Early Registration Discounts for the Symposium are Available Through March 15th
Healing the earth, one yard at a time

March 2017 Newsletter

In this edition:

Designing for Nature Symposium - March 18

Wild Ones Book Club - March 25
Laurel-Snow State Natural Area Wildflower Hike - April 2
Myths & Realities of Native Plants - April 10
Cane Creek Canyon Natural Preserve Weekend Trip - April 28-30


Rain Gardens & More - April 8
Native Edible & Medicinal Plants - May 13
Native Summer Flora of Forest & Fields - June 17

EarthCare Spring Workshop
Pollinator Palooza
Crabtree Farms Spring Plant Sale
Birmingham Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale
Georgia Botanical Society Wildflower Pilgrimage 
Trails & Trilliums
Master Gardeners' Garden Expo
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Wildflower Pilgrimage
Reflection Riding Spring Native Plant Sale
...and more!



Photo above by Mary Ann Borge
Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) with Spring Azure butterfly nectaring


Native Plant Symposium
Saturday, March 18, 2017
8:30am - 4:30pm

The 6 th  Annual Native Plant Symposium was created with both casual and experienced gardeners and landscapers in mind. You will leave with practical tips on natural landscaping and plant selection. After this symposium, you will know how to put what you've learned into practice.  

The symposium schedule includes FOUR speaker presentations:

Planting in a Post-Wild World
with Claudia West, author of  Planting in a Post-Wild World

Challenges to Using Native Plants in Commercial and Residential Design:
A Landscape Architect's Perspective 
with Steve Sanchez, Landscape Architect, HGOR

Practical Considerations in Native Plant Landscapes 
with Mike Berkley, owner of GroWild Nursery

Native Plants and Sustainable Landscapes 
with Rick Huffman, BLA, EarthDesigns

The Symposium will be held at the UTC University Center, a spacious, uncrowded, accessible venue with free and ample close-by parking. Claudia West's  Planting in a Post-Wild World  will be available for purchase and signing by the author. We hope that you will be inspired to create your own natural landscape and get to take home a door prize.

The  Native Plant Marketplace will open at 7:30am; nurseries will have native plants and artists will have artworks for sale. You can also browse the various Symposium topics-related exhibits by local organizations. Ample time is provided at midday and at the end of the day to visit exhibits and vendors in the Native Plant Marketplace. 

Register by March 15 and save $$$$!
Members save $20 on every ticket in advance
Non-Members save $10 on every ticket in advance

Lunch is INCLUDED in all tickets!
Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.

Sponsorship support provided by:

Dinner with the Symposium Speakers
for Wild Ones Members Only

Friday, March 17, 2017
6:30 p.m.
212 Market Restaurant
Chattanooga TN 

Wild Ones members are invited to a Symposium Eve dinner at 212 Market Restaurant in downtown Chattanooga.  This annual event is a great opportunity to meet and talk with the speakers - Claudia West, Steve Sanchez, Mike Berkley and Rick Huffman - who will be presenting at the symposium the following day.

The dinner at 212 Market Restaurant begins at 6:30pm and includes a three-course meal, wine and gratuity. Several entrĂ©e choices will be available, including at least one vegetarian option.  The restaurant can accommodate gluten-free or other dietary restrictions, as well.

This event is for Wild Ones members only.  Members may bring one guest.
Symposium Eve Dinner: $50 per person
Limited seating.  Please register early.


Wild Ones Book Club

Saturday, March 25, 2017
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
FREE and open to Wild Ones members + a guest

The Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones presents its first "book club" gathering to discuss The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate - Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben.

In The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders of which we are blissfully unaware. Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, and support them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling and creating an ecosystem that mitigates the impact of extremes of heat and cold for the whole group. As a result of such interactions, trees in a family or community are protected and can live to be very old. 

Wild Ones members are invited to bring a guest and come to discuss this fascinating book with others.

This event will be held at the home of Wild Ones member Ann Brown on Lookout Mountain.  Specific address information will be provided upon registration.

Laurel-Snow State Natural Area 
Celebration Week Hike

Sunday, April 2
Wild Ones members ONLY

Laurel-Snow is a 2,259-acre natural area located in Rhea County. The natural area occurs on the Walden Ridge of the Cumberland Plateau and contains a section of gorge that is deeply dissected by Morgan, Henderson, Laurel, and Richland Creeks. The site is named after two scenic waterfalls, Laurel Falls (80 feet) and Snow Falls (35 feet), and features two prominent overlooks, Buzzard Point and Bryan Overlook (also known as Raven Point). The natural area also has scenic creeks, steep gorges, geologic features, a small stand of virgin timber, and a wide variety of plants.

