Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mountaineer bird count is Dec 17

The annual Mountaineer Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) will be Dec 17. Participants will be divided into four teams. The teams and count area are posted on mountaineeraudubon.org. The aim is to tally all birds observed within a 7.5 mile radius of a given point - the Morgantown Airport.
Anyone interested in participating in this year's Mountaineer Audubon Christmas Bird Count should contact LeJay Graffious, at lejay@oldhemlock.org or 304-379-7505.
There is a $5 fee for all field participants aged 19 or older, which will be paid to National Audubon to offset data processing. This year, the fee for all participants will be paid by a corporate sponsor: Clear Mountain Bank.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tracking class details

Hello and Happy Holidays!

We will be having another Tracking class with Doug Wood. The charge for the class for all except the 2011 class is $10.

Date: Saturday January 28
Place: West Virginia Botanic Garden starting in the Sales Bldg. in Imperial East
Time: 10-2

Bring your lunch.
Invite a friend, but please let me know who is coming because we need to keep the class size at about 25. Looking forward to hearing from some of you.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tracking class to be offered

Doug Wood has agreed to do another tracking class on Saturday JAN. 28. It will be held at the Botanic Garden. This will count towards elective hours.

I attended his last class and it was fascinating. He combines classroom time with practice in the field.

Details are currently being discussed as to whether or not non-MN people will be allowed to attend, as well as to whether or not a fee will be charged. Will let you know when this is decided, but mark your calendars. This is one class you won't want to miss.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Christmas Bird Count at Canaan Valley

Friday, December 16: Christmas Bird Count (CBC). Do you want your interest and concern about birds to count? Join other bird lovers in Canaan Valley for this annual, day-long event to gather and submit information to the CBC, the longest running citizen science program in the world. Your observations become part of a database available to the public and researchers. In recent years the contributions to the CBC database and other citizen science programs have added to the understanding of the status of bird populations across North America. Contact Marquette Crockett at 304.866.3858 or marquette_crockett@fws.gov before December 12 to participate.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Group will screen documentary film

The Mon Group of the Sierra Club West Virginia Chapter will host a free screening of the highly acclaimed documentary film, "The Last Mountain." at 6:30pm, Nov 17, at Monongalia Friends Meeting House, at 648 E Brockway Ave.
The Mon Group will supply apple cider and tableware. Everyone is asked to bring a covered dish, dessert or potluck treat before the film. All are welcome to attend.
Info: thelastmountainmovie.com, or Sarah Smith at wvusmitty@gmail.com or 304-685-1120.

Volunteer for trail maintenance Saturday

The West Virginia Sierra Club will lead trail maintenance on Coopers Rock Intermediate Cross Country Ski Trail on Saturday (Nov 12). Rated easy hiking and easy-to-moderate work intensity, the fall clean-up emphasizes clearing the fallen leaves, drainage restoration and trail clearing. Trail length is .6 miles and total hiking length is a 1.25 mile loop.
Volunteers should wear study boots, and carry work gloves, water and snacks. Adults and adolescents are invited to help. Those under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or a legal guardian. Volunteers will be required to sign a standard Sierra Club Liability Waivers and a DNR Volunteer Work Program Agreement.
Please preregister with leader Ann Devine-King at 304-594-2636 or atdking@gmail.com. Info: coopersrockstateforest.com.

Wild and Scenic Film Festival

November 10, 2011 - The West Virginia Rivers Coalition is hosting The Wild and Scenic Film Festival, Thursday November 10 at the Met Theatre in Morgantown. It's going to be an evening of excitement, wonder and inspirational films. There will also be raffle prizes and giveaways. Doors open at 6:30pm and films start at 7pm. Tickets will be sold in advance for $8 each at Pathfinder and Black Bear in Morgantown. Tickets are also available online at www.wvrivers.org. Tickets will be sold at the door for $10 or $8 with student ID.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Nearly 500 songbirds die at W.Va. wind farm

ELKINS - The deaths of nearly 500 songbirds during the fall migration season are being blamed on lights left on at a power substation at the AES Laurel Mountain wind farm.
The American Bird Conservancy said the birds died from colliding with the substation and exhaustion after the birds became disoriented after getting caught in the lights' glare on a foggy night. The birds that died Oct 2-3 included blackpoll warblers, Connecticut warblers, yellow-billed cuckoos, sora and Virginia rail.
Night-migrating songbirds flying without a horizon to follow can get "trapped" by steady burning lights.
Division of Natural Resources officials said that AES is drafting a final report on the the incident, which will be submitted to the DNR and the U.S. Fish and Wildfile Service.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Coopers Rock Foundation is seeking volunteers for trail work

The Coopers Rock Foundation will host its Annual Coopers Rock Halloween Candy Trailwork Weekend on the weekend following Halloween, November 5th and 6th. All volunteers will be able to snack on Halloween candy for free while they are working. Trailwork hours will be from 9-5 Saturday, and Sunday 1-5. All volunteers are welcome, and may work for however long they wish.

Work will be primarily focused on trail drainage maintenance. We will maintain, improve, and build new drainage features such as dips, waterbars, culverts, and drainage ditches on selected trails. We will be using shovels, mattocks, rakes, wheelbarrows and other tools. Trails targeted for work include Roadside Trail, Reservoir Ski Trail (between Intermediate Loop and Reservoir Loop), and Rhododendron Trail. This type of drainage maintenance helps keep trails dry year-round for all kinds of uses.

The meeting place for volunteers upon arrival at Coopers Rock at the start of each day will be the entrance to the Day Use Parking Lot, near the Front Gate. This is the first parking lot on the right along the main road toward the Overlook. Latecomers are welcome, and should go to the information kiosk at the back of this parking lot, near the restrooms, to find a map and description of where to find trail maintenance work sites.

Volunteers will be provided with work gloves, tools, instruction and supervision, along with Halloween candy. Volunteers are requested to dress for the weather and wear clothes that can get dirty. No sandals, for safety reasons.

This is a great time to earn Community Service hours, for anyone who needs them.

Questions? Contact Adam Polinski, at adamzapple88@gmail.com, or 296-4977.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

2010-2011 WVDNR Cooperative Grant Program: request for proposals

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Wildlife Diversity Unit, is requesting proposals for the Cooperative Research and Education/Management Grant Program for the 2011-2012 grant cycle. This program provides a funding opportunity for individuals, organizations or institutions to participate in the ongoing process of data collection, conservation, management and natural resource education. Research grants are awarded for projects involving the scientific study of non-game animal and select plant species. Education/Management grants are awarded in the areas of education, community-oriented conservation, species protection and habitat management.

As is the case every year, the Program requires that a valid and documented non-federal funding match be provided by the applicant. Matching funds may be provided as cash or as in-kind services, and documentation of these funds will be required prior to authorizing invoice payments.

Our updated Grants Guidance document is included as an attachment. Also attached are the Application Booklet, which outlines the proposal process and requirements in greater detail, and the Proposal Budget Spreadsheet, which should be used to detail funding requirements and expenditures. The Proposal Budget Spreadsheet needs to be included in your application package. Copies of all application materials should be submitted in both paper and digital formats.

Please note that the application deadline for this grant cycle is Friday, December 16, 2011.

Please contact me if you have any questions about the application process or the relevance of specific projects to this program. Also, feel free to forward this information to any students, researchers, cooperators, or organizations that you think may be interested. Good luck, and I look forward to hearing from you.


Michael Welch, Zoologist
WV Division of Natural Resources
Wildlife Diversity Unit
PO Box 67
Elkins, WV 26241
voice 304.637.0245
fax 304.637.0250

Saturday, October 15, 2011

West Viriginia University Natural History Museum

Please Join Us:

Open House/Benefit for the New……
West Virginia University Natural History Museum

October 21st, 2011 6:00-8:00 PM

Light Refreshments and a Tour of Specimens Unveiling will occur at 6:30 PM

For further Information
Contact: Ann.Anderson@mail.wvu.edu

Click here to view flyer.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Star gazing

WVU's Tomchin Planetarium and Observatory hosts "Ultimate Universe" at 7pm and "It's About Time" at 8pm Friday (Oct 14). The planetarium is in room 425 of Hodges Hall on Beechurst Avenue. Admission is free, but reservations are required and can be made at 304-293-3422, Ext 1443 or at jghopkins@mail.wvu.edu.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Amphibian and Reptile class canceled Oct 13

Due to a strep infection our speaker for tomorrow night's Amphibian and Reptile class
can not come. We will postpone this session until some time in November. Please let others know of this - for those who do not regularly check email.

975 Tyrone Road
Morgantown wv 26508-2971
304 296 1887

WVBG Workday Oct 15

Hi folks,

There will be a workday at the WV Botanic Garden this Saturday, October 15 from 9:00 until about noon. The main activity will be attaching decking and rail posts to our new section of wetland boardwalk. We may also be making some last minute preparations for the Fall Children's Festival, which will take place on Sunday afternoon.

I hope you can make it out to the workday, the festival, or both!


Erin Smaldone
Volunteer Coordinator & Education Director
West Virginia Botanic Garden

Come Grow With Us!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mountaineer Audubon birding field trip on Oct. 15 to Decker's Creek Rail Trail

On Saturday, Oct. 15, Mountaineer Audubon is sponsoring a birding field trip to the Decker's Creek Rail Trail in Preston County. All are welcome, and there is no charge. Bring binoculars if you have them.

Morgantown-area residents will meet at Mountaineer Mall on Greenbag Road in the parking lot near the Goodwill store, which is across the mall road from the water tower, at 7:30 am to form carpools.

For some, especially Preston County birders, it may be more convenient to meet us at the Burke Road crossing of the trail at 8:00 am. Burke Road is the road (street sign missing) across from Sunny Hill Road along Route 7 about 0.3 mile south of the All-Star Express gas station between Masontown and Reedsville. The trail crossing is about a mile in on Burke Road.

We hope to find migrating sparrows, lingering warblers, and maybe some flyover raptors.

The trail is level and easy walking. Expect about 3 miles total. The walk should last 2-2.5 hours. Feel free to contact me at (304)225-0999 or at bronsonwv@gmail.com if you have any questions. I look forward to seeing you on the 15th.

