Roanoke Valley Master Naturalists 2018 Basic Course

Roanoke Valley Master Naturalists 2018 Basic Course

February 21, 2018 @ 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

The preliminary Roanoke Valley Master Naturalists 2018 Basic Course Schedule has been announced. An updated schedule will be published when the topics and speakers are finalized, but the class dates should remain unchanged.

The course will meet on Wednesday Evenings from 6 – 9 pm, February 21 through May 19, 2018, at the Salem Public Library. The course will also include four Saturday field trips.

The Basic Course is part of the Virginia Master Naturalist certification process, which includes 40 hours of basic training, 8 hours of advanced training, and 40 hours of volunteer service.

Topics covered in the Basic Course include:

  • Introduction to Virginia Master Naturalists
  • American Naturalists
  • Citizen Science
  • Ecological Concepts
  • Nature of Naming
  • Land Use in Virginia
  • Urban and Suburban Systems
  • Virginia Biogeography
  • Geology and Soil Science
  • Entomology
  • Ornithology
  • Aquatic Ecology, Macroinvertebrates & Management
  • Forest Ecology and Management
  • Mammology
  • Herpetology
  • Ichthyology
  • Dendrology
  • Botany
  • Wetland Ecology Management
  • Interpretation and Teaching
  • Risk and Working with Youth
  • Field Trips include:
  • Bird Walk
  • Stream Monitoring
  • Fish Monitoring
  • Tree and Plant Identification

For more information, or to register please contact Tammi at  or Ellen at

Greenway Ambassadors: An Opportunity for Service

The Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission, City of Roanoke Police Department, in cooperation with the City of Roanoke Parks and Recreation Department, have developed an exciting new volunteer opportunity.   The Greenway Ambassadors Program is designed to engage current greenway users to help with greenway monitoring and maintenance.

Greenway Ambassadors will be the eyes and ears for the City of Roanoke Police and Parks & Recreation departments.  Greenway volunteers signed up as Ambassadors will help monitor conditions on the City Greenways, as well as report activity.

The City of Roanoke greenways are part of the Roanoke Valley Greenway System, and include paved and unpaved trails that connect residential communities with City parks, open spaces and commercial areas.

Greenway Ambassadors will:

  • Promote greenway courtesy and safety.
  • Provide general information to greenway users.
  • Assist when help is needed.
  • Set a good example by obeying greenway rules and guidelines.
  • Provide interpretive and geographical information.
  • Watch for greenway conditions that may be hazardous.
  • Advise greenway users of rules and regulations.
  • Provide safety information.
  • Use good judgment and common sense.
  • Report problems to appropriate management partners.

For more information and to volunteer, see

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Backyard Composting – An Overview from the Virginia Cooperative Extension

Ed Rishell, Master Gardener, Virginia Cooperative Extension

What Is Composting?

Composting, through manipulation and control, speeds up the natural decomposition of organic matter. It requires optimizing the conditions favorable to the mixed population of microorganisms (mainly bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes) responsible for the decomposition. These microbes, normally found on the surface of leaves, grass clippings, and other organic materials, thrive in a warm, moist, aerobic (oxygen-rich) environment. Large amounts of organic kitchen, garden, lawn, and landscape refuse can be reduced in a relatively short time to a pile of dark, crumbly, humus-like material that makes an ideal soil amendment.

Download a PDF of the complete article.

Join the Great Backyard Bird Count!

Audubon Logo

From February 17 to February 20, you can be a citizen scientist simply by counting birds for 15 minutes. Join the GBBC wherever you see birds; in your yard, garden, park, or feeder. Count in as many places and on as many days as you like—one day, two days, or all four days of the GBBC and enter your list and location here. It’s that easy and can make a big difference for birds.

Photo: Chris Orr/Great Backyard Bird Count

National Audubon Society,
225 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014 USA
(844) 428-3826

TACF’s Pure American Program: Seedlings Available Soon!

From the American Chestnut Foundation January 2017 eSprout Newsletter.

Interested in growing chestnuts? This unique program is an easy and affordable way to learn the ‘ins-and-outs’ of growing American chestnuts.

Supplies are limited so be ready to place your order beginning February 1 for these pure American chestnut seedlings. Pricing information and ordering instructions are available on our website. Last day to order is March 31. Phone orders only, please (828-281-0047).

Pure American chestnut seedlings are available to current TACF members ONLY. Not a current member? If not, you may join when placing your seedling order ($40 minimum donation).

DISCLAIMER: Pure American chestnut seedlings are not part of the TACF backcross breeding program and they are not blight-resistant.