Members Only

Dot Field Guidance Due to CoVID-19 Virginia Closings

I hope the message finds everyone doing well. Hopefully, we’ll all be able to get back to normal activities soon.

I know that you have all heard about Gov. Northam’s executive order for all Virginians to stay at home except for essential activities. Please note that your volunteer work for the MN Program and DCR-DNH is greatly appreciated, but it is not considered “essential”. State agencies and most other partners have put volunteer-based projects on hold until after June 10. On the part of DNH, this includes stewardship walks, trail maintenance and beach/trail cleanups. The preserves love your care, but they will survive with minimum attention for a few weeks. We are more interested in your well- being. 

Also, at this point the preserves and adjoining beaches remain open to the public for exercise purposes. Please note, however, that the only activities permitted in the order are exercise and fishing. I would suggest that you exercise in the close proximity of your home, but if you feel compelled to visit one of the NAPs, please do so at generally uncrowded times, and if the parking lot is full, return another day. Be aware that engaging in any activities other than exercise or fishing can result in a citation and misdemeanor. In addition, it is important to follow the 6 foot social distancing and 10 person group size mandates. State Conservation Officers and possibly local law enforcement entities will be enforcing these mandates. It would also be appreciated if you would forgo sending out any e-bird alerts regarding sightings on the NAPs. 

Please pass this information on to your family and aquaintances.

Thank you in advance for helping me and Richard protect our NAPs and each other. We’ll see everyone on the other side of this hill.

Chapter Meetings, Advanced Training and Projects

Chapter Meeting Schedule

March 18, 2020 Chapter Meeting is CANCELLED due to the CoVid-19 pandemic.

May 13, 2020 Chapter Picnic is CANCELLED due to the CoVid-19 pandemic.

July 15, 2020 Chapter Meeting is CANCELLED due to the CoVid-19 pandemic.

September 16, 2020 Chapter Meeting at Eastern Shore Community College, 5;30 pm Meet and Greet, 6:00 pm Meeting. Speaker TBD

November 18, 2020 Chapter Meeting at Eastern Shore Community College, 5:30 pm Meet and Greet. 6:30 pm Meeting, Speaker TBA

Virginia Eastern Shore Chapter Board Meeting Schedule

February 24,, 2020 at 2:00 pm

April 27, 2020 is CANCELLED due to the CoVid-19 pandemic.

June 15, 2020 at 2:00 pm

August 17, 2020 at 2:00 pm

October 19, 2020 at 2:00 pm

December 14, 2020 at 2:00 pm

Eastern Shore Bird Club

Directions to The Commonwealth Senior Living at the Eastern Shore (formerly The Hermitage)
Meetings are held at “The Commonwealth Senior Living”, 23610 North Main St., Onancock, VA 23417
Directions:   From the stoplight in Onley on Rt. 13, take VA Rt. 179 West into the town of Onancock. Pass the Roseland Movie Theater on your left, then take next right onto North St. (Rt. 658). The Hermitage is ½ mile on your left. . Programs are open to all. Field Trips are for members only. JOIN TODAY!! ($15 single, $25 family)

Eastern Shore Master Naturalist 2020 Chapter meeting reminder that joining the bird club and participating is a way to get almost all of your advanced training hours.

Aug. 18 Field Trip:  Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Meet at Visitor Center   Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. Bus trip on refuge service road to view 20+ migrating shorebird species in impoundments   Leaders: Hal and Joanne Laskowski. 410-253-9141($10/Limit of 20 Participants)

Waste Watchers

Hello fellow Master Naturalists!  Are you looking for a project to work on?  Waste Watchers of the Eastern Shore of Virginia (ESVA), an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, would like to invite you to join us in removing litter and trash from along our highways, shorelines, and other crucial points on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  Your volunteer time can be charged to E0-06 Waste Watchers or S-13 Waste Watchers Trash Pickup.

Waste Watchers is an independent, non-profit (contributions are tax deductible) volunteer community group that promotes the responsible disposal of waste on our beautiful peninsula. We work in ways large and small, from picking up litter and supporting the VDOT Adopt-a-Highway litter abatement program to influencing public policy.   Waste Watchers works with the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission (ANPDC) through the GreenWorks Committee to better collaborate with our local governments and serve our region.  Garbage that isn’t disposed of properly hurts everyone.  It’s dangerous, costly and just plain ugly.  It’s also killing off the very wildlife we love so much on the Shore. 