Terry Bronson
Morgantown, WV

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Institute taking grant applications

The WVU-based West Virginia Water Research Institute (WVWRI) will award $92,000 in grant money to faculty members at West Virginia Institutions of higher education who submit winning proposals that address a range of water-related research priorities. The program is sponsored by the US Geological Survey. WVWRI Director Paul Ziemkiewicz said the center is requesting proposals from faculty researchers interested in executing work related to:
Shale gas - energy production impacts on water resource and water quality/quantity concern for gas well hydrofracturing
Coal mining - valley fills and uses for mine water discharge
Aquatic ecosystem - flooding, aquatic ecosystem integrity, water metrics, water quality, environmental/in-stream flows and web content management system
Urban development - industrial processes and urban sprawl, land use modifications, and inadequate infrastructure
Agriculture - agricultural impacts
Ziemkieqicz said that multi-year projects are encouraged. Under this program in previous years, WVWRI has been able to support between two and four research projects each in the range of about $15,000-$25,000. Ziemkiewicz said he expects $92,000 to be available for new and continuing projects in 2012.
The closing date for submitting proposals under the program is Nov 9. Info: www.wvwri.org.

Fall trout stocking set next 2 weeks

About 35,000 pounds of trout will be stocked in 25 streams and nine lakes during the next two weeks. Brood trout will make up about 20 percent of the total poundage. Anglers can call 304-558-3399 or visit wvdnr.gov to find out which streams and lakes have been stocked each day.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mountaineer Audubon Program: Golden Eagles & Wind Mills

Oct 11, 2011 - Todd Katzner, Ph D; Research Assistant Professor Topic: "West Virginia's Golden Eagles and Wind Energy: new threats along historical migration routes. Seminar will be a 210 High St, Morgantown.

Fall Mushroom Walk, Oct 9, WVBG

WVU Professor of Mycology Dr Dan Panaccione will lead us in search of forest fungi. Dan will tell us how to identify the native mushrooms at the garden by their unique characteristics. Come enjoy and learn about the bright colored (and less bright colored) mushrooms and the old growth forest! All ages are welcome. Wear hiking footwear, preferably waterproof, and bring magnifying glasses if you have them. Meet in the West Virginia Botanic Garden lower parking lot at 2:00.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

WV Botanic Garden hosts Fall Children's Festival

After the response of participants in the 2009 and 2010 Fall Children's Festivals and with support from the Kiwanis Foundation, the West Virginia Botanic Garden is again sponsoring a Fall Children's Festival from 1-4pm Oct 16 at its 1061 Tyrone Road location. There is no admission fee.
The featured event will be the construction of fairy houses in the Fairy Garden. The garden has four new fairy houses, but the woodland sprites need many more. For a small donation, pictures will be taken of each child with his or her fairy house, courtesy of Autumn McDaniel.
In a new activity this year, a child can plant a bulb in a pot to grow at home. The pots, bulbs, potting soil and directions will be provided. Also, the Children's Discovery Museum of West Virginia will have selected activities and a display of work. Other activities will include pumpkin painting, pine cone bird feeders, nature bingo, leaf crafts and more. Order forms for spring blooming bulbs will be available, as well as the sale of WVBG souvenirs. Bring cash or check, as the WVBG does no accept credit or debit cards. Bulbs may also be purchased online at wvbg.org.
Seasonal refreshments including homemade pumpkin cookies, fruit breads, apple cider and do-it-yourself trail mix. Many other selections will be available. Parking is somewhat limited, so carpooling is recommended. Fo more information, contact Ellen at ellen1121@peoplepc.com or 304-282-5913.

Deckers Creek Adventure Day set for Sunday

Friends of Deckers Creek and WVU's College of Physical Science and Sports Medicine will host the fifth annual Deckers Creek Adventure Day from 1-5pm Sunday, Oct 9, at Hazel Ruby McQuain Park. This event will feature a fun, family-friendly, but challenging, 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 on the Monongahela River, biking on the Caperton Trail, and foot racing, rappelling and orienteering on the Deckers Creek Trail and in the WVU Core Arboretum.
Teams will also have to work together to complete mystery challenges that test the mind and body. Racers have three hours to complete as many tasks as possible to earn points - the most points win. Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishing teams in several categories including male, female, coed, youth/family and business/organization with the Grand Champions winning a three-person rafting trip on the Gauley River sponsored by ACE Adventure Resort.
"Last year we had 26 teams competing in the Adventure Race and some really creative costumes. A good time wa had by all despite the cold and dreary weather. We are really looking forward to a fun and exciting race this year and are expecting some beautiful fall weather!" said Sarah Veselka, Friends of Deckers Creek's executive director. Veselka added that "the best place for spectators to watch the race is at Hazel Ruby McQuain Park, but action can be seen up and down the rail-trails in that area of Morgantown."
During the race, FODC will host a free community festival. Community members are invited to join FOCD from 1-5pm at Hazel Ruby McQuain Park to learn more about current issues in the watershed and FODC projects. Also, the FODC Youth Advisory Board will lead hands-on environmental education activities for youth and adults such as acid mine drainage tie dyes. This will also be the first opportunity to catch a peek and purchase the new 2011 FODC T-shirt made of organic cotton and recycled plastic with a photo of the Deckers Creek gorge by local photographer Dave Smaldone.
During the festival and after the race, there will be live music on the amphitheater stage by local family band the Bad Bass-es. Jenny and Nathan Wilson, son Evan Lintz, and special guests will get the crowd moving with originals and covers. Following the race, awards and prizes will be given out for the top Adventure Race finishers and for best costumes. Race teams can register up until 5pm Friday. More information and registration forms can be found at deckerscreek.org.
The Deckers Creek Adventure Day is open to the public, and all proceeds will benefit Friends of Deckers Creek, a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring the natural qualities of the Deckers Creek watershed. Anyone who is interested in racing or volunteering for the event should contact FODC at 304-292-3970. More information for the event can found at deckerscreek.org.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Woods walk to be on Raspa property

The West Virginia Forest Stewardship Program is offering a Walk in the Woods near Morgantown starting at 10am Saturday (Oct 8). Ralph Raspa will lead a tour of his property, four miles from Morgantown on W.Va. 73. This beautiful 50-acre woodland overlooks the Monongahela River. The group will enjoy panoramic views at the top and explore that trails that descend the hill to the river. Forest access roads and maintenance challenges are just a couple of the topics that will be discussed along the way. The tour is for forest landowners or anyone else who enjoys being in the wood. Be prepared for uphill walking: appropriate footwear is recommended. A light lunch will be served at 12:30pm.
To register for the tour or for into: Ellen Voss, 304-293-5741 or evoss@mix.wvu.edu. Visit wvstewards.ning.com for a list of additional forest events.

Play about creek debuts today (Oct 2)

"Dead Fish Rising," a play about the death of Dunkard Creek, is set for 4pm today and Oct 9 in front of the creek at Rising Creek Bakery in Mount Morris, PA. Dunkard Creek flows across the Mason-Dixon line north from the confluence of its Pennsylvania and West Virginia forks. A mass fish kill occurred in the creek in 2009 because of coal mine discharge. This discharge caused excessive saltiness of the water during dry, hot weather. This saltiness led to an unprecedented bloom of golden algae and extreme pollution of the creek. Because of this, as many as 161 species and up to 22,000 animals died along more then 40 miles of Dunkard Creek from the West Virginia fork to the Monongahela River.
"Dead Fish Rising" is a community production that is the result of collaboration between residents of West Virginia and of Pennsylvania. The cast includes 10 children and 15 adults. In this educational play, the cast will act, sing and dance in an original production that interprets what happened to Dunkard Creek and how it happened.
Tickets are $5 for children, $10 for adults and $20 for conservationists. Tickets for a drawing cost $5. Tickets can be bought at Rising Creek Bakery in Mount Morris or online at Deadfishrising.com with Pay Pal. A rain date is set for 4pm Oct 16.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Marion Co MN Fishing Event Oct 15

Children’s Fishing Event (Ages 5-12 y.o.)
October 15, 2011; Saturday, 9 am – 11 am

Sponsors: Marion County Master Naturalists

Prickett’s Fort WV State Park, Fairmont, WV
(Lower Parking Lot and Lower Visitors Building)

Pre-Registration: 304-775-3366 Information required is child’s full name, age, phone number, address, parent/guardian who will attend event. Only registered children will be admitted, call by 10/10/11. (Maximum of 25 children ages 5-12 years old). Please bring child’s fishing pole and tackle for fishing with parent/guardian. No Fees required.

Event Program: Saturday, October 15, 2011; 9 am – 11 am

9 am – 10:15 am Learn the 5 steps to fishing (Fish I.D., Casting, Knot Tying, Equipment, and Sportsmanship). Lower visitor’s building/Parking Lot. Prickett’s Fort

10:15 am-11:00 am Fish with your parent/guardian. Lower Parking Lot/Boat Launch Area

The Master Naturalist’s Group from Marion County, WV will sponsor this event for our children of the community. Pre-Registration is required for all children attending the event.

Information can be found by calling Jim Faber @ 304-775-3366 and leave a message.

Mosses, Lichens and Ferns

Oct 1, 2011: WVU Professor of Biology Dr Susan Studlar will lead us to and teach us about many exciting species of mosses, lichens, and ferns. A whole new world will become apparent as you learn the fascinating biology behind these organisms as well as tips to tell them apart. All ages are welcome. Wear hiking footwear, preferably waterproof, and bring magnifying glasses if you have them. Walk begins at 9am at the West Virginia Botanic Garden. Contact Erin at 304-216-8704 or erin@wvbg.org for more information.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Paddle Trips Planned

Canoes or Kayaks

Sun, Oct 2. Dunkard Creek (Mason-Dixon Park WV to Rising Creek Bakery in Mt Morris PA). We will look for “Signs of Life” in the river. Stay for the "Dead Fish Rising" Play (about the Dunkard Creek aquatic kill in 2009), starts at 4pm at the Rising Creek Bakery.

Sat, Oct 22. Dunkard Creek (Mt Morris PA at Rising Creek Bakery to Bobtown’s Dunkard Twp Park). We will look for “Signs of Life” in the river.

