Past Chapter Events

March 19 Tuesday: Wavy Leaf Basket Grass removal. Meet at 9:30 at the Burger King in Elkton on Route 33. Please help us eliminate this potential problem before it takes root in our area and causes more havoc to our ecology. Oplismenus hirtellus (L.) P. Beauv. subsp. undulatifolius (Ard.) U. Scholz (Wavyleaf basketgrass) is a grass which is native to southern Europe and southeastern Asia (Peterson et al. 1999). Accidentally introduced into Maryland and Virginia. It appears to have the potential of becoming extremely invasive. It has been found growing at areas of Maryland and a few in Virginia. One is near Swift Run Gap in our area. So we are trying to take care of it. What is of special concern is that unlike many invasive plants that stick to open areas near roads, by trail sides –wavy leaf basketgrass appears to spread easily deep into the woods. It is fairly easy to identify and pull up. To learn more about this plant including how to identify it try the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Contact Chris Bowlen (540) 289 6801.

April 11 Thursday: Annual Spring Wildflower Walk. Time, place and contact TBA.

April 21 Sunday: Wildflower Hike MauHar Trail. 7.5 miles. This is probably one of the best places in our area to see spring wildflowers. It is a steep and at times rocky climb down and up but the variety and profusion of wildflowers is worth it. Meet at Stuarts Draft Food Lion at 9:00 am.

Contact Michael Seth 540 438 1301.

VNPS Geology Field Trip

March 9 Saturday; 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Join us Saturday, March 9, 10 am – 4 pm, Strasburg and Fort Valley, VA.

Leading us will be Callan Bentley, Assistant Professor of Geology at Northern Virginia Community College. On this field trip, we’ll learn about Fort Valley, a mountain valley that lies between the two arms of the Massanutten Mountains. To understand this valley within the Shenandoah Valley, we’ll begin by visiting some older layers at outcrops near Strasburg. After lunch at Cristina’s Cafe, we’ll see the story unfold as we travel into Fort Valley to view subsequent strata and the deformation they experienced during the assembly of Pangea. Most of outcrops are near the road, but there are two short hikes, one of about a quarter mile each direction and the final optional one, a moderately rigorous one mile uphill to see the anticlines in Veach Gap. Dress for the weather and wear hiking boots or very sturdy shoes. The trip will be cancelled on Friday in case of snow or a forecast of heavy rain. The fee for this field trip is $15 for VNPS members, $20 for nonmembers. Registration is required as space is limited. For registration form go on line to the VNPS website PLEASE NOTE: THIS TRIP CURRENTLY FULL

Gottwald Center for the Sciences, University of Richmond

The VNPS 2013 Winter Workshop will focus on the Virginia Piedmont and will take place Saturday, March 16 at the University of Richmond. Two confirmed speakers are Tim Spira and Chris Ludwig. (See below.) Registration is expected to open February 15.

Chris Ludwig, chief biologist with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Division of Natural Heritage and Executive Director and Co-Author of the Flora of Virginia Project.

Tim Spira, Professor, Biological Sciences, Clemson University; author of Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont. A Naturalist’s Guide to the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia. (2012: University of North Carolina Press). PLEASE NOTE: WORKSHOP CURRENTLY FULL

March 17 Sunday: VNPS Presentation “Now That You Have the Flora….”

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Location: Tri-County Feeds Conference Room Presented by: Marion Lobstein

Marion is a retired professor from Northern Virginia Community College. She worked tirelessly in promoting a modern Flora for Virginia. Now that the Flora of Virginia has been published, Marion will present tips for using the book and explain some of the changes in plant relationships and names.

Noted educator and acclaimed expert on wildflowers in the mid-Atlantic states, Marion offers a wide variety of educational opportunities for those interested in wildflowers, natural history, ecology, and earth sciences. She has published an award winning video, a resource book for locating wildflowers in the state of Virginia, a CD-Rom on the Chesapeake Bay which is on the Virginia State Schools list for approved educational materials for earth sciences classes, and has authored many published articles as well. She has been an enthusiastic and informative contributor to the Flora of Virginia project, and is well known for her “wildflower walks” which she conducts throughout the year in locations all throughout Virginia.

March 21-April 11 Flora of Virginia Workshop.

In the spring of 2013, Marion Lobstein will offer a workshop on using the newly published Flora of Virginia at Blandy Experimental Farm. This will be sponsored by VNPS (Piedmont and Prince William Chapters) and FOSA. These workshop sessions will focus on using the dichotomous keys in the new Flora of Virginia, how to recognize plant families in the field, and changes in plant taxonomy reflected our new Flora relative to older resources used in plant identification. The following is preliminary information on this workshop:

Where: New research labs at Blandy Experimental Farm

When: Thursdays from March 21-April 11, 2013 (participant should attend all four sessions)

Time: 9:00am to 12:30pm Size of class: 15

Requirements for registration: intermediate background in basic botany and plant identification, experience with use of dissecting microscope, 10X hand lens (ocular)

Cost: $40 for VNPS/FOSA members, $50 non-members’

Contact: to register for the program, contact Steve Carroll, director of public programs at Blandy.

Required text and supplies for class: Flora of Virginia, 10X ocular, notebook, colored pencils. Suggested additional resource: Plant Identification Terminology: an Illustrated Glossary by Harris and Harris (will have some copies available)

Marion will be offering other workshops at Blandy or other local sites. These workshops will be at aimed at various levels of interest and botanical background. If you are interested in my details, please contact Marion at: or call her at (703) 622-0676 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (703) 622- 0676 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

April 13 Blacks Run Cleanup Day in Harrisonburg. Chapter members Mark and Betty will be looking for volunteers to help with this annual event one of many our chapter will be involved this spring. April is such a busy month.