ARMN celebrates successes in 2012

By John Bernard and Jim Hurley

The Arlington Regional Master Naturalists (ARMN) had our monthly Board meeting and end-of-year Chapter meeting on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at the Fairlington Community Center. The Chapter meeting also included an art show and party. Over 60 people attended, including at least 54 ARMN members.

ARMN members brought and displayed their artwork which included photograph porfolios and other creations. After the business meeting, there was time for socializing with lots of goodies

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Caroline Haynes, ARMN President, recognized numerous newly certified and recertified ARMN members for completing the minimum 40 hours of service and 8 hours of advanced training in 2012.

Erik Oberg, National Park Service (NPS) Ranger and Biologist, presented the George and Helen Hartzog Award plaque for Outstanding Volunteer Group to the ARMN Board. The Hartzog Award was awarded to ARMN on October 17, 2012 by the Eastern Capital Region of NPS.

The Hartzog Award recognizes volunteers for their hard work, skills, involvement, and contributions to innovative projects. ARMN members and other volunteers have given 2,600 hours of service to the George Washington Memorial Parkway since the partnership began in 2009. Opportunities to volunteer with the Park Service are described on its website. The NPS and ARMN relationship is a great example of the meaningful results that can be achieved by effective partnerships between government agencies and non-profit groups. Continue reading

Spring 2013 ARMN Basic Training Course

From ARMN to YOU:

Don’t miss this golden opportunity to get involved.

Gear up for the Early Spring Basic Training Course.


ARMN will be offering a Spring  2013 Basic Training Course, beginning February 26, 2013. The Course will run for approximately 14 weeks on Tuesday evenings from 7:00pm to 10:00pm at Long Branch Nature Center in  Arlington. Field training will be scheduled on four Saturdays (specific dates to be determined) during the 14-week course.

Please visit for additional information and application. Applications are due by January 31, 2013.

ARMN July 2012 Chapter Meeting and Service at Long Branch Nature Center

By John Bernard

Members of Arlington Regional Master Naturalists (ARMN) met for their chapter meeting and cookout on July 29 at Long Branch Nature Center (LBNC). Among other business, they recognized 13 newly certified Master Naturalists and the 68 members who have recertified through 2012.

Newly-certified Master Naturalist Leah Pellegrino receives her certificate from ARMN President Caroline Haynes and Kirsten Buhls, Virginia Cooperative Extension Educator and ARMN Chapter Advisor.

There was also an opportunity for ARMN volunteers to earn additional volunteer hours at LBNC with a work project prior to the Chapter meeting. Volunteers worked on a “natural meeting area” arranging tree stumps as seats.

ARMN volunteers arrange tree stumps to create a natural meeting area.

A view of the tree stumps circle that provides a natural setting for meetings.

This is just an example of the many volunteer opportunities that ARMN volunteers have for service hours to meet the annual 40 hours minimum certification requirements.

ARMN volunteers start off with basic training that includes basic background and skills in natural history, role of naturalist, Virginia biogeography and flora and fauna, native ecological concepts for aquatic, forest, and urban ecology, and citizen science.   Classes are typically offered in the fall and spring.  To get involved or find out more information, go to the  To find out more about basic training, go to the link for basic training.

Photos by John Bernard.


An Excursion to Huntley Meadows

By Sue Dingwell

Huntley Meadows morphed into a learning lab for the spring class of this term’s aspiring Master Naturalists. The beautiful wetland was brimming with life as the class traversed its woods and boardwalk, stalking insects, birds and herps. Lessons were learned, pictures were taken, and, more importantly, new horizons were revealed through the guidance of an outstanding lineup of dedicated instructors.

This muskrat provided lots of entertainment.

The class divided up into two groups for the ornithology trek. The generous folks who came out to help with bird-spotting and ID included Phil George, Nick Nichols, Ginny McNair, Jim Hurley, Laura Plaze, and Rebecca Ayers. They shared not only their knowledge and skill, but also their binoculars and spotting scopes.

A nice list of birds was created, and everyone had several chances to get really up-close looks at a variety of them. Thanks, and hats off to all of you enablers! There were no “beginners” left by the end of the morning!

Continue reading

Applications being accepted for Spring 2012 Basic Training

Applications now being accepted for basic training for the Spring 2012 Class of Arlington Regional Master Naturalists

You can make a difference in our community by becoming a Master Naturalist volunteer!  The Virginia Master Naturalist program trains volunteers to provide education, citizen science and outreach to conserve and manage natural resources and public lands.  Master Naturalist volunteers gain certification through state-approved natural history courses and a commitment to volunteer service.  Fun and interactive training is provided by recognized experts in a wide range of disciplines such as ecology, botany, herpetology, ornithology, forest and aquatic ecosystems and much more.  Continue reading