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

Thursday, March 27, 2014

WVBG Volunteer Orientation April 12

Greetings from the West Virginia Botanic Garden,
Are you interested in volunteering with the West Virginia Botanic Garden this year?  If so, you are invited to attend the 2014 WVBG Volunteer Orientation scheduled from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 12, 2014.  Join WVBG representatives and fellow volunteers to learn about volunteer opportunities, hear testimonials from current volunteers, and think about how you could best support the Garden. If you plan to attend, please register on our website, or follow the second link below. The orientation is free and open to anyone.

To learn more about the WVBG volunteer program, visit

To register for the 2014 WVBG Volunteer Orientation, visit

Thanks and we hope to see you there!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Morgantown Learning Academy Earth Day Project - Part 2

From Ellen:
Funding is also available to develop a wildlife habitat.  We will get together on April 26, a Saturday, as our Earth Day project to prepare the wildlife habitat.
This will involve preparing the soil and planting native, wildlife friendly plants.  Any ideas let me know.  I will get more info out as to time, etc. as soon as I have it.

Morgantown Learning Academy volunteer projects - Part 1

From Ellen:
Spring is getting closer.  Jen Osha at the MLA has succeeded in acquiring funding for some work at the school.
With the help of our Bernie Howe she has funding for the materials for raised beds for the garden they are developing.  I had made one bed last year which they are using as a template for the others.  On Saturday, March 29 some of the MLA parents and staff are having a work day at the school to
build the remaining boxes.  If any of you with some building skills are interested they would appreciate your help that day.  I do not know what time yet but will let you know.

Volunteer opportunity at North Elementary School

Sat, April 5, 9 a-noon
Sat, April 5, 1 - 4 p
Sun, April 6, 1 - 4 p

Sat, April 12, 9 a-noon
Sat, April 12, 1 - 4 p Julie Marvel
Sun, April 13, 1 - 4 p

On Sunday, March 16, 2014 3:44 PM, James Rye <> wrote:
Dear Parent Advisory Board members (and Sheryl--for distribution to MMG):

We are in need of volunteers for landscaping and installation of raised garden beds as follows:

Sat, April 5, 9 a-noon
Sat, April 5, 1 - 4 p
Sun, April 6, 1 - 4 p
Sat, April 12, 9 a-noon
Sat, April 12, 1 - 4 p
Sun, April 13, 1 - 4 p

If you are willing to help, please respond to this email by placing your name beside the times you will come.
Please bring gloves and any of these if you have them:  mattock, battery powered drill (and bits), manual post hole digger, level. Assume that the event is canceled if it is raining. Many thanks.

James Rye (
Department of Curriculum & Instruction
West Virginia University
P.O. Box 6122
604H Allen Hall
Morgantown, WV 26506
Ph. 304 293 4416
Fax 304 293-3802

Friday, March 14, 2014

Red-tailed hawk release at WVBG Mar 15

Hi folks,

I just got word that the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia has a Red-tailed hawk ready to be released back to the wild and they would like to do the release at the WVBG!  After getting the go-ahead from George and talking with them, we have decided on 3:00 p.m Saturday, March 15 (tomorrow) for the release.  Meet in the lower parking area near the information kiosk.  LeJay and Terry, please feel free to spread the word to Audubon folks and anyone else you think may be interested.

Don't forget to bring your cameras/binoculars!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Kanawha Valley class schedule

Amphibians/Reptiles:  Reptiles March 21, 2014 meeting at 6:30p.m. WVU Extension Offices. Our instructor will be Dr. Larry Cartmill. Fieldwork is scheduled for June 14, 2014 when weather warms. Details TBA at a later date for June fieldwork. (Core class 2 Hrs.) Amphibians will be scheduled separately at a later date. It is also 2 Hr Core credit.   
Contact information: Carolyn or Frank Barker 304-744-0775/ 

General Ecology: March 28, 2014 (Friday) meeting at 6:30 at WVU Extension Offices on the 10th floor Large conference room. Our Instructor will be Dr. James Van Gundy  (core class 4Hr credit)

Aquatic Habitats:  May 16-17, 2014 DNR Biologist Dan Cincotta will be our instructor.  Meeting at WVU Extension Offices on the 10th floor large conference room at 6:30p.m. Saturday fieldwork will be at Kanawha State Forest meeting place and time TBA. (Core Class 4 Hrs)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Stakes at the WVU Core Arboretum

Core Arboretum Email News – February 24, 2014
High Stakes at the Arboretum

Maintaining the integrity of urban green space is a challenge. As expansion and improvements tax the capacity of developed spaces, there is a temptation to nibble away at green space. Persons who use and value green space sometimes find stakes that suggest planned development. They become alarmed. They ask questions.

