View this email in your browser

TNP Newsletter - 3rd Quarter Edition

July 2022
Otters at Murfree Springs Wetlands July 2022 - Photo by Dr. Ronald Manley
So Much News!
New TNP Store, Registrations Open & More Chapter Highlights
We are so excited to share these new TNP Exclusive Designs and great merchandise.  Share with a friend - shop our new store. Be the first in your class to wear our new TNP gear. (Click here)

Special Notice

The Tennessee Naturalist Program is looking for interested students, instructors, and/or chapter coordinators to join us on the board or in special committees focused on student alumni engagement and continuing education development. If you or someone you know who is familiar with the program and might be interested, please share or fill out this form by clicking the button below: 
Complete Form Now
Chapter Highlights - Focus on Three TNP Chapters
In April 2022 we began a series to highlight each of our eleven TNP Chapters.  So far we have featured six of our Tennessee Naturalist Program Chapters.  If you have missed a newsletter here are the links to the previous highlighted chapters: For this edition we are highlighting our TNP Chapters at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Ijams Nature Center and Owl's Hill Nature Sanctuary.  

The Cumberland Mountain State Park TNP Chapter is unique in that students meet at a very historic state park.  Cumberland Mountain is the second oldest park in the Tennessee State Park System.  Their facilities include campgrounds, cabins, trails and even a restaurant, which is available to students when they attend classes.  The availability of lodging and food makes this site a good choice for students who have to travel further to join their TNP classes.  

A major attraction at Cumberland Mountain State Park is their iconic 7-arch bridge which is the largest masonry structure ever built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and is the park's major landmark.

The natural spaces at Cumberland Mountain SP are managed by the exemplary Park Rangers, maintenance staff and volunteers that work hard to keep these areas safe, accessible and environmentally sound.

They help to connect people to nature through interpretive walks and other programs that are conducted throughout the year.  On-site Park Rangers and Seasonal Interpretive Rangers, also, host a wide range of programs to help engage park guests with the natural world.

The TNP Chapter at Cumberland Mountain State Park holds their classes annually on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the last three weeks of April.  Their unique expedited schedule works surprisingly well for a number of people who cannot or prefer not to attend classes on weekends.  This class schedule enables them to take advantage of some of the most beautiful spring days (or some of the rainiest!), with plentiful blooming wildflowers, singing birds and flying insects to observe and enjoy.

Our students and alumni have helped plant hundreds of trees throughout Nashville, and some volunteer for weekly cleanups at the gorge of Cummins Falls State Park.  They have also helped with trail building and maintenance, butterfly counts, native plant surveys, bluebird box monitoring and leading interpretive hikes.

What makes your site unique?

Ijams Nature Center, a nonprofit environmental education center, is located just three miles from downtown Knoxville.  Ijams has over 12 miles of mixed-use trails, situated on over 318 acres featuring connections to Knoxville's Urban Wilderness.  Ijams offers a wide variety of programs for adults, families and children that want to get out and explore nature in any way that they feel comfortable.  From night hikes and paddling programs on the Tennessee River and Meads Quarry to movies under the stars and other social events, Ijams provides endless opportunities for community engagement, stewardship and outdoor fun.

How does your site manage your natural space?

Ijams Nature Center is invested in the preservation and restoration of native habitats on its lands to serve as best practices for partners across the Southeast.  The management of our natural space is guided by the four following principles:
Stewardship, Collaboration, Research and Land Protection

Invasive species management, native habitat enhancement and restoration, and sustainable trail maintenance done by our Natural Resources Team and hundreds of volunteers help keep the 318+ acres of Ijams beautiful.

Ijams also collaborates with conservation practitioners to address ecological challenges in the area, leading initiatives that improve land and water quality in the region and beyond.  Research is conducted and supported by Ijams.  This research also provides educational opportunities for TNP students and the public. Ijams Nature Center is a living laboratory engaged in conservation-focused activities that have direct positive impacts on the natural areas, wildlife and human lives in East Tennessee.

How are you bringing people to nature?

The mission of Ijams is to encourage stewardship of the natural world by providing an urban green space for people to learn about and enjoy the outdoors through engaging experiences.  Ijams believes in meeting people where they are, thus offering numerous opportunities and recreational activities for all comfort levels.  Guided kayak tours, options for climbing at the Ijams Crag, mountain biking, school field trips, youth summer camps, community science projects and various community social events are only a few examples of how we bring people to nature.

How does TNP fit into this picture?

The deep engagement aspect of the Tennessee Naturalist Program provides a perfect platform for the TNP Chapter at Ijams to share their appreciation and knowledge of the natural world, mentoring and guiding dedicated stewards of our natural spaces. 

TNP students create connections with local experts that are brought in to teach certain lessons, along with other local organizations during off-site trips. These encounters strengthen community ties throughout the Knoxville area, bringing together stewards of the environment and discovering new opportunities for positive impact.

Students and alumni of TNP often participate in citizen science and volunteer opportunities such as our Weed Warriors Program, assisting and learning from our resource management team.  Our TNP alumni often come back to teach and work with new TNP students passing on their legacy and guiding new groups to observing, learning about and appreciating our natural world.

What makes your site unique?

Owl’s Hill’s TNP program is unique because we were the first TNP chapter, with over 300 students who have participated in the program. Our students have the opportunity to learn about the natural history of Tennessee by exploring the diverse habitats found at Owl’s Hill. Many of our dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers got involved with Owl’s Hill through the TNP program, and continue to help us with educational programs, citizen science, and environmental stewardship. 

