Saturday, August 26: Summer Cedar Barren Cleanup

Located next to Jefferson Middle School in Oak Ridge, this barren is a joint project of the City of Oak Ridge, the State Natural Areas Division, and TCWP. One of just a few cedar barrens in East Tennessee, the area is subject to invasion by Chinese lespedeza, Japanese privet, autumn olive, mimosa, Nepal grass, multiflora rose, and woody plants that threaten the system’s prairie grasses. Our spring, summer, and fall cleanups help to eliminate invasives and other shade-producing plants that prevent the prairie grasses from getting needed sun. The late-summer workdays are optimum for viewing prairie wildflowers that flourish at the barrens.

Volunteers should meet in the Jefferson Middle School parking lot at 9 a.m.; wear sturdy shoes and bring loppers, gloves, and water. The work session will conclude at noon with a pizza lunch. For additional information, contact Tim Bigelow at or at (865) 607-6781.

Thursday, August 31: Nature Conservancy Information Program

Terry Cook, who was named State Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Tennessee Chapter last year, will provide an update on TNC-TN activities in a program co-sponsored by TCWP and Advocates for the Oak Ridge Reservation. The presentation will be at 7 p.m. in the City Room at Roane State Community College-Oak Ridge.

A veteran ecologist and conservation leader, Cook came to TNC’s Tennessee Chapter from The Trustees of Reservations, the oldest land trust in the United States, where he served as the Northeast Regional Director. He had previously worked for The Nature Conservancy for more than 20 years in a variety of capacities, ranging from staff ecologist in Texas, to Director of Science for the Eastern U.S. Region of the Conservancy, to State Director of the Kentucky Chapter.

The Nature Conservancy works across the entire state of Tennessee, with offices in Nashville, Knoxville, Jackson, Cookeville, Gainesboro, and Shady Valley. Key areas of focus include forest health, protection of freshwater resources and aquatic life, safeguarding caves and cave creatures, and scientific support for conservation.

Saturday, September 16: Fall Flowers in a Powerline Prairie

In this joint outing with the Tennessee Native Plant Society, we will caravan from Hardee’s in Soddy-Daisy to the Cumberland Trail trailhead on Mowbray Pike. We will be seeing many asters, goldenrods, and other fall flowers. We’ll get a chance to try out a “stone door” and take in a major view. For readers of Wildly Strolling Along, the book my son, Ben, and I wrote together, we will be in the area where Ben spotted a green salamander.

Total walking distance will be less than three miles on the Cumberland Trail, with some off-trail exploring in the power line right-of-way. Bring water, a lunch, and bug spray.

We’ll meet for carpooling at the Gold’s Gym/Books-A-Million parking lot in Oak Ridge (at the end close to S. Illinois Avenue, near Salsarita’s) at 9 a.m. Eastern, or at the Hardee’s (9398 Reco Dr.) at the Harrison Lane exit off U.S. 27 in Soddy-Daisy at 11:15 a.m. Eastern. An e-mail to Larry Pounds at saying you are likely to come will be appreciated; this helps with planning and facilitates notification regarding any change in plans. For additional information, Larry’s cell phone is (865) 705-8516.

Saturday, September 30: National Public Lands Day Cleanup at Worthington Cemetery

TCWP and TVA will partner again for our annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD) celebration, to be held at TVA’s Worthington Cemetery Ecological Study Area on Melton Hill Reservoir in Oak Ridge. A pizza lunch will follow our work session, which will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude around noon.

TCWP has for many years partnered with TVA to enhance and protect natural resources at Worthington Cemetery and other TVA lands throughout East Tennessee as part of our mutual stewardship efforts. Our annual efforts in this area are helping to eradicate wisteria from the cemetery, and privet and other invasive exotics from the ESA. Additional details will be provided in the September newsletter and via email alert.

Additional information on all TCWP activities may be obtained from TCWP Executive Director Sandra K. Goss at or at (865) 583-3967.