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TNP 3rd Quarter News, 2017

TNP Wins TWF Conservation Award

The Tennessee Naturalist Program was honored to receive the Tennessee Wildlife Federation's Conservation Organization of the Year Award! 

The Tennessee Wildlife Federation recently hosted the 52nd Annual Conservation Achievement Awards. The ceremony was held in Nashville at the Loveless Cafe and presented 17 awards to recipients from all corners of the state.
“Tennessee Wildlife Federation is proud to hold up the meaningful work of our award winners as examples for others to follow,” said Butler.

The Conservation Organization of the Year Award is given to those organizations for outstanding achievement by an organization for work in some phase of conservation during the contest year.

We are also proud of our board members, Pandy English and Margie Hunter.  Pandy was honored with the TWF Ged Petit Memorial Award for outstanding accomplishments by a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Officer in the area of citizen education, public outreach, and community services, which exemplifies the dedication, energy, enthusiasm, skills and dedication of the late TWRA officer Ged Petit.  Margie was honored with the TWF Conservation Communicator Award for outstanding achievement in effectively conveying the conservation message and creating public awareness of conservation issues in the news media. Way to go guys! You deserve it!


Chapter Classes Coming Up

South Cumberland - Registration Now Open
Owl's Hill Nature Sanctuary - Registration Opens July 12, 2017
Chapter Volunteer Needs
All of our chapters need experienced and knowledgeable volunteers to help fulfill each chapters' mission.  Below are some of the posted needs of each chapter:
Bay's Mountain, Kingsport
Exhibit Construction
Nature Center
Raptor Center
School Programs
Special Events
Trail Maintenance

Contact the Volunteer Coordinator’s office at (423) 229-9449 or find out more here.

Audubon Acres, Chattanooga
Visitor Center Host
Trail Building & Maintenance
Grounds Maintenance
Building Maintenance
Educational Programming
Special Events

Complete this form

Ijam's Nature Center, Knoxville
Park Maintenance
Special Events
Office Work

Contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Lauren Bird, at (865) 577-4717 ex 135 or email
Owl's Hill, Brentwood
Trail Maintenance
Garden Clean-up
Special Events

Contact Julie at (615) 370-4672 or email

South Cumberland, Monteagle
Denny Cove Trail Work
Visitor Center Help
Trail Assessments

Contact info here.

Memphis Botanic Garden, Memphis
Garden Tours/Docent
Youth Education and Activities
Office Work

Fill out this form.

Cedars of Lebanon, Lebanon
Trail maintenance
Grounds keeping
Trash removal
Construction of simple structures
Removal of invasive species

Find out about the latest needs here.
Interested in starting the next chapter of the Tennessee Naturalist Program? Contact the TNP State Coordinator, Nancy Garden, at

Citizen Science Project Spotlight:

Earn volunteer hours helping to track the presence and activities of native (and invasive) ladybugs!
From The Lost Ladybug Project website:
"Across North America ladybug species composition is changing.  Over the past twenty years native ladybugs that were once very common have become extremely rare.  During this same time ladybugs from other parts of the world have greatly increased both their numbers and range. This is happening very quickly and we don’t know how, or why, or what impact it will have on ladybug diversity or the role that ladybugs play in keeping plant-feeding insect populations low.  We're asking you to join us in finding out where all the ladybugs have gone so we can try to prevent more native species from becoming so rare."

Find out how you can participate here.
The Lost Ladybug Project resource page.
Other Citizen Science Opportunities for all interests:
For a more complete list of available projects, check out the following websites:
Citizen Science Alliance 'Zooniverse'
Wikipedia List of Citizen Science Projects
We love pictures!  Send us photos of what TNPers are up to around the state. Contact Kristin at

Gear Up for the Solar Eclipse

August 21st is almost here!  Find out the best spot to view the eclipse in your area using this handy tool developed by Xavier M. Jubier