Mason-Dixon Park, 79 Buckeye Rd, 304.879.4101. www.masondixonhistoricalpark.com
Dunkard Township Municipal Park, near Bobtown PA. http://wikimapia.org/16883108/Dunkard-Township-Municipal-Park
Rising Creek Bakery & Cafe, 115 Main Street, Mount Morris, PA. 724-324-5030.
Canoe/Kayak rentals. Keith McManus, Greensboro PA, 304.685.7212.
Nick Gustovich, Clarksville PA, 724-833-6655.

All trips meet at 10am, and may take till 4pm or so. They are set up to be self-sufficient, fun, exploratory trips. Paddling lesson is included. Everyone is responsible for their own self & safety, food/drinks, gear, boats. You must have a personal flotation device (PFD) lifejacket for each person. Meet at the put-in by 10am, and we will set up shuttle together (this could take an hour). Please try to be early.

Call in if you are planning to attend so we know how many people to expect at the meeting place.

Peggy Pings
Core WV
304-879-5622 home
304-282-7464 cell (no signal at home)
John Yesenosky
Garards Fort PA
724-966-7367 home

To view flyer, click here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Preston CARES

Preston CARES is a community "group who supports responsible management of Preston County land and resources as a component of economic development and want to equip residents, elected officials, and legislators with accurate information".

One project the group has undertaken is to provide recycling at the upcoming Buckwheat Festival. There will be more information at their booth during the festival.

Another issue is the proposed Marcellus Shale waste landfill to be located south of Bruceton MIlls at the confluence of the Little and Big Sandy Rivers. It has yet to be determined if this is even classified as solid waste and is not covered by EPA environmental hazardous waste materials protocol. At the present time the group is looking for interested people, geology and economic resource experts.

For more information or to join the group, please e-mail: prestoncares2011@yahoo.com

Volunteers Needed WVBG - Oct 16

If some of you are looking for volunteer opportunities I would invite you to consider spending some hours with us on Oct. 16 at the Botanic Garden during the Fall Children's Festival. We have many activities and would welcome people to help at a variety of activites. If you can help please let me know and I will send more detailed information.

304 296 1887

WVU Herbarium (Recording and Preserving)

Hi all!

Sept. 29, Thursday We meet at the Life Sciences Bldg. at 6:00 pm for a session on Recording and Preserving with Rodney Dever, a graduate student with Dr. Donna Ford-Wentz. This is a core course.

Donna is in charge of the WVU Herbarium and Rodney will give us a very useful presentation. Meet in Lot 10 - the parking area adjacent to the Life Sc. Bldg. The best place to park is Lot 7 down the hill on the river side of Beechurst Ave.

Call me if you get lost 304-282-5913.

For a map of the downtown WVU campus, check out this map:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mountaineer Audubon Bird Walk September 24

Fall Migration field trip, Core Arboretum, meet at parking lot at entrance, 8:00am. Contact Terry Bronson for more information, 304-225-0999.

West Virginia Botanic Garden to sponsor History Walk Sunday

Mike Caplinger and Barb Howe will lead a history walk entitled "No More Wiggle-Tail Water" for the West Virginia Botanic Garden, Inc., on Sunday, September 25th at 2 pm at the botanic garden. It is free and open the public. The walk will explore the history of bringing pure water to Morgantown from the former city reservoir that served city residents from 1912 to 1969 that is now the site of the 82-acre botanic garden. Still found on the site are the dam completed in 1912, the spillway, and the foundation of a chemical house built in the 1930s. Most of these features can be seen by walking around the .72 reservoir loop trail that is accessible. This walk is part of a project that is being presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations do not necessarily represent those of the West Virginia Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Walk in the Woods in Monongalia County - Oct 8

The West Virginia Forest Stewardship Program is sponsoring a series of “Walks in the Woods” throughout the state this fall. These informal tours are open to anyone who currently owns forest land, hopes to own property someday, or just enjoys spending time outdoors. The tours are led by State forestry personnel who are experts on the issues facing West Virginia’s forests.

There will be a Walk in the Woods near Morgantown on Saturday, October 8 starting at 10 am. Ralph Raspa will lead a tour of his property, four miles from Morgantown on Rt. 73. This beautiful fifty-acre woodland overlooks the Monongahela River. The group will enjoy panoramic views at the top, and then explore the trails that descend the hill to the river. Forest access roads and maintenance challenges are just a couple of the topics that will be discussed along the way. The tour is for forest landowners or anyone else who enjoys being in the woods. Please be prepared for uphill walking; appropriate footwear is recommended. A light lunch will be served at 12:30 pm.

To register for the tour or for more information, contact Ellen Voss at 304-293-5741 or evoss@mix.wvu.edu. Visit http://wvstewards.ning.com for a list of additional forest-related events.

The Forest Stewardship Program offers private woodland owners technical and financial assistance to maintain and enhance the value of their forested land. Assistance is available to improve soil and water quality, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, aesthetics, protection of endangered species, management of invasive species, and timber and wood product potential, while ensuring the forest's capacity for self-renewal. The WV Division of Forestry manages the program, with assistance from WVU Extension Service and WVU Division of Forestry & Natural Resources.

Ellen Voss, Outreach & Education Coordinator

WV Forest Stewardship Program
WVU Division of Forestry & Natural Resources
P.O. Box 6125, Morgantown, WV 26506
(304) 293-5741

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Volunteers for outdoor work needed Saturday

The US Army Corps of engineers will host National Public Lands Day (NPLD) at Tygart Lake on Saturday, Sept 24. Registration is under way for volunteers to come to the lake, outside Grafton, and help improve the Dogwood Trail and create a butterfly garden. The work day will last abut 3.5 hours and consist of general trail maintenance and landscaping. A picnic will follow at the project pavilion. Those taking part are to meet at 9am Saturday at the Tygart Dam Visitor Center to register and organize the day's events. Volunteers are to wear long pants, boots, weather gear and gloves. Preregistration is encouraged but not required. Info: Park Ranger April Hawkey at 304-265-1760.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wonderful Woods of WV

September 18th, West Virginia Botanic Garden in Morgantown
The WVU society of American Foresters will lead this walk (approximately 1 hour) through the Botanic Garden and share their forestry knowledge! Leaders will present common tree species as well as some shrubs and current and historic uses for the plants. The SAF group is excited to share their knowledge with you! Walk begins at 2pm at the West Virginia Botanic Garden.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Archery Basics for Fun and Family

Join archery instructor Werner Barz on Saturday, September 24, from 1-3 pm at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center for this fun activity designed to involve the whole family.
Participants will learn the basics of archery and practice proper shooting form. Skills will be put to the test using both compound and recurve bows. Focus will be placed on family archery games plus activities that add variety and interest to archery practice such as Olympic/target archery, 3-D target archery, and bowhunting.
There will be discussion about how participation in the sport of archery supports wildlife conservation and hunter education programs through US Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program.

Outdoor Recreational Specialist Werner Barz will lead this program. Barz’s interest in archery has developed over 25 years. He is a certified Level 2 USA archery instructor. Barz shares his personal passion for archery through teaching. For five years he has taught West Virginia hunter education programs and is a basic archery instructor for the national “Archery in the Schools” program.
This event is being offered in conjunction with the Leaf Peepers Festival in Tucker County. It is sponsored by the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge and US Fish & Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center. For more information, contact 304.866.3858, ext. 33.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bats Presentation, September 17

Valley Vibes at the Refuge Presents Bats

Join Jim Van Gundy on Saturday, September 17, at 7 pm at the Canaan Valley National WildlifeRefuge Visitor Center for this program on Bats.
The presentation will explore the biology and ecology of bats in West Virginia. Van Gundy’s presentation will also provide a glimpse into current challenges to the overall health of bat populations across the world. A passionate spelunker, Van Gundy has explored many of the area’s local caves and possesses an intimate knowledge of cave environments throughout the region.
Jim Van Gundy is a professor emeritus of Environmental Science. He retired after 29 years of teaching and mentoring at Davis & Elkins College. Since his "official" retirement, Dr. Van Gundy has continued to be involved in the West Virginia Master Naturalist Program as a curriculum developer and instructor.
Light refreshments will be provided following the presentation. Contact Cindy Phillips at 304.866.3858, ext. 33, for more information.

Red Spruce Restoration Day, September 17

Red Spruce Restoration Planting Day, September 17, at 9:30 am. Meet at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center near Davis, West Virginia. Join us for a day of volunteer work to help restore the red spruce ecosystem on the Wildlife Refuge. Dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes or boots, and bring work gloves and a water bottle. Lunch will be provided to volunteers. Be prepared to work hard and get dirty.
For more information, call Cindy Phillips at 304.866.3858, ext. 33.

West Virginia Botanic Garden Work Day

Saturday, Sept 17, is a scheduled work day at the WV Botanic Garden in Morgantown. Bring your trowel and garden gloves for a morning of planting day lilies. Bring a bag as well so you can take a few bulbs home for your own yard. For more information contact Erin at erin@wvbg.org.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mountaineer Audubon Program

September 13th - Speaker Frank Jernejcic, WVDNR Biologist
Title: Fish populations, water quality, and fishing opportunities in Cheat Lake and Cheat River

Cheat Lake supports a diverse sport fishery and is a popular bass tournament site. Cheat lake is operated for hydropower and not flood control. Acid mine drainage, which has historically impacted the watershed, has been significantly reduced in the past 20 years but is still a limiting factor for water quality.
Mon Arts
210 High St.
Free and Open to the Public.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


September 9, 2011 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. a reception will be held at Arts Monongahela at 201 High Street, in Morgantown (304) 291-6720. The collection will be on display August 25th - October 31st, and then will be at various locations throughout the State.

Reflections is a collaborative installation art project created by 90 practicing artists to commemorate the lives of many of the species who perished in Dunkard Creek during the warm days of late summer 2009. The artists participating in Reflections are united by a shared physical connection to the Monongahela Watershed. We invite you to explore the creek with us in this collection of art we dedicate to its former inhabitants.

