Thursday, December 27, 2012


We'll be meeting at 1pm in the Glenmark Center Lowe's parking lot to carpool since there isn't much parking at Snake Hill.  This is the Lowe's at the Pierpont exit (#7) of I-68.

NEW! Dee Fulton is inviting all hikers for hot cocoa after the walk. Dee lives just across from the Snake Hill WMA parking lot where we'll be parking for the hike.   THANKS, DEE!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Planetarium Show Canceled 12/21/12

Due to the impending weather, the show tonight at the WVU Planetarium has been canceled.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New Year's Day hike at Snake Hill WMA

Begin the new year on the right foot with a hike at the Snake Hill Wildlife Management Area.  The hike is being organized by the 2012 class of the Monongahela Master Naturalists.  It is open to everyone.
We'll be meeting at 11am in the Glenmark Center Lowe's parking lot to carpool since there isn't much parking at Snake Hill.  This is the Lowe's at the Pierpont exit (#7) of I-68.
For more information about what to expect at the Snake Hill WMA, check out this pamphlet.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

W.Va. joins other states with 'First Day' hikes

SOUTH CHARLESTON - Four West Virginia state parks have scheduled New Year's Day hikes to encourage people to get outdoors - even when it's cold out.  Participating in 2013 are Kanawha State Forest, Blackwater Falls State Park, Cacapon Resort State Park and Twin Falls State Park.  West Virginia State Parks Programming Coordinator Sissie Summers said the park system offers fun and exercise at no cost.
Massachusetts began offering First Day Hikes in it parks more than 21 years ago, and the National Association of State Park directors issued a challenge to other states.  Officials said 50 state parks across the country will participate.  Info:

Eighth annual eagle watch set for Jan. 12

PIPESTEM - The annual January eagle survey of the Pipestem area is scheduled for Jan. 12.  Jim Phillips, Pipestem State Park naturalist, is coordinating the various survey sites and assignments and inviting anyone interested to be part of this winter four-hour foray.
Phillips schedules novice birders with more experienced volunteers to scan the skies and record eagle sightings in a four-hour period.
To be part of the eagle survey, contact Phillips at 304-466-1800, Ext 344 or email with phone contact information and names wanting to volunteer prior to Jan. 7.  Include "Eagle Survey" in the subject line.  Phillips contacts participants in advance to determine the best location, to create teams and to forward the forms to record sightings.  The survey begins at 10am and continues until 2pm.  All participants will meet at the Hinton Dairy Queen at 3pm with collected data.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Audubon group to do annual bird count

Mountainer Audubon will conduct the 2012 Mountaineer Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, in a 15-mile circle centered at the Morgantown Airport.  The circle has been divided into four sectors.  The map of the sectors and team leaders can be found on
Team (sector) 1 meets at the gate of the Geologic Survey at 8am Saturday.
Team (sector) 2 hikers meet as the Uffington public boat ramp at 7:30am Saturday.
Team (sector) 3 meets at the Terra Cafe, in Star City, for breakfast at 8am, followed by a shuttle at 8:45am to Waterfront Jeep for a count along the rail-trail.
Team (sector) 4 meets at 7:30am at the WVU Animal Science Farm's upper parking lot.
Participants will meet at 5:30pm at Taziki's Cafe, Suncrest Towne Centre, to tabulate the results.
Clear Mountain Bank agree to sponsor the count, and will donate equally to Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia which will team with Mountaineer Audubon during the count.
For information, call LeJay Graffious at 304-379-7505 or

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Local Non-Profit Seeks Festival Coordinator
Friends of the Cheat, Inc. a non-profit, grassroots, watershed group based out of Kingwood, WV is seeking a coordinator for the annual Cheat River Festival held on the first Saturday of May since 1994.  The Festival Coordinator will be responsible for handling all aspects of festival coordination and execution, including:  leading Friends of the Cheat’s Festival Committee; serving as the primary point of contact for festival vendors, key volunteer leaders, and the press; recruiting and coordinating vendors and exhibitors; developing and managing event advertising, marketing materials, and associated grant writing; procuring goods and services related to the festival such as fest merchandise and contractors (sound, security, sanitation, etc.); procuring donations of goods and services for silent auction and raffles; assisting the volunteer coordinator with volunteer recruitment and management; researching alternative parking procedures; updating and maintaining the festival website and social media outlets; drafting/compiling a festival manual for comprehensive record keeping; and leading the setup, execution, and cleanup of the 2013 festival to be held May 4, 2013.  The Festival Coordinator will also work with and provide input to the Festival Site Committee to develop long-term site development plans.  The successful Festival Coordinator must be able to coordinate with veteran festival volunteers to maintain and expand the popular aspects of the festival while balancing the organization’s desire to improve the status quo for a more meaningful festival experience and maximized profits. 

The successful applicant will be competent in MS Office and possess strong verbal communication skills. Excellent organizational skills are a must.  Attention to detail, flexibility, and the ability to both work unsupervised and be a team player is key to success.  Graphic design knowledge and experience with Wordpress websites is beneficial but not required.

Friends of the Cheat is offering this position as a $5K contract with a potential cash bonus based on festival profits.  The ideal contract period is from 1/15/13 through 6/15/13.  Hours will gradually increase from about 10 hours per week to full time as the festival date approaches and taper off during the wrap up period after.  Evening and weekend work is required; however, the work schedule is flexible and many duties may be completed from an adequately equipped home office.  Festival related travel and mobile phone reimbursement will be built into the contract.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and list of three references with contact information by Friday, January 4th to Friends of the Cheat.  E-mail submissions are preferred to  Send hard copies to:  Amanda Pitzer, Executive Director, Friends of the Cheat, 119 South Price St., Suite 206, Kingwood, WV 26537.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Reminder: Winter Tree ID class Dec 13

Dave McGill (WVU ES Forestry Specialist) will be conducting a Winter Tree ID course in Percival Hall on the WVU campus.  This class has been opened up to the Master Gardeners to have a little cross group collaboration.  See you there.

ps Ellen will not be coming to the class.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dinner with a night of stars

From Debby  Ludwig:
Just a reminder that some of us plan to have a bite to eat at Maxwell's before the planetarium show on Dec. 21.  We will be meeting in the WVU parking lot #1 on Willey Street across from White Hall around 5pm to walk to Maxwell's.  I believe some folks are also planning to socialize afterward the planetarium show as well.  If you have any questions please email me at

Friday, December 7, 2012

WV MG Coordinator Job Posting

This was just sent out from John Murray, Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources: 

Below is the link to the job posting for the WVU Extension Service Consumer Horticulture Specialist and WV Master Gardener State Coordinator position. If you know of anybody that meets the qualifications and would be interested in the position please pass this information on to them. The deadline for applications is January 1st.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


  • Saturday, Dec. 1 at 8am; Mountaineer Audubon Society Cheat Lake Field Trip.  Go to for more information.
  • Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2pm; WVBG ‘Winter Botany Walk’ led by George Longenecker.
  • Saturday, Dec. 15; Christmas Bird Count with the Mountaineer Audubon Society.  Go to the above web address for more information.
  • Saturday, Dec. 15 from 9am-12pm; WVBG workday.  Go to for more information.
  • Friday, Dec 7, 14 & 21 at 7&8pm; WVU Planetarium show ‘Season of Light’ will be shown at both times.  Go to or call 304-293-4961 to make reservations.
Idea:  we could all make reservations for the 21st and meet beforehand at a downtown eatery for a Winter Solstice supper.
  • Other?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Master Naturalist Class: Travel Opportunity

Sheldon Owen has connections with eco-tour people and is organizing a trip to Nicaragua over spring break for WVU students.  If enough students do not sign up, this opportunity can be available for Master Naturalists.  Attached is a general description of the trip to Nicaragua planned for students over spring break 2013.  If it does not fill with students then we can open it up for Master Naturalists.  Or we can design one specific to the interests of the Master Naturalist group.  You can email this itinerary around to the Master Naturalist group and lets see if we have any interest.
Let either Sheldon or I know if you are interested and we will keep you informed.  If there is sufficient interest we can organize a trip just for Master Naturalists.
Sheldon F. Owen, Ph.D.
Wildlife Extension Specialist
West Virginia University
329D Percival Hall
PO Box 6125
Morgantown, WV 26506
Office: 304-293-2990
Cell: 304-680-9937

Winter Tree ID - Master Naturalist Class

Dave McGill (WVU ES Forestry Specialist) is willing to conduct a Winter Tree ID course here on the WVU campus if the Master Naturalists are interested.  We have a tentative date of Thursday, Dec 13th if the group is interested.  Depending on number interested we can also open this up to the Master Gardeners to have a little cross group collaboration.
There are several people in the current class who are interested.  I will send out more info as soon as I have the specifics.

