These bluebirds were spotted on last
Annual Spring Wildflower and Bird Pilgrimage
UNC Asheville's Biology Department will
celebrate Appalachian nature with its 36th annual Spring Wildflower
and Bird Pilgrimage May 2-4. Twelve special events, including talks
and guided tours, will focus on local flora and fauna. All are open
to the public.
The popular annual celebration begins with registration at 6:30 p.m.
Friday, May 2, in the lobby of UNC Asheville's Rhoades-Robinson
Hall. The registration fee is $5 for adults and $1 for students and
covers all events.
Following registration, local naturalist and educator Tom Dechant
will kick off the weekend with a talk on "Introduction to the Blue
Ridge Bioregion" at 7:30 p.m. in UNC Asheville's Rhoades-Robinson
Hal, room 125. He will discuss the Southern Appalachian region,
focusing on historical perspectives that have influenced the current
environment. Geology, climatology, water resources, forests, fish
and wildlife resources will be reviewed.
Events on Saturday, May 3, include nine guided tours and activities.
The outings feature both morning and afternoon half-day adventures
such as a birding trip through Craggy Gardens, a beginner's
wildflower identification trip and a plant natural history tour.
The day will conclude with a slide presentation by Will Blozan,
president of Appalachian Arborists and the Eastern Native Tree
Society. "New Perspective of Old Forests" will begin at 7:30 p.m. in
UNC Asheville's Rhoades-Robinson Hall, room 125. The program will
explain Blozan's work to climb and document the largest trees in the
eastern United States, including hemlocks which are now threatened
by an exotic pest, the hemlock woolly adelgid.
Events on Sunday, May 4, include a birding trip along the Blue Ridge
Parkway starting at 7:30 a.m., a trip to the Craggy Mountains to
explore old growth sites at 9 a.m., and a wildflower walk in the
Shinn Gardens at 2 p.m.
Coinciding with the Spring Wildflower and Bird Pilgrimage is the "A
Day in the Gardens" festival. The two-day celebration includes plant
and craft vendors, food and entertainment from 1-6 p.m. Friday, May
2, and from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, May 3, in the Botanical Gardens
at Asheville, 151 W.T. Weaver Blvd., adjacent to campus.
For more information about UNC Asheville's Spring Wildflower and
Bird Pilgrimage, call David Clarke, UNC Asheville associate
professor of biology, at 828/232-5151 or visit