Monday, November 10, 2014

Winter Birding Activities around Morgantown

Want to know your winter birds around Morgantown, WV? Check out these events that are open to any interested person.

November 11: Doren Burrell will present our Tuesday program on Winter Birds. This will be an excellent way to prepare for the Christmas Bird Count. The 7:00 program is at the Spruce Street United Methodist Church, 348 Spruce Street, Morgantown, WV.

December 6: Cheat Lake Waterfowl trip. 8:00 am at Ruby and Ketchy’s Restaurant on Route 857 east of Cheat Lake. If you’d like breakfast first, meet at 7:00 am. LeJay Graffious, leader,

December 20: Morgantown Christmas Bird Count. Contact LeJay Graffious, compiler, to volunteer at

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Monongahela Master Naturalist Book Club

We had an interesting discussion Friday trying to choose books for our winter reading.  Thank you for sending your suggestions.  There were so many good choices we could easily be reading into next summer but we did narrow it down to four.  They are available through Amazon.
We will be meeting Thursdays at the Ag Science building on the WVU Evansdale campus at 6pm in room G138.  Parking is available in the front of the building across from the new WVU greenhouse.  There is a microwave available if you like to bring a snack or a beverage.

December 11  
A Valley Called Canaan: 1885-2002
   Edwin Daryl Michael

January 8.    
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder
    Richard Louv

February 12.   
The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years from Stardust to Living Planet
    Robert M Hazen
March 12.     
American As Seen by Its First Explorers: The Eyes of Discovery (Dover Language Books and Travel Guides)
    John Bakeless

If you have any questions don't hesitate to email.  See you on Thursday, December 11th at 6pm.
Jayne Tveter

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Oct 30 Monongahela Master Naturalist Class

From Ellen Hrabovsky:
This class is more than just art.  It is about seeing and documenting what you see.  There are many ways to do that and Ann will show you some possibilities.
We have paper and pencils for sketching.  This year Ann plans to focus on winter twigs which will be a great introduction to life without leaves and how easy
it is to identify trees even without those green things.
PLEASE NOTE!!!  Class be will at 6 pm in room 205 Percival Hall instead of the lab we usually use.  (this is where we have met the geology lecture)
It will be helpful if a few of you "old timers" be there a little early to help the new people find the new location. 
So far this seems to be the last scheduled class of the year, since the Invasive Plants person has struck out.  We are working on a couple of other winter classes and the book club will
meet as we did last year. 
Hope to see many of you Thursday.

Friday, October 24, 2014

WVBG The Lure and Lore of Trees Walk

Oct 24 - Long-time West Virginia University Arboretum Specialist Jon Weems will lead an autumn walk in celebration of trees at the West Virginia Botanic Garden, 1061 Tyrone Rd, Morgantown.  This event is free and open to the public.  Meet in the lower parking lot of the Botanic Garden.  For more information, please contact Erin Smaldone at or 304-216-8704.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Comment on state invasive species plan

The draft West Virginia Invasive Species Strategic Plan is available for public comment through Oct 22.  The plan is intended to let West Virginia and all entities operating within its borders to address the threats posed by terrestrial and aquatic invasive species, including pathogens, which occur or may occur in the state.
Modeled after similar plans nationwide, the plan describe the status of invasive species in West Virginia and proposes goals and strategies to address their impacts.  Recommended management goals include coordination, prevention, early detection, rapid response, control and management, and education and outreach.
The document is available for download at under Top News Stories.  Submit comments to Whitney Bailey, at or to the WVDNR Elkins Operations Center, PO Box 67, Elkins, WV 26241.  Comments are due by Oct 22.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Master Naturalist Moss-lichen Workshop Sat. Oct. 11, 2 to 4:30 PM

Join us for the Moss-Lichen Workshop this Saturday at the West Virginia Botanic Garden.  Our instructor is Dr Susan Studlar.  We will meet in the lower parking lot.
Dr Studlar requests that you bring:
> 1) a hand-lens
> 2) a small light if convenient (e.g., Keyring light or small flashlight). It makes a world of difference if you can shine a light on a moss then look at it magnified. I have yet to find an inexpensive illuminated hand-lens that doesn't fall apart.
> 3) folder or clipboard for handouts and also to write on.  I will have a couple of handouts (one being my handout for the Sept. 28 walk, the other a new one especially for this workshop - in part a worksheet, with questions to answer on site.
> 4) water bottle with enough water to drink and to wake up the mosses, as needed!
Plan on being at the lower parking lot about 1:45 PM on Saturday so we can start on time.

Met Theatre to host film festival Oct 23

Join the West Virginia Rivers Coalition (WVRC) on Oct 23 at the Metropolitan Theatre as it hosts the Wild and Scenic Film Festival.  Doors open at 6:30pm.
Bringing the Wild and Scenic Film Festival back to Morgantown for the fifth time, WVRC has planned an evening of films, live music and prizes from area businesses.
Tickets can be purchased for $8 in advance online, at  Tickets will be on sale at the door for $10, $8 with a valid student ID.  Info: 304-637-7201.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Next Green Space Meeting

Hi All,
I’ve been in touch with some of you regarding a follow-up meeting about green space opportunities in and around Morgantown. Our initial meeting generated a lot of interest, particularly in terms of how the various operational green space groups could support each other, share ideas and resources, and otherwise synergize. Brent and I and a few others have kicked around the idea of outlining a green space ‘plan’ that we’d like to discuss with everyone (who is involved in green space issues); thus I propose that we meet on the third Thursday of this month, October 16th, from 5:15 pm to 7:15 pm at the Woodburn Building. I’ve drafted an agenda outline; have a look and comment as you see fit.
RSVP if possible, and please feel free to forward this email and agenda.  Also, send me the contact information including email of those that you think should be on the list.
Rick Landenberger

