FWC PROGRAMS FOR 2021

 

 

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING FIRST:

 

(ALL PROGRAMS ARE ON SATURDAYS UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Additional program details will be provided as dates draw closer, so please check back for final changes and details that may be of importance.

 

RESERVATIONS: To assist in the logistical planning for each event, we request that you RSVP to FWC General Manager, Sheila Bach, by email (naturesheila@gmail.com) or by phone (571) 271-6267 or to the alternate person/email indicated in the event write-up.

DIRECTIONS: The FWC is in a secluded forest setting on the Blue Ridge that is reached via an unpaved, winding road over the last portion of the route. If you have not visited the FWC before, we strongly recommend that you consult our DIRECTIONS PAGE before heading out to visit and/or use the Waze app on your smart phone to locate the Niles Cabin and to allow at least 20 minutes extra time to your travel time to provide yourself a time cushion for contingencies.

PROGRAM COST: Except where noted, there is no set cost for a program BUT we do ask that you make a donation to the FWC for each program commensurate with the enjoyment you received from the program. FWC is entirely dependent on donations for meeting its operating expenses, and your donations help keep the lights on and programs such as the ones you enjoyed, being offered in the future. When making an online donation via our website’s Support Page, please use the notes feature to indicate the program or purpose for which you are making the donation to help us tie your donation to a particular program reservation.

MEALS: Due to COVID restrictions we are currently NOT OFFERING home-cooked meals as an option when you visit for programs. However, Brown Bag lunches are always acceptable, but we ask that you make sure to take all personal beverage containers away when you leave to recycle at home.

The following are the FWC-sponsored programs that are currently scheduled for 2021. As the pandemic situation permits, we will hopefully return to offering more in-person programs while following state, Federal and CDC guidelines regarding masks, social distancing, and recommended mitigation protocols. While we expect it will be some time before pre-COVID visitation protocols and face-to-face programs can resume, please consider visiting the Friends Center to avail yourself of the beauty and grace of Nature that our trails and woods have in abundance and breathe in the freshness and vitality of what we hope will be a happier New Year for us allIf coming out for a hike, please call ahead to let Sheila Bach know that you will be coming and about when you expect to arrive at the Niles Cabin.

 

Date: Saturday, January 9, 2021

Time: 4 PM EST

RSVP: svasterias@gmail.com for zoom link

 Sustainability is often sought after, but what does it mean to be sustainable? Is it a state or a process? How can you work toward it? Can you measure your efforts or progress? How does sustainability apply to buildings or organizations?

These questions will be explored by the Benson family in the context of their lives as climate activists and with the backdrop of Friends Wilderness Center.

 The Benson family are: Kimberly, Carl, Kallan (16), & Reece (15) are long-time climate activists working at the local, state, national, & international levels. Kimberly also serves on the board of FWC.

 Please RSVP to receive access information for this virtual event.

 FWC programs are free, but participants who are able are encouraged to donate to support the work of the center. $10/person is suggested, but any amount is welcome and donations are not required. We never want money to be an impediment to your participation. 

 

EVENT: “What Sustains Us:  A guided Meditation on the Ground of Joy"

Date: Saturday, February 13, 2021

Time: 10 AM until Noon EST

 Friends Wilderness Center is inviting you to “What Sustains Us:  A guided Meditation on the Ground of Joy" on Saturday, February 13 from 10:00am until noon.  This meditation will involve reflections that arise from the desire to ground ourselves in nature and the divine.  It will be led by Liz Huntington, a RYT-500 hour Yoga Teacher, certified C-IAYT Yoga Therapist and iRest Level 1 Meditation Teacher.  Her focus is working with individuals and small groups to develop and refine an integrated personal practice of posture, breath work and meditation.  The program will be offered on zoom.  To register, please email:  dfsud@comcast.net and you will receive the zoom link.

Friends Wilderness Center programs are offered monthly to all who are interested.  If you are able, we ask that you consider a donation to the Center which can be made by visiting our website at:  www.friendswilderness.org.  

