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!