Mason-Dixon Line hike set for Oct 19

Pete Zapadka, found of, a website dedicated to the exploration of the Mason-Dixon Line, will host the Mason-Dixon Line Hike and Celebration beginning at 10:30am, Oct 19, at Mason-Dixon Historical Park on Buckeye Road near Core.  The 3 mile hike is a great opportunity for history buffs to learn about Mason and Dixon.
An interactive activity will be held during the hike to mark the return of prisoners from the French and Indian War - which ended in 1763 - across the Mason-Dixon Line.  Historian Doug Wood of Nitro will begin the day by leading the interactive program, in which visitors will be invited to participate.  Joining Wood will be historical re-enactors Dianne Anestis, of Nitro, and Ed Robey, of Morgantown.
Participants will meet in the parking lot at the park's red barn before the hike.
For directions and information about Mason-Dixon Historical Park, call 304.879.4101.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Backyard Mushroom Workshop! Sept 28th

The Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership (SOL) School presents Backyard Mushrooms! A Mushroom Cultivation Workshop.  Come learn how to grow mushrooms in your own backyard.  We'll explore log and straw cultivation on a small scale and send you home with your own miniature mushroom farm.  Presented by Mountain SOL instructors Maureen Farrell and Ivan Stiefel.  Cost is $30/person and includes 3 hours of instruction and miniature mushroom farm.

West Virginia Botanic Garden Moss, Lichen & Fern Walk, Sept 28th

Join WVU Professor of Biology, Susan Studlar, and discover many exciting species of mosses, lichens, and ferns at the West Virginia Botanic Garden, 1061 Tyrone Road, Morgantown. Bring a hand lens if you have one. This event is free and open to the public.  Meet in the lower parking lot of the Botanic Garden. For more information, please contact Erin Smaldone at or 304-216-8704.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Class start time changed

This semester there is a class in room 308 that dismisses at 6:15.  Last week our group chose to start class at 6:20 instead of finding a different room.

Monongahela Master Naturalists Winter Book Club

Read any good books lately? Last year, the Monongahela MN group decided to host a winter book club to help all of us get through the snowy season with our sanity intact. We read four books, Cerulean Blues, A Walk in the Woods, Collapse and A Sand County Almanac, and we met monthly for lively discussion and good companionship. This year there has been keen interest in repeating the program and we are asking for book recommendations from our MN group. Meeting dates are not yet finalized, everyone is welcome to participate, and the program is free. The books selected will have topics of interest to naturalists, and your suggestions will be welcome and appreciated.  Please email your titles for consideration to Ellen at or Carol Nix

Friday, September 19, 2014

REMINDER: WVBG Fall Mushroom Walk

West Virginia Botanic Garden Fall Mushroom Walk - September 21st
WVU Professor of Mycology Dan Panaccione will lead us in search of forest fungi at the WVBG, 1061 Tyrone Road, Morgantown.  Dan will show us how to identify the native mushrooms at the garden by their unique characteristics.  This event is free and open to the public.  Meet in the lower parking lot of the Botanic Garden.  For more information, please contact Erin Smaldone at or 304-216-8704.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

National Hunting & Fishing Volunteers Needed

Master Naturalists,
Help is needed again this year for the National Hunting & Fishing Days at Stonewall Jackson Resort State Park in Lewis County. Dates are: Saturday, September 27 from 9:00-6:00 and Sunday, September 28 from 9:00-5:00. Helpers can work inside or outside or a combination.
Usually, there are between 10,000 to 15,000 people that weekend depending on the weather, home WVU games and other events going on. There are vendors, displays, speakers and all kinds of activities related to hunting and fishing. See the linked website: for more information.
We'll be handling the kids’ activities. We have displays both indoors and outdoors. Indoor activities include helping with displays such as "Wildlife Jeopardy," making animal tracks in a sand box and passing out "I Touched a Snake Today" stickers. We have other displays that just need volunteers watching over them. Outside activities include: rubber fish printing, animal track stenciling, and painting large wooden animal cutouts, which are washed after kids paint them (very popular with the little kids). The outside activities need more volunteer helpers and are under a large tent. You don't need any experience with any of our activities, just patience with helping little kids. You won't have to pay the entry fee and a free lunch (hotdogs and such) will be provided. I also provide bottled water and snacks throughout the day.
We'll need volunteers both days, from 9-6 on Saturday and 9-5 on Sunday. Usually, Sunday doesn't get too crowed until 11:00. You can work both days, one day, or even a few hours one day. There isn't any free lodging provided, since the lodge and small campground fill up very fast, so some folks come just for one day, depending on how far they have to travel. Some volunteers even bring their kids to help out. Believe it or not, most volunteers really enjoy themselves.
If you can help out or need more information, please contact Jim Fregonara at: 304-637-0245 or

Friday, September 5, 2014

Wildfoods Weekend set for Sept 19-21 at North Bend

Who speaks best for Monongalia County when it  comes to naming one favorite wild food or wild food memory?  That's been the dilemma for the National Wildfoods Association President Edelene Wood, who has been canvassing West Virginia's 55 counties for a choice from each. The survey is part of the preparation for the 47th Nature Wonder Wildfoods Weekend set for Sept 19-21 at North Bend State Park.
"The focus of this year's event will be wild mushrooms, with noted mushroom authority/author Gary Lincoff as speaker," Wood said.  "So many other outstanding authorities came to mind for Monongalia, but the memory of Dr Earl Core led all the rest."
Core filled the void left at the annual weekend when author Euell Gibbons died.  Gibbons had turned the event into a wild food celebration.  And Core emphasized identification of everything gathered for wild food.
"Then we gave a big wild food party for him that featured edibles mentioned in his book, 'Nature Through the Seasons,'" Wood said.
Wood can be reached with other suggestions at 304-428-9590.

Click on link to North Bend State Park.

Mountaineer Audubon Program on Coastal Birds - Sept 9

Ross Brittan, Coastal Birds, September 9
This will be Mountaineer Audubon's first meeting of the fall.  All programs will be held in the Seekers Hall room at the Spruce Street United Methodist Church at 386 Spruce Street (corner of Spruce and Fayette Streets) in downtown Morgantown. The room will be available beginning at 6:30pm with the program starting at 7:00.  Parking is available in the adjacent metered city lot.