How does your site manage your natural space?

We are a 300-acre preserve with meadows, ponds, a creek, and diverse forest habitats. Visitors can relax and connect with nature in our native plant gardens and on 5 miles of trails. We provide habitat for wildlife and native plants in a number of ways. Owl’s Hill maintains a native pollinator meadow through invasive control and re-seeding, which provides habitat for a number of wildlife species including migratory birds such as indigo buntings and common yellowthroats, as well as monarch butterflies, and many other insect pollinators. Our forested areas are managed through the removal of invasive plants, which protects native plants such as spicebush. This provides valuable food for wildlife, and has allowed for the return of native wildflowers and grasses in previously overgrown areas. 

How are you bringing people to nature?

Owl’s Hill brings people to nature through our education programs, which serve families, students of all ages, and adults. Some of our most popular programs include our Knee-High Naturalist program for preschoolers, Owl Prowls, and programs that teach people how to bring wildlife like bats and bluebirds to their yards. We have a day camp in the summer, where campers learn, play, and explore the outdoors. We are also a great place to spend time with friends and family outdoors.

How does TNP fit into this picture?

TNP students are a huge part of our volunteer base, and have connected with us because of their involvement with the program. They serve as guides for public hikes and on field trips. TNP students and alumni help out public programs run smoothly and keep our gardens and trails maintained. They also participate in invasive removal events like Weed Wrangle, and help us deepen our knowledge of wildlife populations at Owl’s Hill through bird and butterfly counts.

What are examples of how TNP students and alumni are making a difference at your site & in your community?

Each year, students and alumni of the Owl’s Hill TNP chapter spend hundreds of hours volunteering throughout middle Tennessee. This past year, our 2021-22 TNP class of 30 students logged over 400 hours at Owl’s Hill and through other local conservation and environmental education organizations. Many of our students and alumni are teachers, and are able to take what they learn in the program to their classrooms and help their students grow in understanding and appreciation of the natural world. Others work for state conservation agencies or local environmental non-profits, using what they learned in the TNP program to enhance their ability to teach about and care for the environment. Many of our students and alumni also share that the program has helped them enhance the connection that their family has with nature. 

Registration for core TNP Courses
Check our website for new class openings. 

If you are currently a student or alumni, please consider sharing our upcoming core courses with friends and family.

Core Courses Beginning Soon

TNP at Owl's Hill
Classes beginning on August 18, 2022
Registration opens - July 14, 2022

TNP at Murfreesboro Parks Chapter
Classes beginning on September 1, 2022
Registration opens August 1, 2022

TNP at South Cumberland State Park
Classes beginning on September 10, 2022
Registration opens August 1, 2022

TNP at Audubon Acres
Classes beginning on September 17, 2022
Registration opens soon - check website

TN2 Classes 
There are several TN2 opportunities posted for registration now, with more coming. Be sure to check our Facebook page and website for new classes. Continue your natural history education with these TNP and partner developed educational opportunities. For current and TNP students ONLY!

Snorkeling at Big Swan Creek
July 21, 2022
5 CE Credits - $125
NOW open to students, alumni and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Register NOW

Mussel Biology and Ecology at Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge
August 3, 2022
5 CE Credits - $50
NOW open to students and alumni 
Register NOW

Waterfowl Biology and Wetland Ecology at Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge
October 29, 2022
6 CE Credits - $60
NOW open to students and alumni  
Registration opens September 17, 2022 - check website

Volunteer Opportunities & Events

TNP Volunteers leading nature hike for school children.
All of our chapters need experienced and knowledgeable volunteers to help fulfill each chapter's mission.  If you are a Tennessee Naturalist Program students or alumni, contact your chapter coordinator for more information on upcoming volunteer opportunities.

Audubon Acres - Chattanooga

Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium - Kingsport

Cedars of Lebanon State Park - Lebanon

Cumberland Mountain State Park - Crossville

Discovery Park of America - Union City

Ijams Nature Center - Knoxville

Memphis Chapter at Pinecrest - Memphis

Murfreesboro Parks at Barfield - Murfreesboro

Owls Hill Nature Sanctuary - Brentwood

Paris Landing/Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge - Buchanan

Friends of South Cumberland State Park - Sewanee

Tennessee State Parks 
Upcoming Events
Check with your Chapter Coordinator to confirm CE opportunities

For more information.

Citizen Science - Featured Volunteer Opportunity

Opportunities to volunteer for Heat Watch are open in Nashville and Knoxville. Go to the links below for more detail on how to participate.
To volunteer for Nashville  
To volunteer for Knoxville
Check with your Chapter Coordinator for volunteer hours certification.



Tennessee Wildlife Federation
Several positions and 1 paid internship listed
More information

Elephant Sanctuary Tennessee
Development Manager
More information

Nature Conservancy
Marketing and Media Relations Manager
Once on the link, type Tennessee in the search bar.

More information

Note: Many openings have short deadlines, so if interested, please go to the Information Link for details.  These listings are listed as a service to our students and alumni.  
If you know of any job openings that would appeal to Tennessee Naturalists, please email tnpcommunications7@gmail with the details.

Fowler's Toad, photo taken in Nashville - Photo by Sharon Cardin
TNP receives 0.5% of your purchase price when you shop AmazonSmile
TNP AmazonSmile Page
Please share our newsletter with family and friends.
Copyright © 2022 Tennessee Naturalist Program, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp