Thursday, June 22, 2017

WVU Core Arboretum Work Day Wednesdays

Volunteers help keep the Arboretum beautiful, and you can be a part of the crew each Wednesday, from 4-7 pm (1-4 pm during winter)!  We will work on trails, do invasive species removal, clean drainage channels, maintain lawn areas, etc.  The program is open to all.  It is hard work, but good exercise, and it is much appreciated by the Arboretum’s many users.  Interested volunteers should  email Zach Fowler ( to schedule a time slot, and WVU students and faculty should register on iServe.  There is a limit on the number of volunteers that we can accommodate each day, but the program will be ongoing.  Volunteers will meet near the Arboretum parking lot.  Volunteers should wear closed toe shoes, long pants, and clothes that are okay to get dirty.  The event will be cancelled if the weather is dangerous.

DNR warns against river otters after two were bitten

Two people were recently bitten by a river otter while boating on Dunkard Creek in Monongalia County, near Mason-Dixon Historical Park.  The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) reminds the public to exercise caution around these aquatic mammals.
River otters have large home ranges in and along many of the streams and rivers in the state.  Otters are territorial and may aggressively protect their young, so people should be extra careful not to disrupt their habitat.
"Do not approach river otters," Steve Raouch, District 1 wildlife biologist, said.  "If an otter approaches, you should take steps to keep the otter away from you.  This can be done with boat oars, fishing rod, or whatever else might be readily available.  You should never try to touch a river otter or any other wild animal."
(Dominion Post 6/20/2017)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Arboretum hosts first lecture of season

Local and regional experts will speak at the WVU Core Arboretum this summer as part of its new Nature Connection Series.
The talks will be at 6pm every Tuesday through August, at the Arboretum Amphitheater.  Talks are free and open to the public.  Some may include walking or fieldwork.
The series began this week, with Megan Kruger, environmental education associate at the West Virginia Water Research Institute.  Her lecture was, "Investigating nature's calendar: A pathway to citizen science."
The month's remaining talks include:
June 13 - "Backyard beetles: Using citizen science to uncover beetle biodiversity hidden in plain site," presented by Matt Kasson, WVU assistant professor of plant pathology.
June 20 - "Migratory birds in WVU Core Arboretum," presented by Chris Rota, WVU assistant professor of wildlife and fisheries resources.
June 27 - Jesse Fallon, veterinarian at the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia, will talk about the center and wild bird and animal rehabilitation.
The 2017 WVU Core Arboretum Nature Connect Series is supported by the WVU Department of Biology, the WVU Core Arboretum Endowment and the Robert C. Cull Outreach Fellowship.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

West Virginia Land Trust with Friends of the Cheat

Join us for "Paddle Party!"

Saturday, June 10, 2017
Blackwater Outdoor Adventures
Parson, WV
Float:  10 A.M. to 4 P.M.
After party:  4 P.M. - 10 P.M.

Float the Upper Cheat River Water Trail from Holly Meadows to St. George.
Meet at Blackwater Outdoor Adventures at 10 A.M. to conserve parking and get a free shuttle to the put-in.  
(Launch by 11 A.M. to join the floatilla.)

Then join the paddling after-party at Blackwater Outdoor Adventures' take-out around 4 P.M.
Live music, refreshments, and plenty of friends to share your big fish stories with around the campfire!

Activity Level:  Beginner / Easy

Cost:  $30 (single kayak rental) / $45 (tandem kayak OR canoe rental) / FREE if you have your own gear

Monday, May 8, 2017

Kayak trip this Wednesday on the Mon River

MAP Trip Wednesday, May 10:  Finally a perfect paddling day, with warm temps, low chance of rain, AND light wind!  We will be paddling from our kayak launch at Van Voorhis Landing, north on the Mon River.  Be ready to put in at 4:00 p.m. for an approx. 3.5-hour round trip, depending on how long we stop for nature viewing.  Should be good birding, and hopefully, more wildflowers.  Bring your binoculars!

Mary Wimmer
Organizer, Morgantown Area Paddlers
361 Laurel St.
Morgantown, WV  26505
Cell phone:  304-685-5270

Garlic Mustard Pull at Friendship Hill NHS Friday, May 12

Please forward this email to anyone who is interested including the Monarch Mafia!

Is anyone willing to volunteer on Friday, May 12th at 9:00am to remove garlic mustard at Friendship Hill NHS?

Sorry for the short notice, but we want to get these plants pulled before they go to seed. 


Renee C. Benson
U.S. Park Ranger

Friendship Hill National Historic Site
223 New Geneva Rd.
Point Marion, PA 15474 
office: 724-329-2504
work mobile: 412-582-4064

Morgantown Migratory Bird Day May 13 Coopers Rock

From Katie Fallon of the ACCA:
MMBD will be held Saturday, May 13, at Cooper's Rock State Forest. The day will begin with a bird walk on the Raven Rock Trail at 7:30am. It will be guided by LeJay Graffious, Derek Courtney, and Sue Olcott of Mountaineer Audubon. Birders of all skill levels are welcome. In the past, this walk has been very well attended, and we encourage everyone to participate.

After the walk, festivities will continue in the pavilion near the overlook. Starting around 8:30am or so, we will have Bird Friendly coffee and treats available. There will also be several educational displays in the pavilion, as well as owl pellet dissection and arts and crafts for kids. We will have a live raptor presentation at 10am, an "intro to birding" discussion at 11am, and another live raptor presentation at 12pm. Jim Sheehan will set up his scope near the overlook, too, and will keep a list of birds we see in the immediate vicinity. We will probably wind down by 2pm. Everything is free and everyone is welcome. It's really a fun day -- one of my favorite days of the year.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

eBird Global Big Day May 13

Mark your calendars to participate in eBird's annual Global Big Day on Saturday, May 13. All you need to do is submit your bird sightings to eBird for that day and they are automatically included in the planet's total.
More info at:

Last year West Virginia birders found 158 species. The complete list is at

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Justice cancels state park fee

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice said late Tuesday he is ordering a cancellation of scheduled users fees at seven West Virginia state parks.
The Division of Natural Resources announced Monday it would charge visitors a $2 per car fee starting  Memorial Day. A $12 annual pass would have also been available for purchase.
In a statement released at a few minutes before midnight Tuesday, Justice said the program was put into place without his okay.
“West Virginians are struggling and at this time there is no way I can go along with charging a fee to enjoy our state parks,” Justice said. “The move was announced without my approval. It’s a bad idea and I’m going to fix it.”
Division of Natural Resources Director Stephen McDaniel said Monday on MetroNews “Talkline” the fees were part of a pilot program that would have generated $1.6 million for the park system budget.

Canaan Valley Birding Festival June 1 - 4

Thursday, June 1, 2017
8:00am - Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 8:00pm
Join us to see more than 100 species and forms of birds throughout Canaan Valley. All levels of birders and nature lovers are welcome.
Thanks to its diverse, high-elevation boreal habitat, Canaan Valley is the breeding ground for many Neotropical birds. Hardwood and Spruce forests, grasslands, and wetlands welcome a wide variety of species. Species include:
  • Bobolinks
  • Scarlet tanagers
  • Baltimore and Orchard orioles
  • Chestnut-sided and Black-throated Green Warblers
  • And more!
The beautiful scenery is a perfect setting for outdoor activity, whether you partake in the festival or just want to enjoy your surroundings.
For more information, check out our event flyer. (PDF)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

State parks to start charging admission

West Virginia state parks will begin requiring entrance passes of $2 per car at seven parks and forests as part of a pilot project to support the state parks system with maintenance and upkeep costs.  Additionally, there will be a $12 annual pass which will grant yearlong access to all state parks, including the seven which will soon be charging a fee.
Beginning Memorial Day weekend, passes will be required to enter Babcock State Park, Blackwater Falls State Park, Cacapon Resort State Park, Coopers Rock State Forest, Little Beaver State Park, Pipestem Resort State Park and Valley Falls State Park.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Tickets available for Cheat Fest