Friday, November 30, 2012

WVBG Winter Botany Walk

December 2nd - Join WVBG Executive Director George Longenecker for the last walk of the season!  George will explain how to recognize trees, shrubs, and ground covers in the winter by means of leaf scars, bud scales, twig and bark characteristics and more.  Bring a hand lens if you have one.  Meet on December 2 at 2:00pm in the lower parking lot at the WV Botanic garden.

Mountaineer Audubon Field Trip

Dec 1st - Public and members are invited to Field Trip to look for waterfowl on Cheat Lake.  Come learn about the ducks visiting from the north.  Cheat Lake field trip will meet at 8:00am at Ruby & Ketchy's Restaurant.  Join us at 7:00am for breakfast.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

FODC gets $5K grant

Friends of Deckers Creek (FODC) has received a $5,000 grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust.  This funding will be used to enhance the Sabraton Outdoor Learning Park.
Located adjacent to Deckers Creek and a section of the rail-trail, the Sabraton OLP includes an outdoor classroom pavilion, community mosaic mural, walking trails, seating, native gardens and plants, public art created by local youth and interpretive signs.
Funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust will be used to create three wayside exhibits and written educator guides and kits to support educators interested in providing a hands-on, educational experience for their students.
"This program will provide an opportunity for professional educators and their students at Morgantown High school to access a local environmental education center that can be used to extend their curricula beyond the walls of the classroom," said Christian Root, biology teacher at MHS.
"The new wayside exhibits and educational guide will provide adults and children alike a better understanding of the creek and creekside ecosystems." said Liz Wiles, FODC Executive Director.
FODC's mission is to improve the natural qualities of, increase the public concern for and promote the enjoyment of the Deckers Creek Watershed.
Information: 304-292-3970 or

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Warning for WV Backyard Bird Watchers

SOUTH CHARLESTON - A migratory bird in the finch family is a cause for concern for backyard bird watchers in West Virginia.  Called pine siskins, the bird is flocking in large numbers in the state, meaning they could transmit salmonellosis to other species.  The last time such an unusually large migration occurred, bird kills were reported throughout West Virginia from salmonellosis.
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources' wildlife section advises that backyard feeders be cleaned every two weeks and rinsed with a 10 percent bleach solution.  The feeder should be thoroughly dried before refilling.  The cleaning is especially recommended for feeders containing thistle seed, a food favored by pine siskins.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mon River Trails Conservancy Meeting

From the Dominion Post 11/7/2012 Meetings:
Mon River Trails Conservancy, 5pm, Star City Town Hall

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Nov 1 - Morgantown
West Virginia Rivers Coalition is hosting The Wild and Scenic Film Festival Thursday November 1st at The Met Theatre in Morgantown!  Join us for an evening of inspirational films and great prizes!  Tickets are purchased for $8.00 in advance online at  Tickets will be sold at the door for $10.00, or $8.00 with a Student ID.  All proceeds will go towards protecting WV's rivers and streams!  If you have any questions please contact the WVRC offices at 304-637-7201.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Volunteer Opportunity at WVU Core Arboretum

Dear volunteers,

I hope you're having a good year and a good autumn. A few of you have expressed interest in volunteering at this time of year, so I thought I'd let you all know of this "opportunity."

The plan is to pull woody invasives on weekdays from November 1 through November 9, possibly continuing until November 16. There are two aspects of this.

1. Pulling and clipping Japanese honeysuckle vines where we find vines climbing trees and shrubs. I don't worry about the vines crawling on the forest floor, they have poor vigor and there are too many of them to deal with. When a vine starts to grow vertically, though, its vigor increases dramatically. These are the one to get after, pulling the root crowns out of the ground if possible, and always cutting/pulling the vines out of other woody plants. Ordinary hand pruners and good gloves are needed. This task is laborious (slow) but has its satisfactions. Japanese honeysuckle is common near the rail-trail, forest edges generally, and scattered through the rest of the Arboretum.

2. Pulling and popping invasive shrubs and small trees out of the ground. We'll walk all over the Arboretum, primarily seeking Amur honeysuckle, but also keeping our eyes peeled for other Asiatic honeysuckles, privet, barberry, winged euonymus, autumn-olive, Norway maple, and ailanthus. These are generally easier to find in the fall than at other times of the year. We've been getting after these for years, so most of the ones we find this year will be small. Gloves and picks are needed. I have two picks, useful for popping out plants that are too large or too firmly rooted to simply pull out.

I usually get one or two student workers to help with this in the fall, but this year I have none. If you are interested in helping, please respond to this email, indicating the days/times that work for you. If you're too busy or would rather not deal with November weather, that's okay, we don't need as many volunteers for this fall job as we need to pull garlic mustard in the spring. If you signed a waiver form last spring, you don't need to sign a new one this fall.

You may be interested to hear that I'm seeing many fewer garlic mustard plants this fall than I have seen in other years. Don't get me wrong, we'll still get truckloads out next spring, but I predict fewer truckloads in 2013 than in 2012, and we had fewer in 2012 than in 2011. Your good work is having a beneficial effect on the Arboretum's flora.

Thank you,

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

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tracking and Woods Lore Weekend at Blackwater Falls

As part of the Tucker County 24th annual Leaf Peepers Festival, there will be a Tracking and Lore Workshop by Doug Wood at Blackwater Falls September 28-30.  Those of you who have attended Doug's workshops with the Monongahela Master Naturalists know what a great teacher he is.  This is a great opportunity to earn some elective hours.  For more information see the flyer.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Website offers viewing of topographical maps

Topographical maps of 23 West Virginia Wildlife Management Areas are now available online, according to Frank Jezioro, director of the W.Va. Division of Natural Resources.
The maps, featuring boundaries, contour lines, water features, roads and trails were produced by the DNR Wildlife Resources Section.
Maps are available in different formats and resolutions to accommodate different Internet speeds.  To view or print a map, go to the DNR website and click on "New WMA Topo Maps" under "Hunting."
There are 78 Wildlife Management Areas spread across the state.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mountaineer Chapter of the National Audubon Society Field Trips

For further information on all field trips, contact Terry Bronson,, or phone 304-225-0999.

October 6: Decker's Creek Trail field trip.  Meet at 7:30 am at Mountaineer Mall near water tower.

October 20: Core Arboretum field trip.  Meet at 8:00 am at Core Arboretum parking lot next to WVU Coliseum.

December 1: Cheat Lake field trip.  Meet at 8:00 am at Ruby & Ketchy's Restaurant, Route 857 south of Cheat Lake Animal Hospital, or at 7:00 am for breakfast.

Mountaineer Chapter of the National Audubon Society Programs

October 9: 7:00 pm at WVU Percival Hall, Room 316.  Jesse and Katie Fallon: Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia.