Interactive Google Map of Solar Eclipse
Your chapter's eclipse activities

Bay's Mountain: Currently featuring "Totality" at the Planetarium; Day of excursion
Cedars of Lebanon: Solar Eclipse Party at the Pool
Cumberland Mountain: Solar Eclipse 5K and Viewing Party
Memphis Botanic Garden: Eclipse Party
Owl's Hill Nature Sanctuary: Eclipse Family Free Day
Solar Eclipse.  Tennessee State Parks website.
  • Bicentennial Capitol Mall (Nashville, TN) - Duration of Totality: 1 min 55 secs
  • Bledsoe Creek (Gallatin, TN) - Duration of Totality: 2 mins 39 secs
  • Burgess Falls (Sparta, TN) - Duration of Totality: 2 mins 37 secs
  • Cedars of Lebanon (Lebanon, TN) - Duration of Totality: 2 mins 19 secs
  • Cumberland Mountain  (Crossville, TN) - Duration of Totality: 2 mins 34 secs
  • Cumberland Trail (Head of Sequatchie) - Duration of Totality: 2 mins 39 secs
  • Cummins Falls (Cookeville, TN) - Duration of Totality: 2 mins 37 secs 
  • Dunbar Cave (Clarksville, TN) - Duration of Totality: 2 mins 25 secs
  • Edgar Evins (Silver Point, TN) - Duration of Totality: 2 mins 38 secs
  • Fall Creek Falls (Spencer, TN) - Duration of Totality: 2 mins 24 secs
  • Frozen Head ( Wartburg, TN) - Duration of Totality: 34 secs
  • Henry Horton (Chapel Hill, TN) - Duration of Totality: 24 secs (a short drive outside of park)
  • Hiwassee-Ocoee (Delano, TN) - Duration of Totality: 2 mins 10 secs
  • Long Hunter (Hermitage, TN) - Duration of Totality: 2 mins 4 secs
  • Montgomery Bell (Burns, TN) - Duration of Totality: 9 secs (a short drive outside of park)
  • Paris Landing (Buchanan, TN) - Duration of Totality: 14 secs (at a site minutes outside of park)
  • Port Royal (Adams, TN) - Duration of Totality: 2 mins 32 secs
  • Radnor Lake (Nashville, TN) - Duration of Totality: 1 min 15 secs
  • Rock Island (Rock Island, TN)- Duration of Totality: 2 mins 24 secs
  • Standing Stone (Hilham, TN) - Duration of Totality: 1 min 23 secs

Volunteers Needed

Butterfly Count
Meeman-Shelby Forest Park
June 24; 9:30 a.m.

Meet at the visitors center for a fun day of counting butterflies! Bring water, sunscreen and snacks; lunch will be at the best hamburger place that you have ever tasted! The count lasts until 5 p.m. but you can count or leave at your own pace. Contact Madison May for more details.

Butterfly Count
Owl's Hill Nature Sanctuary
July 8; 10 a.m.

Citizen Science projects like butterfly counts help scientists understand population dynamics and migration patterns.  Join us and contribute! Click here to sign up.

Volunteer at Hummingbird & Butterfly Festival
Dunbar Cave State Park
Sat., Aug. 19
3 shifts: All Day, 8 a.m. - Noon; Noon - 4 p.m.

Help staff the Children's Arts & Crafts activity table at Dunbar Cave's 2nd Annual Hummingbird & Butterfly Festival!  Contact Cyndi Routledge if you can help out.

National Public Lands Day
Various Parks Across the State
September 30

In honor of National Public Lands Day, Tennessee State Parks, Friends Groups and Tennessee State Natural Areas are hosting a variety of volunteer stewardship projects, hikes and interpretive programs for all ages. A variety of events and service projects are planned, including litter clean-ups, trail maintenance, hikes and even a few canoe floats. Events are being held at different times throughout the day and some parks are having multiple events.
More information here.

Improve Your Parks

July 1
Cedars of Lebanon Volunteer Day
July 8
Panther Creek Volunteer Day
July 15
Cumberland Trail State Park Volunteer Maintainer Training at North Chick
Rocky Fork Volunteer Day
July 22
Long Hunter State Park REI Volunteer Day
August 5
Cedars of Lebanon Volunteer Day
August 12
Panther Creek Volunteer Day
August 19
Rocky Fork Volunteer Day

For details on these volunteer opportunities, visit the Tennessee State Parks website.