WVBG Moss, Lichen and Fern Walk

Moss, Lichen and Fern Walk - Sunday, Sept 28, 2pm
WVU Professor of Biology Susan Studlar will lead us to discover these species. Bring a hand lens if you have one

WVBG Fall Mushroom Walk

Fall Mushroom Walk - Sunday, Sept 21, 2pm
WVU Professor of Mycology Dan Panaccione will lead us in search of forest fungi.

Grand Opening for Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership (SOL) School! - Sept 7, 1-5pm

Located on the campus of Morgantown Learning Academy (MLA), the event will feature hands-on activities that will be part of Mountain SOL's curriculum, guided hikes on the nature trail, kids' crafts and face-painting, harvest activities in the MLA school garden and a presentation by the Friends of Deckers Creek (FODC) Youth Advisory Board about how kids can get involved in mapping their own watershed.  The grand opening is an opportunity for the public to learn about not only Mountain SOL programs, but also the school's mission, philosophy and vision for the future.  Morgantown Learning Academy is located off Easton Mill Rd at 123 Discovery Place.

International Vulture Awareness Day - Sept 6

Come see a rehabilitated turkey vulture return to the wild at the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia's International Vulture Awareness Day celebration!  The event will be held on Saturday, September 6, at 1pm at the overlook at Cooper's Rock State Forest. Celebrate with us and learn about these fascinating and under-appreciated scavenging birds!

Paddle Party at Twin Spruce Marina

From Erin Hartman:

Hello Everyone,  We are planning a paddle party on the Mon river at Twin Spruce Marina on Sept 14. Please bring your kayaks, canoes and any other floatable devise to the marina beginning at 10:00.  I will be there around 9:30 with Peggy Pings(the owner)  to get things unlocked and set up. This is a potluck affair, so bring your favorite dishes and desserts. The Master Naturalists will provide hotdogs, hamburgers, beverages and hardware. We are starting at 10:00 so we can get boats in the water and get paddling! We will paddle for an hour or so and come back to the marina for a great potluck lunch. Peggy has enough boats for about 14 people (with life jackets), so if you have an extra boat, please bring it.

Here are the directions:

From Morgantown at corner of Greenbag Road / Rt 119 South at the Morgantown Motel. Heading south, take the RIGHT at the 'V' intersection, going down the hill, onto Co Rd 73 (aka Smithtown Rd). Go 1.7 miles. RIGHT at the big 4'x8' Twin Spruce Marina sign (on right), and small Mon River Trail sign (on left). Go 0.1 mile to the riverfront, crossing the Rail-Trail very slowly so you don't hit anyone. Marina is under the I-79 bridge. Blue house. 48 Round Bottom Road, Morgantown WV 26508.    
If you have any questions, please E-mail me or you can call me at 304-282-1449 or 304-291-0432. On the day of the event, you can call Peggy Pings at 304-282-7464 or myself if you get lost.

We hope to see everyone at the marina for a fun day paddling and reconnecting with each other!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Volunteers needed for Elizabeth's Woods outside of Morgantown

 Gauley River Acquisition
We are thrilled to announce permanent protection of 665 acres of land, which fronts six miles of the Gauley River! The purchase ensured that an area known as the Gauley Canyon, which had once been considered for development, will remain intact and be managed to provide forests, river access, and recreational
opportunities for the public. 

WV Land Trust Protects 665 Acres Along Gauley River 

Join us for an EPIC adventure! 
EPIC (Engaging Professionals In Conservation) is a great opportunity to get involved with the WV Land Trust, venture outdoors, make new friends, and learn how YOU can help keep West Virginia wild and wonderful! In addition to learning more about land conservation, the program consists of three components - leadership, networking, and an entry level outdoor activity.

Calling All Volunteers!
We are looking for friends to help us manage our two Nature Preserves!  Elizabeth's Woods is located just five miles outside of Morgantown, and the Wallace Hartman Nature Preserve is located in the heart of Charleston.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Rick Landenberger, our Science & Land Management Specialist at (304) 413-0945.

We want YOU to be a
"Face of Conservation!"

Check out our new video
and see why these folks
care about conservation...

Faces of Conservation
Faces of Conservation
 Why is land conservation important to you?  
Snap a photo and send it 
so you can be part of the next video!

West Virginia Land Trust
Charleston Office:  304-346-7788          Morgantown Office:  304-413-0945

Like us on Facebook

West Virginia Land Trust | PO Box 11823 | Charleston | WV | 25339-1823

New River Hummingbird Festival

Pittsburgh Tour des Trees

(To view the official flyer Click here)
See Pittsburgh's "Greener" Rivers By Bike!
All riders will be entered to win tickets to the Big Pour
Come ride with us this Saturday, August 16th at 8:00 a.m. along Pittsburgh's beautiful Three Rivers Heritage trail and join in the fun of Bike Pittsburgh's BikeFest, taking place August 8th to 24th. Tour des Trees will serve as Tree Pittsburgh's annual fundraiser this year.

As you enjoy some outdoor exercise, you'll also learn about the riverfront ecosystem and current efforts to restore and protect it. Our guides will include ecologists and foresters, as well as Tree Tender volunteers who will share information throughout the ride. You'll also catch views of restoration work along Pittsburgh's hillsides, and we've scheduled a special stop to check in on our famous Bald Eagle nest!

For the seasoned rider, we've planned a 20-mile route along the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers. For families, we've designed a 5-mile, fun and friendly "Family Ride" along the Monongahela River. All Family Ride participants will receive an interactive route map that will allow children to track their stops with stickers and earn a prize at the ride finish. Every participant, no matter the ride, will receive a commemorative t-shirt. All riders present on the day of the event will be registered to win tickets to Construction Junction's Steel City Big Pour!

Registration is $20 for adults and $10 for kids (under 18). All proceeds support Tree Pittsburgh's effort to protect our urban forest here in Pittsburgh. The ride starts and finishes at the Golden Triangle Bike Rental (600 First Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15219). Please contact Golden Triangle Bike Rental and mention "Tree Pittsburgh" for a 15% discount on bike rentals for the event (bike rentals are first-come, first-served).


