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March 2016 Headwaters Master Naturalists News
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Adopt a Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, VMN Webinar, Friday, March 4, 12-1PM. Presented by Brian Moyer and Jessica Ruthenberg, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. More about this and the link to join the webinar are here.



HMN Board of Directors Meeting, Sunday, March 6, 3:30-5:30PM. Sandy Greene's house. First meeting of our new board. All members welcome! Details at the bottom of this newsletter.




Peak at the Bay Watershed Program, Monday, March 7, 3-5PM. Cub Run Elementary School, Penn Laird. HMN volunteer opportunity. Contact Sandy Greene. Sign up on the VMN VMS calendar.




The Delights and Challenges of Owning One of Virginia’s Natural Area Preserves, Tuesday, March 15, 3-4PM. North River Library, Bridgewater. HMN CE opportunity. Presented by Marcia Mabee, owner of the Naked Mountain Natural Area Preserve. More in story below from the VMN VMS calendar.


Marl Creek Tree Planting, Saturday, March 19, 9AM-12PM. Marl Creek Trail, McCormick Farm, Steeles Tavern. Led by forester Charlie Huppuch. HMN volunteer opportunity. Sign up on the VMN VMS calendar.




Birds of the Arboretum, Wednesday, March 23, 12-1PM. Frances Plecker Education Center, Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at James Madison University. Presented by Rockingham Bird Club's experienced birder and photographer Diane Lepkowski. Approved for HMN CE credit. This and more arboretum events here.


Wild and Scenic Film Festival, Wednesday, March 30, 7PM, Court Square Theater, Harrisonburg, and April 10, 7PM, Visulite Theater, Staunton. "... films that tell stories about our planet, our beautiful and precious wildlands, and the people of the communities who love them ..." More about the films and how to purchase tickets from Wild Virginia here.


HMN Adopt-a-Highway Trash Pick Up, Wednesday, April 6, 9:30-11:30AM. Bluestone Vineyards, 4828 Spring Creek Rd., Bridgewater. Sign up on the VMN VMS calendar or contact Adrie Voors.

 
Life on Naked Mountain

Please join us for a lecture by Marcia Mabee: “The Delights and Challenges of Owning One of Virginia’s Natural Area Preserves.” Marcia will tell us how she and her husband came to purchase and conserve Naked Mountain, and will talk about the ecological features, including Torrey’s mountain mint and thousands of shooting stars, that make the area so special. She will also discuss some of the challenges that she has faced, such as invasive plants, rattlesnakes, and visiting bears.

Marcia Mabee’s presentation is the story of how the Naked Mountain Natural Area Preserve came to be and the discoveries and obligations inherent within the preserve that continue to this day.
- RoxAnna Theiss, HMN

Tuesday, March 15, 2-3:30PM, North River Branch of the Massanutten Regional Library, 118 Mt. Crawford Ave., Bridgewater

More about the Naked Mountain Natural Area Preserve here.

More about Marcia and her life on Naked Mountain through her blogsite here.
It's a Wrap!  .... The Great Backy

Not all of the figures and data are in but as of February 25th, checklists that have been submitted surpassed 158,000 and 5,500 species were reported, topping 50% of the world's birds from more than 130 countries. The collective spirit of such an event provides an impressive weekend of tallying birds around the world. The U.S. submitted 128,000+, Canada 13,000+ and India placed third with 7,200+!!!!

As I reviewed the local data, I was impressed by Bell's Lane being ranked 11th in Hotspots in Virginia!!!!   
... read more from Penny Warren here.
Starry Nights
Event at Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at JMU, April 1st

 
The End of Night author Paul Bogard, and HMN Chip Brown are collaborating on a Starry Nights event to celebrate the night sky and call attention to light pollution. HMN volunteers are needed to help set up and run education stations Friday evening, April 1st at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at James Madison University, Harrisonburg.

As he has with similar events over the last two years, Chip will provide training and support for station development. This is the final event of a week of activities and talks highlighting the impacts of light pollution and the benefits of darkness and starry nights.

Paul Bogard is an assistant professor in the JMU English department. He is incorporating Starry Nights events into his Capstone Seminar in Environmental Problem Solving course this semester. 
 
Sign up as a volunteer on the VMN-VMS website or contact Chip Brown cbrown2001@gmail.com.

Photo credit Bryce Bradford, Flickr Creative Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
2016 Wildflower Walks on Shenandoah Mountain

Headwaters Master Naturalists' annual Wildflower Walks will take place on Shenandoah Mountain on Saturday, April 30. Join us for a day of walks exploring the great diversity of wildflowers in our local section of the George Washington National Forest.

Headwaters Master Naturalists: sign up to volunteer for this event on the VMN-VMS calendar.

Sign up to be a volunteer and spread the word about the walks to friends, co-workers, family, neighbors, other groups with which you are involved, and people you meet in the parks and on the trails. Tell them to save the date and watch our website for our free sign up through Eventbrite, coming soon.

An HMN Wildflower Walks organizing meeting will be held in early April.

Contact Chip Brown, cbrown2001@gmail.com.

Looking for a Few Good Volunteers …


Find an event near you and plan to join us!

April is known for its Earth Day events so what better time to do some extensive outreach for our chapter.

HMN Outreach Committee is looking for some volunteers for several events in April. If you like to meet new people and enjoy talking about being a Virginia Master Naturalist or about pollinators, now is your chance to shine! The following are events at which we plan to have a table:

Saturday, April 9Blacks Run Clean Up and Green Scene, Ice House roundabout, Harrisonburg, 8:30AM-12PM

Saturday, April 16, Earth Day Staunton, Byers St., Staunton, 9AM-12PM

Sunday, April 17, Kites & Critters Day, Bells Lane, Staunton, 1-5PM

Saturday, April 23, Bridge Day Staunton, tentative, Sears Hill Bridge, Staunton, 11AM-4PM

Saturday, April 30, Riverfest, Constitution Park, Waynesboro, 9AM-4:30PM

Any amount of time that you can help is appreciated. Please sign up on the Event Calendar of the VMN-VMS website.

- Janet James, Outreach Committee
Does Anyone Have Bamboo?

Outreach is looking for some bamboo to cut up to use for mason bee houses that will be made at some of our outreach events this spring. Bamboo is an invasive plant, so this is a great opportunity to get rid of some and help our education project. Please let Janet James know if you have any.

- Janet James, Outreach Committee
Plant ID Workshop and Introduction to the Flora of VA
Harrisonburg, VA

If you are interested in the plants that are an integral part of Virginia's ecosystems but have been intimidated by identifying and remembering those plants, this workshop is for you. Two days and eight hours with Marion and Sally will get you started on a wonderful journey into a deeper appreciation for the plants you see around you every day.

Friday and Saturday, April 15-16
9:30AM -1:30PM each day
Music Room, Lucy F. Sims Center, 620 Simms Ave, Harrisonburg


Instructors are Marion Lobstein, Botanist and Professor Emeritus, Northern Virginia Community College and Sally Anderson, Botanist and former Virginia Native Plant Society president.

Major areas of focus:
  • Overview of Flora of Virginia and its use in plant identification
  • Characteristics of major plant families that will be encountered during plant surveys such as field "weeds," wildflowers, and grasses
  • Proper plant collecting and record keeping in your survey fieldwork
  • Use of the Flora of Virginia in identifying specimens collected
Contact Chris Bowlen, 540-289-6801, bowlenchris@comcast.net to save a spot.  

More about this workshop here. Class size is limited to 15.
Hosted by the Shenandoah Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society.
Continuing Education through JMU-LLI

LLI Events Approved for HMN CE Credit

The James Madison University - Lifelong Learning Institute's (LLI) Spring 2016 events schedule includes a series of "ED-Ventures (Small, inexpensive, educational trips!)" many of which have been approved for Headwaters Chapter continuing education.

These events require registration and membership in the LLI program. They may fill up so consider registering now if you are interested in participating.

April 14: Plants 360 - A Tonic of Wildness
Led by Jan Sievers Mahon, Director of the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at JMU

On four Wednesdays in April and May, HMN's own Jerry Hopkins, Jim Lawson and Chris Bowlen will be leading a series of hikes. Go! Take a Hike! Spring 2016 will offer a great way to get outside and build on your naturalist mastery with experienced guides on trails "chosen for their views, geology, ecology, historical significance and flora." For more information, click on the links to the hikes in the LLI Spring 2016 events schedule.

LLI Course Approved for HMN CE Credit

On five Tuesday mornings beginning April 19
, landscape architect and horticulture professor Nate Miller will be teaching: You Can Eat That? Forage for Edible & Medicinal Plants from the Backyard to the Backwoods. "This class will focus on plants that are edible or have certain medicinal properties in our area ranging from ornamental plants to native plants to common weeds." More about this and information on registering for the course here: LLI Spring 2016 Courses: You Can Eat That?
New Project !

Passionate about composting? Fascinated by soil critters? This may be a project for you! HMN Adrie Voors is coordinating a Harrisonburg Farmers Market Compost Drop-off program to begin in April.

Our newly elected Chair of the Volunteer Service Projects Committee, Peggy Plass, has already led her committee in approving this new project for HMNs to participate in for volunteer hours.

Read all about the project here and contact Adrie if you'd like to get involved.
Naturalist Book Nook

H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald

Spiraling in a tail spin with the loss of her father, MacDonald, a seasoned falconer, acquires a goshawk, a notoriously difficult predator to train with the notion it will help her to disappear into another world and momentarily forget about her loss, her grief.

... read more from Penny Warren here!
Headwaters Chapter Board of Directors Meeting

Sunday, March 6
3:30-5:30 PM
Sandy Greene's house
123 Foxwood Lane
Mount Sidney 24467

click on image at right to find Google directions

Our recently elected Chapter President, Sandy Greene, has diligently lined up board meeting dates for the year. Shaking up the past tradition of monthly meetings, the new board will be meeting every other month beginning in March at Sandy's house in Mt. Sidney, centrally located in our service area. Fewer board meetings will open up more time for meaningful work at the committee level.

All members are welcome and encouraged to attend chapter board meetings.

Future meeting dates have tentatively been scheduled for May 1, July 17, September 11, and November 6.

Our approved Chapter Board meeting minutes can be found in the Documents section of the VMN Volunteer Management System.
 
HMN newsletter and website content submissions needed!

Please send articles, photos or ideas to Adrie. Newsletter item deadlines are generally the last day of the month for the next month's issue.

Wind your way HERE for a Naturalist-related events calendar for our area. Contact Adrie if you know of events to add to the calendar.
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