March 2020 Newsletter
Healing the earth, one yard at a time.
Love the Winter! Get Ready for Spring!
It's almost time for native plants in our area to start blooming!
That means that it's time for our annual Plant Natives 2020 Symposium
AND the FREE Native Plant Marketplace & Expo.
At these events on March 14th, you can learn more about native plant gardening...
AND you can purchase native plants for your garden. Six native plant nurseries will be on hand,
along with exhibitors and an outstanding lineup of Symposium speakers.
Discounts on Symposium tickets are available through March 11th.
Read more below.
Plant Natives 2020!
Symposium Tickets are Selling Quickly! Register NOW!

Saturday, March 14 Symposium
9:00am - 4:30pm ET
Registration begins at 8:00am
UTC University Center
642 E. 5th St., Chattanooga TN

The ninth annual  Plant Natives 2020!  Symposium and Native Plant Marketplace & Expo will be presented on Saturday, March 14, 2020, at the University Center, on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. The Symposium will include presentations by Benjamin Vogt, Phillip Juras, and Bodie Pennisi, PhD.

Benjamin Vogt is author of A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future . Benjamin operates  Monarch Gardens , which offers design services and online classes in native plant gardening.
Philip Juras is trained as an artist and a landscape architect.  His work explores the rich aesthetics of a wide range of ecologically intact natural environments. Philip's paintings express his desire to both explore and understand the patterns of the natural world.

Bodie Pennisi is a Horticulture Specialist at the University of Georgia. She teaches Master Gardener training classes on landscape installation and maintenance, WaterSmart landscapes, interiorscapes, herbaceous and woody ornamental plant selection, and plant propagation.
While registration and a fee are required to attend the symposium, the Native Plant Marketplace and Expo are free and open for anyone to attend from 8 am till 4:30 pm.

Ticket discounts are available in advance, before March 11th:
Wild Ones members - $60
Non-members - $70
Students with valid ID - $25

All tickets at the door: $75

ALL Symposium tickets include a vegetarian soup and salad bar lunch.
Saturday, March 14, 2020
8:00am - 4:30pm
UTC University Center
642 E. 5th Street, Chattanooga TN

While registration and a fee are required to attend the Symposium,
the Native Plant Marketplace & Expo is FREE and open for anyone to attend.

Plan to take advantage of the FIRST opportunity of the season to purchase native plants for your garden. This year, there will be SIX local and regional native plant nurseries in Chattanooga for you to find a huge selection of native plants.

Start making your plant lists now!

Information about other exhibitors will be coming soon.
Enjoy Dinner
with Benjamin Vogt,
Philip Juras
and Bodie Pennisi
Friday, March 13, 2020
6:00 - 9:00pm
Scottie's on the River
491 Riverfront Parkway
Chattanooga TN 37402

Wild Ones members (plus family and guests) are invited to a Symposium Eve Dinner at Scottie's on the River in downtown Chattanooga.  Not a member? Check at the bottom of this newsletter for a link to join Wild Ones.

This annual event is a great opportunity to meet and talk with the speakers –Benjamin Vogt, Philip Juras and Bodie Pennisi –who will be presenting at the Plant Natives 2020! Symposium the following day.

At the dinner, you'll also have the opportunity to purchase Dr. Vogt's book - A New Garden Ethic - and have him sign it before coming to the Symposium on Saturday.
April - June CNP Classes

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. Visit  for more information.  Classes are open to Wild Ones members and non-members, whether or not you are pursuing the certificate.  

CNP class sizes are limited and registration IN ADVANCE is required.

Spring Wildflower Hike
Instructor: John Manion
Saturday, April 4, 2020
11:00am - 3:00pm CDT
Little River Canyon & DeSoto State Park
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)

The Spring Wildflower Hike to Little River Canyon, which sits atop Lookout Mountain, will consist of stopping at several places along the Canyon Rim Drive. The area is comprised of several different ecosystems - forested uplands, waterfalls, bluffs, pools, boulders, and sandstone glades. Time permitting, or for those who wish to stay a little longer, we may traverse the boardwalk at the nearby DeSoto State Park, to see which spring ephemerals have made their appearance.

