Keep up with the latest happenings of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program.
The Pollinator
News from the Virginia Master Naturalist Program
Summer 2019
Pawpaw fruits hanging on a tree
It's almost pawpaw time! Pawpaws are native understory trees that produce an unusual tropical-tasting fruit in late summer and early fall. They are ripe when the fruit is quite soft and starting to look a little black on the outside.
Dear VMN Supporter ,
We hope you enjoy this Spring 2019 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
Dear Virginia Master Naturalist Community,

I love the way Virginia's ecosystems teem with life in the summertime. Everywhere you look right now, it seems like something is buzzing, chirping, flapping, scampering, flowering, or fruiting. The mountain mint I've planted in my yard is covered in bees and wasps, the pawpaws are about to drop their fruit, and the katydids are loud enough to keep us awake at night.

Our VMN volunteers are busy as bees as well. They are counting bats and bluebirds, sharing their love of nature with youth at various camps, and recruiting new VMN volunteers to their fall training classes. Many of our chapters are conducting butterfly counts this month. By the reports I've seen, it looks like 2019 is a good year for butterflies--lots of diversity and high numbers as well.

If you haven't gotten out to enjoy all that a Virginia summertime has to offer, find a time to be outside and observe the sights, smells, and sounds that abound. Research shows that spending at least 2 hours a week in nature is associated with good health!

Michelle D. Prysby
VMN Program Director & Extension Associate
Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation
Remembering Lee Hesler
Article contributed by Hannah Updike and members of the VMN-Pocahontas Chapter

Lee Hesler, a beloved volunteer and leader of the Virginia Master Naturalist program's Pocahontas Chapter, passed away last week. Lee's legacy of leadership and many, many accomplishments will live on.  

Lee Hesler holding a king snake
Lee Hesler (with an Eastern Kingsnake)
Image by Karen Daniel
A Plan for Wildlife Viewing
DGIF is partnering with researchers at Virginia Tech to develop a management plan for wildlife viewing.

Group of people looking through binoculars
Image by VMN staff
Project Learning Tree Will Come To You
Many of you are familiar with Project Learning Tree, more commonly called PLT, but do you know that the State Coordinator will come to your chapter to lead PLT training specifically for your chapter?

Project Learning Tree session participant doing a craft
Image by Page Hutchinson
Registration Continues for the VMN Conference
Though some sessions and lodging options are sold out, there is still space left in our VMN Statewide Conference and Volunteer Training and lots of session choices remain! This event is open only to current VMN volunteers.

Man holding corn snake
Image from VMN 2018 conference
by VMN staff
Volunteer News
Laurels - Summer 2019
Each quarter in our Laurels post, we highlight awards and accomplishments of our VMN volunteers. 

group of 7 people next to a bluebird box outdoors
VMNs in the Historic Rivers Chapter monitor and maintain bluebird boxes at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Williamsburg. Photo by Tammy Rojek, City of Williamsburg Public Works Department.
From Our Sponsors
Restore the Wild
DGIF shares their newest habitat initiative–a membership program, called  Restore the Wild

mountain landscape with Restore the Wild Virginia DGIF logo
This edition of The Pollinator was compiled by Michelle Prysby (VMN Program Director). Contributors included Karen Daniel (VMN-Pocahontas Chapter), Page Hutchinson (DOF and VMN-Rivanna Chapter), Stephanie Martin (VMN-Arlington Regional Chapter), Phil Meeks (VCE and VMN-High Knob Chapter), Connie Reitz (VMN-Historic Rivers Chapter), Tammy Rojek (City of Williamsburg), Jessica Ruthenberg (DGIF and VMN-Tidewater Chapter), Hannah Updike (VMN-Pocahontas Chapter), Tiffany Brown (VMN Project Assistant), and Terri Keffert (VMN Volunteer Coordinator). Additional volunteers provided images and quotes. Please contact us if you are interested in contributing to a future issue.
Support the VMN Program in 2019!
Charitable donations from our volunteers and other supporters are a critical part of our VMN program budget. Without them, we cannot put on our statewide conference, provide all of our volunteer recognition items, and have our staff available to support our chapters and volunteers. Thank you to all of our current donors who are making all of these things possible!
The Virginia Master Naturalist program is sponsored by the following state agencies:
logos of 7 sponsoring agencies
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.