Wednesday, May 11, 2016

One of our own receives honor from Smith Mountain Lake Association

Dr. Don Kelso has been an active and respected member of the Blue Ridge Foothills and Lakes chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists since the chapter’s founding in 2008.  Amongst many contributions, Don has been a leader in the Save Our Streams (SOS) project.  Don was awarded the Melvin S. Johnston award at the annual SMLA Town Hall meeting by SMLA President, Mr. Pete Lewis.  The following are Pete’s words about Don:

“At SMLA's Annual Town Hall Meeting, this year on March 29th, I had the distinct
pleasure of presenting Don Kelso with our prestigious Melvin S. Johnston
Award. He has been a tireless advocate of SML water quality for many
years. He became involved with Save Our Streams in 2008 and since 2009
has been the main SOS trainer. His never-ending enthusiasm, high energy,
and patience in addressing and teaching about water quality issues are echoed
by those he works with.

Don also developed the protocol that is now used to summarize yearly SOS
data from the VA SOS database. This enables us to look at water quality
trends in the streams we monitor.
He is an active member of the SMLA Lake Council, providing thoughtful and
valuable input on key watershed issues addressed by SMLA.”

Don has been very active in the Blue Ridge, Foothills and Lakes Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists.  He not only provides training to new budding Master Naturalists, he leads field trips as well as leading projects such as the Gills Creek mapping project in the Booker T. Washington National Monument.  He inspires other Master Naturalists to excel. 

Dr. Don is a truly remarkable individual who gives of himself continually – he is very deserving of the Melvin Johnston award.

                    Don Kelso received the Melvin S, Johnson Award from SMLA President, Pete Lewis

Monday, May 9, 2016

Bob Pohlad and Carolyn Thomas Receive Awards

Check out page 29 with Bob Pohlad and Carolyn Thomas receiving an award!!


The Cake Dedicated to Graduates of 2016

                              The butterflies signify new beginnings for the graduates pictured on the cake below.  Congratulations again for the Class of 2016.

Friday, May 6, 2016


                    At our recent Graduation/Picnic, besides awarding the training class with their Graduation Diplomas, there were a couple members of our BRFAL chapter who worked hard to earn their Master Naturalist Certification,  18 members who have been Recertified, and 5 members who earned Volunteer Hours Milestone pins. I wanted to recognize their achievements and say “WELL DONE!”

Graduates of the 2016 Training Class: Linda Atwell, Peter Brinckerhoff, Jean Frederick, Neil Fredericksen, Donna Haarz, Ellen Nuss, Beth Pautler, Paul Pautler.

Certified: Marlene Groth, Geoff Orth(just graduated in 2015!)

Recertified: Jean Borgman, Lee Borgman, Meg Brager, Rich Brager, Guy Buford, Dick Donnelly, Diane Donnelly, Dick Hendrix, Connie Hylton, Don Kelso, Dick LeRoy, Denise Pilversack, Jim Pilversack, Kathy Scott, Glenn Siemon, Rick Watson, Bonnie Zinck, Jim Zinck

250 Hour Milestone: Jim Zinck

Image result for Images congratulation500 Hour Milestone: Rich Brager, Denise Pilversack, Bonnie Zinck

1000 Hour Milestone: Jean Borgman

                                                                              Submitted by: Kathy Scott, BRFAL President





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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ellen Nuss Shares Bluebird Pictures

     Ellen Nuss has been having fun monitoring the bluebird nest boxes at Booker T Washington National Monument. 

     These show the progression of how the bluebirds eggs are laid and hatched. The little ones stay in the nest until they are about 18 to 22 days old, then they fledge and fly away.  A new nest is built by the parents in preparation for a new brood.

     Ellen was asked by an elementary school to look at their bluebird houses and found chickadee hatchlings in 2 of them.  The bluebirds build their nest from pine needles and the chickadees use softer materials such as moss.


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