Waste Watchers has a team of volunteers (The Trash Talkers) who will visit schools, businesses, organizations or homes to educate folks about reducing consumption, reusing and recycling.  We facilitate litter pick-up events all over the Shore in an effort to clean up one roadway at a time.  We also sponsor events such as essay contests in the local schools in an effort to educate our younger generation about proper waste disposal and management.

Waste Watchers meets the second Wednesday of every month from 5:30-7:30 PM at the Sage Diner in Onley.  We recently changed our meeting time in order to accommodate more folks.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  Please come by and see what we are all about. Our next meeting will be February 12th.  Please join us!

For more information, visit our website at, and check out the link to our Facebook page.  Or, call Marilyn Ailes, our current leader at 757-824-0608 or Shannon Alexander, our ANPDC member and representative, at 757-787-1550.

The Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences (VIMS)

The seminars are free and open to everyone.  Coffee and light refreshments will be provided.  For further information call VIMS at 757-787-5816.

The seminar is available as a real-time webcast you can view online. 

Please go to:  and log in as a guest at the time of the event.  David Boyd has successfully watched the seminar remotely.  He can answer any questions about that process.

Advanced Training

2020 Virginia Master Naturalist Photo Contest
Eastern Shore Chapter

As you may already know, there is no statewide contest this year, so we are organizing and having our very own contest. We have devised a clever carrot to dangle in front of all you shutterbugs. Award certificates will be given to first place, and 2nd place. The budget was limited so 3rd place will receive a virtual “high five”.

As coordinator, I will be responsible for receiving your submissions, and grouping them by category. As I did last year, any identifying data was removed prior to emailing the images to the judges so the photographer remained anonymous and judging was by image alone. The board will choose a 3 member panel to jury the images.

Any image submitted must have been captured on the Eastern Shore from January 1, 2020 to October 31st, 2020.

The categories are more general this year and they are as follows:

1. Landscapes
2. Flora
3. Birds
4. Insects
5. Wildlife


How to enter:

1. Only one entry per person per category.
2. Your final image must be in the JPG or JPEG format at an aspect ratio of 16:9. You must rename your image to include your last name and the category you want your image to be judged.
3. When you have your photograph(s) formatted and renamed, email them to I will acknowledge your email within 24 hours so need to send me an email asking me if I received your email. Please note: if you are having difficulty with emailing your images to me, let me know and I will try to help. Best way to do this is by texting 757-536-1523. I will get back in touch with you.

That’s it folks. We are keeping it simple and hopefully encouraging everyone to submit at least one photo. That certificate will look good on your wall! Winners will be announced late November or early December.

Great Backyard Butterfly Count for the Eastern Shore of VA

Citizen Science project CS-24 has some different rules for the unusual year of 2020

The Count will take place from August 1-7. You will need to identify and count the butterflies you see in your own yard, any other private property you choose, or in a Natural Area Preserve. You do not need to be a member of a stewardship committee to report from one of the preserves.

You can do counts as frequently and for as long as you want from August 1 – 7. You can work with others using safe distancing guidelines.

You will then file a report for each of your count periods noting the details of your visit.

To register for this Citizen Science Project

Send an email to Carolyn McGavock,

You will receive Instructions, a list of those butterflies most likely to be seen in our area, and a tally sheet for reporting your observations. All will be in downloadable form.

This will be great training in butterfly identification in preparation for future butterfly counts on the Shore.

Instructions for Accessing the Volunteer Management System

If you have questions about the Virginia Master Naturalist Volunteer Management System please contact the chapter’s timekeeper:
Sharon Renshaw
856 524-6586.

Your personal data has been entered into the Virginia Master Naturalist Volunteer Management System.  After your final training class you will receive an automated email from Sharon Renshaw providing access to this system.  The message will contain a link which allows you to log on to the Volunteer Management System.  The link only works once!

