Category: Education

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? July 26, 2018

July 26, 2018 - Kids! by Forester Lisa Deaton Many localities and organizations offer great opportunities for kids to enjoy the outdoors at summer camps and day camps.  The Virginia Department of Forestry, in cooperation with natural resource conservation agencies and organizations, offers Holiday Lake Forestry Camp for 13-16 year olds every summer at the Holiday Lake 4-H Center near Appomattox, Virginia. Our local day-campers all learn about Smokey Bear and his fire prevention... Read More

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? July 10, 2018

July 10, 2018 - Turtles by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Why do turtles cross the road? The answer turns out to be the same as the famous chicken riddle:  to get to the other side.  The US Fish and Wildlife Service provides information on how to safely assist turtles in the direction they are traveling here: . Driving with your full attention on the road in front of you is always a good... Read More

DOF Employee Earns 2018 National Smokey Bear Award

May 23, 2018 - The 2018 National Smokey Bear Awards were recently announced and Fred Turck (wildfire prevention program manager), along with other prevention specialists from the Mid-Atlantic Forest Fire Compact, were awarded the highest honor, the Gold Smokey. This award program is sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council. Since 1957 this prestigious award program has recognized organizations and individuals for outstanding service of at least... Read More

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? May 9, 2018

May 9, 2018 - by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Flowers, Birds and Bugs When the songbirds and wildflowers reappear each spring, it feels a bit like a reunion with long lost friends.  The migratory songbirds fill the air with familiar songs.  The month of May brings many beautiful wildflowers, including its namesake, the Mayapple (below). Golden ragwort (top photo) is a common wildflower in cutovers, and this large patch of ragwort (below) provides some... Read More

Petersburg Third-Graders Boost Science Skills With Project Plant It!

April 24, 2018 - by Suyapa Marquez, Senior Community Affairs Representative for Dominion Energy Page Hutchinson, DOF’s forest education specialist, gave a special forestry presentation to all third-graders in Petersburg public schools on March 19. Students from the area’s four elementary schools came in two shifts to Walnut Hill Elementary School for an educational field trip that will help boost their science skills when the SOL testing period begins. The field trip is part of... Read More

Field Notes: The Beauty of March

March 23, 2018 - by DOF Area Forester Richard Reuse March and April are the most beautiful months in Virginia. Relative humidity is low, the spring ephemeral wildflowers are blooming and the bugs aren’t out yet….except for the ticks. Here are some of the things I’ve seen this month. These are trout lilies. It’s very unusual to find them in eastern Virginia. Oh deer…there’s a fungus among us. A nice loblolly pine stand that... Read More

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? March 23, 2018

March 23, 2018 - by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Wildlife and Clearcuts, Part-One Cutover tracts of timber can look bleak during winter, but this leaf-less time of the year presents a great chance to see signs of wildlife.  It is also easy to encounter wildlife in clearcuts because many species take advantage of the change in habitat.  The Young Forest Project provides much more information on growing wildlife habitat and the benefits of young... Read More

Field Notes: Name Those Tracks!

February 22, 2018 - by Forestry Technician Jesse Bander Can you identify these tracks found on a muddy stream bank? If you guessed a raccoon (Procyon lotor lotor), you know your tracks!  Raccoons are very active this time of year, with February being the middle of their breeding season (January – March). For more information on this common, but mischievous, mammal please visit:  

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? Feb. 21, 2018

February 21, 2018 - Owls and Berries by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Last week began with finding an owl pellet in my yard.  Lately I have been hearing the call of great horned owls.  In the past, we have seen barred owls and eastern screech-owls. There are many good branches on the loblolly pine directly overhead for an owl to perch and digest a meal. I took a second look at the pellet after... Read More

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? Feb. 5, 2018

February 12, 2018 - Waiting for Spring by Area Forester Lisa Deaton This great blue heron, like many of us, seems to be contemplating warmer weather. The daffodils in the eastern part of the state are getting ready to bloom. The squirrels are carrying mouthfuls of leaves from the forest floor and adding them to their nests in the trees.  I tried to catch a photo of that, but squirrels move so fast. The... Read More