Some Headwaters Master Naturalists news for you!
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Two Monarchs have been sighted at Project Grows pollinator garden! Who else has spotted any? We are welcoming the monarchs, trying to fatten them up, on their journey to Michoacán, Mexico. Sandy says they can actually gain weight, if well fed along the way. The monarchs should be migrating through here around the middle of September.

Headwaters Master Naturalists received an invitation on July 17 through the VMN VMS system. Please join us and bring a friend! We are fortunate to have two 15-passenger buses belonging to the Augusta Department of Parks and Recreation, which will pick us up at the Augusta County Government Center in Verona at 9:30 AM, August 15th. From there, we'll visit Purcell Park garden at 10, Cooks Creek at 11, Natural Chimneys at noon, Frontier Culture at 2PM, and Project Grows at 2:45.

Send Sandy an email at or call (540) 487-1224, by Friday, August 7, to reserve your spot on the bus and/or to come to lunch.

At each garden we will learn what the team has done to create their own unique pollinator buffet. We will also be fattened up with "pollen and nectar" from Bowl of Good and donated yummies. When we finish lunch at Natural Chimneys, we will have a very short and sweet business meeting. We would love to have a monarch to release at Natural Chimneys-- if anyone spots a chrysalis to hatch. See you there!   -  Ann Murray, team leader for the Project Grows pollinator waystation
If you can't make the bus, you are welcome to meet it at any of the waystations. Find links to locations here.

The photo above shows Ann at the Project Grows Pollinator Waystation.

Dear HMNs: Even if you can't make the tour, please consider coming to Natural Chimneys Park in Mt. Solon at Noon on Saturday, August 15 for lunch and a quick membership meeting. Your presence would be most valued!

RSVP to Sandy by Friday, August 7, email or call (540) 487-1224.
HMN in July ...

Clockwise from upper left:
  • Kelly and Judy making "puddling rocks" at Natural Chimneys Park garden:  "For butterflies to get water and salt. We found rocks with depressions and added sand with a few grains of salt, then watered." - Sandy Greene
  • The 2015 Training Class is treated to a mid-summer hike with Eric Jones.
  • Our waystation signs are ready and going up thanks to Gail Napora's hard work!
  • Courtney and Ann Cline help with Frog Habitat Day at Springdale Water Gardens.
  • H'burg Farmers Market outreach tabling.
  • Ann Murray gets a moment's rest to savor the Verona pollinator garden.

Events for HMNs ...

Bats, Our Night Visitors, Wednesday, August 5, 12-1PM. Part of the Summer Brown Bag Lecture Series at JMU Arboretum, Harrisonburg. More here.

Cow Knob Salamander Survey HMN Field Trip at Reddish Knob, Wednesday, August 5,10PM-12AM. Spaces limited. See the VMN VMS calendar. Contact RoxAnna,

Mid-Atlantic Volunteer Water Monitoring ConferenceFriday and Saturday, August 7-8. Shenandoah University, Winchester. Presentations, workshops and field trips. Help build a unified, multi-state volunteer program never before seen in the Chesapeake Bay watershed!  More here.

HMN's Monarchs & More! Migration Tour, Saturday, August 15, 9:30AM-3:00PM. From the Augusta County Government Center in Verona. See story above. Contact Sandy Greene.

Forestland Conservation in Virginia: Current Programs and Landowner Opportunities, VMN Webinar, Wednesday, August 26, 12-1PM. Presentation by Kim Biasiolli of the VA Department of Forestry. More here. Access the webinar here.

VMN Central Regional Conference, Saturday, August 29, 9AM-5PM, Holiday Lake 4H Center, Appomattox, VA. See story below.

Birds of the Burg, Saturday, September 5, 8:30-10:30AM, Hillandale Park, Harrisonburg. Guided bird walk with HMN Kathy Byers and others. More here.

Virginia Native Plant Society Annual Meeting, September 11-13, Frontier Culture Museum, Staunton. Rescue, Reclaim, Restore: Challenges for Native Habitats in Virginia’s Great Valley. Three presentations, 17 field trips. Schedule and registration here.


Annual VMN Gathering Saturday, August 29, 2015

Registration for the 2015 Virginia Master Naturalist Central Region Volunteer Conference and Training is now open to all chapter members! Register here.

Four one-day regional continuing education conferences are replacing a single state-wide VMN conference this year. The Headwaters Chapter is one of eight chapters comprising the Central Region. The others are the Alleghany Highlands, Central Blue Ridge, Central Piedmont, Central Virginia, James River, Rivanna, and Rockbridge chapters.

