Stringer’s Ridge Tree Identification Walk with Jay Clark on May 17
The Cherokee Group of the Sierra Club announces a nature walk with Jay Clark, author of The Wildflowers of Pigeon Mountain. The outing will highlight the trail system of Chattanooga’s latest park, an urban forest of over 100 acres. Mr. Clark is a retired scientist and native plant expert who will share his knowledge and enthusiasm for local tree and wildflower species. The outing is free and open to the public.
The hike is the first of what will be an ongoing anniversary celebration. Fifty years ago one of America’s greatest conservation laws, the Wilderness Act, was enacted. Since then the Act has helped preserve more than 100 million acres of unique American lands in their natural state, including thousands of acres in Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest. It is thanks to the Wilderness Act that today places like the Bald River Gorge Wilderness, Big Frog Wilderness , Big Laurel Branch Wilderness , Citico Creek Wilderness , Cohutta Wilderness ,Gee Creek Wilderness , Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness are still around for Tennessee families to explore and enjoy. These wilderness areas also play an important role in cleaning our air and water, providing homes for wildlife, and boosting the outdoor recreation economy.
Sheryl Campbell of the Sierra Club says that the outing is one of the several activities that are meant to connect people living in urban environments to natural and wild values. “Not everyone can get away to the Cohutta or Little Frog Wildernesses, and some might be a bit unsure of how to connect with nature. Jay’s outing helps make that connection right in the middle of town. We have a number of events that will both bring folks into the wild and bring the wild to the people.”
Campbell is happy about the steps Chattanooga has taken to preserve Stringer’s. “Stringer’s Ridge is a microcosm of the values found in the Wilderness Act. Very few cities have such a large area as a preserve. It is this kind of a land ethic that made the Act possible.”
Clark will be on hand to both identify species and discuss the ecological roles that those species play in our ecosystem. His outing also will serve a greater purpose in confirming specimens for a planned educational trail loop that will have signs identifying common and scientific names of the different species, a project supported by Tennessee Heartwood, a not for profit public lands advocacy group.
The hike starts at 10:00 Saturday May 17 at the Bell Avenue entrance to Stringer’s Ridge off Cherokee Boulevard. The pace will be leisurely and should last until noon. For more information, contact Sheryl Campbell 423.693.4729 email@example.com