Cindy Westley recently transferred to the Headwaters Chapter from the Rivanna Chapter next door to us. To help introduce her to Chapter members, HMN Stephanie Gardner corresponded with Cindy to find out a bit about her and her work with the Master Naturalists program:
How long have you been involved in the Virginia Master Naturalists program?
I became a Virginia Master Naturalist through the Rivanna Chapter in 2008.
What were some of your favorite past volunteer and leadership projects with VMN?
I participated in the Curriculum Committee for many years. I served on the Board of Directors for three years and was President in 2019. I appreciate the work so many people do on the administrative end of keeping a Chapter going. I enjoy being part of many projects – blue bird monitoring, bird-watching, invasive removal, water clean-up, and education/outreach. My favorite project has been Bird and Wildlife Trail monitoring. I enjoy seeing how the trail, its flora and fauna change with the seasons.
In what areas will you continue to volunteer or are looking forward to exploring?
My husband and I moved to Sunnyside Retirement Community in 2020. There is an active Green Committee here. In addition to education and advocacy for environmental issues, we eradicate invasives and plant natives, maintain trails, and are starting a Bluebird monitoring program.
Do you have any favorite memories of amazing, odd or funny moments in your VMN training and volunteer work thus far?
The first thing that comes to mind was a unique opportunity to help transcribe the transcripts from a Charlottesville radio program Bess Murray (a dedicated naturalist) hosted, “Natural History Notes”. Each piece is unique, engaging and educational. Some of the original pieces are available on the Ivy Creek Foundation website: https://ivycreekfoundation.org/nhnotes
Please tell us about other interests and hobbies that you enjoy.
I’m a retired UVA nurse. I enjoy being outdoors as much as possible, appreciating and learning about nature as well as having adventures. I enjoy puzzles of all kinds – jigsaw to escape rooms.
Welcome to the Headwaters Chapter, Cindy!
– February 2022