The September 9 event is a reception to celebrate the 90 species that died two years earlier, and to celebrate and applaud the 90 artists who put their hearts and talents into portraying the species. All of the original paintings/prints/sculptures will be on display. There will be many well-known artists, city and county officials, watershed representatives, and many other people attending this reception. There will be a video with interviews of Dunkard residents playing throughout, and also a dancer/poet will be performing two dances at the reception. Wine and food will be served! Two watershed groups are sponsoring the reception: Friends of Dunkard Creek and the Greene County Watershed Association.

Visit the gallery at --

Canaan Valley hosts free nature walk Sunday

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge will have a "What's Blooming?" walk at 1pm Sunday. Participants will meet at the visitor center on W.Va. 32 and carpool to a refuge trail. Dress for the weather. Wear comfortable walking boots or shoes. Water and snacks may be carried if desired. The walk is free of charge and sponsored by the refuge and the Friends on the 500th. Info: 304-866-3858, ext 33.

WVU Extension to host free walk Saturday

WVU Extension is hosting a "Walk in the Woods" near Mannington starting at 10am Saturday. Mike Sieber will lead a tour of his property. A light lunch will be served at 12:30pm. The tour will include some uphill walking, but will not be strenuous. The event is free and open to the public. To register or info: Ellen Voss at 304-293-5741 or evoss@mix.wvu.edu.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop

Registration is under way for the fall "Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop" to be held Sept 16-18 at Watoga Stage Park. The fall schedule offers about 30 classes. The $150 registration fee covers lodging, some meals and some class materials.
Info or to register: 304-558-2771, billie.j.shearer@wv.gov, or downloaded at www.wvdnr.gov/hunting/bow.shtm.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Walk in the Woods - Sept 10, Mannington, WV

There will be a Walk in the Woods outside of Mannington on Saturday, September 10 starting at 10 am. Mike Sieber will lead a tour of his property in the morning. A light lunch will be served at 12:30 pm.

The Siebers have owned their property for 40 years. They’ve planted thousands of trees including butternut, dug frog ponds, grown ginseng, created snags, restored forest roads, and built a barn from lumber produced by their forest. These are just a few of the things they've done to enhance their woodland for themselves and the wildlife that live there. The tour will include some uphill walking but will not be strenuous.

To register for the tour or for more information, contact Ellen Voss at 304-293-5741 or evoss@mix.wvu.edu. Visit http://wvstewards.ning.com for a list of additional forest-related events.

Ellen Voss, Outreach & Education Coordinator
WV Forest Stewardship Program
WVU Division of Forestry & Natural Resources
P.O. Box 6125, Morgantown, WV 26506
(304) 293-5741

The Forest Stewardship Program offers private woodland owners technical and financial assistance to maintain and enhance the value of their forested land. Assistance is available to improve soil and water quality, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, aesthetics, protection of endangered species, management of invasive species, and timber and wood product potential, while ensuring the forest's capacity for self-renewal. The WV Division of Forestry manages the program, with assistance from WVU Extension Service and WVU Division of Forestry & Natural Resources.

First of Fall Bird Walks - CV National Wildlife Refuge

Aug 27 - 7am, meet at the Refuge Visitor Center, led by Volunteer Casey Rucker. For walks: Please wear warm comfortable walking boots and dress for the weather. Unless otherwise stated, walks meet at the Refuge office to carpool to a Refuge trail. Binoculars may be borrowed during Refuge sponsored events. Bring drinking water and enthusiasm! For more information call 304-866-3858.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WV Botanic Garden Workday this Saturday - Aug 20

We will be having our monthly workday at the Botanic Garden this Saturday, August 20, from 9 till about noon. George will be teaching about invasive species and we will help to remove some from the Garden. Difficulty level varies depending on the species to be removed- there will be something for everyone! Bring work gloves and digging/weeding tools if you have them.

Thanks, and have a great weekend!


Erin Smaldone
Volunteer Coordinator & Education Director
West Virginia Botanic Garden

Come Grow With Us!

Marion Co MN Fishing Event

Marion County Master Naturalist, Jim Faber, has organized a community outreach Fishing Event scheduled for October 15, 2011 at Prickett's Fort State Park, 9am to 11am. Please find the details below and note that Jim is in need of several Master Naturalist students/graduates/alum to volunteer their help with this event.
Please contact Jim as soon as possible if you would like to help (plan to attend the Planning Meeting on September 10th -details below).


Melissa, volunteer coordinator
Marion County Master Naturalists

Childrens' Fishing Learning Event

Prickett's Fort, Lower Parking Lot and Event Building, Fairmont, WV

Date: 10/15/11 Saturday 9 am to 11 am

Child Pre-Registration: Ages 5-12 y.o. with parent or guardian (25 children only)

*5 Step Fishing Learning Steps/Posters
(Fish I.D., Casting, Knot Tying, Sportsmanship, and Equipment)

*Fishing in the water's of Prickett's Fort (Lower Parking Lot Area)

Need 5-7 Master Naturalist's as volunteer's please.

Advertising in local newspaper and TV coverage announcement mid-September.

Planning Meeting:
Saturday 9/10/11, 12 pm - 1:30 pm, Prickett's Fort Welcome Center
Please bring ideas for a fun event.

Thank you very much,

Jim Faber
W.V. Master Naturalist

Request for volunteers for National Hunting Days Sept 24 and 25

The annual National Hunting & Fishing Days Celebration will be held Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24 & 25 at Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park. The WVDNR has several children’s activities that need volunteers. In years past we’ve had many Master Naturalists volunteer their time at this event. The times are: Saturday 9:00-6:00 and Sunday 9:00-4:00. Folks can volunteer for any amount of time (all day, half day or even a few hours). If you are interested in earning volunteer hours, please let me know at your earliest convenience and I’ll send you more details.

Thanks for helping us in the past, your help is REALLY appreciated.

Jim Fregonara

Wildlife Resources Section
Wildlife Diversity Program
phone: 304-637-0245
fax: 304-637-0250

email: Jim.M.Fregonara@wv.gov

Friday, August 12, 2011

Insect Walk WVBG

August 14th - Join Wildlife Biologist Sue Olcott as we go in search of winged wonders. Learn to identify butterflies as they dine at the butterfly garden. Watch for dragonflies and other jewels of the sky as we walk the reservoir loop trail. All ages welcome. Wear hiking footwear, preferably waterproof. Bring a butterfly net, magnifying glasses, and binoculars if you have them. Walk dependent on warm, dry weather. Walk begin at 2pm at the West Virginia Botanic Garden. Call Erin at 304-216-8704.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Aug 11, 6-9pm in Percival Hall, WVU, Morgantown. Even though this is an elective class it is a topic we all could know more about. Bob Burrell has asked that you bring your hand lens, manual and best yet - if you have any interesting or mystifying mushrooms lying around bring them too.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mid Summer Walk Between the Parks-Canaan Valley Resort

Aug 6 - Enjoy a guided 8 miles hike between Blackwater Falls State Park and Canaan Valley Resort. Bring snacks and water - lunch is not provided. Please contact Canaan Valley Resort as 1-800-622-4121 or www.canaanresort.com.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Trail maintenance set for Cooper's Rock

The West Virginia Sierra Club will be doing trail maintenance Saturday, July 30, at Cooper's Rock State Forest as part of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources Adopt-a-Trail program. Volunteers seeking community service are encouraged to participate.
The maintenance will be on the intermediate cross country ski trail, including installing the Sierra Club Adopt-a-Trail sign from the W.Va. DNR. Other maintenance will involve drainage restoration and trail clearing. This moderate intensity work will involve the use of shovels and clearing out clogging vegetation. Volunteers should wear sturdy boots and carry work gloves, water and snacks.
All ages are invited to help. Those under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or a legal guardian. Volunteers will be required to sign a standard Sierra Club Liability Waiver and a DNR Volunteer Work Program Agreement.
Info and to register: Ann Devine-King at 304-594-2636 or atdking@gmail.com. Cooper's Rock info: www.coopersrockstateforest.com.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer Birds Walk - CV National Wildlife Refuge

July 30. 7am, meet at the Refuge Visitor Center, led by Volunteer Casey Rucker. For walks: Please wear warm comfortable walking boots and dress for the weather. Unless otherwise stated, walks meet at the Refuge office to carpool to a Refuge trail. Binoculars may be borrowed during Refuge sponsored events. Bring drinking water and enthusiasm! For more information call 304-866-3858.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Jim Van Gundy passed along the following note from Ray Garton who taught the Fossils class at the Master Naturalist's weekend in Elkins:

This class would be hands on and taught at my lab in Barrackville, WV. Participants would assist in the extraction and preparation of fossils from the matrix surrounding them. Most of the work would be on dinosaur bones, primarily parts of Tyrannosaurus rex that was collected in Montana. We have several ribs and vertebra in plaster jackets that need attention. Over the past few years we have already prepared ribs, vertebra, a humerus, a tooth and a femur of T-rex from the dig site in Montana. Most of the bones are now on display at the WV Geological Survey Museum. There would be other kinds of dinosaur bones and some WV fossil specimens from time to time. There are very few people in the world that ever get the opportunity to work on dinosaur bone and even far less on T-rex bones.

Ray says the class could handle up to 8 people at a time and that he would be willing to offer it multiple times if necessary to accommodate everyone who is interested. Students who have completed the class could then earn volunteer hours by doing additional fossil prep work on these bones. The class would be offered as an elective and Jim thinks should be worth 3-4 credit hours.

If interested e-mail Jim at jjvg01@gmail. He will be receiving a list of proposed dates from Ray in the next couple of days and will forward them on to you.

Kanawha Valley needs instructor for the recording and preservation class

The Kanawha Valley Chapter is looking for an instructor for the recording and preservation class. If you know of someone, please let Carolyn Barker of the Kanawha Valley Chapter know about them. Someone from the Charleston area would be optimal. Carolyn's email is rangercarolyn@yahoo.com and her phone is (304)744-0775.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Looking for extra education hours?