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:
Environmental  Consulting
Thank you to our generous TNP Sponsor: LEAPS Environmental Consulting
The Tennessee Naturalist Program receives 0.5% of your purchase price when you shop AmazonSmile
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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.

Educate Yourself

Wild Edibles
Owl's Hill Nature Sanctuary
Sat., July 8; 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Polly Rooker, Pandy English and Windy Hunter are 3 experienced foragers of woods, fields and streams. Participants will learn the skills of wild foraging as well as how to prepare the harvest.  Safe identification will also be stressed. 
More details here.

Birding by Ear
Seven Islands State Birding Park
July 9; 7:30 a.m.

Birds sing to claim a territory and attract mates.  If we can learn the songs of birds without seeing them we can learn what birds are in our yard or in the fields in the park.  We’ll begin with the basics of bird songs identification and learn some helpful tips to identify them.
More details here.

Water|Ways Lecture Series
Warriors' Path State Park
July 13; 7 p.m.

Randy Hedgepath will present a photographic and narrative program on the watershed of Tennessee’s namesake river. Flowing down from the highest mountains in the eastern United States, our streams make a long journey to the largest river in the country. Along the way are outstanding natural landmarks and a cross section of our history and culture. 
More details here.

Native Thistles: Important and Misunderstood Plants for Conservation
July 25th; 2 p.m. EST

Learn about the value of native thistles to pollinators and other wildlife, the precarious conservation status of native thistles, and ways we can conserve the wide diversity of native thistles in North America.
More details here

Guided Cave Hikes
Dunbar Cave State Park
Multiple Dates in July & August

Take a guided tour inside Dunbar Cave. Cave Hikes are limited to 20 people so RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED to secure a spot on the tour.
More details here.

Dragonfly Hike
Seven Islands State Birding Park
July 27; 10 a.m.

Dragonflies are predators at all stages of their lives, some can control their body temperature, some are migratory, they are the fastest flying insects.  Walk the trails and learn about these fascinating creatures.
More details here.

Astronomy Weekend
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Aug. 11 & 12; late afternoon until 10:00 pm (or later)

Make plans to attend any or all of the Astronomy Weekends to discuss constellations and spatial relationships in the solar system.  Telescope viewing will also be offered, weather permitting.  For more information, email Lloyd Watkins at, or visit  

Hummingbord Banding
Montgomery Bell State Park
Several Dates in August

Meet at the Park Office.  Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds are such a joy to watch zipping around the feeders at Montgomery Bell Inn, but the number of birds present and consistency of birds is unknown.
More details here.

Hummingbird & Butterfly Festival
Dunbar Cave State Park
Aug. 19; 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Planned activities include: hummingbird banding demonstration conducted by Southeastern Avian Research, arts and craft activities for children, hourly talks on hummingbirds, butterflies, other pollinators, and guided hikes. It’s free, open to the public and a great way to spend an educational day outdoors for all ages. Come rain or shine.
More details here.

Plant ID: Exploring the Western Tennessee Valley Limestone Barrens
Carroll Cabin Barrens State Natural Area
Sept. 2; 10 a.m.

Participants will learn to recognize many of the plants found in the Western Tennessee Valley Limestone Barrens. During this workshop, you will learn how to identify many of the plants found in this unique ecosystem and will learn basic tips for identifying the hard-to-identify asters and goldenrods. Allan Trently, West Regional Ecologist for the Division of Natural Areas has conducted plant, animal and ecological system inventories of the west Tennessee barrens since joining the Division in 2008. He has led numerous plant and nature walks in the barrens.
More details here.

Rare Plant Fall Hike and Creek Walk
Dry Branch State Natural Area
Sept. 2; 10 a.m.

The natural area that we are exploring is a rare plant community type called the Highland Rim Calcareous Seeps with several rare plants that only occur in these seeps habitat. The federally endangered Tennessee yellow-eyed grass (Xyris tennesseensis), several state listed plant species,Grass-of-Parnassus (Parnassia grandifolia), Hairy umbrella-sedge (Fuirena squarrosa), small headed rush and fen orchids.
More details here.
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 © 2017 Tennessee Naturalist Program, All rights reserved.

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