Tygart Valley Master Naturalist Chapter News

Hello to all,
Some chapter news:
There will be a public informational meeting August 20 starting at 7:00 PM at the DNR Op's center on Ward Road. Our goal is to provide information and answer questions about the Master Naturalist program and hopefully obtain applications from students for the coming new session. Also, and this is very exciting, Dr. Jim Van Gundy will give a presentation about his recent trip to Tanzania, East Africa with some very wonderful pictures that were taken during that trip. This is a must see.....So try and get the word out to your friends that have expressed an interest in the Master Naturalist program and ask for them to join us next Wednesday evening. Refreshments will be available.
We are in the final phase of getting a schedule put together for the coming session and we should  have it available for the public meeting. First classes will be held Saturday August 23. Subjects
will be Aquatic Habitats followed by Geology.
Our own Sam Muncy was elected to the West Virginia State Master Naturalist Advisory Committee, as a member at large during the business meeting portion of our annual conference. Congratulations Sam, I know that your input to the committee will be very valuable.
Congratulations also go out to Pam Byrne and Anne Wakeford for completing the program requirements and are now certified West Virginia Master Naturalist. I know that several others of our group are very close to completing the program and I look forward to their graduation.
Will close for now and hope to see you next Wednesday evening. Till then
Be well and stay safe,

Friday, August 8, 2014

Walks at WVBG for August

Saturday, August 9 - 10:30 am Insect Walk
Join wildlife biologist Sue Olcott and learn to identify butterflies and other winged wonders.  Walk dependent on warm, dry weather.

Saturday, August 23 - 9:30 am Wildflower Walk with Ellen Hrabovsky.  Bring a wildflower book if you have one.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Coopers Rock informational tour

010040911                                              August 2, 12

                       PUBLIC NOTICE

The West Virginia Division of Forestry will be conducting a public tour
at Coopers Rock State Forest on Saturday, August 16, 2014. This tour
will be to inform the public of plans for a proposed timber
management project prescribed to meet recreational, wildlife &
silviculural objectives.  Project plans include constructing a
designated parking area along the Pisgah road and developing a 2.4
mile road/trail loop. Wildlife objectives include increasing young
forest habitat, mast production, and browse, while creating
savannahs, and varying habitats for different bird species, such as
turkey, grouse, and songbirds like the Golden-winged warbler.
The tour of the Project area, which is located within the main body
of Coopers Rock State Forest, south of Interstate 68, east of the
Scott Run trail and west of the Pisgah Road (Preston Co. Route 73/2),
will take place at 11 AM. We will meet at the Day Use Parking
Area (located along the Main Forest Road, near the entrance gate).
Bring substantial footwear, clothing appropriate for the weather,
snacks and water. The tour will involve about a two mile hike on
uneven ground in the woods, with no trails. The tour route will
require climbing up some moderate grades and crossing a stream.
This is the opportunity for the public to tour the proposed project
area and ask questions prior to providing written comments.
For more information contact Barbara Breshock at the Beckley
office at (304) 256-6775, by cell phone (304) 932-7105 or via
email at If you are planning to attend,
please notify Barbara by noon on Thursday, August 14th, so enough
transportation will be available.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Aquatic Habitats Class July 24

From Ellen:
The Aquatic Habitats class tomorrow, 7/24/2014, will be at the WV Botanic Garden but we will not meet in the lower parking lot as we did last week.  We will be going to about three places in the streams of the WVBG to collect macro-invertebrates.  That means wet feet so dress accordingly.  If a thunderstorm should strike we will have to adjust as needed.
Directions:  We meet in the Imperial East sales trailer.  If you are coming from Rt. 7 you will go about 1.5 miles on Tyrone Road to the Imperial View entry on your right.  Turn there and as soon as you turn you will see a sign pointing left to Imperial East. Follow that sign to the first building on the left.  That is our meeting place.  Parking along the road is not a problem. If you are coming from Rt.857 turn right onto Tyrone road and travel about 2.5 miles to the Imperial View entry then follow directions as above.  Coming this way you will pass the entry to the WVBG - do not park there unless you know where to walk from there.
Those of you who were at the WVBG walk last week - since we went past 2 hours I credited everyone who signed in with 1 hour Terrestrial Habitats, 1 hour Ecology and 1 hour Trees.
See you there

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Volunteer hours at the WVBG and free firewood

Wednesday 7/16/14 9am to noon.
 Phil Cole will be leading a special morning of removing Japanese Stiltgrass.  There are several areas of infestation that need to be cleaned up before it goes to seed. Please come and help us get rid of this noxious weed before it takes over.

 Saturday 7/19/14 9am to noon.
 The monthly volunteer work morning will be spent getting more clearing done where the dam breach will be put in by MUB in the near future. If you have not heard, the WV DEP has long  required that the dam on the reservoir be breached so that it can no longer hold water. We are trying to prepare the  area for MUB. Bring a sharp chainsaw if you have one. Hard hats and ear protection will be provided to those not  having them. There will be lots of firewood (unsplit). If you can come and help with this project we will be happy  for you to take a load home when we finish on Saturday. Please call me if you have questions: 304-376-2717.

 George Longenecker
 Executive Director

Monday, July 14, 2014

Elective hours tomorrow night

If you attend the presentation tomorrow night about the effects of the EPA ruling on the coal industry in West Virginia, be sure to turn your hours into Ellen.  They will count as elective hours.

Workday at the OLP

Tomorrow is a workday at the Outdoor Learning Park behind the Sabraton Kroger's.  The hours are from 10:00 - 2:00.  Come out and earn some volunteer hours.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Free education forum: EPA's New Carbon Limits & What They Mean for WV

West Virginia at the Crossroads:
EPA’s New Carbon Limits and What They Mean for West Virginia

Free public education forum on Tuesday, July 15 at 7:00pm
Room G-102, WVU Engineering Science Building (East), Evansdale Campus

Sponsored by the Monongahela Group of the WV Sierra Club
and the WVU Sierra Student Coalition

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently took historic action to protect our climate by issuing the first-ever guidelines to reduce carbon dioxide pollution—the chief cause of climate change—from electric power plants.