Native Plant Communities
Instructors: Mary Priestley & Charlotte Freeman
Saturday, May 30, 2020
9:00am - 4:00pm
Reflection Riding & Nature Center
Chattanooga TN
CORE Class (6 credits)

Plant communities are assemblages of plant species living together in a given place. Interactions among plant species, interactions plants have other organisms (such as animals and fungi), and interactions plants have with their physical environment (such as climate, topography, geology, and disturbance) all work together to determine the composition and structure of plant communities over time. In this course, will examine the ecological properties of plant communities by exploring plant habitats. We will also discuss the benefits and challenges of protecting native plant communities in Tennessee.
Part of the class will be in the classroom and part will be in the field. 

Ecology of Wetlands
Instructor: Bill Phillips, PhD
Saturday, June 13, 2020
9:00am - 12:30pm
Volkswagen of Chattanooga
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)

A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is inundated by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail. The course will discuss freshwater wetlands typical of this region, their role in water purification and their characteristic vegetation.

The instructor will describe the development and execution of the plan to restore the 40 acre wetland on the Volkswagen Chattanooga campus, creating a biodiverse environment, including 167 species of birds that migrate through the property or have made it home. 

The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction."
― Rachel Carson

Coming in 2020!
Basic Gardening Roundtable: 
Native from the Beginning
Monday, May 18, 2020
Monday, September 14, 2020
Monday, November 16, 2020
63 E. Main St., Chattanooga TN
FREE and Open to the Public

Do you want to learn more about gardening with native plants? Bring your questions, victories, failures, your fears and your triumphs, for an informal garden roundtable with experienced native plant gardeners. We will offer pragmatic advice on design, plant selection, sourcing, and difficulties encountered from our combined experience.

Chattanooga's Native Plant Garden Tour
Native Plant Garden Tour
Saturday, September 12, 2020

Save the Date!

More information coming soon!
Volunteer Opportunities
It's Spring ... and Wild Ones Needs YOU!
April is a particularly busy time in the Tennessee Valley, with plant sales and gardening events. The Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones will have information tables at many events, and we need volunteers to help staff them. We provide all the information and handouts...all we need is YOU!
Local & Regional Happenings
Southeast Partners in Plant Conservation
March 2-6
Atlanta Botanical Garden

Southeastern Partners in Plant Conservation will bring together government agencies, land managers, botanical gardens, university programs, experts, professionals, and other interested parties to build capacity and promote novel partnerships for plant conservation in the Southeast. Working with a wide range of stakeholders that represent diverse interests and perspectives, this effort seeks to stimulate collective successes in local, state, and regional plant conservation.
Chattanooga Arbor Day Celebration in Alton Park
Saturday, March 7
Southside Park, Chattanooga

The Chattanooga Tree Commission and Trust for Public Lands Tennessee is celebrating Arbor Day March 7 at the Alton Park neighborhood park.

8:30-9:00am: Tree planting instructions
9:00-11:30am: Tree planting
11:30-Noon: Ceremony
Noon-2:00pm: Food and Music
Tree Pruning 101 with Jon Nessle
Tree Climbing Expo
Weed Wrangle
Saturday, March 7

For this year's Weed Wrangle, you can volunteer at Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center or any of the other great environmental organizations of Chattanooga. Find a location near you below.

