Some Headwaters Master Naturalists news for you!
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Calling all wildflower enthusiasts!

Wildflower Walks and Tournament
Saturday May 10th,  10 AM & 1 PM


The Wildflower Walks and Tournament on Shenandoah Mountain promises to be a great one this year.  We've got four teams of excellent Master Naturalists and wildflower resource folks to lead the walks and get participants enthusiastic about the spring flowers on the mountain.

Now we need walkers and photographers! Spread the word about this fantastic opportunity to friends, families, co-workers, people you meet on the street and on the trail!

Help spread the word about this annual HMN Signature Event!

  • Consider printing and distributing flyers. Click on the image at right to get a printable version of it.
  • Email your friends and family with the sign up page link:
  • Share through facebook here.

For more information about volunteering for this event, contact Chip Brown at or 507-459-1839.


Cohort III takes on Riverfest!

The Headwaters Master Naturalists training class of 2013/2014 has so far worked their way through five weeks of classes this spring session, including Ecology and Botany with Eric Jones, Forest Management with Charlie Huppach, Ornithology with Clair Mellinger, and Herpetology with Billy Flint.

Today you'll find the class well represented at Waynesboro's annual celebration of "environmental conservation and watershed stewardship in the Shenandoah River Basin" side by side with HMN's Project Committee table highlighting the plight of the Monarch.
Some of us were at the (VA Department of Forestry's Crimora) tree nursery last week separating, counting and bundling Redosier Dogwood, Pin Oak and Pine seedlings for give-away at the Headwaters Master Naturalist table our class will manage at Riverfest.  We have dedicated part of the last two classes to planning the event under RoxAnna's tutelage.  We are hopeful that some of the "old guard" Matty-Nats will be able to help man the table on May 3rd, the day of the festival. - Ginny (pictured with Sue Eckroth; photo by Janet Joseph)

How about it Matty-Nats? Will we see you at Riverfest today?
May Update on the Focus Project from Kate

We have made HUGE progress on finishing the major installation of the pond and water features in our micro-habitat demo garden chapter focus project, thanks to the work and expertise of Frank, Jeff, Stephanie, and Angel.


There are still many ways to get involved with this project and your help is needed!

Here are some tasks that could use new volunteers:
  • Preparing the on-line PDF’s of the nest box construction plans that will be made available through the Wildlife Center website. (We have the plans; the documents just need to be worked up…)
  • Sign up to get involved in one of many tasks on the morning of our Saturday, August 16 Ribbon-cutting Ceremony and Advanced EDU. More information about ways to volunteer are in planning stages.
  • Collect, dry and store wild seeds for the crop garden. Because wild plant seeds are difficult to buy, we need to start laying in seed for the crops we will be growing in rotation as food for the patients. We need seeds from: lamb’s quarters, dandelion, chickweed, plantain, amaranth, wild millet. These plants are not natives, but are naturalized. Care will be taken to harvest these grown at WCV as green food and not allow them to go to seed, causing weeds in the garden. The first sowing of wild foods has begun.
  • Researching the best option for a flagpole light: battery, solar or electric.
Email me ( or call 540-350-2824, for more information to get involved. There are no more “large group” workdays scheduled for this project. Instead, projects will continue in smaller team workdays organized between interested participants. So, if you haven’t yet volunteered on this project but want to, let me know you are interested or we can’t let you know when the work is!

Upcoming work involves installing the plantings! Chris Bowlen is generously combing through her extensive native plant collection to select the right perennials for the garden. We will need a few volunteers to help transplant them.

Work will continue to install the pump and filter and plantings in the pond.

A  U.S. flag has been found, donated to the Center by Rep. Goodlatte. Now we need to get a flagpole light.

Wildlife Center staff are working with Sandy and Kate to write, re-write and re-write again some of the signage copy and select appropriate photos before the permanent metal signs are produced.

So many Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners and WCV volunteers have given so generously of their time, money and goodwill to his project. It’s really been fun, and it’s really coming along. I’m tickled pink!  We’re having fun; come join us!
Milkweeds for Monarchs!

Over the last month, at four different events from Harrisonburg to Waynesboro, the HMN projects committee, chaired by Sandy Greene, has been spreading milkweed seeds and information about the declining Monarch populations.

Cohort I HMN member Gail Napora created eye catching displays to accompany the potted seed distributions. On April 12 both Harrisonburg's Blacks Run Clean Up GreenScene and Staunton's Earth Day hosted the first exhibits and milkweed seed giveaways.  Kites & Critters Day in Staunton the following day found more new homes for the seeds. Finally, the display and giveaway will no doubt find a welcoming audience at Waynesboro's Riverfest today.  After this weekend, a total of 300 pots representing many more seeds will have hopefully worked their way toward fertile soils throughout the valley.

RoxAnna developed the handsome instructional mini-trifold that accompanied each pot, one panel of which is shown above. Find photos and more about this project here.
High Yield Investment

The Headwaters Chapter is growing and active, has lofty goals and ambitious projects; we want a robust presence in the two counties and three cities we serve! Financial security is critical to our growth and to our ability to be effective when some funding could go far in achieving positive impacts.

After considerable deliberation, taking into account the recent membership dues survey results and precedents set by other chapters, the HMN board of directors has voted to propose membership dues of $12 per year for all Headwaters Chapter members. Anticipating ongoing administrative costs that should no longer be shouldered by training fees, the board feels this $1/ month/ member investment in our chapter viability is preferable to spending time and energy on fundraising events. 

