Monday, May 31, 2010

OLLI Upcoming Summer Schedule

Adolia Emerson writes:
I received the OLLI schedule today and there are several classes that would work with MN. Fungus among us with Bob Burrell, WV Birds of Prey with Katie Fallon and a few more. check it out at

Some of the titles that sound applicable to Master Naturalists include:

Gardening for B’s: Butterflies, Birds, and Bees
There’s a Fungus Among Us
West Virginia Birds of Prey
Dragons and Damsels in the Mountain State
Introduction to Geocaching
Appalachian Home Remedies
Overpopulation, Mass Extinction, and Global Warming
Living Greener and Cheaper
From Sun to Sequestration: Our Energy Past and Energy Future
The Dunkard Creek Fish Kill and the Future of Our Streams and Drinking Water
West Virginia Birds of Prey

OLLI's membership it open to anyone ages 50 and above to continue learning through classes, lectures and trips. Clicking on the link above will take you to their website where you can find more information about OLLI, their schedule and a membership form.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Coopers Rock group seeks board members

The Coopers Rock Foundation is seeking individuals who would like to serve on its board of directors. The mission of the foundation is to protect and preserve Coopers Rock State Forest and Snake Hill Wildlife Management area.
This is an exciting time of change at Coopers Rock State Forest, with a new superintendent who is interested in working closely with the foundation. If interested, contact Alan Collins at 304-685-0906 or A potluck dinner is planned for Thursday at the overlook to welcome new and existing board members.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Jim Fregonara, WVDNR Wildlife Resources Section, Wildlife Diversity, sent out information to the County Coordinators about the first statewide Master Naturalist Conference to be held the weekend of June 11-13 in Elkins.

The West Virginia Master Naturalists program is about to have its FIRST statewide MN conference! The conference is open to all MN participants and is FREE of charge! ( accepting meals and lodging which are reasonably priced)
"This is the first, and hopefully annual, WV Master Naturalists gathering of all members throughout the state. Members can earn unique elective credit hours while meeting other students from throughout the state and have a great time."
"We’ve worked out an agreement with Davis & Elkins College. Fees are $45 for a single per night or $50 for a double, plus tax to stay at the Byrd Conference Center which includes a continental breakfast. Meals are reasonably price in the cafeteria and box lunches can be provided for the field trips. All meals, except for the continental breakfast at Byrd Conference Center, will be served in the campus cafeteria. You must make your own lodging reservations (304-637-1600). Tell the clerk you are with the WV Master Naturalists. You MUST register by May 28."

West Virginia Master Naturalist Weekend Conference

When: Friday, June 11 through Sunday, June 13, 2010
Where: Davis & Elkins College, Elkins, WV

No registration fee! Free electives!

Two evening socials (Friday and Saturday (with the Falling Branch String Band))

Weekend Schedule at a glance:
(see attached schedule and course descriptions for more information)

Fri: Evening Astronomy lecture and planetarium show

Saturday: Choice of four all day field classes:
1 Stream Animal Ecology
2 GIS and GPS
3 Appalachian Geologic Natural History
4 WV Wetlands

Sunday: Statewide Master Naturalist Meeting
(agenda to be determined during the weekend)

Master Naturalist Conference WVDNR & Davis and Elkins College Course Descriptions

WV Master Naturalist Weekend Conference Registration

Monday, May 17, 2010

Master Naturalist Update

Greetings all!

This week is a busy one. Thursday we meet at the WVU Extension office as usual. Emily Grafton will be showing us how to improve our places for wildlife.

Then Saturday May 22 we go the the Cranesville swamp under the guidance of Lejay Grafious. This excursion will combine birds, trees and wetlands. We will meet at 9:00 am at the parking area to the south side of Exit 23 off I 68 (Bruceton Mills), Lejay will lead us to the Swamp. Carpoolif you can and we can double up once we meet. Parking space is not abundant at Cranesville. We will go rain or shine so come prepared for the weather and bring a lunch and drink. Bring binoculars if you have them, your hand lens and camera if desired. I will have some handbooks for our use.

This will be a fun day in a unique place!


Friday, May 14, 2010

WVBG pruning workshop- sign up now!

