Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Garlic Mustart Update

Dear volunteers,

Many thanks for your good work so far. We have already covered most of the visited parts of the Arboretum, where we have found and removed two heaping truckloads of garlic mustard. Especially gratifying has been the dearth of plants found in the first areas control was attempted about six years ago. We're gaining on it!

Of course, part of the reason for this year's relatively light crop may be poor conditions for germination in the spring of 2012. Still, our persistent efforts are greatly reducing the restocking of the seed bank.

More pulling sessions have been added to the schedule. Morning sessions will begin at 8:30 May 1, 2, 6, and 7. That's this Wednesday and Thursday, and next Monday and Tuesday. Also, students will be pulling from 1:00 to 3:00 on May 1 and 2, and Master Naturalists and other volunteers are welcome to join these sessions as well.

[I don't seem to have an email address for Penny Patton. If you know Penny, please pass the info above to her. Thanks.]

I really enjoy working with you, and I hope you find some satisfaction in the good work being done.

Best wishes,


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


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Earth Day at the Morgantown Learning Academy


Stott was the engineer behind the steps.  Ruth worked on selecting the rocks for the steps and risers.  Mike (who is not pictured because he is the one taking the pictures) also worked on the design and construction.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Migratory bitrds to be celebrated at Coopers Rock

Coopers Rock State Forest awill be the site of the celebration of Morgantown Migratory Bird day on Saturday, May 4.  info: 304-906-5438 or www.accawv.org.  The day is sponsored by the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia, based in Morgantown.

Cheat River Fest - Volunteers needed

The 19th annual Cheat River Festival, May 4, is less than a month away.  Learn about all things Cheat Fest at the Friends Of Cheat website cheat.org, including details on the music lineup, kids activities, vendor and nonprofit group spaces, and race registrations forms.

Volunteers needed
Volunteers are still needed for Cheat Fest weekend.  Perks include free entry, discount festival T-shirt, access to the volunteer cafe backstage, including food and drink from area eateries and breweries, and free parking and on-site camping.  To sign up contact
Volunteer Coordinator Kelli Geswein
304-282-2068 or 304-379-8719

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Garlic Mustard Time


It is time once again to be thinking about pulling garlic mustard from the Core Arboretum. I'm sending you this email because you have volunteered in the past. I hope you are interested in volunteering again, I hope your email address is unchanged, and I hope you will forward this to anyone you know who might be interested in participating.

Our previous efforts are beginning to pay off in the form of smaller garlic mustard crops, but there is still plenty of this highly invasive exotic plant for us to deal with. Garlic mustard has a formidable seed bank. Student volunteers will pull some, but there will still be truckloads for us. I have seen reduced populations in some areas, but I have found a few places we missed last year, and I have found many large and vigorous plants.

We had an early season last year. This year, garlic mustard seems to be back to its normal blooming schedule. I would like to schedule weekday morning pulling sessions, beginning April 24, for interested persons able to work at such times. (Students will be working afternoons through May 2.) What suits you? What mornings and times would you like to begin? Of course, I also welcome evening and weekend warriors who can't shake free of other commitments on weekday mornings. All help is much appreciated.

Please let me know when you would like to help. I will try to schedule times that work best for the most people. I hope the snow has melted from Carol Nix's road so she can get in on the fun! As always, volunteers need to sign liability waiver forms at the start of their seasonal labors.

Thank you all for the things you do for our community. Let's once again enjoy each other's company as we pull garlic mustard, thereby doing something for the community of native plants.

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

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Saturday's Earth Day Project

Greetings all,
This is an update for our project on Saturday the 20th at the Morgantown Learning Academy.  Bring what ever gardening tools you want to work with and work gloves.  This includes clippers, loppers, rakes, shovels, etc.  Since we have some folks who can only come in the morning and others who have morning commitments and will be coming late I suggest we each just bring our own lunches if you need one.  I have asked Jen to provide water.

The area for the wildflowers is not ready but the following is a list of projects we hope to tackle:

 1) Clear out brush and make current outdoor classroom look nicer
2)  Clear the deer path to upper maple clearing
3)  Clear out under kestrel box
4)  Maybe someone could put in a step at Black Birch crossing?  I could find some stones and we could just do it with a shovel?
5)  general clearing of the trail
We start at nine rain or shine unless it is storming (as in Lightning and /or high winds.)
See you Saturday

The Mountain Mallards of the Morgantown Learning Academy needs volunteers

The Mon County Master Naturalist Organization is looking for volunteers willing to spend an hour per week with the Mountain Mallards 0f the Morgantown Learning Academy.

