Just in time for this years mushroom season the WPMC has refreshed the John Plischke III Award For Mushroom Knowledge also know as the Button ID program . The goal of the Button ID Program is to encourage members to learn both the names and how to identify mushrooms in the Western Pennsylvania region. As part of this program the club has developed an application to help both new and experienced Mushroomers track the species they know. A button is awarded for every 10, 25, 50, 75 and 100 species the member can identify. Once the member reaches 150 species they are considered an identifier by the club.

To make things easier a database application was developed that runs on both Windows and Macintosh systems. The database allows you to enter both the Latin and common name along with the date you first found the species, any notes that you have and a picture. We hope that this will help people both remember what they have found and give a visual clue to what the species looks like. You can search the database for species names and in the notes in case you want to find something later. You can also sort the list by Latin or common name. The information can be exported as a list for review by the Button ID program maintainer, Dick Dougall, or to an Excel file for other uses. At some point in the future there will be an iPhone version of the app too but due to constraints in the development system no Android version – sorry. Links to the Button ID app installers along with a YouTube introduction to the app are at the bottom of the Button ID webpage.

Other plans for the Button ID program this year are an introduction to the 20 most common mushroom species in the area and a guide to common local edibles and their lookalikes.