July 24, 2011; 1-4 p.m. Attracting Butterflies- Join leaders Bill and Emilie Johnson to learn how to make your outdoor space a haven for butterflies. The Johnsons will lead a short walk around the grounds (with a focus on the butterfly garden, of course) and point out butterfly larval plants, food plants, and areas that provide shelter. Then make your very own mini butterfly garden to take home! Limit 20 participants. Cost: $25 WVBG members, $30 non-members. Materials included. Register online at www.wvbg.org or call Erin Smaldone at 304-216-8704.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What's Blooming? CV National Wildlife Refuge

July 17 - 1:00pm Meet at the Refuge Visitor Center. Join Master Naturalist volunteers for a look at summer wildflowers. For walks: Please wear comfortable walking boots and dress for the weather. Unless otherwise stated, walks meet at the Refuge office to carpool to a Refuge trail. Binoculars may be borrowed during Refuge sponsored events. Bring drinking water and enthusiasm! For more information call 304-866-3858.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Looking to earn volunteer hours in Morgantown?

Hi folks,

This is a reminder that we have our monthly Saturday workday at the Botanic Garden this Saturday, July 16 from 9 am until noon. The main project will be clearing downed trees from in and around the forest trails. We have a few folks lined up with chainsaws (don't need any more) and need help to move and stack the limbs. The day lily bed in the service area also needs weeding and mulching, if you would prefer to work on a gardening project.

Plan to meet in the lower parking lot at 9:00 to organize and split into work crews. Ellen Hrabovsky will be leading this workday, so please look for her to sign in and receive instruction.

Thanks everyone, hope you can make it!


Erin Smaldone
Volunteer Coordinator & Education Director
West Virginia Botanic Garden

Come Grow With Us!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Upcoming classes from the Monongahela Master Naturalists

Below is the schedule of classes for the summer. Ellen is still working on dates for the Wetlands and Amphibian sessions. Since they are core classes Ellen is working to get them scheduled before scheduling any more electives.

July 14 Mammals Sheldon Owen
July 21 Aquatic Habitats Craig Mains
July 28 Wildflowers and weeds Ellen Hrabovsky
August 4 Birds LeJay Graffious
August 11 Mushrooms Bob Burrell

All classes will be in Rm 308 Percival Hall 6-9 pm.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


The Dunkard Creek art show is opening on September 9 at Arts Monongahela Jackson Kelly Gallery in Morgantown, WV.

Please wade with us into Dunkard Creek. Here you will meet 90 of this freshwater creek’s wildly divergent former inhabitants as seen through the eyes of 90 artists. For more information visit Ann Payne's web site http://web.me.com/paynestake/Homage_to_Dunkard_Creek/Welcome.html

Grand opening artists reception will be held Sept 9, 2011, 5-8 pm at the gallery.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mid-Summer Walk Between the Parks - Canaan Valley Resort

July 9 - Enjoy a guided 8 mile hike between Blackwater Falls State Park and Canaan Valley Resort. For more information please call 1-800-622-4121 or www.canaanresort.com.

WV Snakes - Blackwater Falls State Park

July 9th - Snakes of West Virginia will be presented by biologist, Jim Fregonara of the WV Division of Wildlife. Join us at 7:30 pm at the Harold S Walters Nature Center. No fee to attend. Contact 304-259-5216

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bird Walk Set for Sunday at Canaan

The Refuge and the Friends of the 500th is hosting a bird walk led by volunteer Casey Rucker at 7am Saturday (June 25). Participants will meet at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge visitor center on W.Va. 32.
Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking boots or shoes. Bring binoculars, or use a pair that will be provided. Carry water and a snack if desired. The program will last about 2-3 hours.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Work Day at the WV Botanic Garden


Just a reminder that the June workday at the West Virginia Botanic Garden is this Saturday, June 18 from 9am until about noon. Bring gardening gloves, sheers, and trowel if you have them.

Hope you can make it. Have a wonderful weekend!


Erin Smaldone
Volunteer Coordinator & Education Director
West Virginia Botanic Garden

Come Grow With Us!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cranesville Swamp Field Trip - June 18

Hi all!

I obviously have not been clear on the details for this trip. Sorry! We are going Saturday June 18.

We will meet at 9:00am at the Bruceton Mills exit of I-68. There is a parking area on the south side of the interstate and this is where we will meet. We will carpool from there. Try to be there a few minutes early so we can leave at nine. LeJay Graffious will be with us as he was last year.
See you Saturday. Bring a lunch if you desire and definitely something to drink.

975 Tyrone Road
Morgantown WV 26508-2971
304 296 1887

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bug Indentification

Learned about the following website last weekend during the State Master Naturalist meeting in Elkins:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bird Walk at the WV Botanic Garden

June 11th - BIRD WALK
Join local birder Terry Bronson for an early morning bird walk searching the Garden's woods, wetlands, and edge habitat for early summer birds. Bring binoculars if you have them. All are welcome - no experience necessary. Walk begins at 7am at the West Virginia Botanic Garden.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Join Us For The Canaan Valley Birding Festival: June 3-5, 2011


Visit the spectacular Allegheny Highlands region in Tucker County, West Virginia and enjoy our amazing diversity of breeding birds and their habitats. The county offers a unique mix of boreal forest, wetland habitats, and high altitude (4250′) allowing the perfect birding location each summer for breeding birds. Bird walks, guest speakers and other fun activities are planned for everyone from bird experts to beginners. During last year’s festival, our expert leaders found or heard twenty-three species of warblers in their breeding grounds, including the elusive “Brewster’s” warbler, a hybrid of blue-winged and golden-winged warblers.

Please review the attachments below for more details on the festival!

Birding Festival Flyer (click here)
Festival Registration Form (required. click here)
Festival Walk Leader Bios (click here)
Bird List (click here)
Event Walk Schedule (click here)
Birding Ethics (click here)

*Schedule subject to change without notice. Please call with questions for for more details (304) 800-622-4121 x2788.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Geology Field Trip - June 4

We had a great geology class last night and will be following up on what we have learned with a field trip on Saturday, June 4. We will be meeting at the Kroger parking lot in Sabraton at 8:30 am and will be traveling up route 7 as far as Rowlesburg. Bring your own lunch! Wear good walking shoes and be ready to see some great rock formations.

Please let me know if you plan on joining us.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nature camp set for July

The West Virginia Botanic Garden will hold a summer nature camp in July.
Campers can be ages 7-10, while Natural Leaders are ages 10-12.
Natural Leader training is scheduled from 10am - noon July 11-15. Camp sessions run from 9am - 4pm July 18-22, with before- and aftercare available.
Cost: $100 per camper for the week; $75 per Natural Leader for the program (training and camp); aftercare for campers, $25 extra for the week or $5 per day.
Info, to register: wvbg.org, click on the
Summer Nature Camp link, or call Erin Smaldone, 304-216-8704.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Coopers Rock to host annual outdoor festival

Register for the 22nd annual Celebration of the Outdoors, to be held June 11, at Coopers Rock State Forest.
The Coopers Rock Foundation will host the 22nd annual Celebration of the Outdoors, which runs from 8:30am - 4pm with programs for all ages and outdoor experience levels.
The activities available include learning about rare animals and endangered species in West Virginia, geocaching and GPS, cairn building and the history of Cheat Mountain, hiking, fly fishing, rock climbing, bird watching or a guided walk to learn about the indigenous plants in the forest.
Other activities include a visit from Smokey Bear, a poster presentation and slide show on the history of Coopers Rock, and a self-guided hike of the fireplaces built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
Some activities are free, but most require a donation to participate for those ages 10 and older. The donation covers as many nonconflicting workshops as you wish to attend throughout the day. Individual donation is $5; family donation is $10 for two or more.
Limited workshops will be filled on a first-come first-served basis, and preregistration is recommended. A complete schedule, along with registration info, can be found at www.coopersrock.org.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bird Walks in the Core Aroboretum

Just a reminder about the bird walks starting at 7:15 every Tuesday morning in the WVU Core Arboretum from April 19 - May 17.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Volunteer Opportunities at the West Virginia Botanic Garden, Morgantown, WV

Every third Saturday of the month from April through November, there is a volunteer workday from 9:00 a.m. until about noon. Work mostly includes garden preparation and maintenance but may also include trail clean up or other projects. The WVBG also has many other volunteer opportunities including help with special events, educational programs, PR and fund-raising, administration, garden hosting, and more. Please visit the WVBG volunteer page at http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhttp://www.wvbg.org/Volunteer.html for more information.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Davis & Elkins College, Elkins, WV

June 10-12, 2011

Schedule of Classes and Events

Friday, June 10th

3:00 to 6:00 PM Registration – Halliehurst Porch

5:00 to 6:00 PM Welcome Session – Madden Center

6:00 to 7:15 PM Dinner on your own

7:30 to 8:30 PM Insects - Setting up light traps (Dr. Laura Miller)

8:30 to whenever Social time - Ice House open- bring a musical instrument and enjoy

Saturday, June 11th

6:00 to 7:30 AM Bird walk (Kent Karriker)

7:00 to 8:30 AM Breakfast

8:00 to 9:00 AM Late Registration – Halliehurst Porch

Morning Classes:

9:00 – 12:00 AM Insects, Collecting and Identification (Dr. Laura Miller)

9:00 – 12:00 AM Fossils (Ray Garton)

9:00 – 12:00 AM Digital Photography (Ken McCoy)

Afternoon Classes:

1:00 – 5:00 PM Geology (Claudette Simard)

1:00 – 5:00 PM Sketching for Naturalists (Sam Norris)

1:00 – 5:00 PM Introduction to Woody Plants (P.J. Harmon)

All day sessions (9:00 AM - 4:30 PM)

Appalachian Natural History (Dr. Jim Van Gundy)

Tracking and Nature Observation (Daniel Reed)

Wetlands (Walt Kordek and Keith Krantz)

6:00 – 7:15 PM Dinner

Evening classes

7:30 – 9:00 PM Astronomy (Dr. Shawn Stover)

7:30 – 9:00 PM Bats (Craig Stihler)

8:00 PM to ??? Social time - Ice House open- bring a musical instrument and enjoy

Sunday, June 12th

7:00 – 8:30 AM Breakfast

9:00 – 12:00 AM Annual Meeting

Click HERE for a printable version of this schedule.

If you plan to attend the Meeting, you are encouraged to register as early as possible. Registration is done online from the above website - click the "Registration" link in the text box to the right. The cost of the meeting is $10 per person for the entire weekend. Sign-up for classes in the same manner - click on the "Sign-up for Classes" link to your right.

Davis & Elkins College is making dormitory rooms and meal service available at a modest cost. There is a separate charge for these services and you must register (and pay) for them in advance. This can be done on the "Registration" page as well.

All classes will have limited enrollment and will be filled on a first-come first-served basis. All classes are free and may be used to satisfy the requirements for Master Naturalist Certification and are open to any interested person over the age of 18 years. Preference in class registration will be given to those already pursuing Master Naturalist certification through a local West Virginia Master Naturalist Local Chapter.

Clickable Links:


Sign-up for Classes

Information on the Elkins Area

Elkins Motels

Elkins Restaurants

Davis & Elkins College Campus Map

Printable D&E Map

Elkins Area Map

Copyright 2011 master naturalists of wv. All rights reserved.

South Park Bird Walk on May 10

For those around the Morgantown area, the Second Annual South Park Bird Walk will be on Tuesday, May 10, 2011. Meet at 5:00 pm at the MHS parking lot. You are also invited to the Mountaineer Audubon banquet on May 20th. Greg Good, one of the stalwarts in helping to create a more livable Morgantown, will be the guest speaker. He will speak on "Working and Hiking in the Mon National Forest." Drinks will be served followed by a dinner catered by Ali Baba. The price is a modest $24. Please let me know if you would like to join us. Thanks, Joe Super

To learn more about Mountaineer Audubon or to make reservations for the banquet, visit their website Mountaineer Audubon.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wildflower Pilgrimage turns 50 this year

CHARLESTON - An annual event that brings hundreds to Tucker County to celebrate nature is turning 50. The Wildflower Pilgrimage based at Blackwater Falls State Park is set to begin Thursday and run through Mother's Day weekend. The event started 50 years ago with a $2 registration fee and a few dozen nature lovers.
It has blossomed into a rite of spring that draws more than 300 people. The event includes a program of 24 hikes and tours led by state and regional experts in botany, birding, wildlife and geology. Emily Fleming, a coordinator for the state Division of Natural Resources, said the event brings people from all over the U.S. The event is co-sponsored by the West Virginia Garden Club, Brooks Bird Club and WVU.
"The people who come to the Wildflower Pilgrimages really love nature and are eager to learn." said Bill Beatty of Wellsburg, coordinator of the event's birding program, a teacher at West Liberty State College and a naturalist for the Oglebay Institute.
Dorothy Parker of Raleigh County is credited with organizing the first pilgrimage, and serving as its coordinator until 1968.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Garden to celebrate boardwalk opening

The West Virginia Botanic Garden, 1061 Tyrone Road, Morgantown, will celebrate the grand opening of a new wetland boardwalk at 2pm May 1. The public is invited.
The boardwalk is part of a universally accessible trail beginning from the garden's lower parking lot and was created with the joint efforts of numerous community members and organizations.
At 2:30pm, Jim and Ann Anderson will begin their wetland and amphibian walk at the boardwalk and venture into other wetland areas of the garden in search of frogs, toads and salamanders. Visitors will also be able to purchase West Virginia Botanic Garden merchandise at the grand opening; cash and checks are accepted.
Info: www.wvbg.org, George Longenecker, executive director, george@wvbg.org or 304-376-2717.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Wondering if you have met the requirements?

I've been asked by a few people where to turn in their class hours and volunteer hours to see if they have completed the requirements for Master Naturalist. You should send your information to Bev Riffon trimtop@gmail.com. Bev will check to see if your records match the attendance sheets and if you have the volunteer hours. Once verified she will then give the info to Ellen to request the certificate.

Sierra Club planning hike at Coopers Rock

The West Virginia Sierra Club will lead a public hike starting at 9am April 30, at Coopers Rock State Forest. The total elevation change is about 2,990 feet and distance is 12.1 miles. The hiking time is 8-9 hours. This is not a good trip to start the season unconditioned. Prepare with a few moderate hiking trips with mileage and elevation challenges. Info: Ann Devine-King, atdking@gmail.com or 304-594-2636, or coopersrockstateforest.com/ and westvirginia.sierraclub.org/.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Aftershocks vs Earthquakes

What Are Aftershocks, Foreshocks and Earthquake Clusters?

Graph of aftershock probabilities
The calculations in this system are based on known behaviors of aftershocks. Scientists have shown that the rules governing aftershock behavior also apply to “aftershocks” that are larger than their main shock - i.e., the possibility that the first event was a foreshock. These rules include:

* Aftershock Facts: In a cluster, the earthquake with the largest magnitude is called the main shock; anything before it is a foreshock and anything after it is an aftershock. A main shock will be redefined as a foreshock if a subsequent event has a larger magnitude. The rate of main shocks after foreshocks follows the same patterns as aftershocks after main shocks. Aftershock sequences follow predictable patterns as a group, although the individual earthquakes are random and unpredictable. This pattern tells us that aftershocks decay with increasing time, increasing distance, and increasing magnitude. It is this average pattern that this system uses to make real-time predictions about the probability of ground shaking.
* Distance: Aftershocks usually occur geographically near the main shock. The stress on the main shock's fault changes drastically during the main shock and that fault produces most of the aftershocks. Sometimes the change in stress caused by the main shock is great enough to trigger aftershocks on other, nearby faults, and for a very large main shock sometimes even farther away. As a rule of thumb, we call earthquakes aftershocks if they are at a distance from the main shock’s fault no greater than the length of that fault. The automatic system keeps track of where aftershocks have occurred, and when enough aftershocks have been recorded to pinpoint the more and less active locations, the system adjusts the probabilities on the map to reflect those local variations.
* Time: An earthquake large enough to cause damage will probably be followed by several felt aftershocks within the first hour. The rate of aftershocks decreases quickly - the decrease is proportional to the inverse of time since the main shock. This means the second day has about 1/2 the number of aftershocks of the first day and the tenth has about 1/10 the number of the first day. These patterns describe only the overall behavior of aftershocks; the actual times, numbers and locations of the aftershocks are random. We call an earthquake an aftershock as long as the rate at which earthquakes occur in that region is greater than the rate before the main shock. How long this lasts depends on the size of the main shock (bigger earthquakes have more aftershocks) and how active the region was before the main shock (if the region was seismically quiet before the main shock, the aftershocks continue above the previous rate for a longer time). Thus, an aftershock can occur weeks or decades after a main shock.
* Magnitude: Bigger earthquakes have more and larger aftershocks. The bigger the main shock the bigger the largest aftershock will be, on average. The difference in magnitude between the main shock and largest aftershock ranges from 0.1 to 3 or more, but averages 1.2 (a M5.5 aftershock to a M6.7 main shock for example). There are more small aftershocks than large ones. Aftershocks of all magnitudes decrease at the same rate, but because the large aftershocks are already less frequent, the decay can be noticed more quickly. Large aftershocks can occur months or even years after the main shock.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


The class that many of you need to complete your Master Naturalist required hours will be held this Thursday. Bring a hand lens with you. If you don't have a hand lens, Ellen will have some available for purchase at $6.00.

Garlic Mustard at the WVU Core Arboretum

It's that time of year, time to get after garlic mustard. This is a great "volunteer opportunity". Master naturalists make the best volunteers.

Positive reinforcement! Recently Rodney Bartgis, a superb botanist and the state director of The Nature Conservancy, walked through the arb with his wife, stopped for an extended conversation, and complimented me on how little garlic mustard he saw. It's evident on the flood plain, but there's not enough to be conspicuous on the hillside until it flowers. Thanks to you!

I plan to get after it in a big way starting Monday, April 25, and continuing for the next three weeks. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Please let me know when you could help and we'll set up some work parties. Also, please pass this email or the info in it along to others you think would be interested. We don't need a large group that would be hard to manage, but half a dozen people each committed to working a three-week total of at least six hours would be ideal. Flexible hours are fine, though of course it's more fun to be out there with good company.

Thanks very much,

Jon Weems
Arboretum Specialist
WVU Department of Biology
Morgantown, WV 26506-6057

304-293-5201 ext. 31547

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bird Walks

Bird walks headed by DNR biologists Jim Evans and Susan Olcott, from 8-10am, Apr 16, Apr 23 and Apr 30 at Pricketts Fort State Park. Depart from the Visitor Center parking lot. Info: 304-363-3030

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Work Day at the WV Botanic Garden

The third Saturday of every month is a work day at the West Virginia Botanic Garden. Meet in the lower parking lot at 9am and be prepared to be busy for the next three hours. I recommend bringing heavy work gloves and wearing sturdy shoes. Jobs might entail weeding flower beds, clearing trails, pulling invasive plants, putting up signs. There will always be something for everyone to do. This is a great way to earn volunteer hours. See you this Saturday!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tygart Lake State Park Nature Walks

Marion County Master Naturalist Graduates Dorothy Hood and Gary Sniezgoda are doing their 4th year of (Nature) walks for the Tygart Lake State Park.

This year the walks will be on April 16, July 16, and September 10.

They meet at the recreation building at 10 AM and hike the Lake Trail. They have teamed up with the Lifelong Learners of Pierpont College and information is on the Lifelong Learners and Tygart Lake State Park web site.
Gary writes that he hopes to see anyone who would like to take a walk on the wild side.
Please contact Gary for further information at sniezgoda@cebridge.net.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

WV Master Naturalist website launched

Hello all,

This is to announce the launching of the website for the Master Naturalist Advisory Committee. As you'll recall, we identified this as a priority at our meeting in Elkins last September. The problem has been that it has been difficult to impossible to keep the "official" WV Master Naturalist website that is hosted on the WV DNR server updated with current information. The establishment of our own website gives us the ability to communicate information in real time among the various MN chapters and also to use the web to communicate current information about the West Virginia Master Naturalist program to the interested public.

The WVMNAC website is up and running now and the url is: < http://mnofwv.org >

Please go to the site as soon as you can and look it over carefully. It is a work in progress, so we'll appreciate any suggestions for improvement that you may have. We'll also greatly appreciate you pointing out any errors or omissions. We also encourage you to call the site to the attention of the folks in your chapters as well as anyone else that you think might be interested.

Let us know what you think.