Ten children, ranging from 7-11 years of age are led by Jen Osha, a teacher at the MLA.  Jen loves the outdoors and wants her kids to love it, too.  Every outing, occurs on the MLA's 12.5 acre campus.  With Jen's knowledge of nature, her sense of fun, and her student's enthusiasm and curiosity, she says that anything can happen from tracking animals, learning about stream health, to just rolling down a hill.  The outings are unstructured and rough-and-tumble fun.

Each child keeps a journal of every outing, which may include a pressed flower, a leaf tracing, or other souvenir.  Each outing has a theme and so far they have learned about 5 different trees, 2 bird species and have studied various animal tracks.

Jen welcomes anyone interested in spending a session with this group.  Expertise is appreciated, but not necessary.  All that is needed is a shared interest in nature and a desire to have fun with the kids. Jen says that you may bring clippers for possible work and she warns that there is a steep hill to traverse.

dates:  starting on Wednesday, April 17 through Wednesday, May 29, but not Wed. April 24 {testing day at the school}
time: 3:30 pm-4:45 pm
place: Morgantown Learning Academy on Easton Hill Road.

Jen asks that if a volunteer has something in particular that they would like to share, they can e-mail it to Jen and she will print it out for their journals, or the volunteer can print out 10 small versions-the kids have little journals, so quarter sheets would work well.

When you arrive, you will need to get a visitor pass from the office before the group heads out.  Plan on arriving a few minutes early to have time to go to the office.  You can text Jen to let her know you have arrived.

Jen's contact info.   phone:  304-698-5160
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Sunnie Morton, who will set things up with Jen.

Sunnie's contact info.  phone:  304-598-1061

Saturday, April 13, 2013

WVU Core Arboretum Wildflower Walks

It is springtime and that means the wildflower walks at the Core Arboretum are starting this Sunday at 2:00.  Join Jon Weems for a guided walk along the paths through the Arboretum.  The walks are scheduled for the last three Sundays in April.  Parking is available in the Arboretum parking lot or at the Coliseum.  Wear suitable shoes.  The group meets next to the parking lot.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Walk at state forest is Saturday

A walk Saturday on Raven Rock Trail, at Coopers Rock State Forest, is the next activity in the 2013 Year of the Tree celebration.  Meet at 9am at the Raven Rock Trailhead.  Bring binoculars and wear comfortable walking shoes.  The hike will feature visits to recently timbered areas adjacent to the trail, and a discussion of the pros and cons of this type of forest management.  Total time is estimated as three hours.  Info: Gwen Jones at 304-376-4310 or gwen.jones1@gmail.com.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Botanic Garden plans a night of star-gazing May 4

The West Virginia Botanic Garden will host its first-ever star-gazing night from 7:30-10:00pm, May 4, at the garden, on Tyrone Road. 
Advance registration is required,and donations are appreciated.  Registration opens Friday, at wvbg.org or with Erin Smaldone, at 304.216.8704. 
WVU Assistant Professor D. J. Pisano and the WVU Astronomy Club will be at the garden to tell stories about the night sky.  After dark, look through a telescope for a better view of the moon and the stars. 
May 4 is the peak of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower, caused by Earth passing through dust particles from Halley's Comet, last visible in 1986.  Light refreshments will be provided. 
The garden is open daily, free of charge, from dawn to dusk.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Wild Edibles Festival

Time: April 20, 2013 all day
Location: Hillsboro Public Library
Street: Rt 219 - directly behind the Hillsboro Elementary School
City/Town: Hillsboro
Website or Map: http://mdawson@frontiernet.net
Phone: 304-799-4766
Event Type: educational, festival
Organized By: mary dawson
Latest Activity: Feb 4

Dr. Rebecca Linger, assistant professor at the University of Charleston will speak; also a walk to identify edibles , vendors, tasting tables, door prizes, optional lunch at Pretty Penny Cafe, pot luck supper.  No charges.

Monday, April 8, 2013

WV Botanic Garden Schedule for April

4/27; 7:30 am Birds - Join local birder LeJay Graffious on an early morning bird walk.  We'll be birding by eye and ear, searching in bushes and boughs for our feathered friends.  Bring binoculars if you have them.  

Please note:  All activities will take place at the West Virginia Botanic Garden, 1061 Tyrone Rd, Morgantown, WV.  Meet in the lower parking area.