What is Weed Wrangle? It's is a one-day, citywide, volunteer effort to help rescue our public parks and green spaces from invasive species through hands-on removal of especially harmful trees, vines and flowering plants. 
Controlling Invasive Plants in the Community
Wednesday, March 18
Presented by the Tennessee Invasive Plant Council

This full-day workshop is intended to promote successful management of invasive plants on larger properties, both public and private. Learn how to more effectively management nuisance plants which harm our native habitat. It will be helpful for both administrators, supervisors and crew workers.
Tennessee Tree Day
Friday & Saturday, March 20-21

Tennessee Tree Day 2020  is the largest community tree-planting project of its kind in America taking place on March 21, 2020! You and other Tennessee residents will collectively pick up and plant more than 100,000 native tree-seedlings in all 95 Tennessee counties during the weekend of March 20-21, 2020. The trees are yours to  plant on your own property  and will enhance our environment and communities for generations to come! 

Tree Pickup Locations include:

UT Extension Office - Hamilton County
6138 Adamson Circle, Chattanooga TN

Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
400 Garden Rd., Chattanooga TN
Spring Fling: Throw a Love Bomb!
Sunday, March 22
Grace Episcopal Church
20 Belvoir Ave., Chattanooga TN

Celebrate spring by building your own native seed bombs, for guerilla gardening or your own garden. Tree giveaway included. Lunch provided. Brief liturgy for pollinators included. Dress to get dirty! This event is particularly suitable for children.
Container Gardening Workshop
with Katie Bishop

Saturday, March 28
9:30am - 12:00 noon
Ascension Lutheran Church Community Hall

FREE of Charge!
FREE lunch provided
Door prizes!

Spring workshop presented by EarthCare
Reflection Riding
Spring Plant Sale
April 16-18
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
400 Garden Road, Chattanooga TN

The member preview is Thursday and public sale is Friday and Saturday during the Earth Day Festival. For each native plant you buy, Reflection Riding will plant one too! Your plant purchases support ecosystem restoration in both your yard and Reflection Riding's 317-acre teaching landscape.
Trails & Trilliums Festival
April 17
Monteagle TN

The 17th Annual Trails & Trilliums Festival will be held at the Dubose Conference Center in Monteagle. A fundraiser for the Friends of South Cumberland State Park, featured will be over 25 guided hikes in and around the South Cumberland State Park, a native plant sale and great line-up of programs, author talks and workshops. This year will feature the first Trails and Trilliums Family Campout with garden and outdoor vendors and music on stage.

Registration opens February 24 to the general public and February 10 to members of the Friends of South Cumberland State Park.
Crabtree Farms Spring Plant Sale
April 17-19 and April 25
Crabtree Farms

Plant sale dates include: Friday, April 17th from 9am-3pm; Saturday, April 18th from 9am-3pm; Sunday, April 19th from 11am-3pm; and Saturday, April 25th from 9am-3pm. The sale offers gardeners healthy, sustainably grown fruit, vegetable, flower, and herb plant starts for their spring and summer gardens.

On Friday, April 17th and Saturday, April 25th, the sale is focused solely on plants. On Saturday, April 18th and Sunday, April 19th guests can, in addition to plants, enjoy free live music, food, fun-on-the-farm activities for kids, and handcrafted items from local artisans. Over 350 varieties of plants will be available at the sale.
"Master Your Garden"
Garden Expo
April 18-19
Camp Jordan Arena
East Ridge, TN
Presented by the Hamilton County Master Gardeners

Focusing on gardening and the outdoors, the Expo brings together an array of exhibits, demonstrations, educational activities, and vendors of interest to experienced gardeners, gardening enthusiasts, browsers, and children.
Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage
in the Great Smoky Mountains
National Park
April 22-25
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Everyone from the serious botanist to the weekend gardener can experience unprecedented access to some of the nation’s leading botanical experts as well as Appalachian wildlife authorities.

The Wildflower Pilgrimage offers over 150 programs including an array of instructional walks and guided hiking tours tailored to meet individual walking skill and ability, along with demonstrations and guest lecturers. These tours showcase the abundant varieties of wildflowers, plants, ferns, mosses, trees and shrubs, as well as birds, reptiles and amphibians, all native to the Great Smoky Mountains.
City Nature Challenge
April 24-27
Chattanooga Region

Urban areas globally will be competing to observe the most species, activate the greatest number of people, and have fun with nature! 