Hi folks,

This is a reminder that the pruning workshop led by WV Botanic Garden Executive Director and Landscape Architect extraordinaire George Longenecker will take place next Saturday, May 22. The workshop will take place at a private residence in the Suncrest area from 9am till noon. Learn how to prune your plants and shrubs for maximum health and appearance. Use of pruning tools and methods will be covered. Cost is $8 for WVBG members and $10 for non members to be paid at the workshop. To register, contact Erin Himmel at or 304-594-0153 ASAP.

Take the Funky Nests Challenge!

Melisa Brodsky of the Marion County Master Naturalists
sent the following information:

Celebrate Urban Birds

May 14, 2010

Photo by Boyd Jensen, California

Dear Birding Friend,

The "Funky Nests in Funky Places" environmental challenge is back! We received more than 600 entries to this Celebrate Urban Birds contest last year showing nests in hanging flower baskets, an old boot, a teacup, a coffee can--even on top of a clothespin, where a hummingbird built its tiny nest. See the 2009 entries.

If you're not familiar with Celebrate Urban Birds, it's a citizen-science project from the Cornell Lab of Ornthology that collects information about birds in cities and how they make use of available "green spaces." It also gets more people interested in birds and nature through community events centered around the arts, gardening, and science.

For the 2010 Funky Nests in Funky Places challenge, you may take photos, do a painting, write a story, or shoot a video showing a bird’s nest built in some out-of-the-way or out-of-this-world place.

Photo by Jacquie Tinker, New York

We've had such fun with this challenge! The theme really struck a chord with people last year. You wouldn't believe how many showed us bird nests in barbecue grills, bathrooms, garden tools, and signs. We even had Tree Swallows nesting in a cannon!

Prizes you could win this year include Kaytee bird feeders and seed, sound CDs, books, posters, nest boxes, and more. If you're one of the first 50 entrants, you'll receive a copy of the "Doves and Pigeons" poster by Julie Zickefoose. Selected images and videos will be posted on the Celebrate Urban Birds website. We'll also be creating a 2011 calendar using some of the best entries.

Email your entry to

1. Write "Funky Nests_Your First and Last Name_ Your City and State" in the subject line.
2. In the email, you MUST include your name, mailing address, and location where photos were taken.
3. Tell us why you submitted your entry to the Funky Nests in Funky Places contest.
4. Choose your best/favorite entry and send just that one, please!
5. Read the terms of agreement
6. Be careful around nesting birds. Read more about how to find nests and what to do once you know where birds are nesting.
7. If you agree to the terms above, send us your entry before July 1, 2010.

Visit the Celebrate Urban Birds website for more information. Hey, show us your funky nest!


Karen Purcell, project leader
Celebrate Urban Birds

The 2010 Funky Nests in Funky Places challenge is sponsored in part by Kaytee.


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

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca NY 14850
Call toll-free (800) 843-BIRD (2473)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Southern Boreal Birding Festival at Canaan Valley Resort State Park

The Southern Boreal Birding Festival at Canaan Valley Resort State Park will be held June 4th - 6th. Canaan Valley and its surroundings is the ideal habitat for many species of birds found further north in the North American continent. Some birds to be seen are the Blackburnian Warbler, Henslow’s Sparrow, Alder Flycatcher & Bobolink to name a few. Last year we found Brewster’s Warbler, a hybrid of Blue- Winged and Golden-Winged Warblers. It’s a very rare bird that most of our participants have not seen.
For more information including the event flyer, registration form and bird list, click on the link to their website:

The first 50 people to register for the event will receive a free hat!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Nature Leadership Training School Opportunity in Terra Alta WV

Hi Everyone! Check out this incredible opportunity for Master Naturalist students, courtesy of Oglebay Institute. This week-long training is FREE. There are 10 slots for MN folks so act quickly! Even though the application is geared towards teachers, MN students can apply, just leave the teacher experience portions blank. Please direct questions directly to the school’s directors Zachary Loughman ( or Karen Kettler (

