The Connecticut-Westchester Mycological Association (COMA) was founded in 1976 by a group of people in Connecticut and NY who wanted to explore the world of mushrooms and to learn and share knowledge about the science of mycology. It continues to be a positive force in advancing knowledge of mycology in the community.
MEMBERSHIP: Membership for 2017 is $25 for both individuals and for family members residing in the same household. Membership entitles you to receive the following benefits:
• Notification of member-only spring morel walks.
• Eligibility to attend Mushroom University.
• Eligibility to apply for the Sylvia Stein Scholarship.
• Invitation to attend the fall banquet.
• Receipt of Spores Illustrated, the COMA newsletter.
To join COMA visit http://www.comafungi.org.
MUSHROOM UNIVERSITY: This is COMA’s premier members-only program for those who want to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the fungal world. Participants meet on 6 Saturdays in March and April for interactive classes with well-known mycologist and author of numerous field guides, Gary Lincoff. Other guest experts are often invited to round out the focus, which is on a different group of fungi annually. This very popular COMA offering takes place at Muscoot Farm, Katonah, NY.
SYLVIA STEIN SCHOLARSHIP: This scholarship provides financial support to outstanding applicants wishing to advance and share their knowledge of mycology by attending a mycology-related educational event such as the Northeastern Mycological Federation’s annual foray, COMA’s foray or mycology classes. Applicants must be a current member of COMA for at least one year and are expected to actively participate in mushroom identification on COMA walks. The scholarship guidelines and application maybe downloaded at www.comafungi.org/docs/scholarship.pdf.
LECTURES: The program committee schedules 4-5 evening programs each year from spring through fall. Lectures are devoted to the advancement of the science of mycology and often feature noted speakers in the field. They are held at The Meeting House in Purchase, NY and are free and open to the public.
FALL BANQUET DINNER: Our final meeting of the year is a delicious pot-luck dinner. Members bring a favorite dish sufficient to serve six to eight people. The meeting, which is open only to COMA members and their guests, is an opportunity for members to socialize before the winter sets in. It also serves as the venue for the election of the COMA officers and board for the following year.
COMA WEBSITE: We encourage you to visit our website, http://www.comafungi.org. There you will find a calendar of walks and events, photographs and lists of fungi found on the walks, forms and online payment options. You can also find COMA on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/comafungi/.
NEWSLETTER: Our newsletter, Spores Illustrated, is emailed to members about four times a year. It can also be found on the COMA website.
DIANNA SMITH LENDING LIBRARY: COMA has a large collection of mycology books donated by former COMA president, Dianna Smith, that are available for lending to COMA members. See https://www.facebook.com/groups/comafungi/files/ for the list of titles. You can contact the librarian, Rena Wertzer, at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time when you can browse the collection.
CLARK ROGERSON FORAY: COMA sponsors an annual three-day weekend foray held at either at Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp in Copake, NY or at Easterseal Camp Hemlocks, in Hebron, Connecticut. The 2017 foray will be held in eastern Connecticut at Camp Hemlocks on Labor Day Weekend from Friday September 1 to Monday, September 4. The foray, an immersive mycological experience, features daily mushroom walks and identification, afternoon and evening lectures, and mycophagy. To attend the foray, you do not need to be a member of COMA. If interested in learning more about this adventure, check in regularly at http://www.comafungi.org for updates on registration, guest mycologists, and scheduled collection walks in the NY-MA region of the Berkshires.
NAMA: As a member of COMA, you are eligible to also become a member of the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) at a reduced annual rate of $25. NAMA members receive a bi-monthly 24 page newsletter featuring articles on mushrooms, cultivation, medicinal mushrooms, dyeing with fungi, toxicology reports, prize-winning photos, national forays and a host of other fascinating topics. (You can also join NAMA through PayPal at www.namyco.org/join/index.html).