November 13: 7:00 pm at WVU Percival Hall, Room 316.  WV DNR Biologist Sue Olcott: Winter Birding in WV.

December 15: LeJay Graffious: Christmas bird count.  If you are interested in participating, contact LeJay Graffious at or 304-379-7505.

Volunteers needed for cleanup programs

Volunteers are wanted by the US Army Corps of Engineers to help with National Public Lands Day cleanup programs Sept 29, at Tygart Lake, Stonewall Jackson Lake and Youghiogheny River Lake, all within easy distance of Morgantown.  National Public Lands Day keeps the promise of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the "tree army" that worked from 1933-'42 to preserve and protect America's natural heritage.  Info:

 Projects are, by location:

Tygart Lake, Taylor County: Trail maintenance.  Volunteers will work from 9am-1pm.  To volunteer: Michael Estock,  or 304-265-1760.

 Stonewall Jackson Lake: Planting trees and flowers, trail maintenance, fishing pier maintenance and trash pick-up.  Volunteers will be provided with gloves and tools if they can't bring their own.  A Boy Scout and Girl Scout troop will install interpretive signs along the Friendship Trail, planting trees and doing some beautification projects in the downstream area.  Volunteers will work from 9am-1pm.  To volunteer: or 304-269-4588.

Youghiogheny River Lake; Clean up the shoreline.  Water, latex gloves and trash bags for volunteers will be available at the Spillway Recreation Area, near the dam.  Volunteers will work from 9am-3pm.  To volunteer: Emily Potter, or 814-395-3242.

Friday, September 21, 2012


 A new feature-length documentary exploring the future of energy. From Arcos Films, Switch explores the world’s leading energy sites, from coal to solar, oil to biofuels through the eyes of Scott Tinker, Ph.D., an internationally known geologist and director of the Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin.

The film will be shown at 7 p.m. September 25th, in the Gluck Theatre in the Mountainlair.

Mountaineer Audubon Field Trip

September 22nd - The Mountaineer Audubon will be hosting a bird and nature tour to the Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management Area.  Meet at the Mountaineer Mall at 7:30am.  All Mountaineer Audubon events are open to the public.  For more information please contact Terry Bronson at 304-282-2160 or email at

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

FODC makes final cut for '50 States for Good' initiative

Friends of Deckers Creek has been named West Virginia's state finalist in the "Tom's of Maine 50 States for Good" initiative and has a chance to win money.  The public is invited to vote for six winning organizations to share $150,000. 
Voting runs through Oct. 9 at, vote for Friends of Deckers Creek.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Volunteer workday at WVBG

Hi folks,

Please see the note below from George regarding the workday this Saturday, Sept. 15 starting at 9:00am.  We hope you can make it!  A note from me: please remember to sign in and out on the sign-in sheet so I can keep track of your hours (especially students).



Erin Smaldone
Volunteer Coordinator & Education Director
West Virginia Botanic Garden

We will be adding plants to the newly planted area between the lower parking lot and the information kiosk and also in the Secret Garden near the Butterfly Garden. Digging tools will be helpful.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monongahela Master Naturalists class presentations

To fulfill the Interpretation and teaching requirement each member of this year's class is giving a 10 minute presentation on the topic of his/her choice.   The presentations are this week (the 13th) and next week on the 20th from 6-9 in Percival Hall.  The topics are varied and interesting.  I invite you to come to meet and support this year's class.
Hope to see many of you Thursday

volunteer opportunity/WVDNR Annual National Hunting

Master Naturalist volunteer help is needed again this year for the WVDNR Annual National Hunting & Fishing Days weekend at Stonewall Resort State Park, Saturday and Sunday, Sept 22 and 23.  Duties include helping out with children arts outside activities.  Any amount of volunteer time will be welcomed (a few hours, entire day or weekend) and appreciated.  For more information, please contact Jim Fregonara at 304-637-0245 or>.  Thank you very much.
Jim Fregonara
Wildlife Resources Section
Wildlife Diversity Program
phone: 304-637-0245
fax: 304-637-0250

volunteers/ Stargazing event

We are planning a Stargazing Event at Chestnut Ridge Park on Saturday, October 13 from 7 p.m. top 10 p.m. The WVU Astronomy Club will have their telescopes set up for viewing, and Dr. DJ Pisano will give a presentation from 7-7:30. We’ll have a campfire, and hot chocolate and s’mores. I have attached a flier for more info.
We could use several volunteers for four hours, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., to help with set-up, parking, staffing the s’mores tables, and general assistance. I would appreciate it if you would forward this email to the Master Naturalist class, for anyone who needs volunteer hours. Please ask them to email me at or call 304-594-1773.
Thank you!
Justine McCoy

Friday, September 7, 2012

West Virginia Herb Association: Annual Conferences

The Fall Herb Festival at Jackson's Mill will begin Friday, Sept. 28th at noon.  Saturday, Sept. 29th workshops will run from 8 - 5 and possibly, Sunday, Sept. 30th, there will be workshops and walks from 8 till noon.  Mimi Hernandez of Frostburg Univ. will be the keynote speaker.  Save the dates!

For more information visit the WV Herb Association.

Mountaineer Audubon Program - Birds and Eagles

WVU students Cristina Slover will present "Impacts of Fire Management on Bird Communities in the Central Appalachains" and Andrew Dennhardt will present "Modeling migrations counts of approximate abundance of Golden Eagles in Eastern North America" at Percival Hall in room 316 on the WVU Evansdale Campus.  The free lecture starts at 7pm.

WVBG Fall Mushroom Walk

WVU Professor of Mycology Dr Dan Panaccione will lead a search of forest fungi.  Dan will show us how to  identify the native mushrooms at the garden by their unique characteristics.  Meet at 9:00 am on Saturday, September 8th in the lower parking lot at the WV Botanic Garden.  Admission to the walk is free.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Friends of Cheat to host picnic Sept. 15

KINGWOOD - Friends of the Cheat (FOC) will host a picnic at 5:30pm Sept 15, at Coopers Rock State Park, Pavilion 2.  The picnic is a social for volunteers in the Cheat Aquatic Pollution and Base Line Ecological  (CAPABLE) monitoring program, serving the Cheat River watershed.  The celebration will begin with locally prepared food, followed by a presentation on the CAPABLE monitoring program.  FOC's new OSM-VISTA, Aubrey Harris, will be introduced.  Everyone is invited, with a special invitation to FOC members.  Dinner is free; donations are appreciated.  RSVP to Aubrey Harris, or 304-329-3621.

Friday, August 31, 2012

International Vulture Awareness Day Turkey Vulture Release

September 3rd - The Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia (ACCA) will be doing a public release of a rehabilitated turkey vulture at the Cooper's Rock State Forest Overlook on Monday, September 3, 2012 at 1:00pm.  This event is to help celebrate International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD).  IVAD is a world-wide celebration.  The ACCA's Veterinarian and Conservation Biologist will give a brief talk about the rehabilitated bird and why vulture conservation is important.  For more information, please see the ACCA website at or contact us at 304-906-5438.

Friday, August 24, 2012

WVBG Wildflower Walk

August 25th
WVBG Wildflower walk with local naturalist Ellen Hrabovsky will explore the plethora of summer wildflowers found around the reservoir basin.  A wildflower book is helpful.  Meet at 9:00 am on Saturday in the lower parking lot at the WV Botanic Garden on Tyrone Road.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WVBG Workday this Saturday

Hello WV Botanic Garden volunteers!

We will be having our August workday this Saturday, August 18 at the Botanic Garden starting at 9:00am.  We will be working on general site clean-up, weeding, mulching, etc. in preparation for our upcoming fund raising event- Garden Party, "An Enchanted Evening" (which will be on August 26 from 5-8pm.  See our website for more info and ticket sale locations).  We hope you can make it to the workday on Saturday and/or the event next Sunday.

