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The Pollinator
News from the Virginia Master Naturalist Program
Winter 2020
trail camera photo of a an otter next to a river
Trail and wildlife cameras are a fun way to learn what animals are in an area, like this otter next to its namesake Big Otter River. Camera trapping can also contribute useful scientific data on wildlife diversity, abundance, behavior, and phenology. Photo from wildlife camera at Claytor Nature Center in Bedford, Virginia that is part of a long-term data set maintained by Ben Schrader (VMN-Central Virginia Chapter.)
Dear VMN Supporter ,
We hope you enjoy this Winter 2020 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
two people at a table displaying information about plants and pollinators, talking to a man and child
Volunteers share information on plants and pollinators at Hokie BugFest.
Photo by VMN-New River Valley Chapter
Dear Virginia Master Naturalist Community,

As we launch into the 15th full year of the Virginia Master Naturalist program, I continue to be astounded by all that our volunteers accomplish. In 2019, VMN volunteers helped create 60 new habitat sites, and they improved some 500 existing sites through their stewardship work. They contributed data to at least 50 different citizen science studies. They made more than 175,000 educational contacts. But, beyond the numbers, VMN volunteers are making a real difference for natural resources and their communities. Whether it is increasing access to nature by creating new interpretive trails and guided programs, increasing our understanding of Virginia's natural resources through important studies like the Second Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas, or getting trash out of our waterways, VMNs are making our world a better place.

Michelle D. Prysby
VMN Program Director & Extension Associate
Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation
VMN Year in Review
Learn about some of the accomplishments of VMN volunteers in 2019 through an infographic, a table of quantitative outputs, and an impact statement.

Eleven people outside unloading potted shrubs from a large truck
Virginia Master Naturalist volunteers in the Eastern Shore Chapter planted more than 1,000 trees and shrubs at Magothy Bay Natural Area Preserve, helping to restore dozens of acres of migratory songbird habitat. Photo by Dot Field, DCR.
Learn About Forests in 2020
By Adam Downing, Virginia Cooperative Extension

The Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program, the Virginia Department of Forestry, Trees Virginia, and other organizations are offering many opportunities to learn about forest management, urban forestry, alternative forest products, trees, and other forest topics this winter and spring. 

two people peer up at a forest canopy with the sun shining through
Learn about forests in the field and in the classroom this year! Photo by VMN volunteer.
Connecting with the Virginia Natural History Society
By Todd Fredericksen, VNHS

Many VMN chapters have projects which include long-term data sets that would likely be of interest to readership of the Society's journal and would be a welcome addition to the literature dealing with the natural history of Virginia. 

Sample cover of the journal Banisteria, with a line drawing of a flowering plant
Banisteria is the journal of the Virginia Natural History Society.
Volunteer News
Laurels - Winter 2019
Each quarter in our Laurels post, we highlight awards and accomplishments of our VMN volunteers. 

three people observe a large black snake climbing a tree
The VMN-Pocahontas Chapter's 10th anniversary celebration included a survey of herpetofauna at Pocahontas State Park.. Photo by VMN-Pocahontas Chapter.
From Our Sponsors and Partners
Salt Strategies (DEQ), State of the Forest (DOF), Upcoming Events (VIMS), and More
Read their latest news to connect with three of our sponsoring agencies.

photo of a marsh in winter in foreground and Virginia Institute of Marine Science building and boats in background
The Teaching Marsh at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science's campus in Gloucester Point, Virginia. Photo by Karen Duhring, VIMS.
This edition of The Pollinator was compiled by Michelle Prysby (VMN Program Director). Contributors included James Beckley (VDEQ), Lesha Berkel (VMN-Pocahontas Chapter), Barry Buschow (VMN-Old Rag Chapter), Adam Downing (VCE), Karen Duhring (VIMS-CCRM), Todd Fredericksen (Ferrum College and VNHS), Geoff Payne (VMN-Historic Southside Chapter), Ellen Powell (VDOF), Anissa Rafeh (VDEQ), Ann Regn (VDEQ), Ben Shrader (VMN-Central Virginia Chapter), Tiffany Brown (VMN Project Assistant), and Terri Keffert (VMN Volunteer Coordinator). Special thanks to all the additional volunteers who contributed photos. Please contact us if you are interested in contributing to a future issue.
We can always use your help!
Thank you to all of our current donors! Your gifts are a critical part of our VMN program budget. Want to become a donor? Give now, and also consider participating in Giving Day on March 18-19!
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.