Join us on Tuesday, July 15 at 7:00pm for an educational forum to update citizens about the new guidelines and what they mean for West Virginia. Professor James Van Nostrand of the WVU College of Law and Director of the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development, Mary Anne Hitt of Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, and Randy Francisco of Sierra Club's Coal to Clean Energy Campaign in Pennsylvania will offer an overview and analysis of the proposed rules and discuss their importance to West Virginia. A Sierra Club representative will discuss actions people can take to voice their opinions, including a chance to attend an EPA public hearing on the proposed rule in Pittsburgh on July 31.
Directions to G-102 Engineering Science Building from downtown Morgantown: from Beechurst Ave/Monongahela Blvd. turn right into the WVU Evansdale Campus (near the Creative Arts Center) onto Evansdale Drive, and pass the CAC which will be on your left.  Keep to your right until you get to the “Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources,” on the left. Enter through the main doors, walk straight through the lobby toward “Ground Floor Classrooms.” Room G-102 is straight ahead.

Parking: WVU Parking Lot 40 (in front of & across the street from the bldg.) usually has free parking after 5:00pm. The WVU Short Term Paid Parking Lot is located a couple hundred yards past the “Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering & Mineral Resources” building, on the right. Park free in the WVU Coliseum parking lot after 5:00pm.

Please come and join the discussion!

Friday, June 6, 2014

WVBG Native Trees and Shrubs Walk

June 8th - Join research botanist Cindy Huebner on the forested trails of the Botanic Garden as we identify and learn about the important role that native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants play in the forest ecosystem.  This event is free and open to the public.  Meet in the lower parking lot of the Botanic Garden.  For more information please contact Erin Smaldone at 304.216.8704 or go to

Monday, May 19, 2014

Stream monitoring training offered

Trout Unlimited and Wild Virginia are teaming to offer a training course for citizen volunteers  sought to help with water quality monitoring in the Marcellus Shale regions of Virginia's and West Virginia's national forests.  Participants will learn about shale gas development's potential impact on fish and wildlife populations, and will be taught to monitor water quality in priority watersheds.  Volunteers will then monitor at least one site monthly.
The one-day session will be from 9am - 3pm, June 21, at the Ivy Creek Education Building, 1780 Earlysville Road, Charlottesville, Va.  The training is free, but space is limited and advance registration is required.  Info, or to register: or 434-971-1553.
Wild Virginia is a grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving wild forest ecosystems in Virginia's national forests.  Wild Virginia works to accomplish its mission through a Forest Watch program and by organizing people who care about forest protection.
Trout Unlimited is the nation's oldest and largest cold-water fisheries conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America's trout and their watersheds.  Follow TU on Facebook and Twitter, and at

Volunteer Opportunity: Become a stream monitor

Southern West Virginia: WVRC and Trout Unlimited will host a volunteer water-quality monitoring workshop in Beaver on Saturday May 31st. The program trains volunteers to monitor coldwater streams in West Virginia and Virginia that could be impacted by shale gas development. Contact Jaimie Holmes at or 3046146699 to RSVP or to learn more about this program.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Help hummingbirds with Audubon app

The National Audubon Society is recruiting citizen-scientists.  Using Audubon's Hummingbirds at Home app (available on IOS and Android), birders and nature lovers will be able to help track and get a clearer picture of the US hummingbird population.  Participants can monitor a patch of territory - their garden/yard, park, porch, whatever - and record hummingbird sightings as well as their food source.  You can also report random sightings.  Participation can be a frequent or limited as a person wants.  The data will then be available to researchers and others in the volunteer network.  (One purpose is to determine if the birds and their natural food source are out of sync.)  The app is free.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

MLA workday scheduled Sunday, May 18

Reminder that there is a workday scheduled for Sunday, May 18, starting at noon, at the Morgantown Learning Academy.  We will be working as needed on their outdoor wildlife habitat.  Bring gloves and water.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Two volunteer workdays at WVBG

Greetings WVBG Volunteers!
We have a few volunteer work days coming up I would like to share with you. 
This Saturday, May 17, beginning at 9:00 a.m., will be spent preparing beds, 
weeding, rototilling and also removing some invasives.  Bring work gloves and 
weeding tools if you have them.
Wednesday, May 21, beginning at 9:00 a.m. will be the annual planting day.  Bring 
gardening gloves and a hand trowel.  Most work days last 2-3 hours.  Remember to 
wear proper clothing and footwear and bring drinking water.
This is the work that sets the stage for the rest of the growing season at the Garden. 
We hope you can come out and lend a hand!

Erin & George

Erin Smaldone
Volunteer Coordinator & Education Director
West Virginia Botanic Garden

Monday, May 12, 2014

Canaan Valley Birding Festival June 5-8

The Canaan Valley Birding Festival welcomes all levels of birders and nature lovers. The theme for this year’s key note presentations will be Wetland and Grassland Birds. Canaan Valley, WV (only 2.5 hours from Washington, DC with the upgrades to Hwy 48), because of its diverse high elevation boreal habitats, is fortunate to be the breeding ground for many neo-tropical birds, but it also has beautiful grasslands and boggy wetlands. Come join us; see and hear birds while enjoying our cool summers, memorable mountains, grasslands and wetlands and enjoy the newly renovated Canaan Valley Resort and its amenities.

The schedule will have 3 all-day walks on Friday and Saturday (leaving around 5:30 AM) which will bring you back to the lodge in time to relax or explore the area before the evening key note and evening sounds walk. We will also have half-day walks, starting Thursday afternoon, including some afternoon nature walks, if you prefer. Half-day beginner walks will meet at 8AM. A birding photography strand will be a new addition this year. We highly suggest carpooling with each other to the birding sites. Our volunteer leaders would love to share their passion for our birds with you. Hope you will join us and bring a friend.

Please check the following link to their webpage.  From here you can access the registration form, walk leaders/keynote bios and the festival event schedule.

