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The Pollinator
News from the Virginia Master Naturalist Program
Spring 2021
photo of wildflower with pink petals
Early Meadow-rue (Thalictrum dioicum). This plant was a new-to-me native wildflower this spring. I was fascinated by the drooping clumps of stamens, described as "stamens pendulous" by the Flora of Virginia. I also have an affinity for the cute, paw-shaped leaves of many plants, like this one, in the Buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). The graphic key in the Flora app made this species easy to identify on my first try!
--Michelle Prysby, VMN Program Director
Dear VMN Supporter ,
We hope you enjoy this Spring 2021 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 website
From the State Program Office
Dear Virginia Master Naturalist Community,

Happy Spring! Although the pandemic continues, it has been so hopeful to see nature's phenological patterns continuing. The first bluebird young of the season are fledging, the vernal pools abound with spotted salamander eggs, and the spring ephemeral wildflowers have put on their marvelous show. And, coming soon in Northern Virginia is another natural phenomenon - Brood X of the 17-year periodic cicadas! While many Cooperative Extension offices are likely receiving calls from people wondering how to get rid of the cicadas or protect their landscaping, I was pleased to receive a phone call this week from a cicada tourist, a woman wanting to take a trip to see the cicadas and looking for recommendations on the best timing and location. NoVa VMN volunteers in the Brood X zone should consider leading some cicada-themed nature walks!

Michelle D. Prysby
VMN Program Director & Extension Associate
Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation
VMN Virtual Conference - Call for Presenters
The Virginia Master Naturalist 2021 Statewide Conference and Volunteer Training is going virtual!  This year’s event will be held October 1-3, 2021. As with our in-person conferences, this event aims to provide high-quality continuing education for VMN volunteers and to promote networking amongst volunteers and program partners.

We welcome proposals as contributions to be considered for our virtual agenda! Individuals wishing to present are invited to submit their proposal using our online form by June 14, 2021.

For more information, please read the full Call for Presenters on our website.

It's Always a Good Time To Be On the Lookout for Ticks: How to Avoid and Manage These Troublesome Pests
By Daniel Frank, Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs

With the advent of spring and warming weather, more people are venturing outdoors to work and play. This also means it is a good time to start getting in the habit of protecting yourself from ticks.

black-legged tick on edge of green leaf
Deer tick, Ixodes scapularis. Photo by Erik Karits on Unsplash.
Volunteer News
Laurels - Spring 2021
Each quarter, we invite VMN chapters to share stories of volunteers' awards and accomplishments. Our Laurels posts are not only a way to provide recognition to those volunteers, but also an opportunity to inspire other volunteers

This quarter, learn about a Governor's Award-winning project, a volunteer's 6,000 hours of service, a new educational video on sturgeon made by VMN volunteers, and more!

12 people in a group outdoors, holding graduation certificates
VMN-Banshee Reeks Chapter's 2021 basic training course graduates. Photo contributed by Susan Sims.
From Our Sponsors
News from DOF and DEQ
The Virginia Department of Forestry has a new Tree and Forest Health Guide to help you learn about pests, diseases, and other factors affecting tree health. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality shares information on the Landscaping with Native Plants webinar series and on new efforts to reduce plastic pollution. 

discarded plastic bottle floating in water
Photo contributed by Ann Regn, VDEQ
Help Us Meet Our 2021 Fundraising Goal
Our fiscal year ends June 30, and we have not quite achieved our goal of raising $10,000 in donor-contributed funds. Donations this year are supporting our Diversity & Inclusion Working Group, our program support staff, volunteer awards, and more.
Thank you to the 75 individuals and VMN chapters who have made gifts this fiscal year. Your support allows us to do more to support our chapters and volunteers across Virginia!
The Virginia Master Naturalist program is sponsored by the following state agencies:
logos of Virginia Cooperative Extension, DCR, DOF, DEQ, DWR, VIMS-CCRM, VMNH
This edition of The Pollinator was compiled by Michelle Prysby (VMN Program Director). Contributors included Rick Brown (VMN-Historic Rivers Chapter), Daniel Frank (VT), Kasha Helget (VMN-Arlington Regional Chapter), Judy Jones (VMN-Historic Rivers Chapter), Ellen Powell (VDOF), Susan Sims (VMN-Banshee Reeks Chapter), Ann Regn (VDEQ), Tiffany Brown (VMN Project Assistant); and Terri Keffert (VMN Volunteer Coordinator).

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.
Virginia Master Naturalist programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.