Audubon Field Trips for April

April 20: Prickett's Fort State Park field trip, hosted by WV Division of Natural Resources.  Meet at 8:00am at Prickett's Fort parking lot at end of rail trail.

April 23 (Tuesday): Core Arboretum field trip.  Meet at 7:15am at Core Arboretum parking lot next to WVU Coliseum.

April 27: Prickett's Fort State Park field trip, hosted by WV Division of Natural Resources.  Meet at 8:00am at Prickett's Fort parking lot at end of rail trail.

April 30 (Tuesday): Core Arboretum field trip.  Meet at 7:15am at Core Arboretum parking lot next to  WVU Coliseum.

Coopers Rock Foundation needs volunteers April 13 and 14

     The Coopers Rock Foundation is hosting a work weekend this upcoming weekend of April 13th and 14th, and all volunteers are welcome.  Celebrate Earth Day early, gain some Community Service Hours, have fun in your favorite neighborhood State Forest, get a work-out, and meet people.  Tools provided.
     On Saturday, April 13th, from 10 until 2, there will be a Rocky Habitat Restoration Session in the Upper Rock City Area.  Meet at the Concession Stand.  Working with limbs and branches that came down as the result of Hurricane Sandy's snows of late October, 2012, and which were collected from the Overlook Area and set aside by CRF and volunteers, the downed wood will be carried into Upper Rock City and used to reduce human and deer traffic in some areas so as to encourage natural forest regeneration.
     From  2 until 6, there will be tree-planting in the Overlook Area, in the vicinity of the restrooms, picnic area, and playground -- the most heavily-used area of Coopers Rock other than the Main Overlook.  This will be the first of many annual CRF efforts to come to plant saplings in this area to get the next generation of forest started in a stand of trees with hardly any understory.
     On Sunday, April 14th, from 1 to 5, there will be trail maintenance on Rhododendron Trail, with the possibility of building a new drainage feature or two.  This is a heavily-used trail by hikers, trail runners, and mountain-bikers, and is also used by some cross-country skiers.  The needs of all these groups will be considered in the design of all drainage features built or maintained.  Meet at the entrance to the Day Use Parking Lot.  Latecomers, find us on Rhododendron Trail.

   --thank you!  for the Coopers Rock Foundation, 
     Adam Polinski, Trailwork Coordinator

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Coopers Rock cleanup slated for Saturday

The West Virginia Sierra Club will lead a trail spring clean-up at Coopers Rock State Forest on Saturday.  Work will be along a 1.25-mile loop that includes the adopted 0.6 miles of the Intermediate Cross Country Ski Trail.  Info, starting time: Ann Devine-King, 304-594-2636.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Earth Day Project - April 20

From Ellen:

We are all set for April 20 at the Morgantown Learning Academy.  We will not be seeding the open area but will make them a new outdoor classroom and do some trail clearing.  Bring what ever gardening tools you prefer (shovels, rakes, loppers, clippers, handsaws, etc.)  There are not any large trees to be tackled this time.  We also need to plan the construction of a creek crossing.

Bring something to drink - we will provide lunch, but if you do not eat pizza better bring lunch

Information about the Morgantown Learning Academy and their outdoor classroom:
MLA is a non-profit, non-denominational, private school for children from preschool to eighth grade located in Morgantown, West Virginia.  Beginning last year, MLA started an afterschool Mountain Mallard environmental education program, led by Jen-Osha Buysse, who is also the education coordinator for FODC.  The Mountain Mallard program is for 2nd through 8th graders and currently has 9 students in it and 5 alumni.  It is wildly successful and full of energetic and excited kids! I have included additional information below.

MLA has ten acres of property that, until now, has not been used by our kids.  The trail is very muddy and rough, which is fine for the Mountain Mallards (a group of 2nd - 4th graders who love the outdoors), but does not allow access by the rest of the kids at the school.  We have several areas on the trail that are in need of work.  Additionally, the 10 acres is full of invasive species, has several areas that are dangerously eroding, and currently has many areas that need beautifying...including our outdoor classroom that was devastated by MUB.

We would greatly appreciate the help of Master Naturalists to beautify areas around our school and to make these areas more accessible to our children.  The outdoor learning classroom in particular in a source of sadness now for the kids, and we are unable to use it.

Thank you!

Directions to the Morgantown Learning Academy:
From the Mileground (US-119 N), before reaching the intersection with the Pt Marion/Cheat Lake Rd, turn right onto Easton Mill Rd.  Go about 300 ft and then turn left onto Discovery Place and the MLA.