DNR seeks help locating whip-poor-wills

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) needs help in locating whip-poor-wills, according to Curtis I. Taylor, chief of the DNR Wildlife Resources Section. 
"If you see or hear whip-poor-wills in West Virginia between the dates of May 10 and July 31, 2014, please email DNR Wildlife Resources Section biologist Rich Bailey at," Taylor said.  "Include the date and location, being very specific: Where you saw or heard the bird; your name and phone number; and whether you saw or heard the bird."
The whip-poor-will is a gray, black and brown bird with a black throat.  It is well-camouflaged and is easier to hear than to see.  Its namesake song is a loud, rhythmic "whip-poor-ill," which it sings repeatedly at night.
"Recent Breeding Bird Survey data indicate significant population declines of this bird in nearby states, and your observations will enable us to get a better sense of their population status in West Virginia," Bailey said.
The Wildlife Resources Section is also interested in discovering locations of barn owls and bald eagle nests.  Anyone who sees or hears either of these species is asked to email Bailey with the same information as for the whip-poor-will.
Barn owls have a distinctive white, heart-shaped face and a variety of unique calls, including clicks, hisses, grunts and screams.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Rockfest 2014, April 25th, 26th, 27th

On Saturday we'll be doing various trail and clean-up work in Coopers Rock.  Like our "Adopt a Crags," our goal is to help take care of the climbing areas we love.  However, Rockfest is also about fun, a way of saying thank you to all our awesome volunteers and their commitment to our crags.  In addition to the usual projects, there will be videos, clinics, yoga, a fun group atmosphere and free food and drink.  Camping and activities will take place at Sand Springs.  While we are providing food and drink, it's up to you to pay for camping, so you can expect approximately $5 a person per night.  When you register for the event, there will be an option to reserve your spot for one or two nights of camping.  We will collect payment when you arrive.  For information: or 1.800.CALLWVA.

Trash Bash and Spring Planting

April 26th & 27th - An Earth Day riverfront clean up: Edith Barill Riverfront Park, April 26th 10am-1pm AND Hazel Ruby McQuain Park, April 27th 1pm-4pm.  Walk in, bike in, kayak in to join us for food, drink, a bit of exercise, fresh air and a good deed!  Hosted by Star City and Morgantown municipal leadership, the River Town Program, Adventure WV, BOPARC and Mon River Trails Conservancy.  Tools, gloves and trash bags will be provided.  Kayak demonstrations and lessons will offered.  For more information, contact Marissa Travinski at BOPARC: 304.296.8356, ext 15, or

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Another volunteer workday at WVBG

> We really need to get things cleaned up for the growing season. Please come this Saturday
> April 26th. We will work from 9 until noon. Bring rakes, containers to carry leaves, pruners
> for cutting back dead tops and comfortable gloves.
> George Longenecker
> Executive Director
> 304-376-2717

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bird Walk at WVBG

April 26, 7:30am
Join local birder LeJay Graffious on an early morning bird walk.  We'll be birding by eye and ear to search in the bushes and boughs for our feathered friends.  Bring binoculars if you have them.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Work Days at WVBG

April 19, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Volunteer work day. Come out and help us with some spring cleaning in the gardens.  We will be cleaning out the flower beds, raking leaves, weeding and otherwise preparing the site for a new season.  Meet in the upper parking area at 9:00.  Wear clothing and footwear you can get dirty and bring work gloves and clean gardening shears if you have them.  It's also a good idea to bring sun protection and a bottle of water.

May 17. 9:00-11:00 a.m. - Volunteer work day. This is our big planting day when we place most of our annuals in their summer homes. Bring same as above and a hand trowel.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Coopers Rock Foundation seeks volunteers

The coopers Rock Foundation will hold it annual April Volunteer Work Weekend on Saturday and Sunday.  There will be 12 hours of work available to all interested volunteers, from 9am - 5pm Saturday and 1-5pm Sunday.
Volunteers can work as much or as little as they'd like.  Tasks will include:

Planting hardwood tree saplings in a fenced-in enclosure in the Overlook Picnic Area, with trees provided by the West Virginia Division of Forestry's Mountaineer Treeways Program.

Planting conifer saplings in McCollum Campground.

Clearing out downed and cut limbs, logs and tree trunks.

Tools and some work gloves will be provided.  Questions: Adam Polinski, CRF trailwork coordinator, at

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wildflowers blooming at Core Arboretum

The "spring ephemeral" woodland wildflowers are blooming at the Core Arboretum, across Monongahela Boulevard from the bottom of Evansdale Drive.
Visiting botanists have declared the Arboretum's spring ephemeral displays "unsurpassed."  The WVU Eberly College Department of Biology invites people who would like a free, guided tour to come at 2pm Sunday, April 20 or 27.  No reservations are needed.

Eleventh Annual New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend

Celebrate Spring in Appalachia at the Eleventh Annual New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend 
Join us for ranger-guided programs in local National and State Park sites!

Glen Jean, West Virginia, April 1, 2014 — Are you ready for spring? Celebrate the glories of Appalachian spring from the rim of the gorge to the river at the Eleventh Annual New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend April 25 to 27, 2014! Explore the area’s natural diversity at programs in New River Gorge National River, Babcock State Park, Hawks Nest State Park, Little Beaver State Park, Pipestem Resort State Park, and Tamarack. Here is the programs schedule for this year’s event:

Friday, April 25, 2014

Handywork for Earth Day: Garlic Mustard Pull
8:30 am to 12:00 pm, Glade Creek trailhead on Glade Creek Access Road in New River Gorge National River near Prince, WV
9:30 am - 11:30 am, Meet in the lobby at McKeever Lodge at Pipestem Resort State Park in Pipestem, WV. 
Celebrate Earth Day and lend a helping hand to the natural forest at one of two locations. Join park staff to help remove a troublesome invasive plant species, garlic mustard. Wear long sleeves, long pants, sturdy walking shoes, work gloves, and bring water. Space is limited. Reservations requested by April 22; call 304-466-0417.

Wildflower ID 101: Basic Field Guide Skills
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Long Point trailhead off Gatewood Road near Fayetteville, WV.  Bring your favorite wildflower field guide (or use one of ours) for a close-up look at spring blossoms on this 2.0 mile walk through old field, forest, and near a mountain stream.

