February 2016 Headwaters Master Naturalists News
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Annual Meeting Roundup

Approximately 40 Headwaters Master Naturalists convened for our 2015 Annual Meeting on Saturday, January 30, 2016. The event was postponed from the previous weekend due to a snowstorm. We met at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Thank you to outgoing Vice President and Program Committee Chair Ann Murray for organizing a productive, enjoyable and delicious meeting!

Jerry Hopkins, outgoing Chapter President, conducted our business meetings. A short board meeting was held in which chapter officers presented on recent and annual activities and work. Standing Committee Chairs and our Chapter Advisor, Paul Bugas, also presented. The final order of business was this year's election of HMN chapter officers and committee chairs. Thank you to our outgoing, continuing and incoming chapter board members for your service and leadership! (more on this below)

One highlight of the annual meeting was Volunteer Service Projects Committee Chair Sandy Greene's summation of the many chapter projects throughout 2015. Sandy also introduced opportunities for new and ongoing project involvement through a fun display. Thank you to Chip Brown who made boarding passes as we cruise through these chapter projects and to Sandy and the many other "cruise directors" who coordinate chapter activities.

Another highlight of the meeting was Training Committee and Continuing Education Committee Chair RoxAnna Theiss' recognition of the newest class of HMN.

Chip Brown spoke briefly on this spring's Shenandoah Mountain Wildflower Walks. In other new business, Dr. Eric Jones gave updates on the Wildflowers of Augusta County website and asked for chapter wide help as he revises and improves the website. (More on this below.)

We were fortunate to have Lynn Cameron of Friends of Shenandoah Mountain as our keynote speaker. Many chapter members are familiar with Shenandoah Mountain and efforts to conserve it. Lynn updated us on her group's recent activities, including the possible designation of Shenandoah Mountain as a national scenic area and the latest on the status of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in the area.

Chapter members were able to trade and acquire new nature-related books and a few other field items through our "make an offer" book sale. Thank you to Andy and Frances Sale for minding the store.

Of course, no HMN gathering is complete without delicious food. We had an amazing potluck meal!

Here's to a great 2016!  Thank you again to all who volunteer with HMN!

- Stephanie Gardner

More photos on the web post of this article here.
HMN has a new Board of Directors

After carefully combing through our chapter membership for shining prospects to fill positions on our board of directors, a nominating committee of Sandy Greene, Ann Murray and Carl Droms assembled a stellar slate of candidates who were unanimously elected at the Annual Meeting on January 30. A recent change in the HMN bylaws provides for one time only staggered terms of office so future elections will not have every board position up for election at any one time.

Congratulations and many thanks to our new board members!

President: Sandy Greene
Vice President and Program/Hosting Committee Chair: Judy Tammi
Secretary: Lacey Dean
Treasurer: Carl Droms
Historian/Parliamentarian: Malcolm Cameron
Volunteer Service Projects Committee Chair: Peggy Plass
Training Committee Chair: Brian Lux
Continuing Education Committee Chair: Margaret Speicher
Membership Committee Chair: Kelly Rourke
Outreach Committee Chair: Janet James
Newsletter and Website Committee Chair: Adrie Voors

The 2016 board is rounded out by our ever faithful Chapter Advisor Paul Bugas of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and our most capable Past President Jerry Hopkins.

Please don't hesitate to contact any of our board members with any of your questions, concerns, comments...  Contact information is available to members through the Virginia Master Naturalist Volunteer Management System. Consider attending a board meeting. Scroll to the bottom for information about this year's meetings.

A sincere thanks and much gratitude to those members circulating off the board. Their expertise and talents will continue to be needed and drawn upon.

These members are: RoxAnna Theiss, two-term Training Committee Chair and Advanced Training/ Continuing Education Committee Chair, and Host Committee Co-chair; Ann Murray, Vice President and Program Committee Chair; Gretchen Achenbach, Secretary; Kathy Romig, Treasurer; Dwayne and Pat Martin, Membership Committee Co-chairs; Teresa Townsend, Host Committee Co-chair; Stephanie Gardner, Historian; Sophia Cliffe, Past President.

Upcoming this month ...

Conducting Virginia's Second Breeding Bird Atlas, VMN Webinar, Tuesday, February 9, 12-1PM,. Presented by Ashley Peele, statewide Atlas Coordinator based at Virginia Tech. More about this and link to join webinar here.

"How Many Birds Will You Find?" Tuesday, February 9, 7-8PM. 2nd floor, Staunton Public Library, 1 Churchville Ave., Staunton. Presented by the Augusta Bird Club. A PowerPoint presentation will be provided with a focus on the basics of birdwatching, feeding birds in your backyard and how to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count.

19th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count,
Friday, February 12 - Monday, February 15.
Everywhere. Details below.

Frances Litten Botanical Lecture, Tuesday, February 23, 7-8:30PM. Ballroom A, Festival Conference Center, James Madison University, Harrisonburg. Presentation by the  co-author of Planting in a Post-Wild World, Claudia West. Free. First come, first seated. Free parking. More here.

