On Saturday, August 16, the Headwaters Master Naturalists (HMN) celebrated the culmination of a year’s efforts in transforming landscaping around the Wildlife Center of Virginia into wildlife-friendly habitat … including informative signage and demonstration nest boxes on the path leading to this nationally renowned wildlife hospital in Waynesboro.
The Wildlife Habitat Garden ribbon cutting event was attended by the many volunteers involved in this project and Boy Scout Troop 30 of the Stonewall Jackson Area Council which donated and installed a new American flag for the Center’s flagpole.
HMN and Wildlife Center Front Desk Coordinator Kate Guenther master minded and oversaw the many details of this first annual 2013/2014 Focus Project for the Headwaters Chapter. Chapter focus projects strive to use the broad array of member talents in a cohesive year long effort that ultimately meets the Master Naturalists’ goal of helping to conserve Virginia natural resources.
Over the course of a year, 32 of us made this project happen. Thank you to all those who gave of their time, supplies, money and expertise. Financially, the Wildlife Center contributed $1581, HMN chapter contributed $200, donors contributed $3320. The total value of the project was $5100.
Ribbon cutting guests were treated to Kate’s outdoor presentation on What the Wildlife Eat. The Wildlife Center patients’ diets are supplemented with plants gathered from the surrounding woods, as described here for the fawns, and they now have the additional possibility of getting herbs planted for them in the raised beds of the new gardens.
HMN Sandy Greene had the honors of cutting the hospital gauze ribbon stretched across the path leading to the hospital while Frank Deckert masterfully emceed, honoring all of the individuals involved.This was followed by the flag ceremony with the boy scouts raising up a new flag onto the Gardens’ flagpole. Wildlife Center Outreach Coordinator Raina Krasner led an interested group around the Center’s compound to meet its many wildlife ambassadors.
Inside the Center, guests enjoyed a hardy spread of food and drink organized by Sandy.
Lauren Berg of The News Virginian carefully covered the morning’s proceedings in an August 17, 2014, article: Wildlife Center now home to certified refuge.
Monique Calello of Staunton’s The News Leader wrote about our project as published on August 12, 2014: Center recognized for wildlife habitat.
Virginia Tech’s Department of Horticulture offers detailed information about Backyard Wildlife Habitats as published by the Virginia Cooperative Extension.
Next years’ Focus Project will be organized around efforts to plant milkweed and other plants supportive of the imperiled Monarchs!
See below for photos of the August 16, 2014, Wildlife Habitat dedication event. Thanks to Josie Kinkade for her camera work! Find a year’s worth of project progress photos through Smug Mug here.