Some Headwaters Master Naturalists news for you!
View this email in your browser
Next Focus Project Taking Shape

Monarchs and More  hopes to be a meaningful and timely set of yearlong projects that engage all members of the Virginia Master Naturalists Headwaters Chapter in the stewardship of public lands to protect and/or create helpful perennial habitat to boost the declining populations of Monarch butterflies and other pollinators. We will work with partners to create or identify "Monarch Waystations" in at least five public areas across Augusta and Rockingham Counties. Potential partners include park and other public land staff, the Virginia Native Plant Society, The Natural Garden, the JMU arboretum already hosting a Monarch Waystation, ... your friends and neighbors!

Interpreting the areas with signage will be an important part of public education outreach.

Our project will culminate with a chapter-hosted "migration" tour in August 2015 to visit each of these areas!

Where can you help out?
Here are some of our proposed locations to explore and a chapter member to contact about each:
  • Natural Chimneys: Kelly Rourke
  • Staunton, considering the Frontier Culture Museum and/or Montgomery Park: Kathy Romig
  • Bridgewater, considering Cook's Creek Arboretum: RoxAnna Theiss
  • Harrisonburg, considering Hillandale, Purcell and/or  Westover Parks: Adrie Voors
  • Broadway area: needs an adopter!
Also planned are a plants/seeds team and an educational outreach materials team to support the planting projects. Earth Day Staunton, Blacks Run CleanUp Day in Harrisonburg and Riverfest in Waynesboro will all serve as public education opportunities to champion protected, native, pollinator-friendly plantings to support ecological diversity and land and water health, using the Monarch as a poster child.

Sign up opportunities will be available at our Annual Membership Meeting on Saturday, November 1, at Buck Hill Farm, Mt. Solon. And/or sign up now through the Virginia Master Naturalist Volunteer Management System (VMN VMS).

Monarch Waystation Planning Panel
Gail Napora and Chris Bowlen along with our proclaimed project "ambassador" Betty Forrest, who suggested this overall project, have agreed to serve on a Monarch Waystation Planning Panel during the annual meeting to advise us on Monarch requirements and natural history, and suitable plants and plant management for our sites.

At their September meeting, the Headwaters Master Naturalists (HMN) Board allocated $60 per project site toward signage or other needs for a total of $300. A 50/50 raffle and book sale at the Annual Meeting may bring in additional funds. The Waynesboro Woman's Club has offered some funds through award money they received last year for a monarch awareness project. Not least, we may creatively challenge ourselves to find ways of partnering and sharing to develop the projects without a lot of cash.

Have ideas to make this project GREAT? Contact Sandy Greene!
Upcoming ...

HMN Adopt-a-Highway Trash Pickup, Thursday, October 2, 9:30 AM. We'll divide up and cover a total of 4 miles along Spring Creek and Mossy Creek Roads. Meet at the Bluestone Vineyards front parking area, 4828 Spring Creek Rd., Bridgewater. More here. Contact Adrie.

Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club hikes. October 4, 8,11, 19. Find the schedule here through 2014, featuring a series of hikes on "trails in the path of Dominion's proposed 42-inch natural gas pipeline. The proposed pipeline route would cut a broad swath over Shenandoah and Hankey Mountains in the George Washington National Forest and across the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Parkway."  Please contact the hike leader if you would like to participate.

Peak at the Bay after school program for Peakview Elementary 5th grade students. Volunteers needed on Thursdays, October 7 and 14. These are Lab #4, Burtner Pond Water Quality, and Lab #5, Cub Run Benthic Macroinvertebrate Stream Investigation, of a 5 part series of Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences begun in mid-September. More on the VMN VMS project page. Contact Sandy Greene.

Benthic Monitoring with the Friends of the Middle River, Thursdays and Sundays October 16, 19, 23 and 26. Third of three yearly monitoring events at nine sites along the Middle River in Augusta County. Certified monitors and interested volunteers needed. Contact Whit Morriss.

