Our 2019 annual conference and meeting will be held at Ellington Hall in Reelfoot Lake State Park on July 12-14. Speakers include Rita Venable (butterflies and pollinators) on Friday evening and Dr. Tom Blanchard from UT-Martin (UTM Reelfoot Lake Research Station) on Saturday evening. We likely will have two field trips in the morning on Saturday and the same two field trips in the afternoon so no one will miss out. Then, for an extra $10 each, we will have an opportunity on Sunday morning to view wetland plants from two pontoon boats guided by park rangers. Use of iNaturalist will be encouraged during the weekend. (See https://tnstateparks.com/blog/bioblitz-using-inaturalist ⤤)
Registration can be accomplished by mailing in a form with a check or via online. Lodging and meals are on your own. Accommodations in the area include:
Reelfoot Lake Inn – 731-253-6845
Cypress Point Resort – 731-253-6654
Blue Bank Resort – 1-877-258-3226
Reelfoot Lake State Park Cabins and Campsites – 731-253-9652
More hotels are available in Union City and Dyersburg each about 30 minutes away.
2018 Conference in Review
Our 2018 TNPS Annual Conference was held March 30 to April 1, 2018, at the Talley Ho Inn in Townsend, Tennessee on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains. The weather was chilly Friday night and early Saturday but blossomed into a beautiful spring day. The TNPS Board meeting was held on Friday afternoon, followed by a Mix and Mingle, then dinner.
On Friday evening Rob Klein, Fire Ecologist for the Great Smoky Mountains NP, spoke on “The Role of Fire in the Great Smoky Mountains: Past and Present Perspectives.” He reviewed the history of fire in the Smokies and the role it has played in shaping the land and vegetation over time. The sustained high winds that pushed the fire of November 2016 into Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge were what turned the fire into a disaster. Fire is a normal part of the Smokies ecosystem.
Three choices of hikes were available for Saturday. Dennis Horn led a large group up the Chestnut Top Trail. Susan and Allen Sweetser led two hikes up Schoolhouse Gap Trail. And Margie Hunter and Mac Post led two hikes up West Prong Trail. Lots of spring wildflowers were already blooming with many more in the bud.
General Business Meeting and then Margie Hunter gave an animated talk about “The Smokies on Foot: 1,244 Miles and Counting”. Margie has now hiked all but one of the park trails plus a large section of the Appalachian Trail. She provided an overview of what can be seen from the trails, the accommodations that may or may not be available, and a look at the vegetation of different elevations.
Since this was Easter weekend, some folks chose to leave early while many stayed for breakfast before heading home.
Tennessee Native Plants
2018 Conference photography highlights.