 

EVENT: Shenandoah Salamander Shuffle

Date: Saturday, March 20, 2021

Time: 10 AM until 1 PM EST

RSVP: Kimberly Benson at email svasterias@gmail.com

Donations are appreciated. Suggested levels are $10/person or $25/families.

 Background: ‘Salamander’ is a composite word derived from the Persian words for ‘fire' and ‘within'. A group of salamanders is called a congress.’ The Americas are quite rich in salamanders, having more than all the rest of the world combined. Virginia has approximately 10% (55) of the world's species with many of these species being found in the cool, moist areas of the Blue Ridge (which may not be cool and moist for much longer due to changes in local climate conditions).

The Appalachian Region & Blue Ridge Mountains are the global hot spot for salamanders, home to more species than anywhere else in the world. The cool, moist conditions found on the forest floor & rocky streams of this ancient mountain range provide ideal habitat for salamanders, with some species found nowhere else on Earth. Some species are found on only a few mountain peaks in the region. Check out this short movie from the Smithsonian which is short, wonderfully photographed and very informative: https://vimeo.com/26202702. If you have never given a second thought to these remarkable little creatures, you will be pleasantly amazed by this video and given more than adequate incentive to join us for this wonderful program. Here are two useful websites where you can learn more about the salamanders found near the Friends Wilderness Center:  website #1 that will introduce you to many of the salamanders in the Blue Ridge and another website #2 where you can download a guide to salamanders of West Virginia. 

 Program: This will be a family friendly hike led by Kimberly Benson, a naturalist and outdoor educator with the assistance of her family. They will lead you through the Blue Ridge forests at the Friends Center in search of salamanders. Kimberly will discuss the species found in the area, show you’re their favored habitats, talk about global & local threats, & explain how to ethically search for salamanders without disturbing or harming them as you enjoy nature. Kimberly will also retrieve traps that have been deployed in salamander habitat & hopefully have some local specimens for the group to examine and identify.

This will be an easy hike over moderately, uneven terrain with some elevation changes. Stops will be frequent & easy opportunities will be available to shorten the hike. Please bring your own snacks & beverages and take all bottles and trash with you when you depart. All activities will be outdoors, maintaining social distance. Participants (over age 3) are required to wear masks. Restroom facilities will be available at the Niles Cabin.

 If you have not visited the FWC before, please consult our DIRECTIONS PAGE and/or use the Waze app on your smart phone to locate the Niles Cabin.

 

Signs of Spring  

Date: April 10, 2021

Time: 10 AM-2 PM

Location: Friends Wilderness Center, 305 Friends Way, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

RSVP: svasterias@gmail.com

DESCRIPTION: The soft pastels of spring are washing over the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Valley. Join this family friendly hike to observe spring awakening on the mountain as flora and fauna welcome the warmth & bounty of the season.

HIKE: This hike will be moderately challenging over rocky screens & some uneven terrain with an elevation change of approximately 600'.  

PREPARATIONS: Please bring your own snacks & beverages. Temperature changes during the season can be dramatic, so dressing in layers is recommended. Please bring gear for the occasional shower.

SAFETY: The hike will be rescheduled if heavy rain or thunderstorms are predicted. Participants will be reminded to maintain social distance. All (over age 3) are required to wear masks. Restroom facilities will be available at the Niles Cabin prior to & after the hike.

DONATIONS are appreciated. Suggested levels are $10/person or $25/families.

 

Spring Work Day  

Date: Saturday  April 24, 2021

Time: 10 AM-4 PM

Location: Friends Wilderness Center, 305 Friends Way, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

RSVP: Please RSVP to Sheila Bach at naturesheila@gmail.com or 571 271 6267

DESCRIPTION: 

 We hope to see many of you here at the Friends Wilderness Center on Saturday, April 24 from 10 AM to 4 PM to help make the place looking spruced up. Here are the items most needing attention.

1.    Wash all the windows – most of which are sliding glass doors, one person will be outside and the other inside you can catch something that has been missed.

2.    We need some strong people to cut and split some wood so that we will have wood for next winter. If you have a chain saw and an ax to split the wood, that would be great.

