Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Picnic and Graduation Celebration

BRFAL members gathered at Waid Park in Rocky Mount on June 19 for a chapter picnic to celebrate the graduation of our 2020-2021 Trainees. These persistent new master naturalists worked through training sessions that included live classes in 2020, the Covid shutdown, socially distanced field exercises and on-line instruction in 2021 to complete their requirements.

2020-2021 Graduates

Graduates are (from L to R) Brian McCrodden, Nancy McIntyre, Kathy Orth, Posie Magurn, Janelle Helfer, Catherine Eubank, Drema Sylvester and Karen Rasmussen (Training Coordinator).  Missing trainee Catherine McGinnis.

Guy B. (seated, foreground)

Turnout was excellent, including our guest of honor, Guy Buford, one of BRFAL’s founding members. Guy expressed his admiration of BRFAL’s accomplishments and declared his optimism for the future of the chapter. 

Ryan Klopf, Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Regional Supervisor / Mountain Region Steward / Natural Areas Science Coordinator and BRFAL sponsor also addressed the gathering. Ryan reviewed the multiple contributions of volunteers to the accomplishment of DCR’s mission and goals.

Karen R. recognizes member contributions

Thanks to all who participated and contributed to the success of the picnic and to the completion of 2020-2021 Basic Training. Welcome new graduates! 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Wildflower Walk BTWNM

On 5/15, BRFAL members and trainees participated in a spring wildflower walk along the Booker T Washington National Monument Jack O’ Lantern Branch Trail. Bob Pohlad enthusiastically shared his vast knowledge of all things botany as he led the group in discussion and discovery.

B Pohlad, Professor Emeritus Ferrum College

Showy orchis, Galearis spectabilis

Wild phlox, Phlox divaricata

Enthusiasm is contagious!

See that tiny structure?

Wild Ginger, Asarum canadense

Diligent learners!

This was a great occasion for new learning and review! Thank you, Bob, for your time, expertise and good humor.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Registration for BRFAL Wildflower Walk


Pink Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium acaule Ait.)

Registration for BRFAL Wildflower Walk

May 15, 2021, 9:30 am-11:15 am

Dr. Bob Pohlad, Presenter and Guide

Booker T. Washington National Monument

Jack O’ Lantern Heritage Trail

12130 Booker T. Washington Highway
Hardy, VA 24101

Open to current BRFAL Members and Trainees. All current Covid-19 guidelines will be followed: Masks required. To register, email name and contact phone number for participants to by end of day May 12. Registration limited to 25 participants.

Meet at picnic tables at park entrance parking lot. Currently park trails, historic buildings and restrooms are open. The visitors’ center remains closed. For more information visit Dress for the weather and be prepared to walk a developed trail with some uneven surfaces. Insect repellant, sunscreen and drinking water are recommended. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

April-May 2021 Upcoming Continuing Education Opportunities

 April-May 2021 Upcoming Continuing Education Opportunities: Events listed are some of the many programs suitable for VMN CE hours

 April 15 Continuing Education during BRFAL chapter meeting: Bob Pohlad- Spring ephemerals at DeHart Botanical Gardens,

April 19 7-9pm Current chapter members are invited to join the Basic Training class for the lecture on fungi with Bob Pohlad. This topic was not offered as a separate class for the 2018 training, so be sure to tune in!

Topic: Fungi

Time: Apr 19, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 476 826 1114

Passcode: vmnbt2021

May 15 BRFAL Continuing Education Outing: Wildflower Walk, Bob Pohlad. Registration information to follow.

Virginia Master Naturalist Continuing Education Webinar SeriesVMN offers a series of continuing education via live webinars. You can register to be notified of upcoming training at . You can also access previous webinars by streaming a recording online, following the links provided at the bottom of this same page. The state program offers 6+ years of continuing education through this online webinar series.  April 15th at noon - VT Webinar on To Feed or Not to Feed Wild Birds.

Local upcoming continuing education shared by Kathy Fell SWP Chapter:

·         April 20th at 6:30 PM - Fifth in the Plant Virginia Natives Webinar Series. Beth Mizell will talk about Common Invasive Plants in Virginia: Control and Native Alternatives. 

·         April 28th from 3PM to 4:30PM - Caterpillars Count project webinar. 

      For details and registration on the above workshops, visit Southwest Piedmont Chapter’s blog at