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Annual Conference

Tennessee Native Plant Society
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2023 Annual Meeting & Conference

The TNPS 2023 Annual Conference will be held at the Elsie Quarterman Cedar Glade Festival Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6, at Cedars of Lebanon State Park. It will start with check-in and an opening social beginning at 3:00 PM on Friday for early arrivals at Cedar Forest Lodge. There will be a barbecue dinner (requires a meal ticket) at 5:30 PM at the Assembly Hall, followed by evening lectures (Hobart Aiken, state cultural interpretive specialist, and Todd Crabtree, state botanist) at 7:00 PM at the Cedar Forest Lodge.

On Saturday there is something for everyone, starting with an early morning bird-watching hike, longer cedar glade field hikes in the morning and afternoon, botany by bike, photography workshop, painting a wildflower, geology hikes, a session about managing cedar glades in action, wild edible foods, gardening with native plants, and some specific activities for kids. In the event of inclement weather, events may be shifted around. Here is a complete schedule of EQ Cedar Glades events.

There will be an opportunity to sign up for Saturday field trips and Glade Festival activities before and after the Friday evening lectures. Registration for field trips and activities can also be completed online at: Most of the activities are free (Note: on the website you may be asked to donate to state parks, no need to do so for free events) but several have a small fee to be paid on the website: Botany by Bike, Photography, and Paint a Coneflower.

After our Saturday activities we will have an Italian dinner (requires a meal ticket) at 5:15 pm in the Assembly Hall, followed by a brief meeting of all TNPS members and then a lecture by Pandy Upchurch at 7 PM. We will also have a drawing for a lovely hand-crafted bluebird box made by Mark Fraley who has interviewed some of our members on his podcast.

On Sunday morning, May 7, there will be a hike to Couchville Glade/Long Hunter State Park. After the hike we will have a parking lot debriefing on the conference with water and snacks available.

We have reserved a block of rooms at Comfort Suites, just south of I-40 Exit 238 (Lebanon); room rate is $129.95 + tax per night. Breakfast is included. The motel is an easy 10-15 minute drive down Hwy 231 (Murfreesboro Road) to the Cedars of Lebanon entrance. Please make your own reservation by calling (615) 443-0027; make sure to mention the Tennessee Native Plant Society. Our special rate expires at the end of the day on April 5, 2023, so please make reservations prior to that time. Reservations can be cancelled up to 4 PM on Friday May 5.

There are several other motel choices in the area, but it would be wise to make reservations as soon as possible, as there are other activities (including a college graduation) in the area that weekend. There are a few tent camping spots and some RV camping spots still available in the park itself, although they will probably go fast; these can be booked online or by calling the Cedars of Lebanon camp store at (615) 453-3031.

Tennessee Native Plants

2022 Conference Photo Highlights

Fire Pink, Silene virginica

Indian pink, Spigelia marilandica

Fourleaf milkweed, Asclepias quadrifolia

Hear-leaf skullcap, Scutellaria ovata

Zigzag spiderwort, Commelina subaspera

Squaw root, Conopholis americana

Photos by David Hill