Additional information on all TCWP activities may be obtained from TCWP Executive Director Sandra K. Goss at Sandra@sandrakgoss.com or at (865) 583-3967.
TCWP’s Guidelines for Activities during the COVID-19 Pandemic
In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, TCWP will be conducting its activities following CDC guidelines.
- We ask that you not participate if you are sick or were recently exposed to someone who is.
- We will practice social distancing, maintaining at least 6 feet of separation between participants. This will limit the amount of interpretation that can be done.
- We will organize activities into groups of 10 or fewer.
- We recommend that you bring a mask and wear it when around others.
- We recommend that you bring hand sanitizer or other ways to wash your hands.
- We recommend that everyone bring their own water, lunch, snacks, and sunscreen.
- We recommend caravanning to activities instead of carpooling.
- Keep in mind that restrooms may be unavailable at activity locations.
- Activities are subject to change or cancellation as we monitor and react to local, state, and federal data and guidelines.
Thank you for your patience while we work through ways to serve our community.
Join us for this educational virtual program Thursday, January 28 at 7:00 p.m. TDOT recently installed new bear crossing signs on I-40 near the North Carolina line on a section often considered a death trap for wildlife. Jeff Hunter, senior program manager with National Parks Conservation Association in Asheville, will speak on the collaborative effort to provide safe passage options for wildlife. As our world warms, wildlife populations need to expand northward. Highways are formidable barriers to this movement. Hunter facilitates the work of nearly 20 federal, state, tribal, and non-governmental organizations collaborating to make a 28-mile stretch of I-40 near the Smokies permeable for wildlife and safer for people.
Co-sponsored by the Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning and the UT Arboretum Society, registration for this free online event is required. The format for this program will be Zoom. To register go to: utarboretumsociety.org. You will be sent a link in your confirmation for program access.
Hunter’s work includes issues related to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. He also led the Tennessee Wild wilderness campaign focused on permanently protecting nearly 20,000 acres in the Cherokee National Forest, including 4.5 miles of the Appalachian Trail. The signing of the Tennessee Wilderness Act into law in December 2018 marked the completion of this project.
In accordance with the University of Tennessee guidelines for COVID-19 precautions, programs are currently being presented online. Though the UT Arboretum Society’s educational programs are not on-site activities, the UT Arboretum Society is pleased to bring the public some great online options.
The Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, is one of ten outdoor laboratories located throughout the state as part of the UT AgResearch system. AgResearch is a division of the UT Institute of Agriculture. The Institute of Agriculture also provides instruction, research and public service through the UT Herbert College of Agriculture, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch and UT Extension offices, with locations in every county in the state.
A day of trail work and hiking will take place on the 2.5-mile section of the Cumberland Trail at the Obed Wild and Scenic River between Nemo Picnic Area and Alley Ford adopted by TCWP in 1998. Participants should dress appropriately for winter weather, wear sturdy shoes or boots, and bring work gloves, loppers, small bow saws or folding saws, shovels and grubbing tools, as well as a lunch and plenty of water. Cumberland Trail State Park personnel will provide some tools that will be available at the event.
Participants can meet for caravanning in Oak Ridge at the Gold’s Gym/Books-A-Million parking lot (meet at the end close to S. Illinois Avenue, near Salsarita’s) in time to leave Oak Ridge at 9 a.m. East-ern, or can join the crew at Nemo Picnic Area or Rock Creek Campground at 10 a.m. We expect to re-turn to the trailhead by around 3 p.m. (NOTE: If the weather is uncooperative–excessive rain or snow and ice—we will reschedule for February 20.)
Participants will need to sign a National Park Service volunteer form (parent’s or guardian’s signature required for minors). Forms can be requested in advance from TCWP, or NPS representatives will al-so have forms available at the event.
This activity will be conducted to protect participants from COVID-19. Please wear masks to the start of the event and during group mingling, and try to maintain a six-foot distance from others whenever possible. The event may have to be reconsidered based on conditions at the time.
The Oak Ridge Cedar Barren will again be the site of exotic invasive plant removal as we conduct our first cleanup of 2021. Located next to Jefferson Middle School in Oak Ridge, the Barren is a joint project of the City of Oak Ridge, State Natural Areas Division, and TCWP. The area is one of just a few cedar barrens in East Tennessee, and is subject to invasion by bushy lespedeza, leatherleaf viburnum, privet, autumn olive, mimosa, Nepal grass, multiflora rose, and woody plants that threaten the system’s prairie grasses. Our efforts help to eliminate invasives and other shade-producing plants that prevent the prairie grasses from getting needed sunlight.
Volunteers should meet in the Jefferson Middle School Parking lot at 9 a.m., with sturdy shoes, loppers, gloves, and water. For more information, contact Tim Bigelow at 865-607-6781 or Bigelowt2@mindspring.com.
This activity will be conducted to protect participants from the COVID-19 virus. Please wear masks to the start of the event and during group mingling, and try to maintain a six-foot distance from others whenever possible. This event may have to be reconsidered based on conditions at the time.