Sign up for the Fall Class

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Applications are being accepted for the 2017 training program. Classes are led by experts and meet two Saturdays a month from September 2017 through April 2018.  Each class will cover one or two topics such as local plants, mammals, birds, trees, fish, mammals, soils, weather and more, and typically include field exercises to further explore the subject discussed in the classroom.

The classes are held at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, at 21085 The Woods Road in Leesburg. The is open to those older 18 years old. See the course schedule. For more information, call 703-669-0889.

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Summer 2017 Newsletter published

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You can find the latest newsletter here.

 


Also, don’t forget these important upcoming dates:

August 5th – (Vol) LWC Butterfly count
August 5th (CE) – Bat Program
August 13th – VMN Banshee Reeks picnic
August 15h – Application deadline for new class
Sept 9th – (Vol) Native plant sale
Sept 15-17 – (Lots o’ CE) State VMN Conference

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Enter the VMN Photo Contest by Friday, July 21, 2017 Last Chance!

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We’ve extended the deadline for photo submission to the 2017 Statewide VMN Photo Contest, to this Friday, July 21! We’re looking for interesting and creative pictures to represent the Banshee Reeks Chapter in the upcoming contest at the VMN Statewide Conference.

Chapters may submit one photo each to three separate categories:

  • Virginia flora, fauna and other species
  • Virginia landscapes and habitats
  • Virginia Master Naturalists in Action

If you think you have what it takes to represent the Banshee Reeks Chapter, please submit your digital photos to vmnbansheereeks@gmail.com and include the following:

  • Date of photo
  • Species in the photo, if applicable
  • Location of photo taken

The VMN Board will choose one photo for each category, and those photos will go on to represent Banshee Reeks Chapter in the contest.

Due Date Extended to Friday, July 21!  Submit your photos Today!

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Journey Through Hallowed Ground Native Plant Trail Dedication Ceremony at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve

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Date: Saturday, April 15, 2017

Time: 11 am

Join community members and volunteers to celebrate the dedication of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Living Legacy Project native tree planting at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve in Leesburg, VA. The Living Legacy Project commemorates the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. Dedication will feature comments from local dignitaries, patriotic music, and time to tour the Living Legacy planting.

Ninety-five trees were planted at Banshee Reeks, through a partnership with Loudoun County and the Virginia Master Naturalist Program. All trees are native species and include white oak, sassafras, black gum, and Virginia’s state tree – flowering dogwood.

Through this program, one tree will be planted for each of the 620,000 soldiers who died during one of the most defining moments in American history. Upon completion, the Project will create the first 180-mile landscaped allée in the world, and the only one dedicated to memorializing the American Civil War.

For more information about the preserve, visit http://www.bansheereeksnp.org/.

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Continuing Education

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Exactly what events qualify for CE credit has been a source of confusion, and sometimes controversy, since the VMN Program’s earliest days.  I recently corresponded with the State Office and asked for some guidance on their current understanding.  They started by citing the entry on page 16 of the Volunteer Handbook and Policy Guidelines, which is available on the VMN website (http://www.virginiamasternaturalist.org) under “Documents and Resources”.

Does the continuing education opportunity:

  1. Promote continued learning and development of naturalist skills?
  2. Provide Master Naturalists with knowledge and skills to work in volunteer efforts?
  3. Provide Master Naturalists an opportunity to focus their interests in one or a few specific topics?
  4. Build on the core curriculum initially provided by the local chapter?
  5. Provide information on natural resources and resource management or naturalist skills applicable to Virginia?

 

Under these guidelines they note that an event does not need to be of a specifically educational nature to be providing a Master Naturalist with new knowledge and/or skills.   Of greater importance is the presence of a leader who can share from his or her own knowledge and experience.  With this in mind they now say that events such as general Nature walks or bird walks could present CE opportunities, a change from earlier interpretations.  They added that, while the decision to accept or reject a given event for credit lies with the individual chapter, many of the chapters are now accepting things like bird walks for CE credit.  For us this opens LWC’s Birding Banshee, Birding the BRCES and the like for consideration as CE.

On the Chapter website (http://www.vmnbansheereeks.org/) under the “Member Resources” dropdown at the top is a “Calendar” option.  On the calendar you will see various entries starting with either “(CE)” or “(Vol)” indicating that they are opportunities for CE or Volunteer hours.  We will try to keep the calendar updated with new opportunities as soon as we learn of them.  You can help by letting Chapter leadership know about new opportunities that you learn of.  An email to vmnbansheereeks@gmail.com is probably the best way to present something for evaluation and, if acceptable, posting on the calendar for all to see.

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