Saturday, March 23, 2013

SPRING: A Busy Time for Master Naturalists

Dick LeRoy, President of BRFAL with guests Dr. Alycia Crall, VMN Co-ordinator and Ryan Klopf, Chapter Advisor.
SPRING: A Busy Time for Master Naturalists
The March meeting of the Blue Ridge Foothills And Lakes (BRFAL) Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist (VMN) Program was attended by recently hired Dr. Alycia Crall, VMN Co-ordinator as well as Ryan Klopf, our new Chapter Advisor.  Alycia has degrees from UGa, Colorado State Univ and Univ of Wisconsin and is based in Charlottesville with the Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation/Virginia Cooperative Extension, a part of the College of Natural Resources and Environment of Virginia Tech.  Ryan has degrees from William & Mary and SIU and is currently a PhD candidate at SIU.  He is the Mountain Region Steward for the Natural Area Preserve System of the Virginia Natural Heritage Program within DCR.  Both visitors addressed the group of 20 BRFAL members and fielded questions afterward.

Several awards were distributed at the meeting including recognition of De English who has completed more than 500 hrs of Master Naturalist volunteer activities.  Kathy Scott was recognized for passing the 250 hr mark of volunteering on various projects that help preserve natural resources in our area.  Re-certification pins for 2013 were presented to Carl Boast, Jean & Lee Borgman, Meg & Rich Brager, Guy Buford, Marshall Daniels, Jim Dodd, Charlotte Hubbard, Connie Hylton, Shellie Leete, Dick LeRoy, Marilyn & Herb Mocksfield, Jim & Denise Pilversack, Kathy Scott and Shawn Shirley.  The limited edition pin for this year represented the brook trout, which is the state fish of Virginia (and the only native trout of the commonwealth and distributed widely west of the Fall line.) This pin was based on a painting by Repp Glaettli, a member of the Rivanna Chapter of VMN.

A logo for the BRFAL Chapter was unveiled at this meeting.  It was designed by members Meg Brager & Kathy Scott.  Shirts and hats with the logo on them can be obtained from Lakeside Embroidery on Scruggs Rd in Moneta.
The recently designed BRFAL logo
The next BRFAL meeting on April 18th, 2013 at 7 PM will be free and open to the public with preregistration required due to limited seating.  Our featured speaker will be Robin Lentz, Animal Collection Curator at the Mill Mountain Zoo.  
She will describe a program supported by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums called Frogwatch USA.  This 10 year old ongoing project involves volunteers reporting calls of local frogs and toads to help conserve these important species.  To get info on the location of the meeting and to register, email or call 540-365-4613.

Dates, times and location for the next Basic Training Course have now been set.  This 40 hr course is a requirement to become a Certified Virginia Master Naturalist.  Classes will be held at the Franklin Center in Rocky Mount on Tuesday afternoons beginning Sept 3, 2013 and continuing until Nov 19, 2013.  
There will also be 5 field trip sessions at various locations on Saturdays to be determined.  Applications will be solicited in the summer.  There is a fee associated with the course which has been $100 in the past.  To learn more about taking the course and becoming a Virginia Master Naturalist, visit or .  To receive personal info about applications, email or call 540-365-4613.

Spring is here, Get Outdoors!

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