Thursday, April 30, 2015

West Virginia Botanic Garden Work Day

Saturday, May 16th will be our May volunteer work day. Work will mostly involve planting annuals in several different garden beds but may also include additional garden or site work. The work day will begin at 9:00 a.m. and last two to three hours. Meet in the upper parking area and sign in with George.

West Virginia Botanic Garden Wetlands Walk

***Sunday May 3 at 2pm - West Virginia University (WVU) wildlife graduate student Lauren McPherson will lead us to and teach us about the frogs, newts, and other amphibians found in wetland habitats. Be prepared to get your shoes muddy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Garlic Mustard pulling continues at Arboretum

Dear stalwart volunteers,

There’s lots of garlic mustard this year, and that’s a good thing. I’ll explain.

The plants we are pulling were seedlings in 2014, a very good year for germination and growth of gm, which prefers cool, damp springs. 2015 is another good year. (2012 and 2013 were not so good.) This means the gm seed bank (seeds that may lie dormant for years) is being depleted more rapidly now than in recent past years. Hurrah! If we don’t slack off, there should be less gm in the future.

This also means we have much more work remaining this year. I am scheduling gm pullathons for 1:00 PM Wednesday, April 29, and 1:00 PM Friday, May 1, and 9:00 AM Monday, May 4. Come if you wish, Zach and I would enjoy your company and appreciate your work. Note the PM times for this week’s sessions.

Notes on the season so far:

We are already approaching last year’s harvest, with several areas yet to be covered.
This year’s student pullers were very good.
We have seen more deer browsing damage than in past years, but still less than five percent of plants. It could be that young deer have yet to develop plant recognition skills.
More men than women turned out to pull gm on Thursday, an unprecedented occurrence. Women have dominated the legions of pullers since then, restoring the natural order of the universe.

Onward – and thank you!


Cheat Fest set for May 2

Join Friends of the Cheat (FOC) on May 2 to celebrate the 21st annual Cheat River Festival, at the festival grounds off WV 26, just north of Albright, about 30 miles from Morgantown.  Fest gates will open at 11:30am, with a lineup of live music beginning at noon.  Learn more about Cheat Fest and the Friends of the Cheat's work at

Monday, April 27, 2015

Volunteer Opportunities at Elizabeth's Woods

The extent of the work is, for our volunteer (practical) purposes, almost unlimited. I don’t say that to frighten anyone but there is *a lot* of work that we could do at Elizabeth’s Woods over the next several years at least. This includes (in terms of my priorities):

1.       Trail construction – the ‘lower loop’ needs about another mile or so of tread work
2.       Vine control – in the old-field and in the older forest stands
3.       Invasive species control – Ailanthus cutting, Japanese barberry pulling (cutting of those that are too big to pull), garlic mustard pulling, multi-flora rose cutting
4.       Trail construction – the ‘upper loop’ needs to be designed and laid-out on the ground, then built
5.       Ridgeline trail connector between the upper and lower loops (to be built at the same time as the upper loop)
6.       Trail and trailhead signing – the parking lot will be built in the summer of 2016 by the WV Army Nat Guard (WVLT will provide materials and fuel $); signs should be put up when the parking lot is being built
7.       Env Interpretation program – this has actually begun but will need to be completed as the trails come ‘online’.

I can usually set aside Fridays, but I am more than willing to work on weekends if that is better for the group. Let’s first try Fridays and go from there. That said, I am not opposed to meeting at the Blue Moose some morning (soon) to discuss this and get a better sense of when people can work and what they’d like to do. Everyone, let me know.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Garlic Mustard Pulling Time at the Arboretum

Dear stalwart volunteers,
Garlic mustard pulling season is almost here. Plants have been late to begin flowering this year, but they are shooting up fast and I expect flowering to get going in earnest very soon. Students will be pulling gm for course credit on the afternoons of the 23rd, 24th, and 27th. Why don’t we get started at 9:00 AM on those same days and see how far we get? Subsequent pulling sessions will take place at times yet to be determined.
Please email me if you expect to come any of those mornings. Meanwhile, enjoy spring but watch out for those potholes. The ground is soft and wet so far. We’ll get muddy, but plants should pull more readily than in some past years.
I may be missing some email addresses. Feel free to pass the word along if you wish.

Best wishes,
Jon Weems
Arboretum Specialist
WVU Biology
5234 Life Sciences Building

Bird Banding at Tygart Lake State Park

May 1-3, 1015
Spring Migration - Bird Banding

Whether you are a novice or seasoned birder, come out and have a fantastic birding experience. Activities open to day visitors. Overnight packages also available. Three days of birding activities. Leader Joey Herron will show us, by sight and sound, many of the birds in the area. Some birds will be traveling through, others will be here to stay for the the summer.
Call about lodging and meal specials. "Bird" rate discount, as available.

