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.