Our 2017 VMN Statewide Conference and Training is just 5 months away, and members of the VMN-Shenandoah Chapter and VMN program staff have been busy planning the program, lining up instructors, making arrangements with the venue, and handling all the logistics to make this our biggest and best conference yet. This is an exclusive event, open only to VMN volunteers!
We'll be taking over the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center in Front Royal, VA, where we will make use of up to 8 classroom and meeting spaces, grounds with a trail that connects to the Appalachian Trail, a large dining hall, and lodging. The center is on top of a hill with excellent views of a beautiful part of the state.
We have approximately 40 sessions for attendees to choose from. Here are some of the topics you can learn about:
- Black Bear Conservation with Seth Thompson of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
- Overcoming the Fear of Flora: Learning to Use the Flora of Virginia with native plant experts Marion Lobstein and Sally Anderson
- Protection and Monitoring of High Elevation Plant Species with Wendy Cass of the National Park Service
- Wood Turtle Life History, Movement Ecology, and Conservation with Jonathan Drescher-Lehman of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
On top of all that, if you want to come early, we will have 5 different pre-conference sessions on Friday, including a program at Blandy Experimental Farm and State Arboretum.
Our program is old enough to now have some traditions, and we’ll be bringing back your favorites to the conference as well. Expect the Friday night “Chapter Share Fair” where you can show off the great things your chapter is doing and gather ideas from others. The VMN photo contest will return in a new digital format . (Note that there are limited entries per chapter; some chapters have an internal competition ahead of time to choose their entries.) We will also have program awards, so watch for information about nominations which will be sent out in the coming weeks.
The Registration Process
A brief agenda is now posted on the conference website. The full program will be posted in May so that you can look at the choice of sessions and pick your favorites (and back-ups, because sessions fill quickly!) The main registration will open in mid-July. Registration details will be sent through the Volunteer Management System once they are posted, so watch your email for that information.
We hope to see you in September!