapter of the National Audubon Society has designed a process for nominating a local bird species that could be selected as official Morgantown city bird. Just as the cardinal has been adopted as a state bird in West Virginia, a city like Morgantown can adopt a city bird species.

The Audubon Society has developed a list of common birds that would be suitable candidates. It is seeking the help of other organizations and interested persons to prepare a list of nominees which can be presented to 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in Morgantown elementary schools. The students will be asked to vote to select their favorite bird species to recommend to the Morgantown City Council by the end of April 2010.

Read about the "candidates" and cast your vote on the Mountaineer Website. But hurry, voting period ends on March 26.