Click on the link and you will see the home page of the Eastern Shore Chapter’s section of the Virginia Master Naturalist Volunteer Management System where you will enter and track your volunteer and advanced training hours.

  1. The very first action you should take is to look under “Your Information” in the upper left corner of the page.
  2. Choose  “Edit Your Profile
  3. Scroll down to the box that says “Change Password.”  Choose and enter a password.
  4. Be sure to click onSAVE INFORMATION” at the bottom of this page.

From that point on, you will be able to enter the system with the following address: .
Username: your email address
Password:  the password which you have just chosen.

You will not receive or use the initial invitation again.  If, in the future, you have problems with your password contact Sharon Renshaw.  I will send another automated email message to you.  Follow the same steps.

You will use this site to enter your volunteer and advanced training hours.  You can also use this site to edit your profile, check for chapter announcements, review definitions of all projects and find contact information for other members.

Webinar Training

Using the Virginia Master Naturalist Volunteer Management System (VMN-VMS)

To enter the system:

    Enter your email address
    Enter your password
  2. To Enter Volunteer Hours.
  • Under “Your Information” on the left side of the home screen, choose “Add New Hours.”
  • In the top box of the next screen, enter a description for your volunteer event (e.g. cleaned the shoreline at Savage Neck Dunes NAP )
  • Enter the date.
  • Next choose the official title from the approved volunteer projects listed in the drop-down box. This includes administration, citizen science, educational programs and stewardship. Administration (A-1) is only used for chapter administration.
  • Enter the number of volunteer hours. This includes activity time and travel time combined.
  • There is also a field for entering your miles driven. In 2017 you could use miles driven for a federal tax deduction for volunteer activitie.  There may be changes in 2018 deductions.
  • The “Population Served” section should be completed any time you have had a face-to-face interaction with the public.
  • VERY IMPORTANT –SAVE your information using the Save Hours button at the bottom of the page.
  1. To Enter Advanced Training Hours
  • Advanced Training is used when you receive the education/training from someone else.
  • Choose  “Add New “ from the upper left corner of the screen.
  • Enter a description of the class or training which you attended.
  • Enter the date.
  • Choose the official title of A-2 Advanced Training”
  • Enter the hours in the Continuing Education box—not volunteer hours.
  • Do not add travel time for advanced training.
  • Do not fill in the population served section.
  • SAVE your information at the bottom of the page.
  1. To correct or delete hours which you have already entered.
  • Choose “ View Your Hours” from the upper left corner of the home screen.
  • Click on the entry which you wish to change.
  • Make any changes which you need to make.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the screen and
  • To delete an activity, choose the activity, scroll to the bottom of the screen and choose DELETE.
  1. To update your personal information.
  • Use Update Profile when you need to change personal information or want to change your pass word.  SAVE

GENERAL INFORMATION at the bottom left hand corner of the screen

  • Use Chapter Roster find contact information for chapter members
  • Use the Projects link to see the complete list of approved projects and to find details about the projects.

Accessing the Virginia Master Naturalists Webinar Advanced Training.

To be certified and maintain certification every year as a Virginia Master Naturalist, volunteers are required to complete 8 hours of continuing education.  To assist volunteers needing to meet this requirement, the state program office offers continuing education through our annual statewide conference, an online webinar series, and regional workshops associated with specific projects.

Use this link to register for webinar advanced training

Ordering Clothing with our ESVA Master Naturalist Logo

You can order any type of clothing that is carried by the Lands End business clothing division.  To do this use the steps listed below:

1.            Enter the following link into your address bar:

                You MUST use the above link—NOT in order to reach the logo.

2.          Shop any of the styles/products/colors in the catalog, the way you normally would shop.  When you have chosen your item, you will see a box which says ADD LOGO.  At this time you will be given the opportunity to add our butterfly logo with chapter name for $5.95 to $8.50 extra.  Because you have entered using the above link, Lands End will automatically show you the ESVA logo. You will be able to see howthe logo will appear on your chosen item.   This site includes all types of clothing, as well as promotional items such as bags, mugs, office supplies, etc.

3.          You may also enter Lands End business using the link on the lower right corner (front screen) of the volunteer management system which you use to enter hours.