Leadership Training School Highlights

Thanks to generous support from foundations, donors, and friends, Oglebay Institute’s Nature Leadership Training School is a fully funded project aimed at increasing the knowledge of teachers and West Virginia master naturalist volunteers throughout the region and creating a strong corps of volunteers to assist in the sampling of invertebrates and increase the quality of natural history education in West Virginia. This residential environmental education experience will take place at Oglebay Institutes field station in Terra Alta, West Virginia Sunday June 20th through Friday June 25th, 2010. All participants will have lodging and homemade food provided to them. Highlights of Nature Leadership Training School include:

· Participants of the Nature Leadership Training School will receive training in alpha taxonomy, classification, natural history, ecology, and zoology from experts in the field. Institutions currently committed include West Liberty University, Marshall University, and the Invertebrate Range of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh

· Collecting methods specific to arthropods including insects (moths, beetles, and crane flies specifically), crayfishes, and arachnids will be discussed and deployed in the field. Training in the Nature Leadership Training School will enable participants to locate, collect, identify, and deposit understudied taxa into collections which desperately need information on Appalachian biodiversity.

· After training by experts in the first two days, participants will partake in a bioblitz inventory of either a state park or national forest land for understudied arthropods. Specimens collected during this effort will be deposited in the Carnegie Museums Invertebrate range. Arthropod biologists will also participate in the bioblitz alongside teachers and master naturalist volunteers.

· Following the Bioblitz, West Virginia Department of Natural Resources Biologists will be present to notify participants of significant findings. All records will be added to the current West Virginia Department of Natural resources database for rare and endangered wildlife.

· Teachers will be trained in proper field id and specimen preparation for key taxa including crayfishes, beetles, and moths, and given curriculum to augment collecting trips with their students for these taxa.

· Teachers can receive 3 FREE graduate credit hours through West Virginia University by taking their training into the classroom and collect invertebrates with their students following guidelines presented in the course. THESE CREDITS WILL BE PAID FOR THROUGH FUNDING RECEIVED TO IMPLEMENT Nature Leadership Training School.

· All specimens collected during the week or during independent collecting trips following Nature Leadership Training School will have the option of being deposited in either the Invertebrate Range at Carnegie Museum of Natural History or the West Liberty University Astacology Collection. Collector’s names will accommodate specimens in these collections for hundreds of years into the future.

Please address all questions and return the completed application as soon as possible. We will award 30 scholarships (20 to secondary education science teachers and 10 master naturalist volunteers) based on merit and timeliness. Please complete a separate form for each applicant. You will be notified in writing regarding any award (emails will be sent on June 7th. ) For more information please email the school directors Zachary Loughman ( or Karen Kettler (, who will gladly answer any questions you may have.

NLTS Application

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

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Garlic Mustard Patrol

Suzanne Reynolds sent the following information for volunteers needed at the Arboretum:

Garlic Mustard removal at Arboretum:
- 1pm Monday, May 3
- 1pm Tuesday, May 4

Bring garden/work gloves if you've got them.

Dale (from our MN group) and I will be meeting Jon Weems at the main parking lot to continue to the effort to remove the invasive Mustard Garlic before it goes to seed.

Tree Planting a Success!

THANK YOU so much to:
Marion County MN volunteers Bruce, John, Melissa, Paul, and Randy
Mon county MN volunteers Barbara and 12 yr old daughter Lexie
Parks and Rec representative Calvin
one fellow out fishing at Guyses Run- Joey
who all picked up shovels and topsoil and planted 100 trees in 6 hours time!

It was a beautiful sunny, warm day for planting!

Among the trees planted were Dogwood, Choke Cherry, Red Oak and Sugar Maple- great trees for beautification, wildlife habitat and resource.

Trees were planted on Parks And Rec public property along the new Gateway Connector, throughout the Wave Tech Park and Guyses Run Fishing Park- all in Marion County.

Follow up care will be provided by Parks and Rec staff and include installation of protection tubes as well as continued watering and mulch applications. Progress reports will be submitted to the Treeways Project by Marion County Master Naturalists.

A great Big THANK YOU to Freed's Greenhouse for donating the potting soil and Tree-Tone Natural fertilizer as well as some mulch to ensure the trees get off to a great start! Honeybee Landscaping also pitched in with all the tools and planting equipment as well as some Holly-Tone natural fertilizer for the Dogwood trees.

Thanks again to a group effort, a great job done by all that will benefit our wildlife for years to come!