DATEBOOK : WINTERGREEN : Nature Foundation May 2008 Events

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REFRESH Nelson County Life Magazine HERE

www.twnf.org for more informnation

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May 16 and 18 Wildflower Symposium Celebrate the 25th year of this trademark TWNF event. The Wintergreen Nature Foundation’s favorite ritual of spring is celebrating its 25th year. As the days lengthen and the temperatures warm, an advancing green line of spring creeps up the mountain. Every woodland ravine becomes a colorful tapestry as violets, orchids, and lilies raise their faces to embrace the spring sunlight. Colorful wood warblers are busy as they flit through the infant foliage, their arrival perfectly timed with the caterpillar hatch. While we seldom associate instinctive behavior with wildflowers, there is clearly an evolved “behavioral” response to the passage of spring as they must bloom, attract a pollinator and set seed before the new canopy closes in. In perspective, while our ritual of celebration is twenty-five years young, their ritual is likely four thousand years old.
Placed into the setting of nature’s most ancient and beautiful natural gardens, the 25th annual Spring Wildflower Symposium is a celebration of learning as we look at the science related to these incredible ecosystems. This year’s symposium will include programs such as:

Old Growth Forests of North America: Dr Dennis Whigham, Smithsonian Environmental Research Scientist, will place our Blue Ridge forests in perspective.
A Warming World: Jeff Halverson, Climatologist and Professor, will discuss the impact of climate change.
Ecology for Gardeners: Dr Ed Clebsch, Professor of Botany, and his wife, Meredith, will lecture and lead walks from a gardener’s perspective.
Mammals of the Southern Appalachians: Dr. Mike Pelton, Wildlife Biologist, shares the secret lives of many wildlife species.

Over 50 programs will occur including hikes to see and identify native wildflowers, ferns, trees and shrubs in their natural ecosystems. Birding will be fabulous as we get once-a-year sightings of tiny, colorful wood warblers and other birds of spring. Learn about the birth of the Blue Ridge with geologist Lorrie Coiner. Visit with herbalist Susan Belsinger as she teaches about medicinal and edible plants.
From veteran enthusiast to rank beginner one cannot help but be inspired by seeing first hand nature’s prehistoric design in our mountains and woodlands. It teaches us by example that all things in nature are connected, including us.

Wildflower Symposium will be held May 16 through 18. Please visit www.twnf.org for detailed schedule and pricing information. Download complete details by clicking here.

May 22 12PM Highland Hike Join Irma Graf on a hike of the Dragon’s Tooth Loop near Roanoke followed by dinner at the Homeplace. This 5 mile hike is considered “difficult” terrain. $25 members, $30 non-members, bring plenty of water and money for dinner, register by May 21.

May 24 and 25
Spring Slam Open Tennis Tournament. Every Memorial Day Weekend since 2000, The Spring Slam Open Tennis Tournament has been held as a fund raiser for TWNF. A dinner for players and their families will be hosted Saturday evening at the Trillium House. Call 325-8235 for registration information.

May 31 7AM Field Studies Institute: A Floating Classroom The second installment in our series of hands-on educational opportunities. Float through history as we traverse a calm section of the James River, from Wingina to Howardsville, in a traditional flat-bottomed bateau piloted by Brian Roberts. Enjoy the lazy motion of the river on a Virginia summer day or heave to and grab an oar as you learn about the bateaux and their important role in the life and times past on the James. $70 members, $80 non-members, register by May 27. SOLD OUT! Please call to be added to the waiting list.

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