"Coosa Valley Special Plant Communities"
FREE program on Monday, August 8th
Healing the earth, one yard at a time

August 2016 Newsletter

In this edition:

Coosa Valley Special Plant Communities - August 8
Conservation Partnerships: Orchids & Pollinators - September 12
Fall Landscapes in Progress - September 17

Pollinators - Saturday, August 13
Plant Form & Function I - September 10
Plant Form & Function II - October 8
Soil and Water - November 12








Coosa Valley Special Plant Communities
with Leslie Edwards, Ph.D.

Monday, August 8, 2016
6:00 pm
green|spaces, 63 E. Main St., Chattanooga
FREE and open to the public

Join us on Monday, August 8th for Coosa Valley Special Plant Communities, a talk by Leslie Edwards, Ph.D. that will enlighten us about plants of the Cumberland Plateau - Ridge and Valley Ecoregion, which is an unique area of northwest Georgia and also part of the Tennessee Valley.  

This region, comprised of six subregions, has an unusually high diversity of natural communities, especially given its limited area.

Leslie Edwards is retired from Georgia State University and is a co-author of "The Natural Communities of Georgia."  Her book is an update of Dr. Charles Wharton's "The Natural Environments of Georgia."

The upper Coosa watershed in northeastern Alabama and north Georgia is home to the majority of the remaining clumps of the endangered green pitcherplant.

Plant Form & Function I
with with Richard  Clements & Mary Priestley

Saturday, September 10, 2016
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center

This is a core class for the Certificate in Native Plants and offers 6 credits toward the program's completion. The goal of the class is to provide students with a basic understanding of botany which is critical to understanding how plants work in the natural world.  For example, what exactly is a Plant? Here we take a look at the qualities that plants share with other living things, as well as characteristics that set them apart. We also examine the range of different organisms that make up the plant kingdom. Specific topics include: living vs. non-living things, matter, energy, chemistry, cells and their functions, photosynthesis, respiration, natural and artificial selection, and the diversity of the plant world.

Instructors:  Richard Clements, PhD, Professor of Biological and Environmental Science, Chattanooga State Community College, and Mary Priestley, Curator of the Sewanee Herbarium.

Note: Plant Form & Function II will be held on October 8.  Both are core classes.  There are no prerequisites for either class.  You do NOT have to be working toward your Certificate in Native Plants to register for this class.

Conservation Partnerships -
Pollinators & Orchids
with Jennifer Cruse-Sanders, Ph.D.

Monday, September 12, 2016 -  6:00 pm
green|spaces, 63 E. Main St., Chattanooga TN
FREE and open to the public

Join us on September 12th for Conservation Partnerships - Pollinators and Orchids, an informative talk about native orchids by Jennifer Cruse-Sanders, Ph.D., VP of Research and Conservation at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Lots of animals visit orchid flowers but each orchid species often has "preferred" pollinators.  An orchid flower that is pollinated by queen bumblebees has a floral architecture that makes it improbable that visiting moths or butterflies will pollinate it no matter how hungry they are.  Around the world different orchid species may be pollinated by different members of seven different families of bees, several families of wasps, nectar-drinking flies, butterflies, sphinx and settling moths, hummingbirds and African sunbirds.

Dr. Cruse-Sanders' talk will also include a discussion of the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance (GPCA), an umbrella organization dedicated to harnessing horticultural advances in the name of conservation.  The ABG has been instrumental in developing many of the horticultural techniques for rare plant propagation and restoration that have been applied in GPCA field projects.  ABG also works with Audubon's Toyota Together Green  program to work in underserved communities in Atlanta. This includes creating parks and pollinator gardens in areas which previously had neither.

Saturday, September 17, 2016 --  9:00 am - 2:00 pm
The Fall Landscapes in Progress tour is on Saturday September 17, 2016.  Three members of the Tennessee Valley Wild Ones will open their home gardens to a small group of members.  Details about garden locations (all in the Chattanooga area) will be provided after registration.
These informal programs provide an opportunity for education, promotion and encouragement of native plant gardening, as well as TVWO member appreciation.  Rather than a traditional "garden tour" where everything is perfect, LIPs is an event where members -- host and visitor -- can ask questions, share information about their own endeavors, and spend time with others dedicated to landscaping with native species. Over time, we have re-visited some of the same gardens to witness the evolution and growth of a landscape, all with the hope of becoming better gardeners.
Registration is FREE and limited to 20 members for this fall's  Landscapes in Progress. Sign up now to ensure your slot.  A brown-bag picnic at the last garden will cap the day's activities.  Registrants will receive the itinerary, driving directions and descriptions of the three landscapes after registration.  As always, consider carpooling with other members who've signed up for this wonderful members-only event

Registration is currently open for the following classes:

 with Ann Brown
Saturday, August 13
Elective Class

Plant Form & Function I
 with Richard Clements & Mary Priestley
Saturday, September 10
Core Class

Plant Form & Function II 
with Richard Clements & Mary Priestley
Saturday, October 8
Core Class

Soil & Water with Wyn Miller
Saturday, November 12
Core Class


Nominations for 2017 Landscape Conservation Award/
Certificate of Appreciation Award

The Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones recognizes individuals or organizations whose exemplary use of native plants demonstrate the mission of Wild Ones: t o promote environmentally sound landscaping practices which preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities.
Nominations are now open for the 2017 Landscape Conservation Award / Certificate of Appreciation Award.  

