Thursday, March 22, 2012

State Coordinator Meets New Trainees

Michelle Prysby, the Virginia Master Naturalist Program (VMNP) State Coordinator, visited the local Blue Ridge Foothills And Lakes (BRFAL) chapter Tuesday March 6th.  

Back Row L-R: Jim Bier, Richard Donnelly, Jerryanne Bier, Warren Clark, Becky Clark, Charlotte Hubbard, Don Kelso
Front Row L-R: Anne Tucker, Michelle Prysby, Diane Donnelly, Susan Cranson, Shannon Brooks, Connie Hylton, Guy Buford
She addressed the first class of the 2012 basic training course held at the Franklin Center in Rocky Mount and attended by 9 new students (see photo below).  The course is organized by Don Kelso with the help of Connie Hylton, Charlotte Hubbard and other BRFAL members.  Guy Buford is president of BRFAL.
BRFAL is one of 30 chapters across Virginia forming a statewide corps of volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities.  The basic training course is the first step in becoming a certified master naturalist.

The course will continue through May 22nd and will cover topics such as geology, stream/lake ecology, plant identification, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, forestry, weather and ichthyology.  In addition to classroom activities, 6 field trips will occur.

The BRFAL Chapter now has over 30 members who are active in various local projects related to education, citizen science and stewardship.  Restoration of wood duck boxes at Smith Mountain Lake State Park has recently been publicized.  Advanced Training opportunities coming up include a seminar on Purple Martins and a public lecture on  "botany through the seasons and planting a garden for wildlife".   

Further information about BRFAL can be obtained by visiting or follow our blog Statewide information about the VMNP can be obtained at

*Article and photo courtesy of Carl B.

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