WVU Core Arboretum News and Notes
Mountaineer Audubon Spring Bird Walks start April 20
April 9, 2021
Spring is here! Mark your calendars for the Mountaineer Audubon spring bird walks. We are very excited to share our spectacular old-growth forest and its migratory birds with the public again this spring, but things are going to be a little bit different this year. The Mountaineer Audubon Spring Bird Walks will happen on the last two Tuesdays in April and the first three Tuesdays in May at 7:30 am each day. These are guided tours; volunteer guides will lead participants to the best birding spots in the Arboretum, and they will identify birds by sight and sound along the way. We will limit each group size to 20 participants, free online registration is required (use this link: https://wvuarboretum-springbirdwalks.eventbrite.com), and mask wearing is required. More information is available in the registration link. Groups wishing to schedule a group tour should contact Zach Fowler, Arboretum Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. People are always welcome to visit and see the birds on their own, too, and there will be Arboretum bird checklists at the kiosk. Last year, more than 70 species of birds were seen and/or heard over the course of these walks. Photo by Steve Shaluta.
by Zach Fowler
WVU Department of Biology Spring Ephemeral Wildflower Walks start April 4
March 20, 2021
Spring is here! Mark your calendars for the WVU Department of Biology spring ephemeral wildflower walks. We are very excited to share our spectacular old-growth forest and its spring ephemeral wildflowers with the public again this spring, but things are going to be a little bit different this year. The WVU Department of Biology Spring Ephemeral Wildflower Walks will happen on Sundays in April at 9:00, 9:30, 12:00, 12:30, 3:00, and 3:30. We will limit each group size to 10 participants, free online registration is required (use this link: https://wvuarboretum-springwildflowerwalks.eventbrite.com), and mask wearing is required. More information is available in the registration link. More tours may be added to the calendar, depending on volunteer guide availability. Groups wishing to schedule a group tour should contact Zach Fowler, Arboretum Director, at email@example.com. People are always welcome to visit and see the flowers on their own, too, and there will be information at the kiosk about how to find the flowers and how to identify the flowers that you find. Do not miss the flowers this year! Last year, more than 45 species of plants were seen in bloom over the course of the wildflower walks. (Read more about spring ephemeral wildflowers.)
by Zach Fowler
Running and Walking Loop installed at WVU Core Arboretum
October 18, 2020
Explore the Arboretum and get some exercise on the
WVU Core Arboretum Running and Walking Loop
. This 1.75 mile loop has frequent signs to guide visitors along existing
Arboretum trails through some of the most beautiful spots in the Arboretum
while avoiding the steepest trails (it is still hilly). The loop is
a great way for new visitors to see much of the Arboretum without worrying
about bringing along a map, too! The loop starts and ends at the WVU
Coliseum Parking Lot entrance to the Arboretum, and it is bisected by the
Caperton Rail Trail. Follow the gold and blue signs to stay on the loop.
The WVU Core Arboretum Running and Walking Loop was made possible by the
efforts of the WVU Exercise Physiology Club.
by Zach Fowler
WVU Core Arboretum/WVU Herbarium 2020 Newsletters
Christmas Bird Count for Kids at WVU Core Arboretum
December 4, 2019
Bring your kids to WVU Core Arboretum on Saturday, December 7, from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm to learn about birds, birding, and how to participate in citizen science while spending some time outside on a winter day! We will learn about the Christmas Bird Count--a 120 year old citizen science effort coordinated by the National Audubon Society, then we will do a bird walk and count of our own in the Arboretum. We will also have information available about how to participate in the real Christmas Bird Count the following week. This event is most appropriate for school-age kids, but younger kids are welcome with appropriate supervision. No birding experience is necessary, and first-time birders are encouraged! We will tally our birds and celebrate with hot drinks and snacks after the bird walkers return from their walks. The event will be outside, so please dress for the weather. This event is free and open to everyone, no registration required.
by Zach Fowler
Pawpaw Parties and Pawpaw Festival at WVU Core Arboretum
September 10, 2019
Come to WVU Core Arboretum to taste pawpaws!
The pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is the largest fruit native to West Virginia. Pawpaws have a delicious tropical flavor that some describe as a combination of banana, mango, and pineapple and a smooth, creamy texture. Pawpaws ripen in autumn, and the Arboretum’s trees typically produce enough ripe fruit to gather and share sometime in September.
To celebrate and share this delicious fruit that grows naturally in WV, WVU Core Arboretum hosts Pawpaw Parties every year. Even though pawpaws are fairly common, many people have never tasted a pawpaw, and we hope to change that! Pawpaw Parties are rather informal, but they have become a much-anticipated annual event at WVU Core Arboretum, and this will be our fifth year doing it! A table will be set up in the lawn area at the Arboretum, and all are welcome to stop by and try a pawpaw. Literature about pawpaws and how to grow the pawpaw seeds that will be left after trying the fruit will also be available. Depending on how long the pawpaw season lasts, we will try to host several Pawpaw Parties. Pay attention to the Calendar of Events section of this webpage and our social media pages for more details. Pawpaw Parties are free and open to the public.