ALBRIGHT - join Friends of the Cheat on May 5-6 to celebrate the 23rd annual Cheat River Festival, at the festival grounds off W.Va. 26, just north of Albright, about 30 miles from Morgantown.
Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. May 5 and at 11:30 a.m. May 6, with a lineup of music both days.
Pre-order your tickets online through May 4 at  Pre-sale tickets cost $5 for May 5 and $15 for May 6.  Kids 12 and younger are admitted for free.
Tickets may also be purchased in Morgantown at Black Bear Burritos (downtown and Evansdale locations), Morgantown Brewing Co., Power Yoga Morgantown and Phoenix Bakery, and in Kingwood at Brew Ha Ha Cafe.
Tickets will be sold at the gate from $10 on May 4, and $20 on May 6.  Camping is not included in entry, but Teeter's Campground and Cheat Canyon Campground are a short walk from the fest site.  Glass Bottles and pets are strictly prohibited.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Garlic Mustart Pulling Opportunities at the WVU Arboretum

It is certainly spring in Morgantown.  Here at WVU Core Arboretum, the spring ephemeral wildflowers are in full bloom!  Growing among our treasured native spring ephemerals, however, are some invasive plant species.  These invasive
species, if not controlled, threaten the future of the native plants that many people come here to appreciate.  Control typically involves removal of plants to keep invasive plant populations at a low, manageable level. 

Control of invasive species is a large, labor-intensive annual task here at the Arboretum, and we accomplish it largely through the efforts of volunteers.  Would you like to help us protect the future of native plants in the Arboretum by removing invasive species?

We are hosting several garlic mustard pulling events this spring, including these next week:  

Monday, April 17, at 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 18, at 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 20, at 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday, April 21, at 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Please let me know ( if you plan to join and when you can help.  If you plan to arrive late, I can let you know where we will be.  All are welcome, so please share this with your friends and any groups to which you belong!  We will meet at the Arboretum parking lot.  Bags and gloves will be supplied.  Please wear clothes that you do not mind getting dirty.  Long pants are essential and long sleeves are a good idea.  Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes.  It is not hard work (think weeding), but it does involve lots of walking through the woods and uneven terrain.

We will offer more opportunities in the future; this is just the start for the year!  If you have experience pulling garlic mustard and would like to schedule your own sessions at the Arboretum, let me know, and we can supply bags, gloves, publicity, etc.

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is a plant in the Brassicaceae family (like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, etc.) that was brought to the US many years ago as a plant used in food and medicine.  Although it is useful to people, the plant unfortunately escaped cultivation and invaded forest ecosystems.  It is capable of growing under the same environmental conditions as our spring ephemeral wildflowers, and it very effectively replaces them over time through direct competition for resources and release of chemicals that are toxic to other plant growth.  Garlic mustard is a biennial, meaning that each plant lives for two years.  The first year it exists aboveground as a basal rosette, a low circular patch of leaves without any real vertical stem.  During this first year of growth it accumulates resources and stores energy in a large root.  In early spring of its second year of growth, the plant quickly grows tall, leafy stems topped with heads of white flowers that produce very many seeds.  These seeds will sprout over the next several years, meaning that one plant causes many years of problems. 

The basal rosettes are pretty hard to locate, but the second-year, flowering plants are easily found once they start to get pretty tall.  These are the plants that we pull.  It is important to get the entire root, or it will just regrow (some people carry an old screwdriver or similar tool to dig around a bit and loosen them before pulling).  It is also important to remove all pulled plants from the premises and to do all pulling before the plants begin dropping seeds.  This means that we have a pretty tight window in which to work:  garlic mustard pulling season.  We try to be very thorough and remove all plants, but plants and roots are always missed and seeds are always being re-introduced, meaning that this is likely to be an annual event for a long time.  The task should diminish in size, however, as we slowly reduce the seed bank present in the soil.  We bag and remove all collected plants, and they are composted in a sacrificial area away from the Arboretum or disposed of in the municipal waste stream. 