People from all over the greater 16-county Chattanooga region are encouraged to observe nature and upload those observations to iNaturalist. To see what's already being observed around the region, visit the  Thrive Regional Partnership Biodiversity Project on iNaturalist. 

There will be a variety of events leading up to the big 4-day Challenge period of April 24-27. Additionally, experts in all taxons are needed to help with IDs. 

The City Nature Challenge is organized on a global scale by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Academy of Sciences and locally in Chattanooga, TN by Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center.
Southern Highlands Reserve
Native Plant Conference
May 16, 2020
Our Native Giants: The Role of Trees in the Landscape
2020 Native Plant Conference
Southern Highlands Reserve
Lake Toxaway, NC

Every spring, gardeners, landscape designers, horticulturalists and plant lovers gather at the Southern Highlands Reserve to learn about gardening with plants that are native to the Southern Appalachian Mountains. The annual Native Plant Symposium is the Reserve’s principal educational event for the year, featuring nationally-recognized native plant experts who support SHR's mission to educate others on the importance of native plant conservation and preservation.
The Cullowhee Native Plant Conference
July 22-25
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee NC

The purpose of the Cullowhee Conference is to increase interest in and knowledge of propagating and preserving native southeastern plant species in the landscape. 

The conference is held at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. Cullowhee is located between the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge mountains, approximately fifty miles west of Asheville. Close to both the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cullowhee is in an ideal location for anyone with an interest in nature.
Social Media of Interest
Nurturing Nature
This public Facebook group is a way to share information about the role we can all play in protecting biodiversity by restoring native plant habitat. Because native plants are the basis of the food webs that support all species, we hope to encourage people with property of all sizes to incorporate native plants into their gardens to provide critically needed habitat for birds, pollinators, and other wildlife. Our focus will be primarily on landscapes in East Tennessee, but much of the information we share will be applicable for other areas as well.
Wildflowers - What's Blooming in Tennessee
This private Facebook group is dedicated to wildflower lovers in Tennessee. Members can add photographs of wildflowers to let others know when and where to see them. You're asked to add the name, the date and location of the flower. If the name is unknown, members can help with the identification. If possible, please include the leaves in the photo with the flowers, it will help with identification.
Interesting Information
Nature's Best Hope
by Doug Tallamy:
Book Review
In his new book,  Nature’s Best Hope , Dr. Doug Tallamy has delivered a deep and powerful wellspring of inspiration for the many people craving an opportunity to be part of transformative change for our challenged world... A core concept of the new book is an idea Tallamy calls the Homegrown National Park, one that is created by us, as individuals, with no need for new laws to be passed. 
Soil microbes have been found to have similar effects on the brain as prozac, without the negative side effects and potential for chemical  dependency and withdrawal .
It turns out getting in the garden and getting dirty is a natural antidepressant due to unique microbes in healthy organic soil. Working and playing in soil can actually make you happier and healthier.
Doctors Explain How Hiking Actually Changes Our Brains
Researchers found that individuals who walked for 90 minutes in a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination and they also had reduced neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain related to mental illness. Those who walked through the urban environment, however, did not report decreased rumination.
Forest Bathing -
What, How, Where?
A Beginner's Guide
Forest bathing is the practice of immersing yourself into the nature in a mindful way, using your senses to derive a whole range of benefits for your physical, mental, emotional and social health. It is also known as Shinrin-yoku. ‘Shinrin’ means forest and ‘Yoku’ stands for bathing. The idea took birth in Japan in the 1980’s and proved to be a very effective tool to overcome the ill effects of a hectic life and stressful work environment.
Join Wild Ones!
Joining or Renewing
Your Wild Ones Membership?
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.

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