Keep up with the latest happenings of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program.

The Pollinator
News from the Virginia Master Naturalist Program
October 2016
Fall colors at Sky Meadows State Park, one of the main areas where VMN members of the Shenandoah Chapter volunteer. Photo by Michelle Prysby.

We hope you enjoy this Fall 2016 edition of The Pollinator.  This newsletter only goes out to subscribers, so we encourage you to forward this issue to others and to invite them to subscribe to future issues.  Follow the links below each article to read the full articles, which are posted on the VMN blog.  We welcome submissions from chapters, volunteers, sponsors, and partners about initiatives that would be of interest to our audience.  Please contact Michelle Prysby if you have something to share.
From the State Program Office
Terri (left) and Michelle (right) having a little Halloween fun at our Charlottesville office.
Dear Virginia Master Naturalist Community, 

Happy Halloween! I hope you've gotten to spend time this fall with poisonous plants, bats, bugs, snakes, and other creepy-crawly critters that may not be beloved by all of the public, but that contribute so much to biodiversity and ecosystem functions in our state.  Maybe you've even helped a child or a homeowner have new appreciation for one of these species.

In this issue of The Pollinator, I'm especially pleased to share the results of our VMN program awards, which were announced at our statewide conference in August.  Take time to read about our Superlative Virginia Master Naturalists !

In the VMN State Program Office, we are busy preparing for our VMN Leadership Days, one-day regional workshops in November and December for Board members of our chapters.  November 1 is the last day to register for the Northern and Southeastern regions' Leadership Days.  Board members who would like to register may find more information on our program calendar.  These workshops are a direct response to requests from chapter leaders for more opportunities to interact with Board members from neighboring chapters and more opportunities to learn best practices for running effective chapters.

We are also busy thinking about our program budget.  Though we appreciate and depend upon the financial support of our state sponsoring agencies, their support does not cover all of our needs.  We apply for grants to help fund special initiatives, and we request support from individual donors to help us accomplish our goals.  Please consider  including the Virginia Master Naturalist program in your annual giving.

Happy Autumn!

Michelle D. Prysby
VMN Program Director & Extension Associate
Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation

Volunteer News
Butterfly surveyors in Albemarle County. Photo by Rebecca English.
Butterfly Data Comparisons from Around the State: Surprising...Or Not?

VMN Volunteer Coordinator Terri Keffert reached out VMN Chapters that organize butterfly counts to lend her their data and stories in order to see if there were any contrasts and consistencies between the species and individuals found around the state. 

The Project of the Year has involved more than 100 VMN volunteers in monitoring vernal pool habitats. Photo by VMN-Peninsula Chapter.
Superlative Virginia Master Naturalists

We are pleased to announce the winners of our VMN program awards, including Chapter Advisor of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Project of the Year, and more!

Planting a pollinator garden in Henry County. Photo submitted by Kathy Fell, VMN-Southwestern Piedmont Chapter.
Laurels-Fall 2016

Each quarter in our Laurels post, we highlight awards and accomplishments of our VMN volunteers. 

From Our Sponsors and Partners
Longleaf pine restoration work. Photo by VDOF.
News from VDOF, VDEQ, and the Virginia Office of Environmental Education

New initiatives and updates from several of our state sponsoring agencies.

Invasive Species Removal Funding Available in Ten Counties

The Blue Ridge PRISM, in conjunction with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), hereby announces the availability of Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) funding to assist landowners with the removal of invasive plants. 

This edition of The Pollinator was compiled by Michelle Prysby.  Contributors included Terri Keffert, Ashton Stinson (Blue Ridge PRISM), Jim Schroering (VDOF), Mike Foreman (VDCR), Ann Regn (VDEQ), Kathy Madsen (VMN-Merrimac Farm Chapter), Daina Henry (VMN-Peninsula Chapter), Donna Haley (VMN-Roanoke Valley Chapter), Kathy Fell (VMN-Southwestern Piedmont Chapter), Kasha Helget (VMN-Arlington Regional Chapter), and many individuals who submitted nominations for our program awards.  Please contact us if you are interested in contributing to a future issue.
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