Thank you!

Zach Fowler

WVBG Wetland/Amphibian Walk 1pm, April 30

The popular Wetland/Amphibian Walk is set for 1 pm, April 30.  Prepare to get your feet wet and to learn about salamanders, tadpoles, turtles and other wetland amphibians.  Free.  Register online

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Morgantown Area Paddlers Outings

MAP Outing Thursday, April 13Let's meet at 1:00 p.m. at the Van Voorhis Landing kayak/canoe launch.  We will head north and back for 2-3 hours.  Overcast, but no rain in forecast, high 68, and winds light and variable.  Bring all the usual things, sunscreen, cap, drinks, snacks, towel, mobile phone/camera, etc.

MAP Outing Friday, April 14 Let's paddle the Big Sandy from Bruceton Mills to Clifton Mills (or close), 2.5-3 hours depending upon the current.  I'm hoping for spring wildflowers!  Meet at the boat ramp just above the splash dam (across from Padlz kayak/canoe rental) at 10:00 a.m.  Weather looks good - high 72, winds light and variable.  20% chance of rain, so bring rain gear and dry bag/garbage bag along with the usual.  Change of clothes to leave in the car might be wise.  Don't forget sunscreen, cap, drinks and lunch!
Mary Wimmer
Organizer, Morgantown Area Paddlers
361 Laurel St.
Morgantown, WV  26505
Cell phone:  304-685-5270

Monday, April 10, 2017

United Plant Savers Conference in Morgantown

I know nothing about this conference, but it's about the future of ginseng and forest botanicals.  Check out the link for more details.

Cranesville Swamp, Jim Sconyer's Back Yard Hike

April  15, 2017, 10:00 am
Cranesville Swamp, Jim Sconyer's Backyard Hike

Located in north eastern Preston County, the Cranesville Swamp is a unique mountain peatland created by a rare mixture of altitude, temperature, and precipitation.  It is home to a spectacular range of plants, birds, and mammal and it was home to the late, great Jim Sconyers, WV Sierra Club leader and mentor to many.  His remembrance  will be felt on this hike.   We'll walk the boardwalk and look at plants (including carnivorous) , bog, trees, etc. and then complete the walk on woods trail.  Expect a couple of muddy spots.  Rated easy on relatively flat landscape.  Hiking distance is 2 or so miles.  We should be done by noon.  This is a Nature Conservancy site.  Pets are not permitted.  Among your essentials, bring rain gear and  insect repellent.  Long pants tucked into socks are recommended to deter ticks and poison ivy.  After the hike, we can consider lunch at the Water Street Cafe in Friendsville, a 30 minute drive.
To preregister and for directions,  contact outings leader Ann Devine-King, 304-594-2636,

Nearest Town:  Terra Alta, WV
Web info:  Cranesville Sw
Parking is limited and car pooling is recommended.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Van Voorhis Kayak/Canoe Launch re-install - Monday, April 10

On Monday morning, April 10, the Van Voorhis Landing Kayak/Canoe Launch is being put back together for another great season of paddling.  We need some strong people to help out Dave and Adam and others with moving the heavy gangplanks into place and the wheeled entry pieces.

The sections are supposed to be delivered to the site by 10:00 a.m.  I'd like to have everyone ready to go by then, so getting there by 9:45 would be good.  It would also help if you had access to waders, for a few lifters may need to enter the water's edge. 

There are 3 main parts to the re-install:
1.  The EZ Dock Company will be attaching the upper gangplank to the cement pad. 
2.  Then the lower gangplank attaches to the upper one very simply, once positioned (one long bar slips in). 
3.  Finally, the wheeled entry will be put in place (easy), and the railings re-attached (this will likely take the longest time-wise).