We will hike up Richland Creek to its bridge crossing and just a little beyond that point to see if the Trillium grandiflorum are up.  Most of the wildflowers are in the lower slopes near the creek.  Then we will return part way and hike up to Laurel Falls, then back down and to the parking area.  The hike to Laurel Falls is moderately strenuous.  The hike along Richland Creek is fairly easy with only a few short uphill sections.  There is one stream crossing on Laurel Branch that may require us to hop the creek because the old bridge is damaged and out.  If the creeks are up really high, we may not be able to cross and that would be the end of the hike, but there are lots of wildflowers before that point.   Participants will be welcome to leave the hike at any time and return on their own.

Meet up location and other details will be provided after registration.

Myths and Realities of Native Plants
with Wilf Nichols

Monday, April 10, 2017
63 E. Main Street, Chattanooga TN
FREE and open to the public

Wilf Nichols was the director of the Memorial University (Newfoundland) Botanical Garden for 13 years after arriving from the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden and London.  For the past four years, he has been the director of the Botanical Garden of the University of Georgia in Athens. Accomplishments include building up their Certificate in Native Plants program and developing programs to increase the availability of native plants for sale in Georgia.  Wilf will talk about growing native plants including the pitfalls, pratfalls, and downfalls. 

Free on-street parking is available.  Paid parking lots are also available behind green|spaces and adjacent to the Chattanooga Choo Choo.

No pre-registration is necessary for this program.

Cane Creek Canyon Natural Preserve
and North Alabama Native Plant Sites
Weekend Field Trip
for Wild Ones Members

Friday-Sunday, April 28-30, 2017
FREE for Wild Ones Members only

Join other Wild Ones members for a memorable 3-day/2-night weekend trip to northwest Alabama to visit Cane Creek Canyon Natural Preserve and other sites in north Alabama during the near-peak spring wildflower season.

On Saturday, the group will go to Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve, a 713-acre privately protected scenic area in the Little Mountains region of Colbert County, Alabama. It serves as a sanctuary for native plants and animals and offers 11 miles of hiking as well as camping, picnicking, and creek wading. This remarkable area of natural beauty is still unspoiled largely due to an equally remarkable couple, Jim and Faye Lacefield. The retired educators bought a 40-acre tract of land in 1979 and have gradually added to that original purchase, keeping the land in its natural state.  The preserve includes a 60-foot waterfall, wetlands, sparkling streams rushing through boulder-strewn notches, sunny glades, sheer canyon walls and towering cliffs overlooking seas of hardwood forests. The canyon itself is steep and deep. In some places it is 350 feet from the rim to the clear blue-green waters of Cane Creek.

Based on participants' preferences, one of two sites will be visited enroute on Friday.  The Vernon  Bush Garden at Jackson County Park in Scottsboro should provide a  spectactular floral display and/or the Huntsville Botanical Gardens  with exceptional wildflower and shrub displays.

On Sunday morning, two sites will be available to visit: the Hall
Memorial Wildflower Garden located on the TVA Reservation and Deibert
Park which is a City of Florence Park.

Our trip will be led by Leon and Pat Bates.  Leon is retired as an urban forester/horticulturist (Florence, AL) and former senior botanist for TVA.  He is an avid hiker with the Cherokee Hiking Club, a leading wildflower, tree/shrub, and invasive plant hikes walks and a presenter of programs for local conservation groups. 

Participants will be responsible for the cost of their own lodging, meals and car transportation.   The group will depart from Chattanooga on Friday morning, April 28 and return on Sunday afternoon, April 30.  The trip is free and available for Wild Ones members only. Details regarding suggested lodging will be provided upon registration.   Limit: 15 participants.

Volunteer to Help!

We Need Your Help!

100% of the programs, events and activities of the Tennessee Valley Chapter are planned, organized and coordinated by volunteers.  We have no paid staff, so we truly count on the generosity of our members and community volunteers.  

With the upcoming Symposium and all of the community events in April, we need volunteers to help us out.  You don't need any experience to volunteer, and your support will help get the word out about the benefits of landscaping with native plants.  It's also a great way to meet other like-minded people, and if you're participating in the Certificate in Native Plants Program, you can count your time toward the volunteer requirements.

At the Symposium, we need volunteers to help with set-up, registration, greeting and directing guests, distributing lunches, book sales and more.

We also need volunteers to staff our Wild Ones information tables at the following community events: Master Gardeners Garden Expo, Crabtree Farms Spring Plant Sale, Reflection Riding Spring Plant Sale, and the Bachman Community Center Home & Garden Show.  

Please click the button below and be generous with your time for one or more events.  We thank you for your valuable time!

Certificate in Native Plants Classes

Spring Programs are Filling Up Quickly!

The Certificate in Native Plants program is designed to expand students' knowledge of botany, ecology, conservation, and uses of native flora in the southeastern United States. Students will get both classroom education and hands-on application to increase knowledge and skills that can be applied at home, in the community, and at work. The course setting will provide a common ground for native plant enthusiasts to meet and connect with others who share their interests. 