Also, on September 28, we are having the second annual
WV Pawpaw Festival
at the Arboretum! We are collaborating with Neal Peterson from Peterson Pawpaws
and local chefs including Marion Ohlinger from Hill and Hollow to present
pawpaws to the public in both fresh and prepared versions. We are also going
to have live music and fun activities for all at the Pawpaw Festival. More
information about the Pawpaw Festival will be posted soon, as we get plans
finalized. The Pawpaw Festival is also free and open to the public, and we
hope to see you there!
by Zach Fowler
Moth Night 2019 at WVU Core Arboretum
July 13, 2019National Moth Week is July 20-28, and WVU Core Arboretum is celebrating by inviting everyone to a Moth Night at the Arboretum! Friday, July 26, from 9:00-11:00 pm we will have sheets and lights set up in the Arboretum lawn area to attract moths, and there will be experts on hand to identify the moths that we attract! Last year, we saw more than 75 species of moths and numerous other insects. There is not a formal program for this free event, and all are welcome to stop by any time between 9 and 11 to learn about moths and how to attract and study them. Bring a flashlight. The event will be cancelled if it is raining.
by Zach Fowler
Nature Connection at WVU Core Arboretum
May 29, 2019
Local and regional experts on a variety of nature-related subjects give public talks at the Arboretum each summer as part of the WVU Core Arboretum Nature Connection Series . The Nature Connection Series talks happen on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 at the WVU Core Arboretum Amphitheater, starting in early June and continuing through late August. See either our Calendar of Events or Nature Connection Series page for speakers and talk titles. These talks are free and open to the public, and no registration is required. All of the talks are outdoors, so please dress for the weather. Talks will be moved or cancelled if the weather is inclement. Come be a part of the WVU Core Arboretum nature crew!
The 2019 WVU Core Arboretum Nature Connection Series is supported by the WVU Department of Biology, the WVU Core Arboretum Endowment, the Robert C. Cull Outreach Fellowship, and donations from the public. All speakers are volunteers. Thank you to all who support the mission of WVU Core Arboretum!
by Zach Fowler
Help us with a citizen science bird study!
June 1, 2018The urban bird demography project seeks to understand patterns of survival and habitat use of urban birds in and around Morgantown, West Virginia. We do so by placing markers on birds that allow us to distinguish among individuals. We then re-sight marked birds and record the location where we found the bird. You can help us re-sight marked birds! Follow the link below to read more about the project and learn how you can help us re-sight marked birds.
by Chris Rota
Chris Rota is an Assistant Professor of Wildlife and Fisheries Resources at WVU
WVU Core Arboretum spring ephemeral flower poem
April 28, 2018The following letter and poem were recently shared with our director as an email from a visitor from China. Please read them; the poem is excellent, and it really captures the ecology of the spring ephemeral wildflowers!
Graduate student research at WVU Core ArboretumAugust 10 , 2016
How does wildlife adapt to urban areas? This is one of the major questions for my
dissertation research at West Virginia University. The secretive and elusive Cooper’s
hawk was once only seen in dense forested areas but is a now a common visitor in
our backyards and city parks. This makes this bird an ideal candidate for understanding
how species are adapting to urban environments. For my research, I have been taking
genetic samples from Cooper’s hawks all across the country to compare those that
nest in urban areas to those that nest in more traditional forested areas. The
Arboretum has been home to a few different species of birds of prey including red-tailed
hawks, barred owls, and Cooper’s hawks. In at least the last two summers, a breeding
pair of Cooper’s hawks have chosen the Arboretum as the best place to raise their
young, and I was lucky enough to catch these birds to collect genetic samples for
my research (the birds were released unharmed back to their nest). Using these
samples, I hope to get a better understanding of how the genes of wildlife change
as a result of living in close proximity to humans. The Arboretum is home to dozens
of species of wildlife, including the Cooper’s hawk, which makes this place an
important safe haven in an urban jungle.
by Meghan Jensen
Meghan Jensen is a Ph.D. candidate in the Wildlife and Fisheries Program of the WVU Division of Forestry and Natural Resources.
WVU Core Arboretum Calendar of Events
April 4: Spring Ephemeral Wildflower Walks (6 walk times)
April 7: Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
April 11: Spring Ephemeral Wildflower Walks (6 walk times)
April 14: Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
April 21: Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
April 28: Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
May 4: Spring Bird Walk (7:30 am)
May 5: Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
May 11: Spring Bird Walk (7:30 am)
May 12: Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
May 18: Spring Bird Walk (7:30 am)
May 19: Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
WVU Core Arboretum Trail Map
If you want to follow signs on a 1.75 mile loop through much of the Arboretum, check out the WVU Core Arboretum Running and Walking Loop . This loop avoids the steepest hills, but it is still hilly.
Directions to WVU Core Arboretum
The WVU Core Arboretum is located adjacent to the WVU Coliseum and directly across
Monongahela Blvd. from the WVU Creative Arts Center.
WVU Core Arboretum Photos
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