That happened last week at the Core Arboretum. Visitors since Presidents’ Day have found several stakes in the highest corner of the Arboretum, near the Coliseum parking lot and Monongahela Boulevard. In response to a number of inquiries, this email news item is an attempt to explain what I can about those stakes and what they mean.

The stakes, labeled “toe,” appear to indicate the bottom of an embankment for a new roadway that will sweep in a broad arc from the southeastern end of the Coliseum parking lot, through the top corner of the Arboretum, to a relocated and redesigned intersection at the bottom of Evansdale Drive. The planned relocation of this intersection, moving it roughly 280 feet closer to the Patteson Drive intersection, is an adjustment (from an earlier roadway proposal) that will spare the Arboretum parking lot. This 24-space lot will continue to be available to Arboretum visitors.

The roadway proposal, part of the Evansdale Master Plan, may sound familiar. There were several public hearings about the Master Plan two years ago. There was an article in the Dominion-Post about the proposed roadway affecting the Arboretum. An email news item dated 1/18/12 addressed it.

Goals of the new roadway include improved safety for pedestrians crossing Monongahela Boulevard, and improved vehicular access into and egress from the Coliseum parking lot. All WVU personnel involved in this matter are working sincerely for the betterment of the University. Differences of opinion, when they occur, concern the planning process and the effects of the proposed roadway on the Arboretum.

Efforts to have input into roadway planning have been frustrating. Like Arboretum visitors, I simply found the stakes last week. I alerted the Arboretum’s management committee and my superiors in the chain of command. We have since been shown engineered drawings of the proposed roadway that are not to be shared with the public until the project goes out to bid, perhaps in March. A brief WVU Enews item today (2/24/14) indicated the WVU Board of Governors approved the new roadway proposal at its meeting of Friday, February 21.

The area involved is very small. You can look at the stakes and see for yourself. Please do not remove stakes! Soon to be lost are dozens of exotic trees and shrubs planted from the 1950s through the 2000s. Some represent common species, but others are relatively rare. In addition to their intrinsic value for teaching and enjoyment, the trees provide a visual and sound barrier between the most visited part of the Arboretum on one side and a power line tower and area of high vehicular traffic on the other. In addition to causing the removal of these trees and shrubs, construction will force the relocation of heavily used sections of one trail and the top of the Service Road. These relocations will necessitate the removal of more trees, some planted by humans and some by Mother Nature. The new roadway will introduce more noise into the Arboretum.

On the plus side, planners and engineers believe the roadway will meet the goals of improving pedestrian safety and vehicular traffic flow. These are important and worthwhile goals. I only wish they could be achieved with less impact on the Arboretum.

The WVU administration, which has been steadfast in its successful defense against a right of way claim that could have led to the construction of a very different roadway in another part of the Arboretum, has an opportunity to further demonstrate its goodwill by working out a conservation easement that would protect the Arboretum against having more bits nibbled off in the future. Such an easement has been suggested. The reception this suggestion may find within parts of the WVU administration is unknown as of this writing.

Without a conservation easement, it is all too easy to imagine, years or decades into the future, instances when more stakes appear, indicating more construction projects that will nibble away more little bits of the Arboretum, again and again, until the day the Arboretum ceases to be the teaching and service entity we have known.

With a conservation easement, WVU could enhance its goodwill by ensuring the preservation of a low-cost facility much used by WVU classes for a century (though only acquired by WVU in 1948), a facility beloved by generations of students, alumni, and townspeople, a green space with significant natural assets that are most unusual to find on a University campus.

At the Core Arboretum, the stakes are high.
Jon Weems
Arboretum Specialist
WVU Biology
5234 Life Sciences Building

Follow up from Jon:
Thank you very much to all who have offered to write letters in support of a conservation easement protecting the Arboretum from future development. Please feel free to share information with others who might wish to write such letters.

Letters should be addressed "To Whom It May Concern" and mailed to 

Dr. Richard Thomas, Chair
WVU Department of Biology
PO Box 6057
Morgantown, WV 26506-6057

While mailed letters with signatures may have the most impact, some persons prefer to send letters via email.
Richard's email address is