Some Headwaters Master Naturalists news for you!
View this email in your browser

Wildflower Tournament 2014 Success!

What do you get when you combine over 40 wildflower enthusiasts, 20 Master Naturalist volunteers and wildflower experts, 4 trails in the George Washington National forest and over 100 plant species?  A great time in the woods!

Thanks to all who participated in the 2014 Wild Flower Walk and Tournament. Despite a little rain the event was well attended and accomplished its main goal of getting people out onto the trails and thinking about wildflowers.

Every trail turned up some unique flowers and included the orchid, whorled pogonia and the parasitic plant, one-flowered cancer root. Some favorites that were out in numbers were fringed polygala, wild geranium, and many species of violets.

The total number of species identified reached 100, and for those interested in who “won” the tournament here are the tallies for each trail.  Some trails included flower trees in their count.

Wolf Ridge Trail: 43 species
Braley Pond Trail: 42 species
North River Gorge Trail: 56 species
Hone Quarry Trail: 37 species

Thanks, again, to all the volunteers who helped to make this event successful.  Mark your calendars for next year’s walks on Saturday, May 9, 2015- Chip

Find all the lovely tournament photos on Flickr here and facebook here.

Commencement --  YOU'RE INVITED!

We proudly announce the commencement of eight very promising and talented trainees into Chapter membership Wednesday, June 11th at the Houff Center of the Bridgewater Retirement Community.
The class will be discussing their Spring Assessments early in the evening, but come 6:30pm they will be ready to party and greet family, friends, Chapter members and Instructors.
So, Headwaters volunteers, come welcome them into the Chapter, get to know them better and compare experiences with them; come, Instructor and Field Trip leaders to see the outcome of your careful instruction and guidance; come friends and family to celebrate the accomplishment of your loved one; come representatives of our sponsoring agencies and partnering agencies to see who will be helping you “make things happen”!
But give us notice of your participation, please. You know we do good food – but we need to be sure we have enough of it! 
This is a wonderful thing to celebrate!  Come join in and make it a special occasion for our newest Headwaters Chapter Virginia Master Naturalists. - RoxAnna
HMN Basic Training 2014/2015 starts September 4! Applications now being accepted! Click here for details.

MAY PICS. Clockwise from top: Wildflower Tournament, Monarch painting at Riverfest, tree seedling table at Riverfest, Augusta Springs Wetlands field day, herpetology walk at Hone Quarry, fern walk along Passamaquody Trail, Reddish trash pick up is in the middle.
Planting at the Focus Project
The garden plants are planted! Fellow Virginia Master Naturalist Jackie from Rivanna Chapter joined us in transplanting the native plants that Chris Bowlen had selected for the garden. Betty and Sara helped install them. Many varieties of natives are being tried to see who best “likes to live there,” as Chris said. They also laid out the drip irrigation that runs through the garden to help distribute the roof run-off more evenly through the space.

So here’s our list of the plantings now in the garden (pond plants are not yet installed)—selected for size, light requirements, and all season interest.

Drum roll!

We are getting towards that phase of the project where we need to start planning the Ribbon-Cutting ceremony on the morning of Saturday, August 16. Hold the date to attend, and look for ways you can get involved and help. You will be able to earn Adv EDU hours and/or volunteer hours in helping with this fete! Contact Kate.

Background on this project is here.

Check out our state program's slick new website which officially launched on May 30! Find our Focus Project featured on the Volunteer Projects page and our project photos well-represented on the What We Do page. The web address is the same as always:
HMN on the Radio!  Headwaters chapter advisor Paul Bugas arranged for VMN to be featured on WMRA's twice weekly call in show Virginia Insight hosted by Tom Graham on Thursday, May 8. Paul was joined by VMN State Coordinator Alycia Crall, Chapter President Tom Long and multiple committee chair RoxAnna.

If you didn't catch the live version, listen to it here at your convenience.
Reddish Knob Trash Pick Up

Sandy Greene led an emergency roadside cleanup of the Reddish Knob summit parking area on Thursday evening, May 22 before the Memorial Day Weekend.

Find out more about the Sunset at the Summit Cleanup at Reddish Knob from RoxAnna here (on our website) and from Friends of Shenandoah Mountain here (on facebook).

Thanks to Sandy and Ann Murray for lending their trucks to haul out the trash! Sandy's enthusiastic outreach has earned her an Awesome Ambassadorship from RoxAnna -- scroll down!

" ... all the trash that I took home went to be recycled.  Except for the shoe, sock, diapers and other garbage. I think our group did a great job. It is an amazing place." - Ann Murray
Upcoming ...

