As a means of introducing her to our Chapter, HMN Stephanie Gardner recently corresponded with our newest member, Jean Stephens, to see if she’d be willing to let us know a little about her. Jean transferred to the Headwaters Chapter from the Richmond area’s Riverine Chapter last January. She brings our “transferee cohort” up to seven members.
Stephanie suggested some questions for Jean which she addressed below. Thanks to Stephanie and Jean for this introduction!
- How long have you been involved in the Virginia Master Naturalists program?
- What were some of your favorite past volunteer and leadership projects with VMN?
- In what areas will you continue to volunteer or are looking forward to exploring?
- Do you have any favorite memories of amazing, odd or funny moments in your VMN training and volunteer work thus far?
- Please tell us about other interests and hobbies that you enjoy.
I am transferring to the Headwaters Chapter from the Riverine Chapter in Richmond. I have recently retired and moved to Staunton. I was a member of the Riverine Chapter’s Class of 2015, so have been a master naturalist for four years. I was active on the Board of the Riverines as Treasurer for two years and as Chairperson of the Projects Committee for one year. The project I have been most active on during the past four years is pulling invasive plants in Shenandoah National Park (SNP). I have been assigned a trail on Loft Mountain where I have been pulling invasive plants for the past seven years, even before I was a master naturalist. I am hoping to continue this work in SNP, as well as any other projects of this type with the Headwaters Chapter. I have already been active on some trail work projects in both SNP and the George Washington National Forest this year.
One of my favorite memories with the Riverine Chapter was our 10 year Anniversary Celebration. The Chapter celebrated the ten years it has been in existence with a picnic at the Rice Center off the James River in Charles County, Virginia. We gathered in the morning and everyone had the choice of working on one of two service projects for the Rice Center or attending a nature journaling class. We also held an informal photo contest. Afterwards we had a great lunch. Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to give back to the Rice Center where we often had continuing education classes on frogs, toads, salamanders and vernal pools, as well as having the opportunity to spend the day with Chapter members.
In addition to my work as a master naturalist, I enjoy hiking, camping, gardening (especially with native plants), and looking for spring wildflowers. I am looking forward to meeting everyone in the Headwaters Chapter at various events soon.
Welcome to the Headwaters Chapter Jean!
That’s her in the photo at top with the camera. She took some great photos on the Wildflowers of Virginia Shale Barrens trip on April 22, 2019. Photo credit: Malcolm Cameron, Cohort III.