The CNP is designed to benefit both home gardeners and landscaping professionals alike.  You do NOT need to be working toward the Certificate in order to register for classes.

CNP classes are limited to 25 participants.  They fill up quickly, so register now to ensure your place.

Click the links below for program details and registration.

Rain Gardens and More
Instructor: Wyn Miller
Saturday, April 8, 2017
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)

Native Edible & Medicinal Plants
Instructor: Holli Richey
Saturday, May 13, 2017
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)

Native Summer Flora of Forest and Fields
Instructor: John Manion
Saturday, June 17, 2017
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)

Spring Events in the Region

Mark Your Calendar for These Spring Events!

April is always a busy time in our area, with plant sales, hikes and other activities for native plant gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts.   
Here's a sampling of some of the events planned for 2017.  
Be sure to check the  "Community and Regional Events"
 page of our website (drop down menu under "Programs") for updates on these and other activities.  Start planning NOW for some of these terrific opportunities.

EarthCare Spring Workshop
" Beautiful and Functional Native Plants 
to Replace Invasive Exotics"
with Sally Wencel
Greenway Farm 
Saturday, March 25
9:30am - 1:00pm
FREE.  Advance registration required.

Pollinator Palooza:
How to Create Pollinator Habitat in the Garden
Crabtree Farms
Saturday, April 1
9:00am - 1:15pm

Spring Ephemerals Tram Tour
with Dr. Richard Clements
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
Saturday, April 1

Signs of Spring Nature Walk
with Christine Bock-Hunt
A program of the Tennessee Aquarium
Sunday, April 2
2:00 - 5:00pm

Crabtree Farms Spring Plant Sale
Thursday-Sunday, April 6-9

Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Spring Plant Sale
Thursday-Sunday, April 6-9 

Wildflower Pilgrimmage in Chattanooga Area
Georgia Botanical Society
Friday-Sunday, April 7-9

Trails & Trilliums
Sewanee, TN
Friday-Sunday, April 7-9

Master Gardeners of Hamilton County
"Master Your Garden" Garden Expo
Camp Jordan Arena, East Ridge TN
Saturday & Sunday, April 8-9

Spring Wildflower Walk
with Christine Bock-Hunt
in Rising Fawn, GA
A program of the Tennessee Aquarium
Sunday, April 9
2:00 - 5:00pm

Great Smoky Mountain National Park 
Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage
Tuesday - Saturday, April 11-15

Growing Native Orchids
Wild Ones Smoky Mountains Chapter
Kodak TN
Thursday, April 13

Reflection Riding Spring Native Plant Sale
Thursday, April 20 - Members Only
Friday & Saturday, April 21-22 - Open to the Public

Pollinator Palooza
How to Create Pollinator Habitat in the Garden 

Saturday, April 1 
9:00am - 1:15pm
Crabtree Farms

Want to improve your gardening practices or increase yields in your vegetable gardens and orchards? Join local native plant experts, master gardeners, and members of Wild Ones Native Plant Society for a morning focused on how to create native pollinator habitat and why it is vital to your garden and our world.

Program Schedule:

9:00am - BEE SMART 
Presenter: Ann Brown 
Native bees are a "keystone" species that hold entire ecosystems together. They are the most important part of the food chain and are essential to the entire fabric of life on the planet. Who are they and why are they in decline?
9:45am - BEE NATIVE 
Presenter: Lisa Lemza 
What are native plants? Why are they important to our yards, gardens, and the world? 

10:30am - BEE GARDENS 
Presenter: Sally Wencel 
Out of the wilds and into your garden: Vegetable and Fruit Gardening with Native Plants. How to use native plants to increase pollination and yields. How to attract beneficial insects to your garden.
11:30am - BEE DIVERSE 
Presenter: Beth Rice 
Butterfly Gardens and Monarch Waystations. Butterflies are our most beloved insect and pollinator. How to attract them to your yard. How to create a Monarch Waystation.
12:15pm - BEE DESIGNING 
Presenters: Nancy and Daniel Talley from Botanica Chattanooga
How to create a pollinator garden and habitat using a wide variety of plants, shrubs, and trees that bloom from early spring to late fall.

FREE and open to the public
Please register so we know how many to expect.

Pollinator Palooza is a partnership between


The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain

The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain in Walker County, Georgia is considered to be among the finest areas for wildflowers in Georgia.  It is a part of the Crockford-Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Area, and is home to the Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail.  Last week, Wild Ones member Terri Joyce visited The Pocket and captured these photos of wildflowers in bloom.

Blue cohosh
Photo by Terri Joyce

Harbinger of Spring
Photo by Terri Joyce

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
Photo by Terri Joyce

Photo by Terri Joyce

Last fall's Goldenrod
Photo by Terri Joyce


Become a Wild Ones Member!
Join the Tennessee Valley Chapter

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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