News from the Board

Image by Hugo Hercer from Pixabay

Chapter Information from Our President, Brian Lux

Annual Meeting News: For the first time, we will be having our annual meeting virtually this January. We are working on details for the annual meeting, most likely in late January, and will get them to you as soon as we get them finalized.

At our last meeting, the board approved a dues waiver for 2021. If the $12 annual membership dues pose a hardship during the pandemic, you will be able to waive the dues requirement. And, you will continue to be able to vote this coming year in our annual meeting.

Give Back to the Chapter: Would you like to help the Chapter in a different role? The nominating committee is currently looking for individuals who may be interested in joining our board. Even if you have never had board experience, we’d love to talk with you. We are a fun group and typically meet about 4 times a year. These meetings last a couple of hours and allow us to plan new and exciting things for our chapter (and to connect with other chapters across the state). Interested in information on specific roles? Email Brian Lux for details.

Chapter Information from Our Membership Chair, Jean Stephens

This is a reminder that VMN enrollment and certification requirements were changed for 2020 due to the effects of COVID-19. In the event you did not receive the email from Michelle Prysby or just need a reminder, I have copied the requirements below. With the end of the year slowly creeping upon us, this is a reminder for you to record your hours for 2020 in the VMS as soon as possible. If you need help entering hours or have a question, please contact Jean Stephens.

VMN Enrollment and Certification

Staying a VMN volunteer in 2021: VMN volunteers who are currently enrolled now may remain enrolled in the program at the start of 2021, regardless of the number of hours of volunteer service contributed in 2020. In other words, if you are worried about being made “inactive” at the end of this year because you could not perform volunteer service in 2020, that no longer needs to be a concern.

Maintaining Certified VMN status for 2021: Currently enrolled VMN volunteers who have 1) previously attained the Certified Virginia Master Naturalist status in any year, or 2) been part of the program since 2018 or earlier but never Certified can earn Certified VMN status for 2021 by completing 20 hours of volunteer service and 4 hours of continuing education in 2020. This is a 50% reduction from the usual 40+8.

Earning First-time Certification: Currently enrolled VMN volunteers who took basic training courses in 2019 or 2020 and who have not yet completed the requirements for Certified Virginia Master Naturalist status will still have to complete 40 hours of service and 8 hours of continuing education to earn their first-time Certified Virginia Master Naturalist status, but they will have an extended time frame to complete those requirements. Each chapter can work with its recent trainees to determine what that time frame should be, but we are suggesting an extra 6 to 12 months to complete the requirements. This means that a person who graduated from basic training in November 2019 would have until sometime in the second half of 2021 to complete the 40+8 (compared to the normal deadline of November 2020). Each chapter will work out a plan based on their schedule and situation, so if you fall into this category, please contact your local chapter leaders.