Meet our Board: Andrea Dono

This is the fourth installment in a series to learn more about who’s doing the work behind the scenes to keep our Chapter running along.

Stephanie Gardner, HMN Board Historian and Parliamentarian, is conducting a series of online interviews with the members of our 2021 Board of Directors. Here we are featuring Andrea Dono, Secretary of the Board.

Andrea Dono, HMN Secretary

How long have you been a Virginia Master Naturalist?  Of which Headwaters Master Naturalist cohort are you a member? 

I was in cohort 5 and started class soon after moving here in 2016. I participated in a wildflower walk that year and was hooked.

What is your position on the HMN Board?  How long have you been serving?

I have been serving as secretary since I joined the board in 2018. I am a trained journalist and can transcribe conversations in real time so it’s always easy for me to take very thorough minutes.

Have you held other positions on the HMN Board?

No. I am finishing up my second term this year and will be cycling off the board.

What is your favorite thing about your role in the chapter?

I really enjoy being in the know about what is going on. It helps me feel connected.

What are your future hopes for our chapter?

I’d love to have a few more experiences available to non-members, like what we do for our wildflower walks. I had my application in for this program after my first walk and I feel like they are a good gateway to new members. After I took my first mushroom walk with Peggy and posted about it on Facebook, I had so many friends ask me how they could do that with me next time.

Where do you live in the Valley?  

I am in downtown Harrisonburg.

Are you originally from Virginia?

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and lived a bike ride away from the beach. My family moved to Virginia when I was in high school. It wasn’t until my junior year that I went hiking for the first time in my life at Little Devil’s Steps. I moved to Harrisonburg in 2016 and wanted to get immersed in the Valley and feel a greater connection to the Earth.

Please tell us a little about your past or present career(s).

I am the executive director for Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance – a nonprofit that supports small independent businesses, promotes historic preservation, and builds community. I always loved historic towns – probably as much as I enjoy the outdoors. I want to protect them and keep them from disappearing.

What do you enjoy doing when not volunteering for VMN? 

I spend a lot of time working with my rescue dog, George, who has become a bit of a part time job for me. I love exploring new trails, sometimes with him; learning my wildflowers; and trying to make new space for just one more house plant.

If you were an animal, plant or fungus; what kind would you be?

I’m into the collaborative approach to things so I am lichen.

What are you most looking forward to in 2022?

I just started my training modules to attempt to get a FNFSR/VASOS Benthic Macroinvertebrate certification so I can lead some benthic macroinvertebrate/water quality monitoring field days.

October 2021