Youth Arts in the Parks Performance Celebration
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, auditorium at Tamarack in Beckley, WV.  See how nature has inspired performance arts of choral, dance, instrument, and the spoken word. This celebration of ecology through art features performances by students of Ansted Middle School’s Show Choir, Beckley-Stratton Middle School Reading Class, CODA Mountain Academy of Music, Karen’s Academy of Dance, and Nicholas County High School’s String Ensemble.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Early Birding at Grandview
7:30 am to 8:30 am, Grandview – Shelter #4 at New River Gorge National River in Grandview, WV. Bring your binoculars and get an early start with the local neighbors – birds. Explore several habitats to see feathered creature hang-outs.

Hike Into Spring!
9:00 am to 1:30 pm, Grandview – Shelter #4, New River Gorge National River in Grandview, WV.  Join naturalists on a leisurely 2.5-mile hike from Grandview down to the New River, finding wildflowers and other natural wonders along the way. Be prepared for some steep terrain as we travel down an old dirt road. A free return shuttle will be provided. Reservations requested by April 22; call 304-466-0417.

Afternoon with the Artists
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Tamarack’s front entrance garden and art studios in Beckley, WV. Come and go as you please to see how nature inspires the arts. See Tamarack artists demonstrate their skills. Try your hand at 5-minute photography in the garden (cameras will be available). Explore the art gallery and Youth Arts in the Parks exhibit at your leisure.

Little Beaver’s Signs of Spring Walk
3:30 pm to 5:00 pm, park office at Little Beaver State Park in Beaver, WV. See spring in bloom on this leisurely 1.30 mile discover walk throughout the park. Look for wildflowers, signs of animals, and much more.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring Birding at Babcock
8:00 am to 9:30 am, Glade Creek Grist Mill, Babcock State Park in Clifftop, WV. Stroll the diverse habitats of Babcock in search of the region’s more secretive beauties—birds.

Falls & Flowers: the Nature of Brush Creek
2:00 pm to 4:30 pm, nature center at Pipestem Resort State Park in Pipestem, WV. Enjoy beautiful waterfalls and blooms along Brush Creek on this moderate 3.0 mile round trip walk. Meet at the nature center to car caravan or shuttle to the trailhead.

Hawks Nest Views & Beauties Walk
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Hawks Nest State Park in Ansted, WV. Meet outside the park gift shop near the main overlook and the park’s original stone buildings (not at the lodge). Explore the walkway to the views at the main overlook, as well as a forested loop trail, the original section of the park built by the CCC. Walk 1.0 mile on this leisurely stroll through this beautiful and historic area, seeing nature’s wonders all around.

April 1 through 28, 2014

Youth Arts in the Parks
8:00 am to 8:00 pm daily, art exhibit in the the center courtyard vestibules and the David L. Dickirson Fine Arts Gallery, Tamarack in Beckley, WV. Students from Fayette, Nicholas, and Raleigh  counties celebrate regional ecology through art in this special exhibit, works inspired by the nature of our public parks—especially  wildflowers.

All programs are FREE! Bring water and wear sturdy walking shoes for guided walks. Snacks, binoculars, a hand lens, and a favorite field guide are also useful.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Volunteer to pull garlic mustard at the WVU Arboretum

Dear stalwart volunteers,

It's that time again. I think. Garlic mustard growth has been delayed by wintry weather this year. In 2012, some plants flowered as early as March 25. In 2013, they were later. This year, I have yet to see any flower stalks begin to push up. Still, there is plenty of gm out there, and I expect development to be very rapid from now on.

Thanks to you, native plants are making a comeback in parts of the Arboretum where garlic mustard had dominated. For example, it was once again easy to find Impatiens on the flood plain in 2013, after several years of scarcity.

I hope you will be interested in again participating in our garlic mustard pullathons, and perhaps help spread the word among your friends who might also be interested. I would like to schedule 2014 pullathons beginning at 8:30 AM weekdays from Thursday, April 24 on. Dates and times could be adjusted depending on our schedules – we all have other things to do! Your help is much appreciated.

Please respond with your preferences as to days and times if you can help this year.

Total hauls:

2010 – 11 heaping truckloads
2011 – 6 heaping truckloads
2012 – 5 heaping truckloads
2013 – 4.5 heaping truckloads
2014 - ???? Time will tell.

Thank you,


Jon Weems

Arboretum Specialist
WVU Biology
5234 Life Sciences Building


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Master Naturalist State Conference Registration Now Open

Here is the official link:

From this link you will reach the general information page which I've pasted below.  All necessary links can be found in the sidebar to the left side of the page.  Note you must make your own room reservation.  Class hours earned here count toward certification/re-certification.

General Information

The Fifth Annual Master Naturalist Conference will be held from Friday, June 13, 2014 to Sunday, June 15, 2014 on the campus of Davis & Elkins College; Elkins, WV.

The Conference Schedule, Description of Classes, Instructor Bios and Registration Form are available on the side menu.  All indoor classes will be held in the Eshleman Science Center on the campus of Davis & Elkins College.

The Conference and Class Registration Fee for 2014 is $60.00 for early registration and $75.00 if registration is received after May 13, 2014. Registration includes lunch and dinner on Saturday, June 14, 2014 but does not include lodging. Lodging on campus must be made directly through D&E College and you must make your own lodging arrangements.  Housing arrangements for campus lodging must be made directly with Davis & Elkins College by contacting the Byrd Conference Center at 1-800-624-3157.
They will hold a block of rooms until May 13.

After submitting the online form, please print a copy of the confirmatory email you receive of your conference and class registration form and send that along with your check for $60.00 (if sent by May 13) made payable to Davis & Elkins Master Naturalist. Class availablity will be determined by receipt of form and check, first come first served. The form and check should be sent directly to Vivian Yeager (304-637-0245) at West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Elkins Operations Center, P.O. Box 67, Elkins, WV 26241.

Please contact Vivian Yeager by email,; or phone (304)-637-0245; if you need a paper copy or assistance with the form.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friends of Deckers Creek Events in April

From Hannah Spencer of Friends of Deckers Creek:

Hello Volunteers!