By any measure $12/ year is a veritable bargain for the rich training, collaboration, service and community connection opportunities supported by our organization. On the other hand, HMN already requires a considerable time, talent and financial investment independent of added recurring dues.

We understand levying dues could create a psychological barrier highly repulsive to some.

It’s not yet finalized.

We’d be delighted to entertain everyone’s creative ways to cover costs without member dues.  We feel $300-500/ year would keep us financially healthy as a chapter, allowing for administrative essentials while also providing some chapter project funding.
  • Do you know of a generous sponsor(s)?
  • Have alternatives to a P.O. Box? ... currently $60/year
  • Know of a free, inviting venue for our annual November meeting? ... currently $150/year
  • Have ideas on how to cover printing and materials costs for our projects and outreach?
  • Have sustainable fundraising ideas you’d be willing to undertake?
  • Know of partner organizations with which to share administrative costs?
Let us know how you feel about membership dues at the pre-board meeting session, 11:30 am on Thursday, May 15 at the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries office in Verona (directions below), or contact any of your board members by email or phone before then to voice your concerns and ideas. It’s your choice … dues …or sustainable alternatives, for your chapter’s success!

Read the details of the current dues proposal here.

Headwaters Chapter Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, May 15, Noon- 2 PM

@ Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
517 Lee Hwy, Verona, on odd months only
Click on image at right to find directions through Google maps.
All board members strongly urged to attend.
All members welcome!
Sandy's Kites & Critters Day pics ... clockwise from left: HMN's Jo-el Nelson at the Enviroscape station with Sandy; State Forester Patti Nylander helps kids plant trees in tubes in the riparian buffer; Great kites; Kathy Romig with visitor Margaret Speicher at the Augusta Bird Club activity station; Lamb to pat; Tom Long and Janet James at the Monarch display and milkweed giveaway with RoxAnna.
Chapter outreach to retirement communities ...   RoxAnna has prepared and launched a chapter outreach presentation with the help of her training committee. Read here about their inaugural effort last month for the Bridgewater Retirement Community, which so generously hosts our training classes.

A second presentation is already scheduled for the Sunnyside Community on Tuesday, May 27 at 2:45 PM in the Bethesda Theater in the Eiland Center. Your participation would be welcome! Contact RoxAnna.
More outreach ...  Headwaters chapter advisor Paul Bugas has arranged for VMN to be featured on WMRA's twice weekly call in show Virginia Insight hosted by Tom Graham! Plan to listen in on Thursday, May 8 from 3:00 - 4:00 PM. Paul will be joined by VMN state coordinator Alycia Crall, chapter president Tom Long and multiple committee chair RoxAnna

The broadcast will be accessable through Virginia Insight online after it has aired
Upcoming ...

Augusta Springs Wetlands Field Trip for second graders from Craigsville Elementary School, Friday, May 9, 9 AM - 12 noon. HMN's will host stations: Wetland Cafe, Wetland Wildlife, Stream Critters, Bucket Brigade. Rain date May 16. Contact Sandy Greene.

VMN Continuing Education webinar: Wavyleaf Grass: A Looming Threat to Forests in Virginia, Maryland, and Beyond… Monday, May 5, 12 - 1:00 PM, online here.

Wavyleaf Basketgrass Removal, Swift Run Gap, Shenandoah National Park, Thursday, May 15, 9 AM - 12:30 PM. Contact Chris Bowlen.

Wilderness First Aid Course through Emergency Prep in Harrisonburg, Saturday and Sunday, June 28 - 29, 8 AM - 4 PM. Continuing education. $70.00 fee. Down payment needed by the end of this month. Contact RoxAnna.

Think our chapter should adopt a roadway? 
Spring Creek Rd. and Mossy Creek Rd. southwest of Bridgewater are available if we're interested. Click on the image at right to check out these sections.
Contact Adrie to offer input on this possibility.
Missing the ever growing list of "VMN State Program Notices" featured here in previous issues? You can now get notices of interest to you directly from the VMN state program. What was once offered through a "VMN coordinator listserv" can now be accessed by all!

If you haven't already done so, sign up for these notices! Find the sign up page by clicking on the image to the right.
VMN featured in Virginia Wildlife

Shenandoah Chapter Virginia Master Naturalist Marie Majarov provided readers of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' March/April 2014 edition of Virginia Wildlife with a comprehensive look at the Virginia Master Naturalist program. Find the full article and accompanying photographs by clicking the image at left.

You'll find our own chapter advisor DGIF biologist Paul Bugas featured as he participates in an outdoor training event.
Check out the fingertip resources lined up (and growing!) in our VMN VMS document folder, thanks to Chip Brown!

VMN VMS --> Newsletters/Documents --> Basic Training Resources --> WOW!
The Virginia Natural History Society has been around since 1992 and shares some common goals and interests with the Master Naturalists. Offering a rich information resource through their biannual publication of Banisteria, they've recently begun a twice yearly community newsletter and invited us to share our projects with their membership. Contact newsletter editor Richard Groover to be added to the distribution list or to contribute to the newsletter ( See the first issue of the newsletter here.

Additionally, the organization has offered their services in assisting with our trainings and project activities as needed. Their President Todd Fredericksen ( is willing to be the liaison for our communications.
Your contributions needed! Our website and newsletter are thirsty for your input! Please send ideas, articles, images to Adrie (at ).

Want some assistance? Don't forget our resident journalist Stephanie Gardner (at ) has offered to help you write an article or feature of interest to you!
Spread the Word

Headwaters Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program will be offering a split fall and spring basic training class! The 2014/2015 class will be held at Bridgewater Retirement Center mid-day on week days. More here.

Inquiries go here:
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.

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