Congratulations to Chapter Photo Contest Winners
See all the entries here

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    "Conflict" by Bill Goerlich
    Category: Virginia Flora, Fauna and Other Species
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    "Forest" by Kevin Divins
    CATEGORY: Virginia Landscapes and Habitats
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    "Bluebird Monitoring" by Daphne Cole
    CATEGORY: Virginia Master Naturalists in Action

Tracking Changes

Weather reports and predictions have been full of talk about “tracking changes,” and we’re all becoming accustomed to new phrases like the “cone of uncertainty” and the “Euro Model.” Technology is a powerful and fast-moving force in our lives, giving us new insights and better tools for observing current conditions and changing environments. 

Our Volunteer Management System (VMS) is one such tool, and we use it throughout the year to track the work that you do! Yes, this is indeed your reminder that — if you have not yet done it — please take the time to log your Volunteer and Continuing Education hours. You get the satisfaction of being a Certified Master Naturalist, and we use that information to make sure our sponsoring agencies are aware of the vital role that we play in helping them.

This past weekend several members of the Pocahontas Chapter attended the statewide conference in Front Royal, coordinated by our statewide VMN staff and hosted by the Shenandoah Chapter. Warm days and cool nights near the Shenandoah Mountains can’t be beat for those who like to explore and learn! I heard many good things about the on-site courses, and I thoroughly enjoyed a few of the special field trips that were offered.

The Pocahontas Chapter was richly rewarded during the conference’s Friday evening awards ceremony! In the photo contest, Bill Gorewich took Honorable Mention for his Virginia species photo, and Kevin Divins received 2nd place in Virginia landscapes. Liz Revette and the Bat Monitoring Project earned the award for Citizen Science Volunteer Project of the Year. Congratulations to all for those well-deserved awards!

Back at home, as many of the summer monitoring projects (bluebirds, bats and butterflies) are winding down, the cooler weather will bring many opportunities for stewardship activities. If you come across an event where VMNs can lend a hand, send an email to our Volunteer Coordinator Rob McAleenan to get the word out!

The next basic training class is filling up, but we still have several slots available. Spread the word, and tell your friends that they can find the enrollment application forms on our website at Classes are set to begin on Tuesday, January 9, 2018.

Enjoy the changing season — and let us  know if you need help getting those volunteer and CE hours on track!

Warm regards, Lesha

Pocahontas Chapter Named Virginia State Parks’ 2015 Volunteer Organization of the Year  
We are honored to be recognized for the contributions our chapter members have made at Pocahontas State Park. Congratulations and a hearty "Thank You" to all the Pocahontas Chapter members—for all you do, this award is for YOU!

The Virginia Master Naturalist Program is a statewide corps of volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities. Interested Virginians become Master Naturalists through training and volunteer service.

Composed of 29 semi-independent, locally focused chapters, The Virginia Master Naturalist program is actively supported, guided, and represented by the over-arching statewide VMN program. The Pocahontas Chapter is based in Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield County.
Virginia Master Naturalists are educated in natural resources and trained in the skills necessary to work alongside local organizations to increase education and awareness of the community’s natural resources. Volunteers also provide such services as environmental education, water monitoring, wildlife data collection, and habitat restoration.
Our first group of 28 members completed basic training classes in 2009. We conduct training once each year for interested individuals who submit the VMN Basic Training Application . More than half our members have completed full certification and others are well on their way.

In addition to providing valuable volunteer service in environmental education, citizen science and natural resources stewardship, Virginia Master Naturalists enjoy ongoing programs and activities designed to further their knowledge and experience.
Apply Now for VMN Basic Training

Applications are being accepted for 2018 Basic Training.
Applications for training are reviewed and accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. You may send in an application at any time to be considered for an upcoming training class or to request to be added to our Wait List. The fee for basic training instruction and materials is $125, and is payable upon notification of acceptance.  Classes begin January 9th and most are on Tuesdays from 6-9 PM at Pocahontas State Park.
For more information, email

Agencies Sponsoring the Virginia Master Naturalist Program include:

Virginia Master Naturalist and Virginia Cooperative Extension 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.