I would plan on at least a couple hours, but maybe longer to finish with Part 3.  Most helpers will only be needed for positioning the heavy gangplanks; however, it would be great if two more people could stay and help Adam and Dave put the railings on.

Bring your boats if you have time, for the day promises to be a beauty - high 79, no rain (or snow!), but a bit windy.

Please let me know if you are able to help us out Monday.  Thanks!
Mary Wimmer
Organizer, Morgantown Area Paddlers
361 Laurel St.
Morgantown, WV  26505
Cell phone:  304-685-5270

Volunteer opportunities with the Nature Conservancy of WV (click on image to enlarge)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Mon River Trails Conservancy Trail Opener - April 8

On Saturday, Mon River Trails Conservancy will host a handmade market and spring two-mile walk in honor of Opening Day for Trails.  This national event encourages walkers, runners, cyclists and anybody who want to get outside to explore trails in their communities.
The Conservancy will be set up at the Terra Cafe outside patio from 10am - 3pm Saturday.  Trail maps and information about the rail-trails and the group's upcoming big-vision projects will be available.
Area artists will offer handmade jewelry, artwork and ceramics at the market.  Ten percent of each purchase will benefit the rail-trails.
The Mon River Rail-Trail walk will begin at 10:30am at Terra Cafe.  This is a family-friendly event.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Banff Mountain Film Festival - Friday, April 7

A reminder …The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is returning to Morgantown for its fourteenth year at the Metropolitan Theatre, 369 High Street on Friday, April 7, 2017 at 7:00 pm.  Below is a Film Menu with a brief description of the featured films.

Tickets are available at our retail partner Pathfinder of WV, 235 High Street (next to the County Court House) Morgantown 23505 (304.296.007)
Mon: 10am - 7pm; Tues thru Fri: 10am - 6pm; Sat: 10am - 5pm; closed Sunday.
If you are not able to purchase tickets from our retail partner Pathfinder of WV, tickets can be purchased online at TicketLeap:
Tickets are $17 in advance, students with school ID $14.  Tickets, if not sold out, will be available at the door after 6pm on April 7th, $20 for adults and $17 for students - if still available.  Note: We have often sold out in past years.   
Also, arrive at 6:30 pm and hear the Americana/ Bluegrass /Acoustic sounds of the Red Turtle String Snappers.

To see the awesome 2017 Banff Intro video and for directions and additional information, go to our website at:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Link to registration form for state meeting now up

If you haven't already, you should go to the state master naturalist website and read about the state meeting set for June 9-11 at Chief Logan State Park.  The registration link is now functional.

Special Adopt-A-Trail Saturday, April 1

This is a special WV Sierra Club service outing in that we will being taking on 2 bridge repair projects as first priority and general  trail clearing and drainage restoration as a second priority.  Depending on the number of volunteers, we make break into two task groups.  No previous carpentry skills required.  Supplies for repairs will hopefully be at the bridge site, but we may have to carry some supplies to the sites.   Bring your usual tools such as long handled pruners, rakes, shovels and your personal attire/things such as work gloves, sturdy boots, water, snack, rain coat.  We will have volunteers with carpentry skills and specific tools for the repairs. 

Also special is that we start at 1:00 pm and plan to be finished by 4:00.  Partnering with us will be Adam Polinski, long time Cooper's Rock trail volunteer coordinator, and Rick Steiner.  Both are connected with the Cooper's Rock Foundation. 

Adults and adolescents (12-18) are invited and those under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or a legal guardian.  Volunteers will be required to sign a standard Sierra Club Liability Waiver and a DNR Volunteer Work Program Agreement.

Directions:  Enter Cooper's rock south off I-68, pass the Day-Use Parking Lot on right.  Turn right onto henry Clay furnace Rd.  Go ~ 1/4 miles and park on the side of the road near trail crossing for Advanced Ski Trail.  This is near the Roadside Trail and overhead power lines crossing the road.

