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40th Annual Spring Nature Festival
April 12 @ 6:00 pm - April 14 @ 12:00 pm
Come enjoy a weekend full of outdoor discovery, with “mini-seminars” and guided hikes on a wide range of nature discovery topics, led by expert naturalists from across our region. It’s all FREE, and no preregistration is needed.
Here’s a detailed schedule:
FRIDAY, APRIL 12
6:30 PM ANIMAL TRACKING AND SIGNS – Our fellow creatures leave a variety of living stories. Learn to read tracks and other signs of wildlife activity. Join Ranger Marty Silver at the Recreation Building.
7:00 PM iNATURALIST – Learn to use this app to participate in citizen science. Meet with naturalists Larry McDaniel and Cade Campbell at the Recreation Building.
8:00 PM NIGHT HABITATS WALK – Rangers Marty Silver and Brian Glover of Warriors’ Path will guide us on a night discovery walk. Meet at the Rec. Building Parking lot and we will carpool.
SATURDAY, APRIL 13
7:30 AM BIRDLIFE SEMINAR – Gain new insights into the lives and habits of our common birds. Bill Grigsby and other members of Birding Kingsport will share their deep understanding of spring birds. Meet at the Rec Building.
8:00 AM BIRD WALK – Bill Grigsby and other members of Birding Kingsport will help us understand and identify spring birds and bird behavior. Meet at the Recreation Building Porch.
9:00 AM NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY SEMINAR – Richard Siggins and Jeff Sturgill, expert nature photographers, will give us tips for better photography outdoors. This lecture will be held at the Recreation Building.
10:00 AM PHOTOGRAPHY WALK – Try the skills you learned at the photo seminar, or just enjoy the spring scenery. Richard Siggins will be our guide on this ridgeline hike. Meet at the Recreation Building parking lot, and we’ll carpool.
11:30 AM PLANTS & POLLINATORS SEMINAR – Don Holt and Larry McDaniel, Naturalists from Steele Creek Park, will acquaint us with spring plants and the butterflies and other creatures that pollinate them. Meet at the Recreation Building.
12:30 PM PLANTS & POLLINATORS WALK – Our guides, Larry McDaniel and Don Holt, will bring us to a bright display of spring wildflowers and their amazing insect pollinators on this ramble through the Overlook. Meet at the Rec. Building parking lot, and we’ll carpool.
1:00 PM STREAM ECOLOGY SEMINAR – Gary Barrigar and Cathy Landy of Boone Watershed Partnership will help us discover the incredible life of flowing waters. This lecture will be held at the Recreation Building.
1:30 PM CREEK WALK – Walk through the clear cool waters of Fall Creek, to experience a living community. Wear old clothes and sneakers, and meet Cathy Landy and Gary Barrigar at the Recreation Building parking lot. We’ll carpool to the creek.
3:00 PM GEOLOGY SEMINAR – Jeremy Stout of Steele Creek Park and Will Miller of TDEC will offer special insights into the importance of those rocks beneath the spring landscape. This lecture will be held at the Recreation Building.
4:00 PM GEOLOGY WALK – Take a walk along a stony river bank, and learn the dynamic stories of a changing land. Start our hike with Jeremy Stout and Will Miller at the Pool Parking Lot.
5:00 PM PLANTS OF THE DOLOMITE CLIFFS – Come learn the spring trees and plants of this unique habitat. Enjoy a botanical expedition through the world of springtime green life. Guest leader is Dr. Frosty Levy, ETSU Botanist. Meet at the Rec. Building Parking lot and we will carpool.
7:00 PM SUNSET WALK – There’s no better place to observe the land than in these old fields and forested ridges. Come watch the evening darken the spring landscape, in one of the richest wildlife habitats in our park. Our leaders will be Kevin Hamed of VA Highlands Community College, and Connie Deegan of Johnson City Parks. Meet at the Pool Parking Lot, and we’ll carpool.
9:00 PM SPRING NIGHT SKIES – Gather beneath the dark sky and learn the lore of the spring stars. Jason Dorfman of Bays Mountain Park will share his knowledge and his astronomical tools. Meet at the Pool Parking Lot. (in case of rain or thick clouds, meet under the shelter at the pool entrance.)
SUNDAY, APRIL 14
9:30 AM WORSHIP SERVICE AND CONCERT – Share uplifting music and an inspiring message with Eric Fields and the Worship Team from Grace Bible Church. Meet at the Recreation Building.
10:30 AM SPRING LANDSCAPES WALK – Reflect on the land’s rich gifts as we hike the high places. Enjoy Sunday morning in the woods with Ranger Marty Silver. Meet at the Rec. Building parking lot, and we’ll carpool.