VMN Continuing Education webinar: The State of Climate Change and its Impacts: General Concept and Southeast U.S. Perspective, Wednesday, June 11, 12 - 1:00 PM, online here. The presenter is Dr. Rachel Licker, an environmental scientist with Princeton University and contributing author for the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report.

HMN Adopt-a-Highway Trash Pickup, Wednesday, June 18, 9:30 AM. Our first! 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.

National American Butterfly Association Annual 4th of July Butterfly Count, Saturday, June 21, 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM in Montgomery Hall Park and along Indian Mound Road in Staunton. Led by Mark Gretch. Contact Carl.

HMN information table at the Harrisonburg Farmers Market, Saturday, June 21, 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM. Come help spread the word about our upcoming training class and what we're all about. Contact Adrie.

Wilderness First Aid Course through Emergency Prep in Harrisonburg, Saturday and Sunday, June 28 - 29, 8 AM - 4 PM. Continuing education. $70.00 fee. Contact RoxAnna.

On a roll to having HMN trash pickups 3 months in a row!
George Washington National Forest Clean Up in July
Headwaters Chapter plans a repeat of last summer's cleanup of dispersed campsites in the George Washington National Forest. Scheduled for Monday, July 14, the cleanup will take place from 8:00 a.m. until noon to be followed by a picnic lunch. A rain date on July 16 will only be used in event of thunderstorms.
During the 2013 cleanup, we cleaned up a dozen dispersed campsites near Elkhorn Lake. These popular primitive sites get heavy use during spring, summer, and fall. Unfortunately all who enjoy this beautiful area are not good stewards -- that's where Headwaters Master Naturalists can lend a helping hand. Last year we removed a pickup load of trash ranging from bottles and cans to broken lawn chairs and discarded camping gear.
We are still talking with rangers to determine if the 2014 cleanup will return to the same area or if we will work in a different area with a greater need. The event is posted on the VMN-VMS website and you are encouraged to sign-up and mark your calendar.

Contact Tom Long at for additional information.

" ...a new type of Master Naturalist training and citizen science tool:

This project is part of a National Science Foundation grant to give Master Naturalists tools to model conservation questions and create citizen science projects. Our program consists of roughly 6-8 hours of online training on ecology, scientific modeling, and adaptive management, followed by the creation of a citizen science project based on your needs and interests. ...

This project is intended to help engage individuals in using technology to conduct locally based, but regionally connected, natural resource stewardship projects. We will use a series of web-based modeling and social media tools to engage Virginia Master Naturalists in conducting authentic science." - David Mellor, VMN Citizen Science Project Coordinator

To access the training module, go to, register for free, confirm your email address, then click on "Training."

Dave Mellor moderated a recent panel discussion on the Future of Citizen Science for the HMN Cohort 3 Basic Training class. See Stephanie Gardner's account of this informative discussion featuring our own HMN Kate Guenther, past VMN Coordinator Michelle Prysby, Friends of the Shenandoah River Program and Laboratory Director Karen Anderson, James Madison University Integrated Science and Technology Professor Tom Benzig, and Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District Director Wayne Webb.
Noteworthy actions from the HMN board of directors meeting on May 15, 2014, include:
  • the passage of the dues proposal of $12 per year payable by the annual November chapter membership meeting. Waivers are available. These dues will cover chapter administration costs independent from training fees. More here.
  • increasing the training fees from $145 to $160. From this fee, $12 will go to the chapter for each trainee’s dues. The remaining fees collected are for training. How these funds are spent is determined by the training committee, and does not require board approval.
  • cancelling the June board meeting.
The next Board meeting will be on Thursday, July 17, 12:00 - 2:00 PM
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, 517 Lee Highway, Verona

Another Awesome Ambassador

Sandy Greene “works the public” on the Top of the World

So what do you do in the middle of a clean-up operation on Reddish Knob when random citizens show up to experience the view?  

If you have Sandy Greene with you – instant Ambassador!  What a thing to watch in action!  Without hesitation, before they even exit their cars, Sandy is offering food and smiles.  Sharing her excitement about the amazing view and the beautiful day.  Asking sincere questions about who they are and where they call home.

Of course they ask what we are doing and what the clean-up is all about.  They are intrigued by the laughter and camaraderie they see occurring next to the trucks loaded with trash bags.  You can see them assessing these people who obviously like one another and are having fun together.  She explains without a hint of lecture.  She broadcasts fun and excitement.  She invites without pressure.  Of course they rarely join but now they know.  The seed is planted.  They will remember.   - RoxAnna Theiss
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.
Copyright © 2014 Headwaters Master Naturalists, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp