Headwaters Master Naturalists January 2017 Newsletter
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Rockingham Bird Club Meeting/Field Trip
Thursday, January 5, 7PM
. McKinney Science Center, Bridgewater College. Bridgewater College Biology Professor Robyn Puffenbarger will make the college's bird skin collection available for close examination. HMNs not already members of the Rockingham Bird Club are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to Adrie Voors,

HMN Annual Membership Meeting
Saturday, January 21, 11AM-3PM.
Arey Hall, Bridgewater Municipal Building, 201 Green St., Bridgewater. More about this below.

Something Beautiful
Monday, January 23, 12-1PM.
Frances Plecker Education Center, JMU Arboretum, Harrisonburg. Presented by the Colonial Garden Club. A digital photographic walk through of the rarer flowers of the arboretum, with photographer Lynn Whitmore. More HERE.

The American Chestnut Foundation Learning Box Training
Friday, January 27, 1-4PM.
Crozet Library. This workshop by The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) will provide training to Virginia Master Naturalist volunteers on using educational materials from TACF for public outreach and educational programs. Registration required by January 13. Details HERE.

Great Backyard Bird Count
Friday, February 17- Monday, February 20.
Everywhere. "...people of all ages and walks of life worldwide join the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds." More HERE.
Headwaters Chapter Annual Meeting

Saturday, January 21, 2017
11AM to 3PM

Arey Hall
Bridgewater Municipal Building
201 Green St., Bridgewater

This is our big meeting of the year! All members welcome and encouraged to come. 

Bring a potluck dish, and enjoy a scrumptious lunch.

Earn some Continuing Education credits learning some secrets about Shenandoah National Park.

Meet other HMN's from other classes, including our newest members.

Talk to the Project Coordinators for a variety of projects, and decide what to sign up for.

There's a book sale…bring yours to recycle, and buy someone else's…field guides, nature books, naturalist gear like binoculars ...

Contact Judy Tammi if you can help set up and/or clean up. Get volunteer credit for helping.

Snow date is Saturday, January 28th.

Field Trip Hosts Needed!

The Basic Training Committee members are hard at work lining up spring field trips for the training class. They are looking for HMNs to host the trips.

This is an opportunity for you to volunteer AND to go on some cool trips. You can use the hours as volunteer service or Continuing Education—your choice!

You will make a difference to the growth and community of our chapter. We need you! HMN is nothing without its members. We are grateful to those of you who helped in these ways in the fall! Contact: Kate Guenther, Ann Murray, or Brian Lux.

Read more about this from Kate HERE.
Put These Dates On Your Calendars
And contact Chip to volunteer!

Starry Nights 2017: Fri-Sat, March 24-25
We are looking for several volunteers to help plan and lead activities promoting dark night-time skies and reducing light pollution. Activities to lead/coordinate/volunteer for include planetarium talks and night walks and more! Contact Chip Brown at or 507-459-1839 to express interest or with questions.

2017 Shenandoah Mountain Wildflower Walks: Saturday, April 29
Please consider volunteering for this one-day event. We will likely lead 3-4 walks and need at least one wildflower "expert" and two other walk leaders on each walk. Contact Chip Brown at or 507-459-1839 to express interest or with questions.

Dues can be paid by cash or check made out to Headwaters Master Naturalists.
Get them to Carl at the Annual Meeting or by mailing to:
HMN, P.O. Box 206, Dayton, VA 22821.
VMN Policy Guidelines Updated

Thanks to VMN Volunteer Coordinator Terri Keffert, the VMN Program Volunteer Handbook and Policy Guidelines has been updated from the 2013 version. VMN Program Director Michelle Prysby says Terri "... took great care to re-word sections that had resulted in confusion, update sections to reflect current policies, gather feedback from many people, and make it much more readable."

Michelle points out two important changes:

 ●  First, starting in January, you may count your travel time for volunteer service as part of the service project requiring the travel. Previously, you were asked to report it under a separate "Travel Time" project. ... Please see page 14 in the handbook for the new policy.

 ●  Second, following recommendations from Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension, we have updated our procedures for dismissal of volunteers as well as our expected "Standards of Conduct." Please see pages 23-24 for the updates.

You can find these guidelines in the documents sections of our VMN VMS (Volunteer Management System) website, the VMN website, and the HMN public website, as well as HERE.
Nature's Notebook Project
Join Stephanie and other citizen scientists around the country in collecting phenology data

My New Year’s resolution is to actively observe and record seasonal changes in local plants and animals. I will be joining over 15,000 other citizen scientists and professional naturalists participating in the USA National Phenology Network’s (USA-NPN) Nature’s Notebook project.

Read more about this project from Stephanie Gardner HERE.
Adopt-A-Trail Project Updates
From VDGIF Project Coordinator Jessica Ruthenberg

●  It's time to start winter observations at the sites along our adopted North River Loop of the VA Birding & Wildlife Trails (VBWT).
●  The VBWT have a new web presence in Find Wildlife in addition to a revision of what is on the VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' website.
●  Jessica has updated the powerpoint slides detailing the project procedure HERE.

More plus some project stats HERE.
Naturalist Book Nook

Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout
by Philip Connors

Set in the Gila Wilderness, this book seemed to be an appropriate read while I was on the road for my November adventure in New Mexico and Arizona.

Read the book review from Penny Warren, Cohort I, and Past President of the Augusta Bird Club HERE.

Explore Virginia Native Plant Society's Fall 2016 Newsletter
  • Mark and Betty Gatewood's alpine botany trip in the White Mountains
  • The Cedars Natural Area Preserve from Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation biologist Chris Ludwig
  • Virginia Natural Area Preserves from Natural Heritage Program director Jason Bulluck
  • And much more! 
Find it HERE.
Submissions please!

The HMN newsletter and website need your input! Please send articles, photos or ideas to Adrie. Newsletter item deadlines are the last day of the month for the following 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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