1. To preserve and promote awareness of the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge and to conserve the unique natural and cultural resources contained therein, while promoting nature-oriented education.
2. To enlist volunteers, sponsor special events, and provide public involvement in decision making as it relates to the preservation and appreciation of the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
Friends of the 500th Board of Directors
Casey Rucker fell in love with the Allegheny Highlands in 1990, when he began climbing at Seneca Rocks. He later became a full-time guide at Seneca, and in 2004 moved to Tucker County. He leads monthly bird walks at Canaan Valley NWR, conducts avian point counts for the Refuge’s biology staff, revises the Refuge bird list, writes essays on birds for the Timberdoodle, volunteers for invasive plants surveys, and for the last year has served as Vice President of the Friends of the 500th. Casey recently completed his fifth year as a member of the West Virginia Bird Records Committee, retiring as chairman. Since 2009, he has been author of quarterly “Field Notes” articles in The Redstart, journal of the Brooks Bird Club. For the last two years Casey has conducted field surveys for Loggerhead Shrikes for the WV Division of Natural Resources. Casey is deeply devoted to the purposes of our Refuge in conservation, science and education, and hopes to help expand our support of those purposes. Contact Casey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-866-4004.
Bruce Dalton is a retired educational administrator. He is an active volunteer in the community serving as past president of the Thomas/Davis Lions Club and former member of the Board of Directors of the Timberline Homeowners’ Association where he remains the Association’s Liaison to the CVNWR. Bruce and his wife Andy volunteer at the Refuge participating in the Bluebird Nest Box Survey, Vernal Pool Survey, Invasive Plants Survey, and they have served as coordinators of the Adopt-A-Trail Program. They have co-led the ‘What’s Blooming on the Refuge” hikes and “Fourth Saturday” hikes for more than five years. Bruce is currently one of two volunteers certified to use a chainsaw on the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Contact Bruce at email@example.com or 304-866-7037.
Elizabeth Hole first fell in love with nature’s beauty while riding horses with her father, but it wasn’t until she started teaching environmental studies that she learned to appreciate the interdependence of a sustainable ecosystem. After that, she enjoyed taking students into nature to give them chances to develop their own connections to its beauty and vibrancy. Since her retirement to Backbone Mountain with her husband Bill and their dog Tucker, Elizabeth enjoys daily walks where she notices the changing rhythms of each season, raises a small garden and forages for ramps, morels, cranberries and apples. She helps others develop their own connection with nature by being a Master Naturalist, reaching out to local schools and volunteering at the Refuge where she co-leads Storytime; developed the Nature Detective program; worked to create a VC theme table and chairs the Environmental Education committee of the Friends. She also enjoys reading, quilting, knitting, cooking and birding. Elizabeth and Bill have two daughters just began teaching careers. Contact Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jaineay Brasselle is a native West Virginian and has lived in WV all her life. She and her husband Tom both retired from the telephone company. They have owned their home “Fern Gully” for over 21 years and are excited to now call Canaan Valley, with its peace and solitude, their full-time home. Jaineay became a Master Naturalist to learn more about this beautiful valley and all the uniqueness it holds so she can share it with her four children and seven grandchildren. She loves to take nature hikes or just sit on the deck and listen to the birds and watch the wildlife. Jaineay enjoys volunteering at the Refuge in her spare time and is looking forward to continuing her support to the Friends of the 500th. Jaineay can be reached at email@example.com.
Jackie Burns recently retired from the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge and is continuing working with the Friends as a volunteer. firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Watson and her husband Rick moved to the Canaan Valley area from Charleston, WV when they retired in 2009 to enjoy the beautiful mountains they have loved since they were young. Karen worked as a lawyer for State government for about 30 years, specializing in environmental law, first in the Attorney General’s office and then as in-house counsel to the WV Department of Environmental Protection. She and Rick love to hike, bike and cross-country ski. Karen and Rick are members of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Davis. Karen stays busy helping her elderly parents and volunteering at the Refuge. Karen enjoys sharing her passion for the area with visitors to the Visitor Center. She finds working at the Center has been a great way to learn more about the ecology and history of the area, as well as the Refuge’s programs and activities. She has learned how important the Friends group is to the efforts of the Refuge and the continued protection of the area and is glad to be involved in these efforts. Contact Karen at email@example.com or 304-866-4260.
Elaine George her husband, Tom Tillman, moved to Canaan Valley full-time in 2003 after careers in engineering. She has backpacked, hiked, biked, kayaked and skied the West Virginia highlands since she was a child and still loves it. Elaine is a Certified WV Master Naturalist, treasurer of the Master Naturalists of CV and secretary of the WV State Master Naturalist Advisory Committee. She is an active volunteer at CVNWR where she coordinates the Invasive Plants and Trail Maintenance Patrol teams and has worked on Vernal Pool and Salamander Surveys. She is Assistant Manager of the Friends of the 500th Bookstore and is a member of TCHHEP. firstname.lastname@example.org
Brent D. Carminati has been a resident of Tucker County living in Davis for the past 10 years. He retired from teaching in June and enjoys most outdoor activities: skiing downhill/x-country, hiking, biking and kayaking. Brent has been a member of the Friends of the 500 for several years, and has seen their good work. email@example.com.
Marilyn Shoenfeld and husband Peter moved to Canaan Valley from Silver Spring, Maryland in July 2004. She has been a teacher, librarian, mentor and administrator for public and private schools. Volunteer work has been a very important part of her life. She is a Certified WV Master Naturalist. Working with the Friends of the 500th is a great opportunity for her to contribute to the Refuge and to the community. She serves on the Timberline Homeowners Committee that is the liaison for the Refuge. Marilyn enjoys exploring all the trails and sharing the beauty of the Refuge with family, friends and visitors. She co-manages the Friends of the 500th Bookstore.
*Beginning in 2013-2014, officers are elected for two-year terms. Directors-at-Large serve three-year terms.Bylaws (PDF)