This spring, the Trainee Class has been busy with their project to identify the tree species and create and install labels for them within Cooks Creek Arboretum. The Arboretum is approximately 8.84 acres and part of the Bridgewater town park system. Chapter members may be familiar with it because it is also a location of one of the Pollinator Waystations. Planted trees, a walking path, Cooks Creek, wetlands, and a variety of birds and wildlife make this park a pleasant destination for a walk, picnic and wildlife observation.
It is the goal of the trainees to provide accurate on-site tree identification and information about these resources to educate and inform the public who utilize this area. Under the guidance of Adam Downing, Senior Extension Agent with the Virginia Cooperative Extension office, the trainees are identifying major tree species and will be installing signage from Plants Map (plantsmaps.com), a Virginia based company. Besides name identification, the signs include digital QR codes that lead the user to more information about the species and GPS based identification online. As the Tree ID Team shared, ”Our hope is that visitors will appreciate knowing what trees they are looking at and something about each of them.”
The trainees are working with the town of Bridgewater to ensure all stakeholders are involved and excited about the project specifically and to enhance the education and recreation value of this location more broadly. This project has given the class experience in creating project proposals, tree identification, outreach to partners, understanding risk management, and most importantly, working as a team.
Please join us on June 11, 2015, at Cooks Creek Arboretum when we install the final labels and celebrate a great first term.
– Lacey Dean, Brian Lux, Byron Hukee, Bill Sprinkel, Kathy Byers, 2015 Basic Training Class
In the spring of 2015, the Virginia Master Naturalist (VMN) state program arranged with Plants Map to produce tags with the VMN logo in place of the Plants Map logo. “…we thought this would be a great way to market our program while providing some great educational resources to the community.” – Alycia Crall, Virginia Master Naturalist Program Coordinator. Bill Sprinkel contributed to an article about this for VMN’s July 2015 eNewletter, The Pollinator: Linking Up with PlantsMap.
Thanks to Carl Droms for providing these photos!
The Bridgewater Current covered this project, along with the Pollinator Waystation installed by HMN at the Cooks Creek Arboretum, in their July 2015 issue here. Thanks to Elaine for finding this and sending it in!