The Central Region's conference will be held on Saturday, August 29 at the Holiday Lake Educational 4H Center in Appomattox, VA. Find it on a Google map here.

Not just about training, this gathering is also an opportunity for VMN volunteers to share ideas, network and learn from other volunteers in their region. It will be open to Virginia Master Naturalist volunteers only.

Headwaters' own Paul Bugas and Kate Guenther will be among the presenters. Paul is leading an outdoor, hands-on session on Freshwater Fish Ecology in the morning and Kate will present on how to Assess, Assist, Capture and Transport Injured and Orphaned Wildlife in the afternoon. Attendees have a choice of one program each in the morning and afternoon from among five options offered during each time slot. You can expect to get a total of six hours continuing education for re/certification purposes if you participate in the day's worth of events.

There are several people already signed up to go from our Headwaters Chapter and we are now forming car pools. If anyone wants to car pool please contact Jerry Hopkins ( He will try to get you in a vehicle with other folks going to the August 29 conference at the Holiday Lake 4H Center in Appomattox.
Special Call for Naturalist Volunteers for Stream Restoration Planting from the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at James Madison University

 By Sandy Greene

Many of us have volunteered in some way at the Carrier Arboretum, and all of those activities are approved projects already. But in a recent meeting with Jan Mahon, Director, and Janis Traas, Volunteer Coordinator, I learned about so many great projects involving a push to add more native plants, including one big effort that the Project Committee hopes Headwaters Master Naturalists can mobilize to help with.  

First, the biggie: The Arboretum is undertaking a complete stream restoration this fall and winter, which has required several grants, and includes some basic native plantings. Their wish is for a corps of volunteers to help with that planting, but also for more sustained help with the development and planting of specialized habitat cells along the length of the stream restoration. Because the Carrier Arboretum has so many visitors, interpretive programs, and activities, it's a great spot to introduce the public to more natives and ecological concepts. I didn't realize they have 125 acres and only two full time staff (that's why they're asking for volunteers).

If you'd like to be the project coordinator for the Stream Restoration, to help recruit more HMN's for a planting effort, email Sandy at  

More about the Arboretum's projects from Sandy here.

The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, a woodland sanctuary on the James Madison University campus, is a public urban garden and forested greenspace that preserves native plants species, provides opportunities for research, and promotes knowledge of the botanical and natural world for people of all ages.
Summer Field Trip in the Woods

"Field naturalist and muddy boots plant ecologist" Eric Jones led an ecology field trip in the George Washington National Forest for the 2015 training class on Wednesday, July 29.

Find plant lists, notes and photos from this trip by Elaine Smith, Peggy Plass and Byron Hukee here.
Frog Habitat Day

On a suitably wet morning in mid-July, seven members of our chapter assisted Carol Heiser, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Habitat Education Coordinator, in teaching about aquatic habitats at the Springdale Water Gardens. Photos and more from Peggy and Sandy here.

Due to the rain, a repeat, abbreviated version of the event is scheduled for this Saturday, August 8, at the Springdale Water Gardens in Greenville. More here.
Note for HMN Pollinator Gardeners from Sandy Greene:

I just bought a few more perennials for the Natural Chimneys Park pollinator waystation; Chris Lockhart, owner of the Staunton Plant Company, told me he has a number of native plants in gallon pots that he will sell for $6 each: swamp milkweed, Rudbeckia, Baptisia, Vernonia, and Echinacea that were nibbled by deer, but will come back. Also some oak and birch trees.

These are the leftovers from the Lake Shenandoah Pollinator Trail planting.

The Staunton Plant Company is across from Walmart at 909 Richmond Ave., Staunton.  These plants aren't on the display lot. Just ask for Chris when you go.

Among the many intriguing pieces in this issue of The Pollinator, you will find:
  • A better way to save endangered species, Virginia's new Wildlife Action Plan and opportunities for VMNs here.
  • HMNs pilot the new PlantsMap and VMN collaboration here.
  • VMN chapters using Collaborative Science to create some great projects here.
  • And this from Ann Regn with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality: At the State Fair of Virginia, September 25 – October 4, VMN sponsors and other state agencies are cooperating on a professionally-designed, multi-building exhibit called Living on the Water: Experience the Chesapeake Bay. Master Naturalists may sign up to guide State Fair visitors through displays about the ecology and resource management of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. There is training, free tickets and lots of CE hours in it for you!
Headwaters Chapter Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, August 20, 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 August 13.

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.
Copyright © 2015 Headwaters Master Naturalists, All rights reserved.

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