For additional information and to register, contact Sierra Club Outings Leader, Ann Devine-King at 304-594-2636 or

Sunday, March 26, 2017

WVU Department of Biology Spring Wildflowers Walks

Come see the amazing spring show that happens on campus every year!  April 9, 16, and 23 at 2 pm. These free, guided tours are a spring tradition at the WVU Core Arboretum!  The WVU Department of Biology spring ephemeral wildflower walks will happen on three Sundays in April.  Last year, in the course of three wildflower walks, over 45 species of plants were seen in bloom.  All tours will meet in 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. 

Mountaineer Audubon Spring Bird Walks

Come welcome back the migrant songbirds as they return from their winter ranges!  April 25 and May 2, 9 at 7:30 am.  An anticipated annual event, the Mountaineer Audubon spring bird walks will be the last Tuesday in April and the first two Tuesdays in May.  Last year, in the course of four bird walks, over 70 species of birds were seen and/or heard.  These guided tours are free, and will meet in 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. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

State meeting schedule of courses and classes

We have added a link to a pdf file that you can view and print out.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

State Master Naturalist Meeting June 9-11

The state master naturalist website has been updated with this year's schedule.  Along with the detailed descriptions and bios are the times for Friday's pre-conference trips in the area.
At this time you cannot officially register, but that will be coming soon.  In the meantime you can start planning.  The conference is offering some new classes along with some core classes.

Friday, June 9, 2017
6:00 a.m. Early Morning Bird Walk
8:00 a.m. Pre-Conference Activities begin
6:00 p.m. Picnic Dinner
7:30 p.m. Keynote Speaker, Randy Kelley, DNR Elk Restoration Project, Banquet Room
8:30 p.m. Social with light refreshments, Fireplace Lobby

Saturday, June 10, 2017
6:00 a.m. Early Morning Bird Walk
9:00 a.m. Morning Classes begin
1:00 p.m. Afternoon Classes begin
6:30 p.m. Banquet Buffet Dinner
7:30 p.m. Remarks by Sissie Summers of DNR(State Parks): Volunteer Opportunities with the WV State Parks
8:30 p.m. Business Meeting

Sunday, June 11, 2017
6:00 a.m. Early Morning Bird Walk
9:00 a.m. Morning Classes begin

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

West Virginia Land Trust Blue Jean Ball special ticket prices

West Virginia Land Trust

Master Naturalists Special
Buy one ticket for $50 and get one 50% off!


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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Naturalist classes start in March

Classes for the Monongahela Chapter of the West Virginia Master Naturalist program will begin on March 23.  To become a master naturalist, each student must complete 64 hours of study and 30 hours of volunteer service over a 1-4 year span. Classes will cover subjects such as ecology, mammals, wetlands, trees, vines and shrubs. About two thirds of the course will be indoor work and the remainder will be held outdoors.  Classes will be Thursday nights from 6-9 p.m. and some Saturdays or Sundays for field trips.  The cost for the course is $60, which includes a manual, a name tag from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, a magnifying lens and a tree identification key.
Info, meeting location: Ellen Hrabovsky at 304-296-1887 or

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Volunteers needed for WV Land Trust Field Work

Master Naturalists needed to help me remove invasives at Elizabeth's Woods Nature Preserve this spring?  I want to ramp-up this effort this spring and summer. I can commit a day every other week, at least, if I can get 3 or 4 people to help.

Rick Landenberger, Ph.D.
WVU Dept. of Geology and Geography
P.O. Box 6300
137 Brooks Hall
Morgantown, WV 26506-6300
304-293-9468 (office)
304-692-6172 (cell)

First kayak trip this Friday, February 24

First MAP Paddling Trip 2017, this Friday, February 24:  Monongahela River from Uffington North and back.  Weather amazing - high 77, sunny, winds 5-10 mph - yes, it's February!  Meet at the Uffington boat ramp south of Morgantown, ready to paddle at 12:30 p.m.  Be sure to bring sun screen, sun hat, snacks/lunch, and PLENTY TO DRINK, as it will be warm.  Also life preserver/PFD.  Morgantown lockage will be optional, depending upon the group; PFD required.  Any questions, shoot me an email or give me a call.

