Thank You Bird and Wildlife Trail Monitors!

August 2018 photo of the Bird and Wildlife Trail sign at Silver Lake. Since then the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has been renamed the VA Department of Wildlife Resources and the Birding and Wildlife Trail program has dropped the “ing” in Birding to become the Bird and Wildlife Trail.

A big “Thank You” to all HMN BWT volunteers and an appeal for new monitors for 2022

From project coordinator Sandy Greene

Our chapter responded to the request to adopt all three the Bird and Wildlife Trails in Augusta and Rockingham Counties, and YOU rose to the site monitoring challenge.  YOU found your places, explored and learned more about what grew and moved there, took other visitors, picked up trash, mended trails, photographed and sent in love notes about them to Cheryl and Sandy.  We in turn compiled your notes and photos and reported to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), and the North River Ranger District of the George Washington/Jefferson National Forest.

Thank you for your commitment, your diligence and study, and your creativity as we searched for the most beneficial way to highlight and care for these special natural areas.  Your visits were more important than you may have thought, when looked at in composite: 

  • We began including eBird data in our reports, which prompted the DWR to add eBird hotspot links on their website to each of the Bird and Wildlife Trail sites.
  • These sites have been the logical destinations for Wildflower Walks for many years, for Wildflowers and Warblers, Dragonfly study, Butterfly and bird counts, and a Frog-Calling Workshop.  Advertising to the public, and becoming more confident about hosting and leading events has elevated the beauty, ecological value and comfortable accessibility of our public lands.
  • Having reports on file at our agencies insures more accurate website information. 
  • Learning to navigate to our sites, knowing where to park, where the trails really go, where and when the wildflowers are blooming, and birds are migrating, has enriched our Master Naturalist skills, events and training.
  • Monitoring has prompted us to learn to use eBird and iNaturalist – even as we struggle with our phones and connectivity.  We’re at least on the learning curve.

Thank you for becoming the students, stewards and advocates for your sites. 

We are excited about the direct and real-time reporting changes coming this year to the Bird and Wildlife Trail programs through CitSci.   At the chapter level, we will also change to an annual commitment for monitors.  If you love your sites, wonderful!  Sign back up.  If you’re worn out, or need a break, that’s ok too.  We sure do understand! 

If you would like to become a monitor for a particular site (or sites) for this year, call or text one of us. We will be actively recruiting for all of our sites soon.  All of us will need some orientation to CitSci, to the new online format for reporting.  We are also recruiting experts in using eBird and iNaturalist, and will be hosting virtual training and supporting every monitors’ skills in these programs.  The VMN already has wonderful training videos ready for us.

We have so enjoyed partnering and learning with you in this project!  – Sandy and Cheryl

Here is a listing of all our sites with the names of HMNs who have helped monitor them over the past six years. Pick a site (or two or more) and contact Sandy or Cheryl to sign up for this year: 2022!

Forest Trails Loop

Sandy Greene: 540-487-1224  |  greenes104 [at]

MFT01Montgomery Hall Park(Breyette Lorntz )Merrilee Lianez
MFT02Goshen WMA Derek Blyer (Kim McCray)
MFT03Augusta SpringsAllen and Shelley Baker, Deb Pugh
MFT04Crawford Mtn Elliott KnobJohn Bauman
MFT05Braley PondBarb Phillips
MFT06Ramseys DraftMerrilee Lianez, John Bauman, Dave Wendelken
MFT07Shenandoah MountainLisa Klein

North River Loop

Cheryl Shull:  540-383-5390  | cherylshull [at]

MNR01Silver LakePeggy Plass, John Shuster
MNR02Paul State ForestCheryl Shull
MNR03Switzer LakeAdrie Voors and Carl Droms
MNR04Hone QuarryKathy McKenzie
MNR05Briery BranchKristina Oates
MNR06Flagpole KnobKate Guenther
MNR07Reddish KnobKate Guenther
MNR08Hearthstone LakeChip Brown
MNR09Todd LakeKathy Byers
MNR10Natural ChimneysJanet Joseph, Merrilee Lianez, Kelly Rourke –

Lost Shoe Loop

Cheryl Shull: 540-383-5390  |  cherylshull [at]

MLS01New Market BattlefieldKim Atkins, Jay and Sharon Landis
MLS02Slate Lick FieldsJay and Sharon Landis
MLS03Long Run RoadJay and Sharon Landis
MLS03ACarrier ArboretumKathy McKenzie
MLS04Lake Campbell
MLS05Lake ShenandoahDave Forrer
MLS06Leonard’s PondKelly Jones
MLS07Mountain View Park Grottoes
MLS08Grand CavernsBurt Blessing
MLS09Madison RunPam and Lincoln Gray

Thanks to all, and please forgive us if we have missed any details.

Sandy Greene, Cohort I, January 2022

Here is a Google map of all the sites. Thanks to Carl Droms, Cohort II, for creating it … way back in 2015!