I wanted to update you on our most current schedule of events and volunteer opportunities for April. I'm excited for warm weather, spring flowers, and chirping birds!

April 13th -- Outdoor Learning Park Work-Day -- 10:00 - 2:00

We need volunteers to assist with weeding flower beds, spreading mulch, cleaning litter in the creek, and installing wildlife habitats.
April 20th --  Citizen Scientist Training -- 1:00 - 3:00
Would you be interested in helping FODC with water sampling once a month? Join us for a training on how to sample and learn why we sample. Please RSVP. 

 April 25th --  8th Annual Spring Meltdown -- 6:00p—1:30a

Join us at the Morgantown Brewing Co. for a night of fun! The event will include a    silent and live auction and performances by Ben Gilmer and Sam Lamont and Halftime String Band.
April 27th -- Adopt-a-Highway Litter Cleanup -- 10:00 - 2:00
Our annual spring litter cleanup along Rt. 7 will start with a meeting at the FODC office to gather supplies.

That's all for now. Let me know if you have any questions!

Friday, March 28, 2014

March Handmade Market, March 29

Enjoy shopping for treasures from local artists, including woodworking, jewelry, art and more.  All proceeds support local artists and the rail-trails, as 10% of all sales will be donated to the Mon River Trails Conservancy for amenities and maintenance of the Mon River/Caperton/Deckers Creek Rail Trails.  The market will be held from 11-6 at Terra Cafe.  You may call 304.692.6782 for further information.

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, April 4

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour will be returning to Morgantown for its tenth year at the Metropolitan Theater, 369 High Street, 7:00 PM, Friday, April 4, 2014.  

Tickets will be available after Thursday, February 27, from:
Pathfinder of WV
235 High Street (next to the County Court House), Morgantown 23505; 304.296.0076;
Mon: 10 am -7 pm; Tues. thru Fri. 10 am-6 pm; Sat 10 am- 5 pm; closed Sunday.
Tickets are $16 in advance, students with school ID $13.  Tickets, if not sold out, will also be available at the door after 6 pm on the 4th, $19 for adults and $16 for students.   Buy in advance at Pathfinder and save.
For additional information and to see the awesome new 2013 Banff Intro video go to:
Also, back by popular request, arrive at 6:30 pm and hear the Americana/ Bluegrass /Acoustic sounds of The Legendary String Busters. 
Morgantown, WV 
7:00 PM, Friday, April 4, 2014


Sweden, 2012, 8 minutes Filmmakers: Björn Fävremark and John Boisen Website: espen.fadnes
99.9% of time is spent in preparation for living a few moments of joy. The other .1% is to only be here now, and step off that cliff!
USA, 2013, 9 minutes Filmmakers: Joe Riis and Jenny Nichols, Pongo Media Website:
A wee pebble toad living in the crevices of the tepuis of South America is the missing link to understanding the age of the species as well as the age of the tepuis themselves.
Flow: The Elements of Freeride
(2013, USA, 3 min)
Filmmaker: Oly Mingo
Website: Focus: Biking
Follow Geophysicist Rex Flake on a high-adrenaline mountain bike ride through the Cascade Mountains as he identifies the flora, fauna, and geology of this cinematic region. Uniquely edited without the typical hard-core soundtrack, Flow uses creative graphics and sound design to bring the viewer uncomfortably close to the action.
North of the Sun (Nordfor Sola)
Grand Prize Winner    
(2012, Norway, 46 min)
Filmmakers: Inge Wegge and Anne Bergseng Website: Classification: General, coarse language
Focus: adventure, surfing, environment, snowboarding
Tucked between the cold Atlantic Ocean and the rocky slopes of a remote, arctic island, two young Norwegian adventurers discover their own private playground. They build themselves a cabin out of flotsam while clearing the beach of debris, then spend the long winter skiing and surfing in the haunting low light.
USA, 2012, 8 minutes Filmmakers: Anson Fogel, Skip Armstrong, Shannon Ethridge (Camp4 Collective)
Paddler and cinematographer alike explore a world beyond the unexpected and find perfection
Special Jury Mention
USA, 2013, 16 minutes Filmmakers: Allison Otto, Scott McElroy Website:
Elizabeth Hawley bucked the conventions of her time by settling alone in Kathmandu in 1960, where she began chronicling Himalayan expeditions for The Himalayan Database. Even as she turns 90, she continues to update these records with rigorous accuracy and dedication.
Canada, 2012, 6 minutes Filmmakers: Mike Douglas, Jeff Thomas, Switchback Entertainment Website:
Fire frees new lines for skiers, who revel in the newly- charred forest.
USA, 2013, 24 minutes Filmmakers: Josh Lowell, Alex Lowther, Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen Website:
Classification: Parental Guidance; coarse language
The UK climbing scene is known for its strict traditional ethic, yielding super sketchy, dangerous routes, and a competitive machismo. It’s the last place you’d expect to find a nice little blond lass putting all the lads to shame, but Hazel Findlay is doing just that. The first woman to climb the British grade of E9, Hazel is a connoisseur of loose rock, dodgy gear, and big runouts
Best Short Mountain Film
USA, 2013, 5 minutes Filmmakers: Nasa Koski, Austin Siadak, Matthe Van Biene, Fitz Cahall Website:
Classification: General, coarse language
35 routes in one day to celebrate 35 years of life? Why not? Take the birthday challenge!
Note: You don't have to wait for the Banff Mountain Film Festival to get your inspiration for the outdoors and the mountains and for challenges. This Wednesday, Feb 26, come hear and meet WVU student, Tyrhee Moore, who was a member of the first ever all African-American team up America's highest peak - Denali
Join Adventure WV, WVU's Center for Black Culture and Research, and NOLS at Ming Hsieh Hall on Wednesday, February 26th - Room G20 @ 7pm as Tyrhee and expedition teammate Billy Long share their incredible story. 
Admission is FREE.
Don’t forget to forward this email to your friends and have them join you.
Look forward to seeing you on the 4th
Tom Widing
Chestnut Mountain Productions
936 North Fifth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123