Contact: 304-265-6144

Core Arboretum Reminders

April 19- WVU Core Arboretum will host free, guided spring ephemeral wildflower walks led by faculty of WVU Department of Biology on the last three Sundays in April (April 12, 19, 26) at 2pm.  Tours will meet at the Arboretum parking lot.  Additional free parking is available at the nearby WVU Coliseum.  No reservations are needed.  Dress appropriately for the weather and for hiking.

April 21- WVU Core Arboretum will host free, guided bird walks led by Mountaineer Audubon members on the last two Tuesdays in April and the first two Tuesdays in May (April 21, 28 and May 5,12) at 7:30am.  Tours will meet at the Arboretum parking lot.  Additional free parking is available at the nearby WVU Coliseum.  No reservations are needed.  Dress appropriately for the weather and for hiking.

Learn about conservation at nature preserve

The West Virginia Land Trust's Engaging Professionals in Conservation program will host a hike and learn at its Elizabeth's Woods Nature Preserve - near the Goshen Road exit on Interstate 79 - from 2-3 pm Sunday.
Rick Landenberger, the Trust's science and management specialist, will lead the free outing through the 84-acre preserve.  Hikers should bring a backpack, water and snacks and wear comfortable shoes.
The Trust notes that the preserve has limited parking, and trails are still under construction, but it is already open to the public.
The Trust, with dual headquarters in Morgantown and Charleston, is a nonprofit dedicated to protecting West Virginia's natural lands and scenic areas through the use of conservation easements and real estate acquisitions.  It also works with landowners interested in preserving and conserving their own properties.
Participants are asked to pre-register at

Friday, April 10, 2015

Climate Change and West Virginia Forests

The Climate Change Response Framework is a collaborative, cross-boundary approach among scientists, managers, and landowners to incorporate climate change considerations into natural resource management.  Located at the WVU Erickson Alumni Center.  For info: Email:

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

All information including registration form is up

The DNR has put up the registration form for the state conference.  You can find all necessary information on their website,  //
Make your choices, fill out your form, print it and then mail it to Vivian in Elkins.  But hurry, it's first come, first served.

Potential citizen science/educational opportunity at Coopers Rock State Forest

On the weekend of April 18-19, 2015, West Virginia University, in cooperation with the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, the WV Division of Forestry, and WV State Parks will be hosting the second “Discover Life in West Virginia” natural resource education day at Coopers Rock State Forest.  The overall objective of this research-based education program is to promote a link between research, management, and education surrounding West Virginia’s fish and wildlife resources.  With your help, we hope to develop the activities of this program as perennial public events which produce educational resources.
Similar citizen-science programs have been developed and are thriving in other regions of the country.  For example, the “All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory” (ATBI) program has produced many new biological discoveries in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  We hope to model our program off of programs like theirs which seek to educate public users of the importance of the ecosystems they interact with on these public lands.  It is our hope that through this mission we are able to increase knowledge of fish and wildlife resources of the state of West Virginia and foster an attitude of appreciation and conservation towards these resources.
           We are seeking your help and cooperation in getting all individuals within our area interested in West Virginia’s natural resources by encouraging their participation in this free educational program.  Individuals of all ages are welcome to attend and will be able to observe and/or participate in the collection of scientific data used for research.  This event will focus on sampling fish, aquatic macroninvertebrates, birds, and herpetofauna.  Please distribute the associated announcements about this new program as you see fit.  We thank you for your cooperation and support of this new and exciting education program within our area!  If you have any questions, please contact us.
Ross Andrew and Daniel Hanks
PhD Candidates Wildlife and Fisheries Resources             
Tel: (304) 293-0040
West Virginia University                                              
PO Box 6125, Morgantown, WV  26506-6125

Classroom change

It is spring and the room we were in last week was way too hot and will not get better before June.  So, we have been blessed with a gift from Dr. Joe Morton. 
We will be using a classroom in the Ag. Science Bldg. that is air-conditioned and has A V equipment in place. The building is the large one on the left, across from the Greenhouse, before going down the hill toward Percival Hall. Park in the large lot beside the bldg. and go to the west end of the building (to your left for the directionally challenged.) The room is 1030 South Agricultural Science Building. It is up the stairs after going through the front entryway, turn right after going through the double doors, and it's the last door on the right.
See you in comfort this week and for the remainder of Spring semester.
Ellen Hrabovsky

Monday, April 6, 2015

Second Annual Green Households Resource Fair

Second Annual Green Households Resource Fair
Takes Place April 18 at Morgantown Market Place 
Want to grow vegetables organically? Raise chickens? Keep a beehive? Lower your energy costs?  Have questions on how to build a compost pile? Repair your own bike? Confused about what you can recycle?
You can get answers to these and other questions at the Second Annual Green Households Resource Fair on Saturday, April 18, from 11:00am to 1:00pm!
The fair takes place at a new location: outdoors at the Morgantown Market Place at 400 Spruce Street during the last Winter Farmers Market.
Cosponsored by the Morgantown Municipal Green Team and Morgantown Farmers’ Market, the fair will cover organic gardening, composting, tree planting and care, rooftop solar power, homemade cleaners and personal products, recycling, beekeeping, chicken raising, bike repair, and more!
For more information, call Pam Cubberly (

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Volunteers needed in Elkins on May 16 for Endangered Species Day

We're desperate for volunteers for Endangered Species Day on May 16th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm in Elkins.

