SNP/HMN Spring Clean-up

Shenandoah National Park/ Headwaters Master Naturalists Spring Clean-up

With 2016 being the National Park Service’s Centennial year, Shenandoah National Park will have a marked increase in visitation with folks coming from all over the world to take in the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley.  A trip along Shenandoah’s Skyline Drive offers visitors stunning views of our majestic mountains and vistas. Unfortunately, increasing garbage at our overlook and trail head areas is marring that beauty. This is a wonderful opportunity for the Headwaters Master Naturalists to assist SNP in removing the unsightly trash from these highly visible areas and leave only the breathtaking beauty for all to enjoy.

– Margaret Speicher
Natural and Cultural Resources Volunteer Coordinator, Shenandoah National Park
HMN Cohort III

May 10th, 2016, a trash-hating group of Headwaters Master Naturalists met Volunteer Coordinator, Park Ranger, and member of our group, Margaret Speicher, at the Shenandoah National Park.  The group included Betty and Bob Forrest, Jerry Hopkins, Ginny Joseph, RoxAnna Theiss, and Ann Murray.  Margaret reviewed safety rules and directions, distributed snake gaiters, trash bags and my favorite: long handled trash grabbers. I found those grabbers could pick up something as small as an ugly cigarette butt!

As we picked up trash, we observed lovely wild flowers such as Trillium.  We headed north as far as Dark Hollow Falls, working at all the parking areas and overlooks.  The weather was so pleasant and cool that we didn’t spot a single snake!  Margaret brought us fruit to keep up motivated and we later enjoyed a picnic lunch.  Some continued picking up after lunch as the mist rose circling the mountains and I headed home.

Anti tick tips:
Shenandoah Park recommends spraying your long pants with 0.5 % permethrin, which can be obtained from Walmart.  Let the clothing dry before wearing. Try the farm supply stores, too since it is used on animals.  Be sure to inspect your body thoroughly using a mirror for the hard to see spots.  Remove tiny nymphs by brushing your pants with a lint roller.  You can use this on your skin, too.

– Ann Murray, Cohort II, May 2016

Top photo left to right: Margaret, Betty, Bob, RoxAnna, Jerry and Ginny, by Ann Murray

Thanks to Ann for sending in these photos too!