3.    Working on the trail around the pond needs to be done. It has been neglected for several years and needs work so that someone who wants to take a short walk can do so without falling.

4.    The pond needs work both in the water and around the edges. It is only 2 feet deep at the most. If you have some pants, socks, and shoes that don’t mind getting wet and/or wader boots those would be a help. Also getting rid of some of the plants on the edge of the pond would help.

5.    The old shed could use some cleaning out. Part of it has been used for storage of things that may or may not be useful.

6.    Other tasks are available if the above tasks get taken care of or you wish to apply your talents in other ways.

Lunch will be available for those who request it when RSVPing or you may bring your own. Social distancing will be practiced since some participants may not have had their vaccinations. Please bring your own water bottle! 

Please RSVP to Sheila Bach (naturesheila@gmail.com or 571 271 6267) let her know if you will be coming and number of others with you! And if this is you first visit to the FWC, PLEASE consult our Directions Page on the website before leaving home.

 Saturday May 8th

TWO NATURE PROGRAMS:

Program #1: WATERFALL ADVENTURE (Easy, accessible, 1/2 mile trail to 1 waterfall)

Date: SATURDAY, MAY 8

Time: 12:00 Noon

Where: Meet at Friends Wilderness Center (Niles Cabin) for a short drive to the trail access along very rustic roads & into a field. The entire route is passable with 2WD. You can anticipate that your vehicle will receive a significant dust bath.  

RSVP: svasterias@gmail.com

 

Program #2: WATERFALLS & WILDFLOWERS

Date: SATURDAY, MAY 8

Time: 10 AM to 2 PM

Where: Meet at Friends Wilderness Center (Niles Cabin)

RSVP: svasterias@gmail.com

Description: Discover the waterfalls of Rolling Ridge & marvel the Spring wildflowers that thrive in the moist lowlands & along the banks of our mountain streams.

Hike: This hike will be moderately challenging. We will cross rocky streams, trek through lowlands, & hike some inclines. Expect elevation changes of approximately 600' from the Niles Cabin to the Shenandoah River & back, about 2.5 miles roundtrip.

Preparation: Please bring your own snacks & beverages. Check the weather forecast for Shannondale, WV & dress for the conditions.

Safety: The hike will be rescheduled if heavy rain or thunderstorms are predicted. Participants will be reminded to maintain social distance. All (over age 3) are required to wear masks. Restroom facilities will be available at the Niles Cabin prior to & after the hike.

DONATIONS are appreciated. Suggested levels are $10/person or $25/families.

 

FIREFLY MIDSUMMER'S NIGHT HIKE

Date: June 12

Time: 6-9 PM

Location: Friends Wilderness Center, 305 Friends Way, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

RSVP: svasterias@gmail.com

DESCRIPTION: As midsummer's night approaches, fireflies illuminate the Niles Cabin ponds accompanied by an evening choir of frogs. Enjoy an easy, early-evening, family-friendly hike to the treehouse for campfire s'mores before strolling back between the ponds at dusk to dance on the lawn, moved by the magical symphony of sight & sound.

HIKE: This hike will be relatively easy, over uneven terrain but with little elevation change. The approximate distance is about 1.5 miles round trip, with ample time to relax & enjoy fireside treats.

PREPARATIONS: S'more fixings will be offered, but please feel free to bring your own snacks & beverages. Consider using bug repellent to ensure that you are not on the menu of some of the less welcome winged participants! Also, check the weather forecast for Shannondale, WV & dress for the conditions. Even in the summer, evenings can get chilly.

SAFETY: The hike will be rescheduled if heavy rain or thunderstorms are predicted. Participants will be reminded to maintain social distance. All (over age 3) are required to wear masks. Restroom facilities will be available at the Niles Cabin prior to & after the hike.

DONATIONS are appreciated. Suggested levels are $10/person or $25/families.

 

  

ADDITIONAL EVENTS: Additional programs will be added to our schedule as they are planned and scheduled. We normally schedule our programs on the 2nd Saturday of each month. Please check back to see what programs are added and for updated information on ones already scheduled.

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