March 2021 Newsletter
Healing the earth, one yard at a time.
Early registration discount for
Plant Natives Symposium & Expo
extended until March 12th!
Plant Natives 2021! includes:

  • SPECIAL SEMINAR - Native Trees in a Time of Climate Change with Tom Kimmerer on March 19th

  • VIRTUAL SYMPOSIUM & EXPO featuring SEVEN speakers on March 19th – 21st, PLUS access to recordings for six months


See more details below.
Friday - Sunday, March 19-21, 2021
Seven nationally-recognized speakers.
Learn about native plant nurseries, other vendors and exhibitors.
All presentations available online for six months after the Symposium.

Wild Ones Members: $65
Non-Members: $75
Students: $30
Early Registration discount extended through March 12th
Symposium topics include:

  • Let It Be an Oak!
  • Gardening with the Best Native Plants of the Southeast 
  • Coloring the Conservation Conversation
  • Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians
  • Fundamentals of Garden Layers: Plant Communities, Ecosystem Function, and Climate Resilience
  • If You Want to Feed the Birds, First Feed the Bugs: Toward an Ecological Appreciation of Insects in Your Garden
  • Historical Ecology: Using Plants to Reveal the Past

Saturday, March 27
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Spring is nearly here, so make plans to join the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones as we welcome regional and local native plant nurseries, artists and vendors to Chattanooga's First Horizon Pavilion.

Plant Natives Special Seminar / CNP Class

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. The CNP offers a blend of classroom instruction, hands-on learning and guided hikes. Participants are required to complete four core classes, eight electives, and 40 hours of volunteering for approved native plant projects. 

Classes are open to Wild Ones members and non-members, whether or not you are pursuing the certificate.  Classes fill quickly and pre-registration is required.

Visit for more information.  

Native Trees in a
Time of Climate Change
Instructor: Tom Kimmerer

Friday, March 19, 2021
9:00 am - 12:00 pm EDST

Online Webinar
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)
Tennessee Valley Chapter Members-Only Hikes
Cloudland Canyon
Sunday, March 14
9:00am - 12:00pm EDST

We will be hiking an out and back trail with a side wildflower and a side cave loop trail, to view early spring flowers of the season.

FREE for members of the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones and family members.

Little Cedar Mountain
Sunday, March 28
9:45am - 12:30pm EDST

We will be hiking through rocky, mossy, partly wooded cedar/mixed woods and limestone glade with many rock formations. We will see many of the earliest flowers of the season such as hepatica, violets, toothworts, harbinger of spring, bloodroot, twinleaf, spring beauty, waterleaf, trillium, phacelia, wood sorrel, wild phlox, trout lily, crow poison, hepatica, false rue anemone, smooth rockcress, redbud, plum and mushrooms.
Native Garden Designs
Wild Ones Introduces
New Garden Design Website
Wild Ones has launched a new website that provides practical, educationally-sound information on native landscaping developed specifically for first-time native plant gardeners looking for help getting started.

The site also features a growing number of free, downloadable native garden designs created by professional landscape designers for multiple ecoregions in the United States, taking into account various light, soil and moisture conditions.

A plant list accompanies each design and provides a quick preview of the diversity and beauty of the native plants incorporated in each design. Both the designs and the plant lists are printer-friendly.

A garden design specifically for the Chattanooga area is featured on the site.
Wild Ones Member Garden Featured in March 2021 Chatter
Tennessee Valley Wild Ones member Lisa Lemza's native plant garden was featured in the March 2021 issue of Chatter. Read about Lisa's garden and lots of native plant gardening resources in the article.
Online Programs of Interest
Special Presentation by the Middle Tennessee Chapter
Restoring Nature's Relationships at Home

with Dr. Doug Tallamy
Thursday, March 11
7:00pm Central Time

A joint virtual event presented by the Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky Chapters of Wild Ones.
Get Your Native Plants!
Reflection Riding
Plant Pre-Orders
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center is offering a limited number of pre-orders available for pickup from the nursery starting on April 1st, 2021.