Award Criteria:
1. To recognize individuals or organizations who have made significant contributions to the cause of native plant and habitat conservation.
2. To provide a means of publicly acknowledging such efforts.
3. To further the mission of promoting environmentally sound landscaping practices through public education.

Nominations will be accepted until September 1, 2016.  The 2017 Landscape Award will be presented at the Tennessee Valley Wild Ones Annual Native Plant Symposium in early 2017.


Reflection Riding Butterfly Garden
NEW Volunteer Team Forming

In 2013, the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones helped design and install the Butterfly Garden at Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center.  Since that time, the garden has filled in and now serves as a major educational resource for adults and children.

Our chapter is organizing a team of volunteers to help with the maintenance of this important native plant demonstration garden.   The Volunteer Team will have a weekend work day in early October to help ready the garden for winter.   The garden will be weeded and mulched, and new plants will be planted.  Another work day is planned in the spring to ready the garden for summer.  Volunteers are also needed for a monthly weeding day during the growing season, as well as to help with watering throughout the summer.

Please join this Volunteer Team.  You'll get to know other native plant enthusiasts, and it's a great way to learn about native plants that attract butterflies and other pollinators.  For more info and to volunteer, please email Ann Brown.


New Season for Tennessee Naturalist Program Begins Soon 

The Friends of South Cumberland State Park (Monteagle, TN) chapter of the Tennessee Naturalist Program is now accepting applications for its class, starting in September. This program, now in its fifth year, is an opportunity for interested adults to take 40 hours of classes about natural history and 40 hours of volunteer experience. Find out more about how you can be a part of this wonderful program.  Look for the Naturalist Program link on the Friends'  website  or contact the program leader, Deb Dreves  and please put "TN Naturalist" in the subject line.

Chattanooga Audubon Society is also offering the Tennessee Naturalist program at Audubon Acres in Chattanooga beginning in August.  For more information click HERE or contact Lynn Grabowski.

Reflection Riding Fall Plant Sale

Want beautiful spring and summer blooms? Take advantage of the fall planting season and let your plants settle in over the winter. Expand your knowledge of native plants and the best way to grow and care for them through the many walks and presentations given by local experts throughout the weekend.  Click HERE for more information.

Member Pre-Sale:
Thursday, September 8, 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm EDT

Public Sale:
Friday and Saturday, September 9 and 10, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm EDT

Location: Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center,
400 Garden Road, Chattanooga, TN 37419

Who Uses Black Cohosh?

Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa, synonym Cimicifuga racemosa) blooms in mid-summer, lighting up the forest understory.  Black Cohosh depends on the assistance of animals to achieve pollination. The flowers are visited by many species of insects whose bodies may come in contact with pollen dispensed from anthers at the tips of the stamens.  Read more in this blog article by Mary Ann Borge.

How Trees Talk to Each Other

"A forest is much more than what you see," says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery -- trees communicate with each other, often and over vast distances. Learn about the harmonious, complex social lives of trees and prepare to see the natural world with new eyes.  Watch the TedTalk.


Photos from the Field

Late stage Eastern Black Swallowtail Caterpillars on Fennel
(Photo by Mike O'Brien)

Multiple Funnel Web Spider webs at base of pine tree. Note tiny black dot in the center of some webs which is the entry opening for the spider. Each web is approximately four inches in diameter and will get larger up to one foot in diameter or more as the spider grows to an adult. (Photo by Mike O'Brien)

Hoary Edge Skipper on Salvia  (Photo by Mike O'Brien)

Hoary Mountain Mint (Photo by Mike O'Brien)

       Common Buckeye Butterfly (Photo by Mike O'Brien)

Tickseed Coreopsis colony (Photo by Mike O'Brien)


Become a Wild Ones Member!
Join the Tennessee Valley Chapter

See what's happening on our social media sites:

Wild Ones: Native Plants. Natural Landscapes is a national non-profit organization with over 50 chapters in 13 states that promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities. Please read more information about Wild Ones at www.wildones.org.
The Tennessee Valley Chapter presents guest speakers, field trips and other special events throughout the year, as well as an annual native plant and natural landscaping symposium in early spring. 
To contact our chapter, email us at tnvalleywildones@gmail.com