Headwaters Master Naturalists September 2016 Newsletter
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Upcoming ...

Birds of the 'Burg Guided Bird Walks for Children & Families, Saturday, September 3, 8:30-10:30AM. Shelter #12, Hillandale Park, Harrisonburg. Led by HMN Kathy Byers, 540-820-6517

The Eastern Screech Owl in Virginia and Beyond,
Monday, September 12, 7PM.
Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2001 N. Coalter St., Staunton. Presented by Dr. John Spahr for the Augusta Bird Club.

The Mystery of Virginia's Volcanoes,
Tuesday, September 20, 12-1:15PM
. Ice House, 127 W. Bruce St., Harrisonburg. Presented by JMU Geologist Elizabeth Johnson. JMU LLI Brown Bag Lunch Series.

HMN Basic Training Class 2016/2017 begins,
Tuesday, September 20, 6-8:30PM.
McKinney Center for Science and Mathematics, Bridgewater College, Bridgewater.

HMN Board and Member Meeting,
Sunday, September 25, 3:30-7:30PM.
Shelter #3, Natural Chimneys Park, Mt. Solon. More below.

HMN Adopt-a-Hwy Trash Pickup,
Wednesday, October 5, 9:30AM
. Bluestone Vineyards, 4828 Spring Creek Rd., Bridgewater. Contact Adrie Voors. Rain date: October 6th.
Introduce Yourself to Cohort V

As a means of getting the Basic Training class members introduced to the Headwaters Chapter, all members are invited to spend 5-10 minutes at the beginning of any class to let this Cohort know how you are involved, places you like to visit, a favorite project ... This could be a show and tell with items of interest or just a little bit about you. Imagination and creativity encouraged!

Contact Brian to sign up for a class starting Tuesdays September 27.
Training Class Field Trip Help Wanted

Our upcoming cohort is excited to begin work on the Headwaters Master Naturalist training. As part of this training, we have both classroom and field experiences. The training committee is asking members and friends who have ideas (and are willing to lead) field trips to please contact us at

These excursions are a way to introduce our students to favorite locations, chapter projects, etc. These can be weekday, weekend or evening outings and typically last several hours. Given the number of trainees, we want to make sure that we have a wide variety of options to choose from for both the fall and spring semester.

Thanks in advance. - Brian Lux, Basic Training Committee Chair
Natural Chimneys Park, 94 Natural Chimneys Lane, Mt. Solon
Shelter #3
- Thanks to Kelly for the use of this shelter! 
  • Regular scheduled meeting of the Headwaters Board of Directors at 3:30.
  • Potluck Dinner starting around 5:30.
  • Continuing Education starting around 6:30.
  • All members welcome to all events, or just come for dinner to enjoy the company.
As with our joint board and general membership meeting in May, our board meeting will be from 3:30 to 5:30PM then as quickly as possible we'll set up a potluck dinner. Please bring your favorite dish to share.

For Continuing Education, Bill Patterson Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) (retired) will speak about his time at NRCS working with area farmers and then (and this is the best) he'll talk about grasses and their importance in the ecosystem. We'll have some samples to ID and hear about how grasses add diversity to our valley which was once a sea of grass. Bill is also an avid gardener and hiker. Here's a suggestion. He loves to speak to the questions rather than lecture so come prepared.

- Judy Tammi, Program Committee Chair

Amazing CE, field trips, and idea sharing at the state conference last weekend at the 4H center at Smith Mountain Lake. More than 250 Master Naturalists. Photos and more about the 2016 Virginia Master Naturalist Statewide Volunteer Conference and Training from Sandy Greene HERE.
Acorn Project Seeking Volunteers

Bridgewater College Department of Biology and the Wildlife Center of Virginia need help researching the best method for long-term storage of acorns. We are currently developing the protocol to test different collection, drying and storage methods to preserve the nutritional quality of acorns to be used as a food source for wild captive animals.

Details are still being determined, but your help will likely be needed for something like this:

  • access a solitary oak tree that is producing acorns
  • positively identify this acorn-producing oak tree to the species level
  • gather acorns as they fall
  • do a “float test” to eliminate “bad” acorns
  • weigh the acorns
  • deliver acorns within 1-2 days to the lab at Bridgewater College or another pre-determined spot
Start now to identify potential trees.

Actual acorn collection could start as early as mid-September potentially through October depending on how the season shapes up.

More about this from HMN Kate Guenther HERE. Contact Kate to participate.
The garden at Natural Chimneys is hosting a number of Monarch caterpillars - one of which formed a chrysalis on the fence behind the garden. I luckily just happened to catch it after it emerged; it was very exciting! - Kelly Rourke, Natural Chimneys Garden Coordinator

State Fair of Virginia - Natural Resource Volunteers Needed

Sept. 23 to Oct. 2, 2016
Meadow Event Park, Doswell, VA

Would you like a FREE ticket to the Virginia State Fair, along with an opportunity to share your love of natural resources with others?  Friendly folks are needed to staff exhibits and activities in the Natural Resource pavilions.  

Topics will include urban forestry, homeowner conservation practices, monarch conservation, watersheds, marine resources, and historic preservation. All instructions will be provided, and you don't need any special knowledge to work - just a friendly face and willingness to talk to visitors.

Sign-up link is here:
Please include your mailing address where asked, as tickets will be mailed to you. 

Sign-up deadline is September 9.
If you have questions, please email Ellen Powell, VA Department of Forestry, at
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.
Copyright © 2016 Headwaters Master Naturalists, All rights reserved.

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