Cheers, for a new, exciting, safe year of flatwater boating!
Mary Wimmer
Organizer, Morgantown Area Paddlers
361 Laurel St.
Morgantown, WV  26505
Cell phone:  304-685-5270

Monday, February 20, 2017

New Facebook Page for our Chapter

Madonna Bird has created us a Facebook page: Monongahela Master Naturalists
Be sure to visit and like our page.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Citizen Science Project at WVU Core Arboretum

The WVU Core Arboretum is asking for volunteers for a phenology walk this year.

A phenology walk is a mapped trail with a series of marked plants that citizen scientists observe regularly to record the phenophase.  We will use the Nature’s Notebook website ( which is administered by the USA National Phenology Network (NPN) as the web interface for our phenology walk.  Nature’s Notebook is a website that anyone can join and record observations of phenology and places like arboreta can use to develop phenology walks.  A phenology walk is a good tool for science because with many people observing the same plants it is easier to pinpoint the timing of phenophase changes.  A phenology walk is also a great way to get people started collecting data that they can collect anywhere.  

We are seeking volunteers to participate in this citizen science project.  There will be training sessions in mid-March to teach volunteers all about phenology, how to observe phenophases, and the Nature’s Notebook web interface.  There will also be on-site tours to orient volunteers to the phenology walk and point out the mapped and tagged trees.  Participants should plan to visit the Arboretum regularly in spring and fall to do the phenology walk and record data.  We will be available throughout the project to answer questions and help participants.

We here at the Arboretum are really excited about this project, and we look forward to getting lots of citizen scientists engaged with the process of science and generating real data this spring!  If you would like to volunteer to join the program, or if you have any questions, please email Zach Fowler, WVU Core Arboretum Director, at

Zach Fowler
WVU Core Arboretum Director
Clinical Assistant Professor
WVU Department of Biology

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Morgantown Urban Hike, Saturday, February 18

Saturday, February 18, 2017
Urban Hike Morgantown: Parks, Reservoir, Cemetery, Neighborhoods and Downtown

Join Sierra Club hike leader Ann Devine-King and longtime Morgantown resident and urban hiker, Bill Case on this 4.5 mile urban hike, starting and ending in the parking lot of the Morgantown Ice Rink on Mississippi St. in White Park, Saturday morning.

We'll walk through the park and view the Cobun Creek Reservoir (the reserve water supply for Morgantown and much of Monongalia County. ) A path from the dam leads into the city's First Ward, where we will walk through Jack Roberts Park, a park created by a community effort after the neighborhood school there was closed in the 1990s. Our route also passes through one of Morgantown's oldest cemeteries, along Wagner Road, one of the city's few remaining brick-paved streets, and into Downtown, where we can stop for coffee at the Blue Moose. 
From Downtown, we'll cross into the South Park neighborhood, and climb a couple of hundred feet in elevation  to the upper part of the area. We'll wind our way back to the starting point past South Middle School and the Monongalia County Technical Education Center, on some of the connecting paths children use to walk or bike to the schools.

This should be a fairly easy hike, as most of the route is along gravel paths or sidewalks. However, make sure to dress for the weather.  There could be icy spots to watch out for.  Depending on weather, Trax type shoe grippers can help.  We hope to finish by noon.

The attached map is just an estimate of our path; we may take a slightly different route.  If you'd like a detailed map of the proposed route see:

For start time and to preregister, contact  Sierra Club leader, Ann Devine-King at or call 304-594-2636.
Signup Restrictions: Minors (under 18 years of age) must be accompanied by a parent or a legal guardian, or they must have both 1) a signed permission slip, and 2) the leader's prior consent to participate