The nursery will open to the public on April 1st and will be open from Tuesday through Saturday every week during the growing season. Many of these plants will sell out before the nursery opens. Get your orders in now!
Middle Tennessee Chapter of Wild Ones Spring Plant Sale
Saturday, May 8, 2021
10 AM - 1 PM, Central time
Owl Hill Nature Sanctuary
Brentwood, TN

Online ordering with contact-free pickup, as well as an in-person browsing option will be available.
Events in the Region
Crabtree Farms
Plant Sale
Spring Plant Sale
Online Ordering Opens April 10
Barnside PickUp April 15-24
Interesting Information
$5.25 Million Fund To Accelerate Land Conservation In Greater Chattanooga Region To Fight Climate Change
Seeking to accelerate land conservation along the Appalachian Mountains to counter climate change and its impacts, the Open Space Institute (OSI) announced the launch of its $18 million Appalachian Landscapes Protection Fund (ALPF), which will focus, in part, on protecting key sections of Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia.
The ALPF, initially capitalized with $5.25 million in the tristate area, will provide grants to the local region for the acquisition of land and conservation easements to protect wildlife habitat and store carbon.

Eight Black Environmentalists You Need to Know
We cannot talk about environmental justice without addressing racial justice. Throughout history, communities of color have been disproportionally impacted by climate change and access to environmental resources, pollution, toxic soil and water, the list goes on and on. The fight against institutionalized oppression is becoming more important than ever. Here are just a few environmental heroes and their organizations who are fighting back against these systems, having an incredible impact not only in their local communities but across the U.S.

What's Happening Outdoors Now
Pyractomena borealis
Side view with head retracted.
The larva is "playing possum."
Length is 7/8”

Pyractomena borealis
Starting to crawl with head extended.
(3 pairs of legs)

Adult Pyractomena 
(courtesy of Wikipedia) 
Spring Fireflies
Last week, Marion O'Brien found this mature firefly larva crawling up the outside window of her Northeast Alabama home. Her husband Mike (one of our fabulous Wild Ones nature photographers) captured photos and provided the following report:

"The larva was captured alive, and I recognized it as a firefly larva, but further research revealed some really interesting and different things about this particular genus, Pyractomena. This species of firefly performs aerial pupating, unlike other firefly species which pupate in the ground. This genus seeks deeply furrowed trees like Oak, Hickory, etc., which it climbs high to pupate. Pyractomena are our Spring Firefly and the adults (after pupation) are seen typically in March or April.

The larvae of both this and other genera of fireflies are bioluminescent (“glow worm”). They all are voracious predators and inject paralytic chemicals into their larger prey and then consume them. While most other firefly genera are ground-feeders consuming earthworm, slugs and other prey beneath the leaf litter, Pyractomena larvae are amphibious and feed on snails. The adult firefly lays her eggs near water. 

It has been my experience that I see the adults of this genus high above the ground and usually flashing way up in the often bare, tree canopy. Then, as evening progresses, they gradually descend closer to, but not near the ground. Summer fireflies arise up from the ground and bushes at dusk and typically fly lower than do Pyractomena. I would suspect this likely has to do with where each species emerges from their pupation. 

Firefly larvae of all types are not very easy to find, so I was indeed fortunate that Marion saw this one which became the fascinating subject of this report. 
The two larvae photographs are those I took of the found Pyractomena borealis larva, and the adult firefly photo of this genus is copied from Wikipedia. 

Note: This larva, alive and well after its photo session, was placed back in a safe location to continue its life journey."
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Joining or Renewing
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Join a community of native plant enthusiasts – novices to experts – making a difference by establishing and preserving communities of native plants in home landscapes, schools, businesses, and communities.

AND receive benefits, including discounted admission for our annual Symposium and Certificate in Native Plants classes. As a member, you'll also be invited to members-only hikes, garden visits and social events.
Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones
Upcoming Event Calendar

Members-Only Hike to Cloudland Canyon
Sunday, March 14, 9:00am - 12:00pm EDST


Plant Natives 2021!

Native Trees in a Time of Plant Change
with Tom Kimmerer
Online via Zoom
Friday, March 19, 9:00am - 12:00pm EDST

Online via Zoom
Friday, March 19 - 12:30 - 4:00pm EDST
Saturday, March 20 - 12:00 - 5:00pm EDST
Sunday, March 21 - 12:30 - 4:20 pm EDST
Recordings available for six months

FREE & Open to the Public
First Horizon Pavilion
1801 Carter St., Chattanooga TN
Saturday, March 27, 2021 - 9:00am - 3:00pm EDST


Members-Only Hike to Little Cedar Mountain
Sunday, March 28, 9:45am - 12:30pm EDST


For event details and Zoom links, visit
Under the Programs & Events tab, click on Calendar.

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