Great Backyard Bird Count February 12-15

Join the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) on Friday, February 12 through Monday, February 15. It’s for everyone, from beginner birdwatchers to experts, and anyone can participate from anywhere in the world in as little as 15 minutes. Each checklist submitted helps the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Bird Studies Canada, and the National Audubon Society learn more about how to protect birds and the environment we share.

eBird data from citizen science projects like this were recently used to help scientists document the migration paths of 118 different bird species in the western hemisphere.

Click on the image at right for an animated map of these migratory pathways.

More here.

Click here for a different version of this graphic that indicates which species is which.
2016 Wildflower Walks on Shenandoah Mountain

Wildflower Walks will take place on Shenandoah Mountain (trails to be determined) on Saturday, April 30. Join us for a day of walks exploring the great diversity of wildflowers in the local section of the George Washington National Forest.

Headwaters Master Naturalists: sign up to volunteer for this event on the VMN-VMS calendar.

Master Naturalist volunteers are also needed for promotion and participant recruitment. Once publicity materials are complete, we will need help distributing them around the area. Please contact Chip ( for more information.

Watch for another announcement about an organizing meeting and continuing education opportunity focused on wildflowers. This is likely to take place early to mid-March.

- Chip Brown

Eric Jones is updating his website, Wildflowers of Augusta County, and needs your help!

Current plans are to:
  • Update taxonomy to conform to the Flora of Virginia
  • Add over 80 additional plants
  • Add to the text for most of the flowers
  • Make it so that moving the mouse over a reference number will display the reference in a popup.
What else would you like to see on this site to make it useful to you?
Contact Eric:
Continuing Education through JMU-LLI

The James Madison University - Lifelong Learning Institute's (LLI) Spring 2016 events schedule includes a series of "ED-Ventures (Small, inexpensive, educational trips!)" many of which have been approved for Headwaters Chapter continuing education.

These events require registration and membership in the LLI program. They may fill up so consider registering now if you are interested in participating.

April 14: Plants 360 - A Tonic of Wildness
Led by Jan Sievers Mahon, Director of the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at JMU

On four Wednesdays in April and May, HMN's own Jerry Hopkins, Jim Lawson and Chris Bowlen will be leading a series of hikes. Go! Take a Hike! Spring 2016 will offer a great way to get outside and build on your naturalist mastery with experienced guides on trails "chosen for their views, geology, ecology, historical significance and flora." For more information, click on the links to the hikes in the LLI Spring 2016 events schedule.

Inside the first of our state program's quarterly newsletters for 2016, you will find:

The Numbers are In: 2015 Program Statistics

Calling All Master Naturalists with Invasive Plant Knowledge!

Junior Master Naturalists Growing in Tidewater

From Our Sponsors: Free Tree Seedlings

By Ellen Powell, Education Coordinator, Virginia Department of Forestry

Each year, Vaughan-Bassett and Belfort furniture companies “purchase” thousands of seedlings from VDOF, to offset the trees used in their furniture manufacturing. These seedlings are then made available free for public education/planting projects, beginning in January.  Species include loblolly, shortleaf, and white pines, and mixed hardwoods. Examples of past projects include plantings at schools, parks, and community sites, and seedling giveaways for youth or the general public as part of an educational program or public event. ... Reserve your seedlings early, as these usually run out by spring.  Happy planting!

For details on availability of seedlings to the HMN service area call the VDOF Crimora tree nursery at 540-363-7002, or Senior Forester Patti Nylander at 434-962-8172.

Get to know our neighbor chapters!

Learn something about our neighboring Virginia Master Naturalist chapters through their websites and facebook pages. Click on their names below.

Rivanna Chapter is based in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.
Old Rag Master Naturalists serve Madison, Rappahannock, Culpeper, Orange, and Fauquier Counties. They maintain a public group on facebook found here.
Shenandoah Chapter covers Clarke, Warren, Page, Shenandoah, and Frederick Counties. Like their facebook page here.
Alleghany Highlands Chapter serves Alleghany, Bath, and Highland Counties.
Rockbridge Master Naturalists are in Rockbridge County. Not as active as they once were, they do still have a facebook page here.
Central Virginia Master Naturalists cover Lynchburg and Amherst, Bedford, Campbell, and Appomattox Counties.
Next Headwaters Chapter Board of Directors meeting has been scheduled!

Sunday, March 6
3:30-5:30 PM
Sandy Greene's house
123 Foxwood Lane
Mount Sidney 24467

click on image at right to find Google directions

Our newly elected Chapter President, Sandy Greene, has been diligently lining up board meeting dates for the year. Shaking up the past tradition of monthly meetings, the new board will be meeting every other month beginning in March at Sandy's house in Mt. Sidney, centrally located in our service area. Fewer board meetings will open up more time for meaningful work at the committee level.

All members are welcome and encouraged to attend chapter board meetings.

Future meeting dates have tentatively been scheduled for May 1, July 17, September 11, and November 6.

Our approved Chapter Board meeting minutes can be found in the Documents section of the VMN Volunteer Management System.
HMN newsletter and website content submissions needed!

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.
Copyright © 2016 Headwaters Master Naturalists, All rights reserved.

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