Whether you’re interest is salamander or bogs, or mosses or cooking, we have a course just for you!

Here’s what’s happening in July:

 Rare Mountain Bogs of Upper East Tennessee

Saturday, July 14, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM            Fee: $49

This course focuses on basic wetlands processes (vegetation, soils and hydrology) using some of the globally rare, critically imperiled southern Appalachian Bogs in Shady Valley, Tenn., as examples. Shady Valley is the highest valley in the state and contains remnants of peat bog wetlands that were largely drained in the middle of the 20th century. Numerous rare plants will be seen, many of which are uncommon or absent in the rest of the state, such as cranberry, northern-lax manna grass, marsh marigold, northern long sedge, crested wood fern, Canada lily, narrow-leaved meadow-sweet and others.  Instructor: Jamey Donaldson

 Sensational Salamanders

Saturday, July 14, 2012, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM            Fee: $35

Salamanders will captivate the interest of children. We’ll have a fun day searching high and low to get close-up looks at many different kinds of salamanders. Learn about where they live, what they eat, who eats them and lots more. After the day together, you’ll know why the Smokies is called the “Salamander Capital of the World!” We’ll drive and make several stops along Newfound Gap Road–with some walking on trails. Instructor: Elizabeth Domingue

 NEW INSTRUCTOR & NEW COURSE:

Early Settler Mountain Cooking

Saturday, July 21, 2012, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM              Fee: $59

Join Walter Lambert and friends for a fun day of southern Appalachian-style cooking in the midst of the Great Smokies. Chef Walter will share his knowledge of “old-timey delights” with participants as he cooks with a Dutch oven and a blackened iron skillet or two. Married in the Smokies more than fifty years ago, he is sure to engage cooks from novice to home-experts. Bring your favorite recipes to exchange and spend the day swapping culinary tips and tales just for the fun of it. Instructor: Walter Lambert

 Mosses and Liverworts of the Smokies

Saturday, July 28, 2012, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM              Fee: $49

Learn about the small plants which form a green blanket over the forest floor, the luxuriant mosses, liverworts and hornworts. View this miniature plant world with the aid of a hand lens and microscope. Learn how to identify these intriguing non-flowering plants and about their niche in the natural environment. Both experienced naturalists and those who are just curious to learn about these plants are welcome. We’ll admire these plants in their natural habitat within the Park and study details in a classroom at the nearby UT Biology Field Station. Bring a 10X hand lens!  Instructor: Kenneth McFarland  

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