Jim Van Gundy

P.S. Incidentally, Walt Kordek has committed to getting the DNR website updated and simplified. Once updated though, it will be a "static" page that will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future. Presumably it will also link to our pages. If you have thoughts about the content of that website, you might share them with Jim Fregonara.

Trailwork begins at state park

Coopers Rock group to host maintenance
The 2011 Coopers Rock Foundation (CRF) trailwork season kicks off this weekend with 10 hours of trail maintenance in two days and a benefit concert tonight.
Volunteers will work on the trails from 10am - 4pm today and 1-5pm Sunday. Anyone interested in the park is invited to come and help.
Workers are to meet at the entrance to the front gate parking lot - the day use parking lot. Tools and work gloves will be provided, but participants who have their own rakes and gloves should bring them. Boots are recommended. No sandals are allowed.
Latecomers should go to the kiosk in the parking lot for details on how to find the work crews, along with gloves and tools.
A CRF benefit concert will start at 8 tonight at Rhythm N' Brews, near the Triple S Harley-Davidson dealership. Cost is $5 at the door. Performers include Morgantown's The Emperors and long-time local band Nexus. Info: Rhythm N' Brews at 304-284-9988 or Rhythmandbrews.biz.
Spring marks the beginning of the foundations's third decade of trail maintenance and construction. It began the program after the defeat of a proposed tram across the Cheat Canyon in 1990.
Over the years, CRF has performed maintenance and improvements on many trails, including the Rhododendron Trail, Virgin Hemlocks Trail, Intermediate Loop and several others.
One highlight of CRF's trailwork program has been the construction of Roadside Trail from 2004-'07.
Another tradition established two decades ago and still going strong is the annual Coopers Rock Celebration of the Outdoors, a festival of workshops and activities relating to Coopers Rock. It's the area's longest-running annual environmental education event.
This year's celebration is June 11. The workshops are listed at coopersrock.org.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

West Virginia Sustainable Fair 2011

Russ McClain, our MNAC Representative from Davis & Elkins College has asked that I forward this to the Master Naturalist Advisory Committee members with a request (if you're willing) to make the upcoming Sustainability Fair as widely known as possible. You'll recall that Davis & Elkins College is one of our sponsoring partners, and Russ is the Director of its Center for Sustainability Studies.

Please feel free to forward this information to anyone whom you think might be interested.

Jim Van Gundy

West Virginia Sustainable Fair 2011

Saturday - April 16, 2011 ~ Davis & Elkins College
Celebrating over a decade of sustainable initiatives and fairs!

●10:00 - 11:30 AM: “Rain Barrel Make & Take” Workshop with Kathy Hopkins and Bruce Wohleber. Location: Hermanson Plaza.

●11:00 AM – 3:00 PM: Electronics Recycling (E-Cycling) Collection, sponsored by The Center for Sustainability Studies of Davis & Elkins College and the Randolph County Solid Waste Authority. Location: Hermanson Plaza Parking Lot.

For more information contact The Center for Sustainability Studies (304) 637-1309.

“A Sustainable Affair”

► Fair Focus: ● Renewable Energy, ● Green Building / Architecture,

● Food & Agriculture, ●Artisans & Green Businesses

Events at Halliehurst Mansion

►4:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Exhibits/Vendors, Wine & Beer Tasting, Music
●Lambert’s Winery
●Power In My Back Yard (PIMBY)
●Mountain View Solar & Wind
●LaPaix Herb Farm, Alum Bridge
●WV Herb Association
●Smoke Camp Crafts
●Mainline Books, Elkins
●Zendick Arts (Jewelry)
●North Central Neckorations (Jewelry)
●The Mills Group, LLC (alternative energy solutions)
●Hypno Coffee, Canaan Valley
●Live Plants, D&E Chi Beta Phi Science Honorary Students
●Organic Foods
●Local Brewery
●Your Green Space – bring your samples, brochures, hand-outs, etc. to share!

►6:00 PM – 8:30 PM: A “Sustainable Feast” Benefit Dinner
Our signature annual “Sustainable Feast” benefit dinner features locally grown organic food prepared by local gourmet chefs preparing their signature seasonal dishes!
A delight for the senses! Cost: $20
For advanced reservations: Contact The Center for Sustainability Studies (304) 637-1309. Tickets will also be available at the door.

►6:00 PM – 8:30 PM: Dinner “Round Table” discussions with:
●Mike McKechnie & John Christensen of Mountain View Solar & Wind
●Myra Bonhage-Hale, Steward of LaPaix Herb Farm
●Matt Sherald of Power In My Back Yard (PIMBY)
●Ryan Hess & Michael Mills of The Mills Group, LLC

►Benefit Concert: Saturday evening 9:00 PM – 12 Midnight with, “The Fox Hunt”. Join us at the Ice House campus pub! Cost is $7. Tickets available in advance through The Center for Sustainable Studies (304) 637-1309 or at the door.
The Fox Hunt are a West Virginia based multi-instrumentalist string-band that play traditional fiddle music and original Americana music through a single condenser microphone. With a deviant cast of characters and some truly exceptional talents, The Fox Hunt offer a unique approach to one of the most sustainable forms of music, and add to it a style all of their own. Touring more than 100 shows a year, The Fox Hunt have built an ever-growing allegiance of fans across the US and beyond!

● Hosted by Davis & Elkins College
●Co-Sponsors: Sustainable Living for West Virginia non-profit organization &
The Center for Sustainability Studies of Davis & Elkins College.

● To become a supporter, contact Denise Poole, Co-Director at: deniseap@earthlink.net or Russ McClain, Co-Director at: mcclainw@dewv.edu

● Sustainable Living for WV website, www.sustainablelivingforwv.org. All updates for the fair, and links to other sustainable efforts, news and more can be found there.

Sustainable Living for WV
P.O. Box 2206, Huntington WV 25722
A non-profit organization registered with the WV Secretary of State office

The Center For Sustainability Studies
Davis & Elkins College – 100 Campus Drive, Elkins WV 26241

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend

New River Gorge National River

Release date: Immediate
Contact(s): David Caldwell
Phone number: (304) 466-0417 x18
Date: 4/1/11


Spring in West Virginia highlights one of the earth’s greatest natural treasures, the botanically diverse southern Appalachian forests.

In the New River Gorge this season begins with the first solitary bloom of coltsfoot, bloodroot, or trout lily by the riverside in early March. April brings us the forest, carpeted with wake robin and great trillium, Dutchman’s breeches and Virginia bluebell. The finale is the showy display of Catawba rhododendron, flame azalea, Fraser magnolia, and tulip poplar into the last days of May. With over 72,000 acres of protected habitat, New River Gorge National River is a haven for a wide variety of both plants and animals.

For the past eight years Appalachian spring in New River Gorge National River has been celebrated with New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend programs the last weekend in April. Babcock, Hawks Nest, and Pipestem State Parks along with Tamarack and The Clay Center, will partner with New River Gorge National River to present a full schedule of “Wildflower Weekend” programs in the area. This weekend event commemorates the wonders of the season and the area’s natural diversity through public programs, a nice variety of talks and guided hikes. There are no charges to attend these programs, but advanced reservations are required for the “Hike Into Spring” hike at Grandview. For reservations call Sandstone Visitor Center 304-466-0417 or Canyon Rim Visitor Center 304-574-2115. For more information check

The “Hike Into Spring!,” our keystone event, is a ranger-led hike down the Little Laurel Trail along the old Royal Mine Road, from the rim of the gorge at Grandview. The 1,400 foot elevation change offers an abundance of early and late blooming species in one walk. Sixty to seventy different species of wildflowers are usually spotted on this hike. This year’s hike will be on Saturday, April 23. A bus will provide hikers a ride back to Grandview at no charge.

The varied forest types, elevations and moisture levels found in the New River Gorge combine to provide a constant parade of blooming spring wildflowers from March through May. Riverbank areas such as the Sandstone Falls and River Road near Hinton and Glade Creek Road near Prince are blooming now with coltsfoot, cut leaf toothwort, the prominent white blooms of bloodroot, and the mottled leaves and yellow petals of trout lily. These species will also be seen on our “Hike Into Spring” at Grandview.

April 5 through 30, 2011
Youth Arts in the Parks
8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily, art exhibit in the vestibule across from the David L. Dickerson Fine Arts Gallery, Tamarack in Beckley, WV. Independence Middle School students celebrate regional ecology through art in this special exhibit, works inspired by the nature of our public parks—especially wildflowers. Additional sampling of these artistic works will be on display at the participating national and state parks. www.tamarackwv.com

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Clay Center’s Lunchtime Lecture:
Glories of Appalachian Spring!
12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m., Clay Center in Charleston, WV. Can you feel the sap risin’? Spring is here, so see how forests and rivers come alive with wildlife, trees and more wildflowers that you can count. Join a ranger for this closer look at the seasonal beauties and wonders of our region’s unbroken Appalachian forest. www.theclaycenter.org

Friday, April 22, 2011
Garlic Mustard Pull
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., McKeever Lodge, Pipestem Resort State Park in Pipestem, WV. Celebrate Earth Day and help manage the natural beauty of this site at this garlic mustard pull. Walk parts of the River and County Line trails to Indian Branch Falls during this working hike, and remove this non-native, invasive species. Bring work gloves.

Glories of Appalachian Spring!
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Auditorium, Tamarack in Beckley, WV. Can you feel the sap risin’? Spring is here, so see how forests and rivers come alive with wildlife, trees and more wildflowers than you can count. Join a ranger for a closer look at this region’s wonders of spring.

Blooms of Big Branch
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Big Branch trailhead, New River Gorge National River off River Rd. near Hinton, WV. Join rangers on a two-mile round trip hike up Big Branch. This somewhat strenuous creek-side forest trail is a wildflower hot-spot, plus includes several waterfalls. Be prepared for stream crossings.

Saturday, April 23, 2011
Hike Into Spring!
9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Grandview—Shelter #4, New River Gorge National River in Grandview, WV. Join rangers and naturalists on a leisurely 2.5 -mile hike from Grandview down to the New River, finding wildflowers along the way. Be prepared for some steep terrain as we travel down the Little Laurel Trail, an old dirt road. A free return shuttle will be provided. Reservations requested by April 20; call 304-466-0417.