There will be stations focused on different ecosystems, games, crafts, and the inflatable bat cave!

We need well-versed people to be at our educational booths while we run the games/activities etc. The booths are based on different ecosystems, we'll have coastal, wetlands, skyway, cave/karst, and forest booths. Each booth will have information about Endangered Species that live within that ecosystem. You don't have to be an expert, just know a little about the subject.

So if you are willing and able to volunteer for this event--please let me know your availability for the day of May 16th! You don't have to be there all day, we will schedule it in shifts if you can't stay all day. I also need to know your top 2 choices of placement at the booths.

If you are interested, or have any questions the best way to contact me is my personal email or phone number

Paige Lansky
Wildlife Ecotechnician
Monongahela National Forest
200 Sycamore
Elkins, WV

Friday, April 3, 2015

WVBG Part-time Job Announcement

Looking for a part-time job that will let you indulge in your love of nature?  West Virginia Botanic Garden has a new position of Administrative Assistant.  The position will serve as the main office staff person for the Garden.  You will be responsible for working closely with the Executive Director and President  to insure complete and timely follow-through in assigned areas of responsibility. 

These duties include communication with providing reception duties by welcoming visitors to the Garden such as providing trail maps, membership forms, etc., and making sure visitors are aware when the gates will close so they can remove their cars from the lower parking lot.  You will also answer phones and channel inquires to the correct people, reply to emails, assemble packets of Garden information, maintain WVBG tote bag for the Garden hosts, process mail.  Depending on the weather, open and close the gate to the lower parking lot when the solar house is open and post a sign with the hours.

Record keeping by maintaining the Garden’s archival information; assist Treasurer by collecting mail from the Post Box, entering donations using software, preparing deposits, processing accounts payable, and collecting and summarizing employee time cards; assisting membership committee as needed with the membership database to prepare reports; maintain database of volunteer hours in DonorSnap.

Maintain a master calendar of WVBG activities and committee meetings for posting at the office and to be shared with board members.  Maintain a schedule of committee meetings and classes/workshops to be held at the office to avoid conflicts in use of space.  Work with the Volunteer Coordinator to schedule volunteers to work as office assistants and as hosts at the Garden.

Administration duties include providing support for programs and events as needed.  Providing support for WVBG committees by assisting committee chairs in scheduling meetings, making copies of documents  for meetings, etc . Inventory and order supplies for the office and public areas of the solar house, including restrooms.   Inventory and order WVBG merchandise, maintain display of merchandise, collect money from sales at the solar house and maintain record of sales for the treasurer.  Maintain office equipment and schedule maintenance as needed.  Inform Executive Director and Assistant Site Manager of any maintenance needs related to the solar house.  Keep kitchen area clean.

The position is for 20 hours a week at $10/hour with two weeks off for unpaid vacation time  Further information can be found on the WVBG webpage.

Reminder: Mountaineer Audubon Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management Area Field Trip

April 4th - Meet near water tower near Mountaineer Mall at 7am to form carpools.  We'll be searching for water birds and early spring migrating birds.  Bring binoculars and dress for the weather.  Leaders: Terry Bonson and Joe Hildreth

Coopers Rock Spring Work Weekend - April 11 and 12

Coopers Rock Spring Work Weekend coming up on Saturday, April 11th and Sunday, April 12th.

Come on out and help upgrade some heavily-used trails to make them more enjoyable for hiking, running, mountain-biking and cross-country skiing.

Saturday, 4/11/15,  9:00 a.m. -- 5:00 p.m.  Meet at entrance to the Day Use Parking Lot, just 1/4 mile along the main road from the I-68 Coopers Rock Exit.  Trail tasks for the day will include work on nearby Advanced Ski Trail and Roadside Trail.  Tools and gloves provided.  Dress for the weather and work.  Latecomers -- to find us, look for map and info on the kiosk in the back of the parking lot, next to the trailhead. 

Sunday, 4/12/15, 1:00 -- 5:00 p.m.  Meet at entrance to the Day Use Parking Lot, just 1/4 mile along the main road from the I-68 Coopers Rock Exit.  Volunteers will then be dispersed in groups to one of a few different projects around the Forest.  Latecomers, find us with map and info on kiosk in back of parking lot next to trail head.

Further Info?  Email: