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TNP 1st Quarter News, 2016

A Look Back at 2015

The Tennessee Naturalist Program had a great 2015.  This past year, we added 2 new chapters to our growing program, creating more opportunities in more places to inspire and educate Tennesseans about our state's Natural History.  The Bays Mountain Chapter came on board in March of 2015.  Krystal Haney, Park Naturalist is the administrator in our most northeast chapter at Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium.  Thank you Krystal!  We gained another chapter in 2015 at Cedars of Lebanon State Park.  Cedars of Lebanon is a perfect location in the heart of Tennessee.  Bill Loewer is a TN State Park Ranger and is the administrator of the Cedars of Lebanon Chapter.  Welcome Bill!  We really appreciate our State Park partners.

We lost a chapter when the Tennessee Aquarium and Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center could no longer administer the Chattanooga Chapter.  But we gained a chapter when the Chattanooga Audubon Society at Audubon Acres agreed to take the reins.  We truly appreciate the great work of the Aquarium and Reflection Riding.  The foundation for a Chattanooga chapter was laid and there is a great deal of interest in the new chapter because of that ground breaking work.  We are thrilled to launch the new program at Audubon Acres.  Audubon Acres and its satellites will be a wonderful venue for TNP.  Welcome Lynn Grabowski, our newest chapter administrator!  We now have 8 chapters across the state and we are hoping to add more in 2016!

TNP also gained a paid coordinator in 2015, Nancy Garden.  Nancy comes to us with a great deal of environmental education experience and will be the task master that this statewide program requires. We are excited to have filled this position, a much needed addition to the program.

TNP is proud to have offered our first TN2 course in 2015, Field Botany by Margie Hunter.  It was a great success.  Thanks Margie!  We have plans to develop more TN2 courses in the future and hope to be able to offer them soon!

TNP in 2016

On Friday, February 26 from 10AM-3PM at the Cedar Forest Lodge at Cedars of Lebanon State Park, we will be having our 3rd Annual Meeting of chapters.  We will be discussing our goals for the new year, where TNP is headed, and discussing chapter issues and ideas.  We will discuss the history of TNP, hold elections, and plan new TN2 and Continuing Education courses to be offered.  We will also discuss incentive awards to encourage volunteers to continue their TNP career. 

We are excited with the growth and progress of this program over the past 5 years.  We can't wait to see what the next 5 bring! 

Dr. David Hill Retires as President of TNP

We are sad to say that Dr. David Hill is resigning as our coordinator/president. Dr. Hill was instrumental in getting the Tennessee Naturalist Program started, an effort that began after his work as ATBI coordinator with Tennessee State Parks.  Prior to that, Dr. Hill was a professor of Biology at Belmont for 30 years. At Belmont, he served as the Biology Department liaison to the Upper Cumberland Biological Station on Center Hill lake.
He was also the department’s affiliate coordinator with the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory and served as biology department chair for a number of years.  His love for nature and education led to the initial discussions with Pandy English and LinnAnn Welch that began the organization of this new program.

As President and Coordinator of TNP, Dr. Hill was part of the first visiting members to approach many potential chapter sites to discuss their establishment. He also took care of many of the tasks needed to operate and run a non-profit organization.  This program would literally not exist without David’s initial efforts and dedication.  We hope that he will always council TNP with his calm wisdom.

Chapter News

Save the Date! TNP Annual Meeting Coming Up in February

Chapters, join us Friday, February 26 from 10AM-3PM at the Cedar Forest Lodge at Cedars of Lebanon State Park for our 3rd Annual TNP Meeting.  Lunch will be provided and anyone needing to stay overnight is welcome to.

Welcome Audubon Acres, Our New Chattanooga Chapter Site!

We are excited to announce that Audubon Acres is taking over as our newest chapter in Chattanooga!  Audubon Acres is a beautiful, out of the way spot in Chattanooga that has three additional sites open to them for classes.  Lynn Grabowski is our newest coordinator and is currently working on the class schedule.  Contact Lynn if you are interested in taking the TNP class here.

Memphis begins new class

Want to learn all about the Natural History of the West?  West Tennessee that is.  The Memphis Botanic Garden begins their new classes on January 25th. Contact Charity Seibert, chapter coordinator to find out more.

Learn more about what TNP Chapters are doing around the state.

Interested in starting the next chapter of the Tennessee Naturalist Program? Contact the TNP State Coordinator, Nancy Garden, at
Get Your TNP Merch!
Support the Tennessee Naturalist Program and look good while you're doing it!  Custom merchandise is available for purchase. Visit to see our selection.


Tennessee Naturalist Program is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring the desire to learn and share Tennessee's nature.  We do not receive funding from any state or federal sources.  All donations are appreciated and can be sent to:

Tennessee Naturalist Program, Inc.
P.O. Box 682924
Franklin, TN 37068-2924

Or Donate online by clicking the button below:
We love pictures!  Send us photos of what TNPers are up to around the state. Contact Kristin at

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers Needed Around Memphis

Shelby Farms Park:
Lichterman Nature Center:
Overton Park Conservancy:

Free the Trees at Owl's Hill
Owl's Hill Chapter, Brentwood, TN
Sat., Jan. 9 & Sat., Feb. 6; Noon -3 p.m.

Help us get rid of those pesky invasive plant species!  More details here.

Bay's Mountain Volunteer Programs
Bay's Mountain Park, Kingsport

Bay's Mountain Park has many volunteer needs from hike leaders to raptor management.  See the volunteer page for more opportunities and contact information.

Audubon Acres Volunteer Needs
Chattanooga, TN

Audubon acres has many volunteer needs from help with programs to trail maintenance, like their FIRST SATURDAY TRAIL DAYS. See the volunteer page for more opportunities and contact information.

South Cumberland Saturday Volunteer Day
South Cumberland State Park
Sat., Jan. 9; 9 a.m.

Help with a major trail reroute along the Fiery Gizzard.  Check out more details here.

Weed Wrangle Nashville
Various Parks and Green Spaces around the Nashville area
Sat., March 5; 9 a.m. - Noon

Parks around the Nashville area, including your Owl's Hill chapter, will be participating in Weed Wrangle, a Garden Club of America and Nashville initiative to remove invasive plant species from our parks.  More details here.


What do you want to learn?

Tell the TNP team what you want to learn.  What are you passionate about? What programs would you like to see developed?  Would you like to see a new chapter closer to you? We want to know!  Email with your ideas.

Educate Yourself

Owl's Hill Volunteer Orientation
Brentwood, TN
Thursdays, January 7 & 14
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Saturdays, February 6 & 13
9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Owl's Hill is conducting its annual volunteer orientation. This is especially geared towards those interested in helping with environmental education programs, but good for any interested in other volunteer opportunities as well.  Contact for more information. Make plans to attend all classes per session.

Project WET Teacher Workshop
Memphis Botanic Garden
Friday, March 18; 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

All educators are invited to attend this one-of-a-kind Water Education
curriculum training.  Participate in fun, engaging activities and receive
the Project WET curriculum guide that is correlated to current state and
national standards. This is a Free workshop. Contact Cathy Justis at the Wolf River
Conservancy to register - or call 901-219-7323.

Snakes, Winter Trees, and Habitat Walks
Bay's Mountain Park and Planetarium
Dates in January and February

Learn about the habitats of the native animals of the Appalachians, learn about the 23 species of snakes that call East Tennessee home, or discover the winter trees at Bay's Mountain Park. Check the calendar for more details.

Guided Hikes at South Cumberland
South Cumberland State Park
Several Dates in January

South Cumberland is offering a series of guided hikes this January.  Check their event calendar for dates and details.
Environmental  Consulting
Thank you to our generous TNP Sponsor: LEAPS Environmental Consulting
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Attention Chapter Coordinators
Please send chapter news to Kristin Hopkins at

We are also looking for suggestions in your area for continuing education opportunities.  Please contact your chapter mentor with any and all possibilities
Copyright © 2016 Tennessee Naturalist Program, All rights reserved.

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