2021 Fall Member Meeting – Moving to Zoom

In times like these, flexibility is often the key to success.

The Board of Directors has decided to postpone the in-person program we had planned for our fall member meeting due to concerns over COVID variants. In its stead we will hold a shortened Zoom meeting on November 6th focused on the American chestnut and our restoration efforts. Sara Fitzsimmons, Director of Restoration and Stephen Hoy, Orchard Manager at Penn State will make short presentations with plenty opportunity for new and experienced growers to connect, ask questions, and share experiences.

Date and Time: Saturday, November 6th  |  10:00 AM—11:30 AM

Venue: Zoom Meeting

Register today and we’ll send you timely reminders with the link to join the meeting. For more informaiton contact Jean Najjar (mail@patacf.org | 814-863-7192

We are thrilled that our plans to host Douglas Tallamy and Kimberly Bohn in-person at the Allen Theatre have only been postponed temporarily. Mark your calendars to enjoy these speakers and hip venue at our Spring Growers Meeting April 2, 2022.

NEW Fall Member Meeting Program:

Take a deep dive into chestnut restoration with Sara Fitzsimmons and Steve Hoy at the Fall Member Meeting

Sara Fitzsimmons

Director of Restoration
The American Chestnut Foundation

Restoration  Science at the Chapter Level
Sara will review the current scientific status of American chestnut rescue and restoration, including the most up-to-date data retrieved from hybrid genotyping and transgenic deregulation.


Stephen Hoy
Orchard Manager
Penn State University

Field Activities: Chestnut Research at Penn State
Steve will review 2021 field activities including grafting, pollination, inoculation and harvest. He will also talk about what’s ahead for orchard research at Penn State.



David J. Armstrong Chestnut Orchard

Members and friends are invited to attend the dedication of the David J. Armstrong Chestnut Orchard at Codorus State Park 


When: Sunday, September 26th (1:00 PM – 2:00 PM)

Where: Codorus State Park Amphitheatre (Google Map)

Please RSVP: Email Jean Najjar (mail@patacf.org or call (814) 863-7192)

The TACF Chestnut Orchard at Codorus State Park is being dedicated with new interpretive signage to recognize the great contributions of time and energy David J. Armstrong brought to its development and ongoing management. Dave was an invaluable leader and volunteer, championing our restoration mission for many years. To read more about Dave’s contributions to our Chapter and TACF’s restoration mission follow this link.

Harvest and Bur Shucking Days Are Here

  • Burs and more Burs Orchard at the Penn State Arboretum

We are seeking Volunteers to help with harvesting and shucking burs at the Penn State Orchard, University Park.

 Friday, September 24th |  Friday,  October 1st
(9:00 AM to 4:00 PM)

Email Steve Hoy (sdh177@psu.edu) if you would like to be added to his volunteer list at Penn State.

Volunteers Rock PSU Planting Day

  • Stephen Martynuska, Trent, and Todd GCO Planting 090321
Many thanks to our volunteers!
Steve Johnstonbaugh
Donna McGrath
Maureen Mailander
Ryan Hamilton
Kathy Miller
Dave Kniss
Stephen Martynuska
Stephen’s 4-year old grandsonTrent
and Trent’s other grandfather, Todd. 
We had an absolutely glorious day for tree planting.  It was one of those central PA days when the cloud cover was zero, the humidity was low, and the temp was between 65-75 or so all day. They don’t come often but when they do, it’s magic <3 — Steve Johnstonbaugh
With the help of 9  volunteers, ages 4 to “don’t ask”, we were able to plant 105 seedlings in the Germplasm Conservation Orchard during our PSU Planting Day on September 3rd. These 105 seedlings included 14 unique lines of American chestnuts. An additional 85 small stem assay backcross seedlings planted in the backcross orchards – for a total of 190 seedlings being planted.

W. V Chapter of TACF Invitation

Photo credit: https://home.nps.gov/neri/learn/photosmultimedia/index.htm

American Chestnut Sustainability Germplasm Conservation Orchard Plantings
Summit Bechtel Reserve   
Saturday, October 23, 2021

The West Virginia Chapter is seeking help planting American chestnut trees on Saturday, October 23rd at Germplasm Conservations orchards at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. Volunteers are welcome to come for the day or campout for the weekend. 

TACF is providing lunch for volunteers on Saturday. Volunteers should come prepared with appropriate work clothes and footwear for working in dirt. Volunteers are also asked to bring their own shovel, gloves, hat, suntan lotion, bug spray. Work will be divided between three orchard sites based on the number of volunteers. 

Saturday Only Volunteers

Start Time: 9AM Saturday Morning
Meeting Place: New River Gorge National Park office parking lot. Volunteers will be met by a guide and caravan to the orchard locations.


Start Time: 4 PM Friday Afternoon, October 22nd.
Meeting Place: Gather in the parking lot of the New River Gorge National Park office in Glen Jean and caravan through Summit Bechtel Reserve to the campsite at the Summit of Summit.

Campers must bring their own camping gear, food, and water. Camping is primitive (no electric or water). Porta johns available.

Vehicles may drive and park at the campsite and campers should avoid  unnecessary vehicle traffic in Summit

For more information or to volunteer please contact:
Sam Muncy
Treasurer WV Chapter TACF

Planting Day Schedule | Saturday, October 23rd

9:00 PM: Volunteers meet at Park office and caravan to orchard sites

 9:30 AM: Work begins: Planting American chestnut saplings and making tree cages from wire fencing.

12:00 PM Noon: Cold cut sandwiches, fruit, and bottled water will be provided free by TACF for Saturday lunch

5:00 PM: Work may wrap up earlier depending on number of volunteers. 

Youth Protection Training (YPT) is required.
YPT takes 30 minutes at https://www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection/

 Summit Bechtel Reserve is the High Adventure Base – National Boy Scout Camp of the Boy Scouts of America. YPT is required by the Boy Scouts for any volunteers who will be with scouts.  YPT is good for two years and is very good training for anyone who will be working with youth of any organization.  You do not have to join scouts to take the training.  It is free but you do have to register with the Boy Scouts to take the training.

Seeking Leaders for Chestnut Walks.

The Center for Private Forests at Penn State has announced plans to hold its 5th Walk in Penn’s Woods, October 2-3. They are currently seeking hosts to offer walks to the public. Members of our Chapter have hosted walks in the past and we would love to be a part of this event again. 

Woodland walks that highlight the story of the American chestnut can be a great way to engage folks of all ages and build support for our restoration mission.  If you are familiar with a walk on public lands that includes confirmed American chestnuts, please consider hosting a walk. We can help promote and manage registration for your walk and provide materials to distribute.

Please email Jean at the Chapter office to learn more and share your idea for a Chestnut walk.

If you have a Walk in Penn’s Woods you would like to host and are ready to sign up, CLICK HERE to complete the online form.