Moving forward with a new training cohort
Plans are in the works for a new basic training cohort to start in the spring of 2015.
Due to a low number of applications for the fall of 2014, the training committee and the HMN board of directors postponed the fall training and have agreed to move forward with training to start in the spring of 2015.
The training committee is meeting weekly through October (and then throughout the late fall and winter) to take a close look at the structure of training and make improvements to the basic training program.
Success of the basic training is contingent on having enough applicants, so we need everyone's help.  Please pass on the word (and our website) to interested folks in the valley. Or if you have ideas of where to advertise, send them our way!
Also, your honest feedback is welcomed and encouraged.  If you have any questions or concerns or praise for past or future basic training, please do not hesitate to contact one of the training committee members:
Gail Napora
And you are always welcome to join us for a meeting or join the committee! Just let us know!
Thanks for your time and consideration.  - Chip Brown
Entomology Evening (official) 

Rescheduling the canceled Bug Dance at Wildwood Park proved to be quite a challenge, but we managed in the end to match availability dates and a fantastic location at the confluence of the North and Dry Rivers in Bridgewater on the evening of September 5th. ... More from RoxAnna here.
Maple Flats Ponds

We had a dozen happy explorers at Maple Flats on Sunday afternoon, September 7, including two new guests and two family members of a Master Naturalist.  We had our dragonfly experience at the first false pond, and hiked past the second one (nearly dry at this time). Edie Kretsch introduced us to dragonfly behaviors and sounds, and we saw several species of the 55 possible ones that live there. (Some of them live nowhere else!) ...  More from Sandy here.
Reading the Gestalt of Weather

HMN Kate Guenther is passionate about reading the weather! On Thursday, September 25, she shared her practiced techniques with a group of ten at the Houff Center of the Bridgewater Retirement Community.  Kate's class room presentation was accompanied by outdoor observations of clouds and wind to discern weather patterns and develop predictions.

Useful tools, shown at right, include ash bags for determining wind direction, a homemade and purchased barometers to determine changes in atmospheric pressure, and a compass.

Headwaters Goes on Display

It was all very last minute but somehow we pulled it off. The day before registration closed for the Virginia Master Naturalist 6th Annual Statewide Volunteer Conference and Training in Newport News, RoxAnna decided to make the commitment and registered successfully for the Basic Training Symposium, Annual Reports/Certification Spreadsheets Help and the Modeling for Citizen Science sessions scheduled for Saturday, September 27th. ...  More from RoxAnna here.
The 4-H Nature Nuts invite Master Naturalists to join them with Dr. Clair Mellinger on Friday, Nov. 14, from 6-10 PM for Saw-whet Owl tagging.

from the Rockingham Bird Club's October 2014 Goldfinch Gazette:


Charles Ziegenfus and I will open the Northern Saw-whet Owl migration banding station at Highland Retreat Camp at least by the last weekend in October and perhaps a little earlier than that depending on reports from farther north. We have no idea at this point what the migration will bring but it almost has to be better than last year. Visitors are welcome on any evening but we would happy to know about groups that are coming. Some groups have already contacted me about certain dates. For a number of reasons, I am considering limiting the number of persons that we take up to the nets this year. Always check with one of us before you make the long drive up there. There will be some nights when weather and other factors will prevent us from opening the nets.

If interested, please contact Clair at
Mark your calendars ...

The Headwaters Chapter 3rd Annual Membership Meeting!

 Saturday, November 1, 2014  
 2:00 PM - around 9:00 PM      
 Buck Hill Farm, Mt. Solon    

What to expect: 
  • Monarch Focus Panel 2-3:30PM
  • Collaborative Citizen Science with Dave Mellor 3:45-4:45PM
  • Annual Meeting 5-6:00PM
  • Potluck 6:00PM featuring a 50/50 Raffle and Book Sale
  • Night Skies with Chip Brown 8-9:00PM
Board Items

from Vice President Ann Murray ...
  • A nominating committee consisting of Sandy Greene (chair), Chip Brown, and Janet James has been established to fill the president position.  Thank-you!
  • I need 2-3 volunteers for an ad hoc auditing committee. A quick and easy job, but must be done soon. Please call or e-mail Ann (540)363-5304 or
Reminder: Our new $12 yearly chapter membership dues are due by the annual meeting on November 1st to retain voting privileges. Contact Chapter Treasurer Kathy Romig.
Headwaters Chapter Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, October 16, Noon- 2 PM

@ North River Library
118 Mt. Crawford Avenue
Bridgewater, on even months

An informal bag lunch at 11:30 will precede the meeting. 

Board members please let Ann know if you can not attend (phone 540 363-5304).

All members welcome!
Copyright © 2014 Headwaters Master Naturalists, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp
Virginia Master Naturalist programs are open to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital, family, or veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.