Some Headwaters Master Naturalists news for you!
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Headwaters in September ...

Clockwise from upper left:
  • JMU Arboretum Stream Restoration Project planting day, September 22.
  • HMNs waiting for South River Elementary School 4th graders at the confluence of the North and South Rivers in Port Republic, September 9.
  • Munching monarch at the Lake Shenandoah Pollinator Trail, September 12.
  • Ginny Joseph and Mark Briehl plant trees at the arboretum, September 22.
  • Carl Droms setting up an eMammal camera at Dellinger Gap, September 30.
  • Kathy Byers preparing to plant trees at the arboretum, September 22.
  • Chip Brown at the arboretum work day, September 22.
  • Basic training class visiting the VA Department of Forestry tree nursery in Crimora, September 19.
  • Sandy Greene and Elaine Smith participate in the invasive removal organized by Jason Hallacher at the Lake Shenandoah Pollinator Trail, September 12.
Stream Restoration Planting 
at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at James Madison University

We are fortunate to be involved in the stream restoration/storm water management project at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at JMU.  Over 20 Headwaters Master Naturalists plus some other volunteers from the community and Eastern Mennonite University planted over 200 shrubs and trees over two days, September 22 and September 24.

Though the ground and soils were often difficult to dig, volunteers worked in teams of two and three to shovel and scoop until the holes were big enough to accommodate the potted plants. At the same time, contractors planted sedge plugs along the newly restored stream banks.

Native varieties of plants were used when possible and included elderberry, river birch, winterberry, azalea, dogwood, oak, rhododendron, hazelnut, redbud, and spicebush.

The project combines two important needs for the Arboretum and James Madison University: restoring the stream and managing storm water.  By restoring the stream and adding wetland cells to the flat areas along the stream banks where water can slow down and drop sediment, JMU meets storm water runoff and requirements set forth by state and federal regulations. The project is funded by JMU and several grants some of which require volunteers to provide support for the project.

Restoring the upper part of the stream from the "Sycamore Flats" area to the bridge at the east end of the pond, is phase one of the project.  Restoration and improvements to the pond and down stream from the pond will continue in the coming months and years.

Post-Flooding Update

The September 29th rain event significantly impacted the upper stream restoration project and flooded the woods, valley and pond area. By some records, the Arboretum and surrounding areas received over three inches of rain, the majority of which fell in about an hour and a half during the late afternoon from 3:30 - 5 pm. While many of the sedge plugs remained in place, many of the shrubs and trees did not have enough time to root into the heavy clay and rock ground where we planted them and washed away with the flood water. Since then, some have been recovered and are now waiting to be replanted.

Work Day: Friday, October 23

We will continue our support of this project from 8:30-12:30 on October 23rd. Currently the work involves planting bare root and tubeling trees and shrubs so there will be less digging and more planting.  The day might also include replanting any remaining trees and shrubs salvaged from the flood event.  Please sign up on the Event Calendar of the VMN-VMS website.

- Chip Brown. Find this on our website plus many more photos here.

Events for HMNs ...

HMN Adopt-a-Hwy Trash Pickup, Wednesday, October 7, 9:30AM. Bluestone Vineyards, 4828 Spring Creek Rd., Bridgewater. Contact Adrie Voors. Rescheduled
from September 30.

Fall Birding with Penny, Monday, October 19, 8:30AM. Natural Chimneys Park, 94 Natural Chimneys Lane, Mt. Solon. Join Penny on a half day birding trip to Natural Chimneys in search of any late migrants, wintering sparrows, kinglets, brown creeper, etc.  Nearby areas will also be visited during the morning. Contact Penny Warren,

EJC Arboretum Stream Restoration Support Day, Friday, October 23, 8:30AM-12:30PM. See story above. Contact Chip Brown,

Birds of the Burg, Saturday, November 7, 8:30-10:30AM, Hillandale Park, Harrisonburg. Guided bird walk with HMN Kathy Byers and others. More here.