Art in the Parks: Jr. Ranger Day Fun
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Grandview - Cliffside Amphitheatre, New River Gorge
National River in Grandview, WV. Wildflowers won’t be the only splash of color this weekend. Kids can paint their own flower pots and plant wildflower seeds in them, plus pound yard plants into cool designs.

Sunday, April 24, 2011
Spring Birding at Babcock
9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Glade Creek Grist Mill, Babcock State Park in Clifftop, WV. Stroll the diverse habitats of Babcock in search of the region’s more secretive beauties—birds.

Native Wonders
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Canyon Rim Visitor Center, New River Gorge National River in Lansing, WV. See a display on wildflowers of the season, plus hear tales of past and present flora uses.

Blooms and Beauties Hike
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Rail Trail trailhead, Hawks Nest State Park in Ansted, WV. Explore the many wonders of the New River Gorge on this walk along the Hawks Nest Rail Trail. See both flora and fauna on this easy hike along an old railroad line. Be ready for good photo opportunities too.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bird walk scheduled in South Park

Mountaineer Audubon will host its second annual South Park Bird Walk, led by Kelly Williams, at 5pm, May 14. Meet in the Morgantown High School Parking lot.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friends of the Cheat seeks volunteers to plant trees

Volunteers are needed to help with planting more than 3,000 hardwood trees on a former strip mine in Albright. Friends of the Cheat has partnered with Camp Dawson Natural Resources, the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative and the International Coal Group (ICG) to do the planting.
Volunteers should meet at the North Preston Quick Stop, on WVa 26, Albright, at 9am, April 2. The group will carpool to the planting site, which is just across the Cheat River, but requires four-wheel drive to access. If you arrive after 9am, look for signs directing you to the planting site. Plantings tools will be provided, but you may bring your own. The Rowlesburg Revitalization Committee will provide a cold lunch for the volunteers.
To volunteer: Andrew Miller, 304-329-3621 or amiller@cheat.org.
This project represents a new approach in surface mine reclamation. Surface mines across Appalachia were often reclaimed by heavily compacting the soils and seeding a thick mat of grasses, which prevents the natural succession of the native trees and shrubs, leaving an ecological desert. The Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, a partnership of state and federal agencies, academia, citizen groups and industry, promotes a method call the Forestry Reclamation Approach that emphasizes using loosely compacted soils to allow for tree growth. The Albright site was "ripped" by Camp Dawson Natural Resources in October 2010 to loosen the soil. ArborGen, commercial tree nursery in Summerville, SC, has donated 3,300 hardwood tree seedlings to this project. Ten blight-resistant American chestnut seedlings also will be planted. Info: http://arri.osmre.gov.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Maurice Brooks Lecture

West Virginia’s Golden Eagles and Wind Energy:
new threats along historical migration routes.

Todd Katzner, PhD

For thousands of years Eastern Golden Eagles have migrated unmolested from Canada to wintering grounds in the central Appalachians. In the past decade a new potential threat has emerged on their migration pathways – wind turbines. Yet although turbines
have killed hundreds of Golden Eagles in the western USA, there are no records of this species being killed by wind facilities east of the Mississippi and the degree of risk turbines pose to migratory eagles is almost completely unknown.

April 19. 2011
7:00 p.m.
317 Percival Hall

click here to view flyer.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Canaan Wildlife Refuge to host walk

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge will have an "Early Spring Birds" walk led by volunteer Casey Rucker at 8am March 26. Participants will meet at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge visitor center on W.Va. 32. Participants are urged to dress in layers and wear comfortable walking boots or shoes.
Binoculars will be provided or participants may bring their own. Water may be carried if desired. The program is free and will last about two hours. The walk is sponsored by the Refuge and the Friends of the 500th.
Info: 304-866-3858.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Marcellus and the Gas Industry in WV

John Bocan has forwarded the following information:

Some of the group may be interested in some upcoming lectures by the WVU Extension Office called "Fundamentals of Natural Gas Exploration & Leasing" featuring folks from WVU Geology, WV DEP and WV Water Resources. Sessions (same one) will be offered in different counties. The one for Monongalia County is set for May 10th.

For more information about the presentation check Fundamental of Natural Gas Exploration and Leasing

For the full schedule check the link from the WVU Extension Service webpage
Oil & Natural Gas

Funding for this effort was provided by Chesapeake Energy, Dominion, and EQT.

Friends of the Cheat encourages citizens to attend and ask questions.
Best Regards,
John Bocan

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

American Indian Interpretation in the Trans-Allegheny Region

Erin requested that I post the following e-mail she received:

I wonder if you would do me a favor and help publicize an April 13th day-long event we've organized with the WV Div. of Culture and History? It's a symposium called, "Telling the Stories: American Indian Interpretation in the Trans-Allegheny Region."
It will be of interest to anyone working in public history sites and organizations in our region. I've attached the flyer for the symposium--it's a free event, lunch included, but registration is required (the link is on pg. 1 of the symposium flyer).

We also have a public lecture scheduled on Tuesday evening, April 12 at 5:00 p.m.--that's also free and is open to the public. All the info is on the second flyer I've attached.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Become an Invasivore

I subscribe to a weekly on-line gardening newsletter, Dave's Garden. I found this article by Bev Walker particularly intriguing:

Become an "Invasivore" in 3 easy lessons!
There is a movement afoot calling for the eradication of several out-of-control nonnative species via knife, spoon, or fork! A human that hunts, harvests, and devours invasive species that threaten their local environment is known as an invasivore. I suppose that also makes them a locavore, and possibly an omnivore, if both plants and animals are on the menu! You can easily become an invasivore, too, if you know where to look and how to cook.
Continue reading..

We hope to offer an elective class this year on local invasive species. You may even get the opportunity to volunteer locally at either the Core Arboretum or the West Virginia Botanic Garden to help eradicate some of these plants.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Request from Canaan Valley MN

Andrea Dalton of the Canaan Valley Master Naturalists sent out the following request:

Our presenter this year for Wildflowers and Weeds is in the process of developing his presentation and asked if anyone has any pictures or info from their presentation they would be willing to share.
Thanks, all.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blackwater Falls 50th Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage May 5-8, 2011

May 5-8
50th Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage
Blackwater Falls State Park
An interpretive weekend packed with bird walks, wildflower tours, nature programs, craft exhibits and sales. Advanced reservation required. Annual event co-sponsored by WV Federation of Garden Clubs and WVDNR. Contact: 304-558-2754.

Note: above link will take you to all events planned for Blackwater Falls.

New River Birding and Nature Festival May 2-7, 2011

The New River Birding & Nature Festival takes place in and around the New River Gorge National River. Administrated by the National Park Service, this area is the heart of the upland, hardwood forests that Cornell Lab of Ornithology has identified as a crucial stopover habitat for the continued survival of species such as Golden-winged, Blue-winged, and Swainson's Warbler, as well as the Scarlet Tanager. This bird watching festival highlights more than 100 bird species on a variety of birding tours.

A friendly birding vacation for everyone, this week long event features guided birding excursions, world-class speakers, the finest collection of guides at any festival destination anywhere, tasty food, and a back-porch atmosphere unmatched by any other birding festival. Signature guided bird watching experiences include the opportunity to visit a wide range of habitats, world class instruction for those wanting to enhance their birding skills, and the best guide-to-guest ratio on the festival circut.
More information can be found here.

Monday, February 28, 2011

2011 Monongahela Master Naturalist Schedule

The schedule of classes is just about finalized. I will be getting it posted soon, but for a quick peek, check the schedule here.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Beginning Schedule from Canaan Valley

Attached are the Core and a few elective classes for the Master Naturalist Program of Canaan Valley for 2011. I will send you a complete schedule when I have gotten all the electives together. Please spread this to your class members or anyone you feel may be interested. Thanks.
Andy Dalton

Canaan Valley 2011 Master Naturalist Schedule (Part 1)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

From Erin Smaldone:

Dear Master Naturalists,

Nicole Good is currently organizing the annual "Celebration of the Outdoors" for the Cooper's Rock Foundation in Morgantown, WV. The all-day event, which will take place on Saturday, June 11, features morning and afternoon educational workshops for the public centered around hikes or activities in the state forest. In the past, we have had programs on a wide variety of topics, including stream ecology, tree identification, invasive species, bugs, bird walks, wildflower sketching, and mushroom hunting.

She is seeking workshop leaders for this year's event, and would love to have one or a few of you lead a workshop. They are especially in need of workshops geared toward children and families.

Please email or call her at the contact info below with any questions. She will need to have a commitment before March 10th.

Nicole Good
Cooper's Rock Foundation
Morgantown, WV
(304) 208-5013

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Special Invitation from Project Wild

From: Karen A. McClure
Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2011 2:45 PM
Subject: A special invitation from Project Wild

On behalf of the WV Wildlife Resources Section, I’d like to invite you to become a part of the Project WILD family. As the new state Project WILD Coordinator, I am recruiting and training a core of Project WILD facilitators from around the state to help lead workshops in their local area. This is a great opportunity for you to share your enthusiasm for learning about wildlife. The fun facilitator training is free and includes an overnight stay at Jackson’s Mill, complete with lodging and meals. The dates for the training are May 21-22, 2011. It will begin with dinner on Saturday and end after lunch on Sunday. You would need to provide transportation to and from Jackson’s Mill, located eight miles off I-79 near Weston.
You have been invited because of your interest in teaching people about wildlife. The workshop will consist of training in facilitator skills, review of the curriculum materials, and conducting hands-on activities. We will be working mostly with original Project WILD K-12 and Growing Up WILD for ages 3-7 this year. If it has been a while since you worked with the project WILD family, check out: www.projectwild.org and www.projectwild.org/GrowingUpWILD.htm . As a facilitator, you will be expected to lead one workshop a year (or more if you would like). This is a very flexible volunteer opportunity, so you can volunteer when it works best for you.
I need to confirm my tentative reservations soon, so I’m asking you to consider the invitation and call or email me within the next two weeks. I look forward to hearing from you and hope you decide to be a part of the West Virginia WILD family.

Karen McClure
WVDNR Wildlife Resources
4300 First Avenue, Suite 100
Nitro, WV 25143