June events, photos from May, and more!
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Upcoming ...

Birds of the 'Burg Guided Bird Walks for Children & Families, Saturday, June 4, 8:30-10:30AM. Shelter #12, Hillandale Park, Harrisonburg. Led by HMN Kathy Byers, 540-820-6517

Art and Botany: Recording the Natural World, Saturday, June 4, 11AM-1PM. North River Library, Bridgewater. Presented by illustrator, photographer and past president of the Virginia Native Plant Society Nicky Staunton. HMN continuing education opportunity. More about this below and on the VMN VMS calendar.

Garlic Mustard Removal at Shenandoah National Park, Saturdays, June 4 and June 11, 10AM-1PM. June 4 at Big Meadows (Milepost 51), June 11 at Dickey Ridge Picnic Area (Milepost 5). More about this below. Contact Margaret Speicher.

Flying Flowers: Butterflies & Moths, Monday, June 6, 12-1PM. Frances Plecker Education Center, Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and Botanical Gardens at JMU, Harrisonburg. Presented by HMN Gail Napora. More HERE.

Lake Shenandoah Pollinator Meadow Work Day, Tuesday, June 7, 9:30AM. Lake Shenandoah, Harrisonburg. Contact Betty Forrest, 520-400-5886

Black Bear Composting Tour, Thursday, June 9, 2PM. Black Bear Composting, Crimora. Contact Adrie Voors

Creating & Tending the Woods in Your Backyard Workshop, Friday, June 10, 12-5PM. Rockingham County Extension Office,    
965 Pleasant Valley Rd., Harrisonburg. Registration required. More about this below and HERE.

Harrisonburg- Rockingham African-American Festival, Saturday, June 18, 11AM-6PM. Ralph Sampson Park, Harrisonburg. Outreach volunteer opportunity. More about this below. Contact Janet James.

Registration opens for 2016 Virginia Master Naturalist Statewide Volunteer Conference and Training, Monday, June 20. Conference is Friday, August 26 - Sunday, August 28 at Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center at Smith Mountain Lake, Wirtz, Virginia. More about this HERE.

Where we've been in May!

From top then left to right:
  • Kelly Rourke viewing the milkweed sprouting up at the Natural Chimneys Pollinator Garden
  • Ginny Joseph straps on snakebite-protecting gaiters for the Shenandoah National Park spring clean up on May 10.
  • Peggy Plass and Betty Forrest walk the road toward Switzer Lake on May 15 during a VDGIF Birding & Wildlife Trail scouting trip with Sandy Greene.
  • Judy Tammi at the Augusta Springs Wetlands field trip for school groups
  • Ginny Hoffman, HMN and Education Specialist with the Headwaters Soil and Water Conservation District, gets help from Sandy Greene's 5-year-old granddaughter, Vivienne, at the Augusta Springs Wetlands field trip.
  • Art Vasy and Stephanie Gardner helped Adrie Voors divert organic waste from the landfill, at the Harrisonburg Farmers Market on May 28.
  • Elaine Smith helped Janet James at the HMN outreach booth at the JMU Staff Appreciation Day Community Service Fair on May 12.
Big Response
for HMN Class

The Headwaters Chapter is excited about the very strong interest being shown in our upcoming Basic Training Certification cohort to be held on the Bridgewater College campus this fall. It is wonderful to see such enthusiasm to make a positive environmental difference in the Shenandoah Valley.

While the application deadline has passed (June 1st) please email for further details about this or future training cohort opportunities.

Information about the upcoming class can be found through the Headwaters Chapter's website HERE.

- Brian Lux, Basic Training Committee Chair
Art and Botany: Recording the Natural World with Nicky Staunton

Saturday, June 4
11:00 AM -to- 1:00 PM

North River Library
118 Mt Crawford Ave., Bridgewater

Please sign up on the VMN VMS calendar or notify Elaine Smith ( if you plan to attend.

Nicky Staunton, an accomplished illustrator and photographer, will inspire us with her curiosity about the natural world and show us how she records her observations.