Thanks and enjoy the rest of your week,


p.s.  We also have a free wildflower walk coming up on Saturday, August 25 at 9:00am!  Lots to do at the WVBG these days, hope you can join us... 

Erin Smaldone
Volunteer Coordinator & Education Director
West Virginia Botanic Garden

Come Grow With Us!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Deckers Creek group to receive fed grant

Friends of Deckers Creek (FODC) will receive an Urban Water Small Grant for work on its Richard Mine acid drainage project at 4pm Aug 20, at FODC's Outdoor Learning Park behind the Kroger store in Sabraton.  Environmental Protection Agency Region III Administrator Shawn Garvin will present the award.  FODC said the Richard mine discharges acid mine drainage to Deckers Creek about two  miles upstream from the city of Morgantown, and is responsible for most of the pollution in Deckers Creek as it flows through Richard, Rock Forge, the Sabraton area and downtown Morgantown.  FODC will use the funding to study the mine pool and to build partnerships with others in the communnity who can help solve the problem.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Expert on foraging for wild food to speak

The 45th Annual Nature Wonder Wildfoods Weekend will welcome wild foods foraging expert Sam Thayer as featured speaker Sept 21-23, at North Bend State Park.  The weekend includes speakers, presentations, collection and preparation of wild foods.  During the first Nature Wonder Weekend, participants enjoyed a wild-food walk in the park with noted author Euell Gibbons.  He told about his experiences with little-used free foods from the land such as black walnuts, mountain-tea berries, paw-paws and wild fox grapes.  That walk was the beginning of the Gibbons Nature Trail, which has been enhanced this year and will reflect the recent national focus on nature trail enjoyment.
There are overnight packages and day-only attendance options.  To register: Teri Surface, 304-558-2754 or email  Overnight options include lodge rooms, cabins or camping sites.  Please specify your preference during registration.  Although wild foods are featured throughout the weekend, five conventional meals will be provided by the North Bend Lodge Restaurant.

For a link for more information plus a mail-in registration form, click here.

Outdoors-Woman workshop set

The fall Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop will be held Sept 14-16, at Watoga State Park.  Women ages 18 and older can learn a new outdoors skill.  BOW will offer classes in archery, biking, shooting, camping, fly tying, fishing, nature walk and outdoor cooking, among others.  Registration is open: the $150 fee covers lodging and two dinners.  Breakfast and lunch will be on your own.
Info or to register: BOW, 304-558-2771 or  Download a registration form at

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Master Naturalist Schedule Fall 2012 at Oglebay

Dear Master Naturalists,
Attached you will find the registration information for the upcoming classes. 
Please register as soon as possible.  Some of the classes are coming up quickly!!!  And, Dr. DeBerry always brings some wonderful surprises for her class, so I need to be able to give her a good class count well in advance.
In addition to the classes listed, we will be scheduling  the RECORDING AND PRESERVING WHAT YOU LEARN core class for this fall.  When we have the date finalized we will let you know.  Please note, we had a date change from the previous e-mail!
The class schedule and descriptions along with the registration form are attached (as one file).  You can fill out the attached document and forward it to   or you can print out and complete the PDF version and mail to: Master Naturalist Program, Oglebay Zoo, 465 Lodge Drive, Wheeling WV 26003.
Looking forward to seeing all of you!
Vickie and Penny
Master Naturalist Schedule
Fall 2012
UPDATED 8.3.12

Saturday, August 18  1 – 4 pm
Monarch Watch (elective) Penny Miller
Zoo Multi-Purpose Room

Sunday, August 19  1 – 5 pm
Creating Backyard Habitats  (core) Dr. Candy DeBerry
Zoo Multi-Purpose Room

Saturday, August 25  7:30 – 9:30 pm
Night Skies:  Astronomy (elective) Steve Mitch
Zoo’s Planetarium

Saturday, September 15  9 am – 12 pm
Aquatic Habitats (core) Dr. Zac Loughman
West Liberty University

Saturday, September 15   1 – 5 pm
Insects, Spiders and Such (core) Dr. Zac Loughman
West Liberty University

Sunday, September 16  1 – 4 pm
Wetland Habitats (core) Dr. Zac Loughman
West Liberty University

Saturday, October 13  1 – 3 pm
A Tiny Tick Made Me Sick Penny Miller
Zoo Multi-Purpose Room

Saturday, November 10  10:30 am – 12 pm
Talkin’ Turkey:  Wild Turkey (elective) Vickie Markey-Tekely
Zoo Multi-Purpose Room
Recording and Preserving  What You Learn (core)
Zoo Multi-Purpose Room

Schedule and Registration MASTER NATURALIST 8.1.12.docm
Schedule and Registration MASTER NATURALIST 8.1.12.pdf

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Notes from Ellen

The Field trip to the Botanic Garden has been rescheduled for Tuesday, August 21.  We will gather in the lower parking lot and procede from there.  If thunderstorms are nearby - stay home.

Any of you who need some volunteer hours would be very welcome at the WVBG Garden Party on Sunday August 26 from 5-8.  Help with parking is especially important.  If you can help contact JoAnn Nicholas at

There is a new insert for your manuals on Trees, Shrubs and Woody vines. (Your current manual does not have a section on TSV.  If you need a copy of this let me know.  I usually have them in the car on class nights.

The 2012 class will be doing presentation on Sept 13 and 20. You would be very welcome to come and lend support.

Friday, August 3, 2012

WVBG Insect Walk

WVBG Insect walk  - Join Wildlife Biologist Sue Olcott as we go in search of winged wonders.  Learn to identify butterflies at the butterfly garden and watch for other jewels of the sky as we walk the reservoir trail.  Walk dependent on warm, dry weather.  Meet at 2:00pm on Sunday, August 5th in the lower parking lot at the WV Botanic Garden.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Volunteers needed at Cacapon Resort State Park

Master Naturalists willing to do any interpretive hiking or other programs on Saturday, August 11 and Thursday-Saturday August 16-18.

Thanks for the help!!

M. Renee Fincham
Park Activities Coordinator/Naturalist
Cacapon Resort State Park
818 Cacapon Lodge Drive
Berkeley Springs, WV 25411
(304 )258-1022 ext. 5209
               /), ,)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Master Naturalist Class at Pipestem

Emily Grafton will be offering Wildlife Habitat Improvement at Pipestem on Sunday, July 29 from 1:00pm till 5:00pm.   This is a great opportunity to pick up 4 hours of core credit.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

W.Va. gets grant to combat bat disease

West Virginia is getting a $42,500 federal grant to fight a disease that's killed millions of bats across the Northeast.  West Virginia is among 30 states receiving grants from the US Fish and Wildlife Service for white nose syndrome projects.  The agency said the funding will be used to monitor caves and mines where bats hibernate, prepare state response plans and for related projects.  White nose syndrome is caused by a fungus.  It was first spotted in New York six years ago and has since spred to 19 states and four Canadian provinces.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sierra Club trail cleanup planned

The West Virginia Sierra Club will lead a trail cleanup Saturday on the intermediate cross country ski trail at Cooper's Rock State Forest.  The work will involve clearing vegetation, drainage areas and the trail.  Adolescents can take part with 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 or to register: 304-594-2636 or

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Edible/Medicinal/Poisonous Plants w/ Bill Beatty - Blackwater Falls State Park

July 13 - A special weekend devoted to learning about wild plants used as medicinals, those that are edible and those that are poisonous.  Guest naturalist and author Bill Beatty.  Contact: 304-259-5216

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cranesville Swamp Field Trip

We will be going to Cranesville swamp this Saturday, June 30.  We will meet in the parking area on the south side of I-68 at the Bruceton Mills exit. (Good parking there) Please be there by 8:45 so we can be on our way by 9:00.  Parking at the swamp is limited so we need to car pool.  Bring binoclulars, hand lens, any field guides you wish and lunch.

See you there.
Ellen Hrabovsky

For more information before you visit, please download the Cranesville Swamp Brochure and the Cranesville Swamp Trail Guide for further information (pdf).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Help needed for Monongahela River clean-up

One of our Master Naturalists got this request for volunteers:

From: Tim Terman <>
Sent: Thu, Jun 21, 2012 8:29 am
Subject: Need help Friday on river cleanup

Hey, hope you all are doing well.  I'm doing a litter cleanup from the Monongahela Monitor river boat tomorrow, Friday, evening.  This is to get the river cleaned up before the triathlon on Sunday.  Hundreds of swimmers will participate, so I do a cleanup each year before the event.
I posted to my blog and on Facebook and to the Cause, but I have not gotten up a crew, so I thought of you folks.   I'm sorry for the late notice, but I thought people were reading the blog and the cause, but I guess not.
So, if anyone is available tomorrow from about 5:30 p.m. to around 8 p.m., let me know.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mountain Biodiversity Adventure at Black Water Falls State Park

From Andy Dalton:

Hi, all.  I don't know how many of you know about the soon upcoming Mountain Biodiversity Adventure weekend at Blackwater Falls State Park June 22 - 24th.  It should be great. If people are interested in volunteering to help, they need to contact Paulita Cousin, park naturalist at 304-259-5216 or  If people are going, but not signing up for the package which includes meals and lodging, they suggest a $5 to $10 donation per class. Paulita would like to know numbers of non-package people who will be attending, so if people plan to go and not stay there, please drop Paulita a note.  The package price is $203 per person based on double occupancy.  This should be a great conference with Dr. Tom Pauley (amphibians & reptiles), Dr. Zac Loughman (crayfish), Tree and Plant ID (Alan Miller), Bees, Beetles and the Buzz about Pollinators (Emily Grafton), Geology of WV (Ken Ashton), and Butterflies (Destiny Phillips) and Golden eagles with Trish Miller.  Bird walks are also planned. 

Attached are a narrative from Paulita and a flyer with registration form.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Jim Rentch cannot make it this week so I will do Wildflowers and he will present "Terrestrial Habitats" next week. So no field trip next week.  See you at Percival on Thursday.

More time allotted for stream comments

In response to requests, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has extended the public comment period on the draft list of impaired streams in West Virginia to June 26.  These streams are commonly referred to as the 303(d) List.  The extension allows citizens more time to review and comment on the streams on the list, which may be seen at  Written and email comments are acceptable.  Emails may be sent to  Written comments can be sent to
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Water and Waste Management 2012 303(d) List
Attn: Steve Young
601 57th St, SE, Charleston, WV 25304.
Info: Young, 304-926-0495

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wetland Walk-- Saturday, June 16

Leah Webster, from our Master Naturalist class, is going to lead a nature program at Chestnut Ridge Park this Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. She will talk about wetlands and teach us to catch and identify aquatic insects. Please everyone know that they are welcome to join us! I have attached a flier. If anyone else would like to plan and participate in a program to get their volunteer hours, they can contact me at the park.
Thank you!

Justine McCoy
Park Ranger

What is a wetland?

Do you know the difference between a may fly and a stone fly?

Learn to catch and identify aquatic insects


 Leah Webster, Environmental Scientist and Naturalist


Saturday, June 16th

1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Meet at Harris Lake (no parking available at lake)

Wear old shoes and be prepared to get wet!

Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information, call the Chestnut Ridge Park Office:


Friday, June 8, 2012

WVBG Wetland Habitats Walk

June 10: WVBG Wetland Habitats walk - WVBG Executive Director George Longenecker will lead us on a walk around the Botanic Garden and discuss the different types of wetlands found on site.  The emphasis will be on plants and other wetland features.  Meet at 2:00pm in the lower parking lot at the WV Botanic Garden.  Wear Boots or shoes you can get muddy.  For more information, visit:

Coopers Rock Celebration of the Outdoors

June 9: The Coopers Rock Foundation is hosting their 23rd annual Celebration of the Outdoors.  Join a guided hike or educational workshop.  There's something for every age to enjoy!  Activities include (just to name a few!): Build a Bird Box, Rock Climbing, Photograph Rock Climbing, Old Time Jam Band, Moss Gardens.
Visit our website for more information!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Comment sought on Md-WVa trail link

The National Park Service is soliciting public comments on a proposed extension of the Western Maryland Rail Trail to Paw Paw.  The agency said Wednesday it will hold public meetings Wednesday in Hancock, Md, and Thursday in Paw Paw on an environmental assessment of the project.  The park service said its preferred alternative would involve 8.1 miles of paved trail construction in two segments.  The project would extend what is now a 22-mile, paved, hiking-and-biking path between Big Pool and Pearre.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Workdays at the West Virginia Botanic Garden

Workdays- we have a WVBG workday once a month starting at 9:00am and generally going until 11 or 12.  Workdays include helping out with current site needs and often include working in the gardens or along the trails.  They are generally scheduled for the 3rd Saturday of the month, but a few have been moved this year to accommodate other events at the Garden.  Our next workday is scheduled for this Saturday, May 12 at 9:00 am.  The main focus of this workday will be planting annuals in various flower beds.  These flowers will enhance the beauty of the gardens for months to come. So far, the remaining workdays are scheduled as follows: June 9, July 21, August 18, Sept 15.  If you would like to be notified closer to the date of the workday, please let me know and I'll add you to the site work volunteer list.

Erin Smaldone
Volunteer Coordinator & Education Director
West Virginia Botanic Garden

Come Grow With Us!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Volunteers sought for lake cleanup

SUTTON - The US Army Corps of Engineers is looking for volunteers to head to Braxton county next weekend for the third annual "Rake the Lake" spring cleanup.  The trash and debris collection at Sutton Lake is set for 10am Saturday.  Staff members will provide trash bags and gloves to volunteers.  A cookout at the Sutton Lake Marina will be held after the event, and the first 200 registered participants will receive a T-shirt.  To volunteer, call the Sutton Lake Project Office at 304-765-2816.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Native Plants Workshop May 13 Reminder

 There is still a little bit of room remaining for the Native Plants Workshop with Dianne Anestis.  Let me know if you would like to be on the list.  Fee is $10 for all but the 2012 class members.

 On Sunday May 13 we are having a workshop on Native Plants - their uses and folklore at  the Botanic Garden from 12:30 to 4:30. Diane Anestis is a well known expert in this field and has agreed to do this program. She was here with Doug Wood for the tracking workshop and added immensely to that program. (She's Doug's wife.) We will do this the same way as the tracking program. Because of space limitations we will be limiting the attendance to 25 people. So please register with me as early as possible. Members of the 2012 Monongahela MN class will not be charged a fee. For all others the fee is $10.00 to help cover expenses for the day. I will send final instructions to the registered participants a few days before the event. This is a good program for certified members who need class hours for re-certification. Looking forward to hearing from you. Ellen

Volunteer Opportunities at Chestnut Ridge Park

Hello Master Naturalists, 

We have a number of volunteer opportunities available at Chestnut Ridge Park for anyone needing to complete their required hours for certification.
Using examples from the 'Volunteer Projects' handout, the following are some areas where you could be of service. We could especially use help with trail development and maintenance at this time.

Education/ Interpretation
Environmental workshops for children
Leading nature walks
Outdoor classroom naturalist activities
Creating brochures, fact sheets, etc.

Field/Research/ Surveys
Field surveys for amphibians, plants, etc.
Plant collections

Interpretive Facilities Enhancement
Trail building and maintenance
Erosion control
Building boardwalks, observation platforms
Construction and placing of nest boxes

Please let us know if you have any other skills you would like to offer.