Fall Term

On Thursday, September 3 the 2015 cohort of Headwaters Master Naturalists started their second term. Happy greetings all around, many stories of summer’s adventures and travels soon gave way to the business at hand: more training and a fall skills project. We were sad that two of our classmates had to step back, temporarily we hope, from the training, but the remaining ten of us are moving forward!

- read more from Elaine Smith here.
On Tuesday, October 13 the class will be hosting an afternoon of information and fun at Bridgewater Retirement Community: "Nature in a Nutshell: Exploring Our Own Backyard." We will have stations dealing with fall colors, birds, native plants and flood plain issues. We are hoping many residents join us, as we share some of our knowledge and express our appreciation to the community.
New Nest

My new ‘nest away from nest’ for the next couple of years will be New Mexico as my youngest son decided to attend St. John’s College in Santa Fe.  Many thanks to him for choosing the Land of Enchantment! - read more from Penny Warren here.

See Events above for information about a birding trip Penny will lead at Natural Chimneys Park on Monday, October 19.

More Augusta Bird Club-hosted birding trips here.

VMN Leadership Transition

Alycia Crall has been attentively leading the Virginia Master Naturalists program since January 2013 in her position as state coordinator. She recently announced her intention to step down from this post as of October 30, 2015.

I’ve been blessed to meet some of the most amazing people during my time here and to call many of you my friends. One of the greatest gifts you all have shared with me is one of hope. I came to Virginia with a very pessimistic view of the state of the world. Climate change, invasives, species extinctions, habitat loss…the future looked pretty grim. But then I met all of you.          -Alycia Crall, September 12, 2015

Read the rest of Alycia's message here.

Mary Atkins and Josie Kinkade have joined HMNs for Adopt-a-Highway trash pick ups. Josie has also volunteered considerable help with both our Wildlife Center and Monarchs and More! focus projects.

Thanks to you both for your contributions to the VMN Headwaters Chapter!
Looking for the announcement of our annual November membership meeting?

You won't find it! The Headwaters Chapter annual membership meetings have been moved to January of each year. Our Chapter Bylaws as amended on August 15, 2015, now align the membership meeting with our fiscal year, which matches the calendar year. Look for the annual meeting announcement in next month's eNewsletter.

The Headwaters Chapter Operating Handbook has received an update, effective at the last Board meeting September 17, 2015. Many weeks in the making, the ad hoc Bylaws Committee worked with the Board to clarify officer and committee chair duties and even shuffle committees around a little. Check it out in the documents section of our VMN VMS website.

With our Handbook in order detailing duties of the Board of Directors members, Chapter President Jerry Hopkins has appointed, with Board approval, a three-member nominating committee to round up candidates for Board positions. Don't be surprised if you receive a friendly call from Sandy, Ann Murray, or Carl Droms about considering a coveted seat at our Board table!

New Board members will be elected at our January annual meeting. The slate of candidates will be submitted to the membership no later than 15 days before this meeting.

All Board member positions are up for election this year with a "one time election strategy to achieve staggered terms, to occur in January 2016." Half of the positions will serve two-year terms and the other half one-year terms for this election cycle only. In the future, only half the Board positions will turn over each year, offering some built-in continuity for the Board.

Find full descriptions of our elected positions here.

Board meetings are open to all members! Assuage your curiosity about Board business and come to one of the next two Board meetings, ... then consider filling a seat at the table for a term.

Lastly, look for dues notices in November, payable by January 1, 2016.
Headwaters Chapter Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, October 15, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

@ Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Office
517 Lee Highway, Verona

Find directions through Google maps HERE.

All members welcome!
If you'd like to add any item of discussion to the Board agenda, please contact Jerry Hopkins,, by October 8.

Our Chapter Board meeting minutes can be found in the Documents section of the VMN Volunteer Management System.
Wind your way HERE to view our calendar of Naturalist-related events in our area. Contact Adrie if you know of events to add to the calendar.
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