Nicky is a Virginia conservationist and advocate for native plants and the habitats that support them. She was the State President of the Virginia Native Plant Society for three terms. Since retiring she has become a recognized artist, mainly in pen and ink illustrations. Her work has appeared in several books and many VNPS state Bulletins. She studies dry brush watercolor with Lara Call Gastinger, and is a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, the American Society of Botanical Artists, and the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society. Her botanical taxonomic skills are from studies with Marion Lobstein. Nicky is also on the Advisory Board of the Flora of Virginia Project.

This is a free event, you are welcome to bring a "brown bag" lunch. Drinks provided!
Volunteer Garlic Mustard Removal Days at Shenandoah National Park

Help us protect the Park! Volunteers are needed to work with Park staff to remove garlic mustard plants. Garlic mustard is an aggressive non-native plant that displaces native species. As it spreads, it takes the place of plants that provide fruits, seeds, pollen and forage for wildlife, birds and insects. Join us for one of the upcoming events, and help make a difference in protecting Shenandoah.

During each event volunteers will be working with park staff to pull and bag garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) plants. All removed plants will be composted off-site.  


Big Meadows (Milepost 51) - Saturday, June 4
Meeting in the Byrd Visitor Center Parking area  
10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Dickey Ridge (Milepost 5) - Saturday, June 11
Meeting in the Dickey Ridge Picnic Area
10:00 am - 1:00 pm

All volunteers must register with the Natural Resources Volunteer Coordinator prior to the event by emailing  or by calling 540-999-3500 ext 3437. Further event details will be furnished upon registration. Children are welcome if accompanied by an adult (parental consent forms must be completed for youth participation). 

- Margaret Speicher, HMN Cohort III
Natural and Cultural Resources Volunteer Coordinator, Shenandoah National Park
Volunteer Opportunity at the Harrisonburg African-American Festival

Join Headwaters Master Naturalists at our booth at the Harrisonburg African-American Festival on Saturday, June 18 from 11am-6pm.  We are looking for approximately six people to share their experiences being an HMN.  The festival will be held at Ralph Sampson Park just east of Route 11N in Harrisonburg. 

Please sign up on the VMN-VMS calendar if you can help. 

In addition, we would like to use a 10’x10’ tent to shade our table, so if you are willing to share your tent, please contact Janet James.

Shenandoah Park Spring Cleanup

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016, a trash-hating group of Headwaters Master Naturalists met Volunteer Coordinator, Park Ranger, and member of our group, Margaret Speicher, at the Shenandoah National Park. ... Read more from HMN Ann Murray HERE.

Photo by Ann Murray

North River Loop Scouting Trip

Headwaters Chapter is adopting the 10-site North River loop of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) Birding and Wildlife Trail (BWT) in response to VDGIF’s request for adopters. ... On May 15th, Peggy Plass, Betty Forrest and Sandy Greene drove the route on a cold and windy day ... Read about this from Sandy Greene HERE.

Photo of Peggy Plass on Reddish Knob by Sandy Greene
Do you have some woods or a few acres you’d like to be a natural area? While you may enjoy your woods for the privacy it offers or knowing that it gives a home to some wildlife, it can be much more!  You can influence what happens in your natural area by better understanding what you have, what you want and available tools to help you accomplish your goals. For example, did you know that by selecting certain trees for firewood, you can improve wildlife habitat, scenic values and regenerate young trees, all at the same time?

Attend the Creating and Tending Backyard Woods Workshop, in Harrisonburg on Friday, June 10, 2016,12PM-5PM. Sponsored by the Virginia Cooperative Extension, The Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries and the Forests for the Bay Program. Registration information via brochure is HERE and online HERE.
This is Wildlife Baby Season!

More often than not it is best to leave wildlife babies alone but sometimes they can use our help.

HMN Kate Guenther of the Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV) presented last month's VMN webinar on Infant Wildlife Emergencies. In case you missed it, find it archived on the Virginia Master Naturalist's Continuing Education Resources website page HERE.

Keep WCV's Infant Wiildlife Emergencies guide and their website advice link handy for the wildlife baby dilemmas you may encounter.
Submissions please!

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