Thank you!
Justine McCoy
Park Ranger, Chestnut Ridge Park

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mountaineer Audubon Program - Morgantown

May 8th Mountaineer Audubon Program Join us for our Third Annual South Park Bird Walk. We will meet at 5:00pm in the Morgantown High School parking lot. Kelly Williams will lead the walk.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cheat River Festival returns Saturday in Albright

Friends of Cheat (FOC) hosts the 18th annual Cheat River Festival on Saturday, May 5. Gates open at noon, admission is $15, and children under 12 are free. The festival grounds are off W.Va. 26 just north of Albright, along the banks of the Cheat River. Weekend festivities will kick off Friday with a downriver race. The race will begin at 5:20pm with registration from 3-5pm at the Laurel Highlands Outfitters booth. Registration is $25 in advance and $30 the day of the race. There is a chance the race could be moved or canceled due to low water. Friday, after the race's start, FOC will host a pavilion dedication. FOC will unveil new signage at about 6pm at the festival site. Saturday kicks off with the 8th Annual Cheat Fest 5K at the Preston County Country Club. Registration is from 8:30-9:45am. The race begins at 10am. Cost is $25. Festival gates open at noon. The Cheaters Consignment area introduced in 2011 will be back again under the pavilion. FOC will have drawing and silent auction items up for grabs. To donate an item to the auction, contact the FOC office or email Items can also be dropped off before 6pm Friday at the pavilion. The Kids Tent will be set up from noon-5pm. Music begins at 1pm on the Cheatfest stage. The lineup includes: Lindsey & Ty, The Greens, Johnson's Crossroad, Cello Fury, Stewed Mulligan, Halftime String Band, Rising Regina and Lewis Brothers. For directions, camping info, presale ticket locations and race registrations, visit

Celebrate birds at Coopers Rock

The Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia (ACCA), in collaboration with Coopers Rock State Forest will host a celebration of Morgantown Migratory Bird Day on Saturday (May 5) at Coopers Rock Pavillion. The event is free, child-friendly and begins with bird walks at 7am and 8:30am, and many bird-related activities for people of all ages until 3pm. Info: Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia, 304-906-5438 or

Friday, April 20, 2012

Native Flower workshop May 13

On Sunday May 13 we are having a workshop on Native Plants - their uses and folklore at the Botanic Garden from 12:30 to 4:30. Diane Anestis is a well known expert in this field and has agreed to do this program. She was here with Doug Wood for the tracking workshop and added immensely to that program. (She's Doug's wife.) We will do this the same way as the tracking program. Because of space limitations we will be limiting the attendance to 25 people. So please register with me as early as possible. Members of the 2012 Monongahela MN class will not be charged a fee. For all others the fee is $10.00 to help cover expenses for the day. I will send final instructions to the registered participants a few days before the event. This is a good program for certified members who need class hours for re-certification. Looking forward to hearing from you. Ellen

Garlic Mustard schedule for next week

Dear volunteers, Hurrah! Great progress has been made in this quick spring, and we're also seeing the effects of past efforts. I estimate the total haul from the Arb in 2012 will be about seven heaping truckloads, or about 60% of last year's yield, from the same area. We're not done yet, though. There is still more on the flood plain, and we have yet to tackle the area to the Morgantown side of the Service Road and above the rail-trail. After that, there are a couple of little hot spots I know of, and some areas we should cruise in search of gm in the hope of not finding any. Pulling sessions are scheduled for 8:30 AM Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday next week, April 24, 25, and 26. The plan is to tackle the known infestations on days when several volunteers come, and cruise in search of hot spots on other days. THANK YOU for your good work so far. Please come at one of the scheduled times next week if it suits your schedule. We are making a real dent in the persistent seed bank for this troublesome species, and native plants including Impatiens, goldenseal, and many others are benefiting. Jon

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Bird Walks at the WVU Core Arboretum

Tuesdays; Join us in viewing neo-tropical migrants and other birds, beginners and experienced birders welcome. For all walks, wear appropriate hiking/walking shoes, and bring binoculars and bird guides if you have them.

7:15 ~ 9:30 am - meet at the Arboretum parking lot. Walks will be led by Audubon members. Be prepared for somewhat steep but smooth trails as we walk down to the river, then back up. Leader – LeJay Graffious
April 17 at 7:15 Guest Leader- Hillar Klandorf
April 24 at 7:15 Guest Leader-Sue Olcott
May 1 at 7:15 Guest Leader – Terry Bronson
May 8 at 7:15 Guest Leader- Caden Haines
May 15 at 7:15 Guest Leader - Derek Courtney

Guided wildflower walks begin at WVU Core Arboretum

The Department of Biology is continuing its long tradition of offering guided wildflower walks at the Core Arboretum beginning at 2 p.m. on the last three Sundays of April. This year’s walks will be April 15, 22, and 29. Many wildflowers have bloomed early in 2012, so the guides will discuss spring botany in general as well as the remaining wildflowers. Guides will be Jon Weems and Rodney Dever. Participants will make many stops while walking a mile in about two hours. No reservations needed.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Garlic Mustard Pullers Needed ASAP

Dear volunteers,

Yikes! As the heat returns and the dryness continues, spring advances at a breathtaking pace. This includes rapid maturation of garlic mustard, and a need to get serious about pulling plants, lest we lose ground after the last two years of great progress.

The time for playing hooky has ended. Please come as your schedules and other circumstances permit. Pulling sessions are scheduled for 8:30 Monday through Thursday, April 16, 17, 18, and 19. Also, student pulling sessions are tentatively scheduled for 1:00 PM Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday next week, and you are welcome to join in. One intrepid volunteer has signed a waiver form and is set to pull on his own in the evenings and on weekends. This is an option for anyone comfortable with it.

Thank you very much for being who you are and doing what you do. I hope the "what you do" will include helping with garlic mustard pulling in the Arboretum this year.

Best wishes,

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

Saturday, April 7, 2012


West Virginia Master Naturalists
3rd Annual Meeting

Davis & Elkins College, Elkins, WV
June 8 - 10, 2012

Schedule of Classes and Events

Friday, June 8th

4:00 - 6:00 PM Registration - Lobby of Graceland Inn

DINNER - on your own

7:00 - 7:15 PM Welcome Session - Room 400, Eshleman Science Center

7:15 - 8:15 PM Screech Owl Talk - Room 400, Eshleman Science Center

8:15 - whenever Social time - Ice House open- bring a musical instrument and enjoy

(also posible "Owl Prowl" and/or session on building a simple planetarium)

Saturday, June 9th

6:00 - 7:30 AM Bird walk with Rich Bailey, WV State Ornithologist

7:00 - 8:30 AM BREAKFAST - on your own unless staying at Graceland Inn and Conference Center

8:00 - 9:00 AM Late Registration – Lobby of Graceland Inn

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

Appalachian Geology and Natural History Fieldtrip (Jim Van Gundy)

Lepidoptera and the WV Lepidoptera Atlas (Sue Alcott)

Aquatic Ecology Fieldtrip and WV Fish Taxonomy (Dan Cincotta)

Mushrooms and Other Fungi (Walt Sturgeon)

Herpetology and Herp Field Study Techniques (Noah McCord & Jim Fregonara)

Morning Classes:

9:00 - 12:00 AM Nature Photography 101 (Bill Beatty)

9:00 - 12:00 AM Birding by Ear, WV Birds (Rich Bailey)

9:00 - 12:00 AM Invasive Plants (Rosalie Santerre)

NOON to 1:00 PM LUNCH (bag lunch included in Meeting Registration fee) 

Afternoon Classes:

1:00 - 5:00 PM Soils (Steve Carpenter)

1:00 - 5:00 PM West Virginia Plants That Changed The World (Bill Beatty)

1:00 - 5:00 PM Crayfish (Zach Loughman)

5:30 - 6:45 PM DINNER - Benedum Hall (meal included in Meeting Registration fee)

Evening Activities

7:00 - 8:30 PM Annual Business Meeting - Byrd Conference Center

8:30 - 9:30 PM Building a Planetarium for Children - location TBA

8:30 - whenever Social time - Ice House open- enjoy the company of your fellow Master Naturalists

Sunday, June 10th

6:00 - 7:30 AM Bird Walk with Kent Kariker

7:00 - 8:30 AM BREAKFAST - on your own unless staying at Graceland Inn and Conference Center

9:00 - 2:00 PM Ferns and Their Allies (Emily Grafton)

9:00 - 2:00 PM Mushrooms (Walt Sturgeon) - this is a slightly abbreviated version of Saturday's class

9:00 - 4:00 PM Appalachian Geology and Natural History (Jim Van Gundy) - this is a repeat of Saturday's fieldtrip

NOON LUNCH (bag lunch included in Meeting Registration fee) 

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 this website - click the "Registration" link below. The cost of the meeting is $45 per person for the entire weekend if you sign-up by April 30th. The registration includes lunches on Saturday and Sunday, and dinner on Saturday. The cost for those who register after April 30th will be $55. Sign-up for classes in the same manner - click on the "Sign-up for Classes" link below.

Davis & Elkins College is making rooms and meal service available for meeting participants at the Graceland Inn and Conference Center. There is a separate charge for these services and you must register (and pay) for them in advance. Information on how to reserve a Room is available on the "Registration" page. These rooms will be held only until April 30, 2012 and there is no guarantee that rooms will be available after that date.

All classes will have limited enrollment and will be filled on a first-come first-served basis.The cost of all classes is included in the Meeting Registration Fee and classes may be used to satisfy the requirements for Master Naturalist Certification. Classes 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.

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 2012 by Master Naturalists of west Virginia. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Garlic Mustart Pulling Starts Monday, April 9

Dear volunteers,

Thank you for your responses. Let's begin next week with morning sessions beginning at 8:30 next Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, April 9, 11, and 12. We'll see how it goes next week before setting the schedule for the following week.
For those of you who can come Monday, the forecast calls for a chilly day with showers possible. We'll see. Dress appropriately and remember, you're volunteers, if the weather gets too nasty you may leave! I like to work in the cool, but not in a steady rain and certainly not in a downpour.
I will bring bags and liability waiver forms. You should bring gloves and a large screwdriver or other tool to help uproot garlic mustard plants. After a hot and dry March, the ground is harder than usual for this time of year, and lots of the plants I've tried to pull so far have broken off at the root crown. Recommended clothing includes closed-toe footwear, socks, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a hat, and a water repellent jacket or windbreaker.
In case you arrive after we've already started, we will begin along the Strausbaugh Trail, the one high on the hillside and below the Coliseum parking lot, heading toward Star City. Look for us there.
Thank you all, have a great weekend, and I hope to see some of you Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday.

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


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Volunteers Needed at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge

The Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge needs volunteers for their red spruce planting on Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 22. Volunteers should meet at the Refuge Visitor Center on Route 32 in Canaan Valley at 10 am. Join the Refuge staff, their partners in the Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative, along with the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy for this fun work day. Come help us in our efforts to restore the red spruce ecosystem in the West Virginia Highlands. Contact Marquette Crockett by email at or call 304.866.3858, ext. 31 for more information:

Friday, March 30, 2012

Garlic Mustard Season at the Core Arboretum

Dear volunteers,

Wow! Like other plants, garlic mustard seems to be in a big hurry this spring. I have seen a lot of big, healthy garlic mustard plants, some of which have already begun to flower. This means the effort to control garlic mustard in the Core Arboretum also needs to begin early. I hope some of you will be willing and able to help again this year. A little new blood wouldn't hurt, either ...

Please let me know what days of the week and times of day, if any, work best for you.

I anticipate getting after it beginning the week of April 8-14 and staying with it for a month. For personal and administrative reasons, I much prefer to work weekdays. We'll see how it goes. I could also schedule some weekday late afternoon/evening or Saturday sessions and hope to attract a few more volunteers.

Thanks for being who you are and doing what you do.

Jon Weems

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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Citizen Scientist Monitoring Program Needs Volunteers

From: "Sarah Veselka" sarah@DECKERSCREEK.ORG

FODC is currently looking for volunteers in Monongalia and Preston Counties to monitor streams in our watershed through our Citizen Scientist monitoring program. FODC will give you the training and equipment necessary to monitor your local streams for potential pollutants related to the extraction of natural gas in the area and how to submit this data online. There are numerous stream sites to choose from and we can work with you to locate a site close to your home, school, or work, etc. This data is very important to indicate baseline stream conditions in order to accurately document pollution sources. If you are interested in participating, please contact Pamela Englemenn at

Citizen Scientist Training

On Sunday, April 1st from 1-4 PM, FODC and Friends of the Cheat will be training and equipping volunteers for this monitoring program. This training session will be held in Room 334 Percival Hall on WVU’s Evansdale campus and will also include a stream monitoring trip. Citizen Scientist volunteers will learn how to calibrate monitoring equipment and receive their very own monitoring kit to monitor a specific stream location every other week on their own time. They will learn how to recognize potential pollution sources using stream water chemistry measurements and visual assessments of the stream and surrounding area and who to call to report these issues. Citizen Scientist volunteers will also be trained in entering their data on FODC’s web site. Please contact Pamela Englemenn at to RSVP for the training.Thank you kindly to the US EPA Environmental Justice Small Grants program for funding this important program and to our volunteers for making it happen!

Calendar of Events

Sunday, March 25, 1 – 4 PM: FODC Adopt-A-Highway and Adopt-A-Trail clean ups. See web site for meeting locations. Volunteers needed!

Monday, March 26, 1:30 PM: Deckers Creek Restoration Team meeting. WVU NRCCE building. Open to the public.

Sunday, April 1, 1 - 4 PM: Citizen Scientist volunteer water monitor training. Percival Hall on WVU’s Evansdale campus.

Sunday, April 15, 1 – 4 PM: YAB meeting. FODC office in Sabraton.

Friday, April 27, 6 PM – 12 AM: FODC Spring Meltdown. Morgantown Brewing Company.

Thank you!

Learn more about FODC:
Meetings: 3rd Thursday each month 6:30 pm around the watershed:

News: about the Deckers Creek watershed:

Sarah Veselka, Executive Director
Friends of Deckers Creek
PO Box 877 Dellslow, WV 26531
Office: 304.292.3970
Fax: 304.292.5070

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monongahela Master Naturalist 2012 Begins 3/22

Just a reminder that we are starting this year's classes with about 20 new students. Classes will be held in Rm 308 Percival Hall from 6-9. If you need the make up the one hour for names and ID this is the day to come.


Soil Judging Contest Volunteers Needed

I'm helping Jim Thompson organize the National Collegiate Soil Judging Contest which will be held in Morgantown March 25-30. We are in need of volunteers and thought that members of your Naturalist Club might enjoy helping us out while earning the hours they need to remain certified.
Following is a forwarded e-mail from Jim requesting help and an attachment that lists the tasks that need to be done both before and during the contest. Please note that these tasks are on separate worksheet pages. To go from one worksheet to another, just click on the button at the bottom of the page.
Thank you for your consideration.

Peg Reese
(304) 599-5440

On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 9:38 AM, James Thompson wrote:

I am writing because you have either expressed an interest in volunteering to assist with the 2012 National Collegiate Soils Contest, or I have reason to believe that you might be interested in helping with this event. In a little over two weeks (March 25-30), over 160 faculty and students from 21 universities from across the US will be in Morgantown for the national soil judging contest. Practice sites will be available to the the teams on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, with the individual contest on Thursday morning and the group contest on Friday morning. There are tasks to be completed throughout the week, with the most assistance needed on Thursday morning for the individual contest. There will also be tasks to complete between now and March 25.

