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.
We will conduct our spring invasive plant removal at the Oak Ridge Cedar Barren on March 7 as an official Weed Wrangle®, an invasive plant removal project coordinated by The Garden Club of Nashville and Invasive Plant Control, Inc. This is the third year TCWP has been a partner in this program.
The Barren, a Tennessee State Natural Area, is located next to Jefferson Middle School in Oak Ridge. Its management is a joint project of the City of Oak Ridge, State Division of Natural Areas, and TCWP. One of only 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 plants.
Volunteers should meet at the Jefferson Middle School parking lot next to the baseball field at 9 a.m., with sturdy shoes or boots, loppers, hand saws, weather-appropriate clothing, snacks, and water. TCWP will provide other tools and work gloves. Our efforts will eliminate shade-producing plants, benefiting the native prairie plants and three rare plants. Volunteers will be treated to pizza following the event at around noon. The day’s activities should conclude by 1 p.m.
For additional information, please contact Tim Bigelow, TCWP’s Cedar Barrens steward, at (865) 607-6781 or at email@example.com.
Jeff Hunter, senior program manager with National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) in Asheville, will speak about his work to improve wildlife’s ability to safely cross Interstate 40 in the Pigeon River Gorge on Thursday, March 12 at the UT Arboretum Auditorium at 7:00 p.m.
Hunter’s work includes issues related to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Many of us will remember Jeff’s excellent work when he led the Tennessee Wild wilderness campaign focused on permanently protect-ing nearly 20,000 acres in the Cherokee National Forest, including 4.5 miles of the Appalachian Trail. The Tennessee Wilderness Act signed into law in December 2018 saw that project through to completion.
This program is co-sponsored with the UT Arboretum and the UT Arboretum Society. It is free and open to the public.
Boaters, particularly experienced whitewater kayakers and canoeists as support boaters, are encouraged to join TCWP, in cooperation with the National Park Service, for a whitewater clean-up trip down the Obed River on Saturday, March 30. The outing, from Devil’s Breakfast Table to Nemo Bridge (water levels permitting), will include trash collection coordinated with the National Park Service using garbage rafts to remove trash along the river.
TCWP has arranged for a limited number of seats on a privately-guided raft. Rafters must be 18 years old or over and have a moderately high level of physical fitness and stamina. The trip will include a portage over large boulders. The difficulty level of this outing is high, and participants are encouraged to consider carefully their fitness and stamina before undertaking this trip.
Pre-registration for a raft seat by Sunday, March 22, is required. Weather and river conditions are unpredictable, and decisions about the nature of the trip will likely be made the evening before the event. If water levels do not permit collecting trash from the river, there will be mini-cleanups at various put-ins.
A small number of wet suits are available to loan participants if needed. Participants should wear wicking fabric, not cotton clothes, and will need to bring lunch and water.
For more information or to pre-register, contact Sandra Goss at 865-583-3967 or via email at Sandra@sandrakgoss.com. Participants will meet at 9 a.m. Eastern at the Obed Wild and Scenic River Visitors Center in Wartburg. A carpool will leave from Oak Ridge at around 8:15.