This event is an opportunity to represent your organization--whether it is WVU, the NRCS, the Forest Service, or the Department of Agriculture--as well as the state of West Virginia. It is also an opportunity to interact with fellow soil scientists and future soil scientists.

I am hoping to make a positive impression on our visitors by demonstrating the strength of the soil science community here in West Virginia. If you have time next week to commit to assisting with the preparations for the contest, please let me know. Please respond to this Email message by providing answers to these three questions:

1. Day(s) that you are available to volunteer.
2. Times that you are available to volunteer.
3. Your t-shirt size.

Based on the responses I receive, I will allocate duties or tasks. I realize that some of you have already answered some of these questions for me, but it will be helpful to me to have you confirm your commitment of time. Please call or send me an Email message if you have questions or need additional information from me. You can also visit the website that has been created for the contest ( for details related to the schedule, participating teams, and related resources.

I thank you for your consideration and I will look forward to hearing from you. If at all possible, please respond ASAP so I can prepare a schedule and notify everyone as soon as possible.

James A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Soils and Land Use
Research Coordinator, National Soil Survey Center-Geospatial Research Unit
West Virginia University
Division of Plant and Soil Sciences
PO Box 6108
Morgantown, WV 26506-6108
Phone: 304-293-2921
FAX: 304-293-2960

"We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot."
-- Leonardo da Vinci

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hello again WVBG Volunteers! Please see below and attached for your invitation to the 2012 WVBG Volunteer Orientation taking place on March 31 from 2-4 p.m. Please let me know if you are able to attend. I'm looking forward to seeing you all soon.
WVBG Volunteer Orientation

Erin Smaldone
Volunteer Coordinator & Education Director
West Virginia Botanic Garden

Come Grow With Us!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Work Day at West Virginia Botanic Garden 3/17

This Saturday, March 17th, we plan on having a volunteer workday from 9 to noon. We will be cleaning up the flower beds, cutting back the ornamental grasses and raking leaves out of the parking lots. Please bring clippers, rakes, and things to carry clippings and leaves. We have never been able to get this done so early! It is supposed to get up to 70 and have a possibility of showers, but maybe we can get things cleaned up anyway. We will start up front by Tyrone Road and progress to the downhill beds. Hope you can come & help.

George W. Longenecker
Executive Director
West Virginia Botanic Garden

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Volunteers needed for Beech Fork cleanup

BARBOURSVILLE - The fourth annual Spring Clean-Up at Beech Fork State Park is scheduled from 9am - 5pm April 7, and volunteers are asked to help keep it clean. More than 50 tons of garbage and hundreds of tires have been removed as the result of the previous three cleanups.
Volunteers who register in advance may camp for free at the park April 6-7. A registration form is posted on the park's website under the "Events/Deals" tab. Additionally, participants will complete a volunteer form, a formality that the state park system requires when volunteer work is performed.
The clean-up is rain or shine. Work areas are assigned and occur in several areas of the park. Participants should wear boots and work clothes. Gloves are provided. The park provides lunch on clean-up day. Beech Fork State Park is near Barboursville in the southwestern section of West Virginia and is accessible from Interstate 64. Info: 304-528-5794.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mountaineer Audubon Program

March 13th: Katie Falon, Instructor and author of "Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird," will present a program which parallels her book of the same name. She will describe the biology of the Cerulean and its struggle to exist. She will have copies of her book for sale. Meeting location is Heritage Village at 7:00pm. Open to the public.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Milton, WV - Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course, 18 April 2012

Milton, West Virginia
April 18th, 2012
9:00 am to 4:00 pm EDT

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the USDA Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are pleased to announce an upcoming Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course in West Virginia. This full day training will provide you with the latest science-based approaches to reversing the trend of pollinator declines, and will equip you with the recipes necessary to protect and manage habitat for these vital insects.


Identify approaches to increase and enhance pollinator diversity on the land
Knowledge of current best management practices that minimize land-use impacts on pollinators
Identify bees and distinguish them from other insects
Understand the economics of insect-pollinated crops, and the effects of pollinator decline
Knowledge of the current Farm Bill pollinator conservation provisions in programs such as WHIP, EQIP, CSP, and CRP
Ability to assess pollinator habitat and to identify habitat deficiencies
Ability to make recommendations to farmers and land managers that conserve pollinators (including subjects such as tillage, pesticide use, burning, grazing, and cover cropping)
Ability to design and implement habitat improvements, such as native plant restoration and nest site enhancements


Pumpkin Park
1 Pumpkin Way
Milton, WV 25541

April 18th, 2012 9 am to 4 pm EDT

Thanks to support from Northeast SARE, we are able to offer 30 scholarships on a first-come first-served basis. Registration is $45 per person thereafter. Discounted registration of $35 is available to NRCS personnel.

Lunch is not included. Please bring a sack lunch to the course.

Canceled registrations can be refunded until April 13th, 2012.


Registration is required for this course. Click here for more information and to register online. For questions, please contact Ashley Minnerath, Pollinator Program Assistant, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, at or (855) 232-6639.

Hurry, space is limited!


This Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course is made possible with the support of the USDA Northeast Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education (SARE) program and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Additional support for this training is provided by the following: CS Fund, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Sarah K. de Coizart Article TENTH Perpetual Charitable Trust, Turner Foundation, and Xerces Society members.

Special thanks to Capitol Conservation District and Guyan Conservation District for helping to make this short course possible.



The content of this course is tailored to the needs of NRCS, SWCD, Cooperative Extension, and state department of agriculture employees, as well as crop consultants, natural resource specialists, non-governmental conservation organization staff, and producers of bee-pollinated crops.


Jolie Goldenetz Dollar, Pollinator Habitat Restoration Specialist, Mid-Atlantic Region, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Nancy Lee Adamson, Pollinator Conservation Specialist, East Region, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Casey Shrader, State Biologist, West Virginia USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.


The Xerces Society is offering similar Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Courses across the country. Visit our online events page to view up-to-date short course information. If you would like to receive announcements about upcoming short courses, please email Be sure to include the following information: name, affiliation, mailing address, phone number, and the state(s) for which you would like to receive announcements.

1971 - 2011: Forty Years of Conservation

The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. The Society has been at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide for forty years, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs.

To learn more about our work, please visit

The Xerces Society · 628 Northeast Broadway, Suite 200. Portland, Oregon 97215 USA
Tel 855.232.6639 ·

Copyright © 2012 The Xerces Society. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Amphibian Monitoring

West Virginia needs volunteers to participate in the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program. Please pass along to anyone who may be interested.

NAAMP volunteers contribute their time to help states and USGS to assess frog and toad population trends. Data are collected using a calling survey technique, in which volunteers identify local amphibian species by their unique breeding vocalizations or calls.

Volunteers must be willing to learn the survey protocols and how to identify frogs and toad by their calls. Once volunteers have learned to identify frog and toad calls, they take the on-line Frog Quiz to document their frog call identification ability.

Each volunteer selects an available roadside route with 10 listening stops. The volunteer surveys the route several times per year, generally in the spring through summer. Surveys are conducted in the evening, starting ½ hour after sunset or later. Each survey takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete, plus travel time to the route location (which varies depending on how far the volunteer lives from the assigned route). At each of the 10 stops, the volunteer listens for 5 minutes, recording what species are heard and some environmental data. See for more details.

If you are interested in a route, please consult the survey map for a route that may be near you ( and contact Derek Bozzell at

Thank you.

Geriann Albers
Graduate Research Assistant
Division of Forestry and Natural Resources
West Virginia University
322 Percival Hall
Morgantown, WV 26505
Office: 304-293-0050
Cell: 618-540-8556