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Department of Biology  

Wildflower Pilgrimage

Blackburnian Warbler; photo credit: James Owenby

The 42nd Annual Spring Wildflower and Bird Pilgrimage

May 2-4, 2014

We cordially invite you to participate in Asheville's 42nd Annual Spring Wildflower and Bird Pilgrimage, a three-day event sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Asheville Biology Department and the Botanical Gardens at Asheville.

Because of its great age, the Appalachian region has a rich assortment of wildflowers unequaled on the continent, and flowering plants abound in our mountains in the spring. We have designed our tours to be informative and enjoyable, and you will come away with a fuller appreciation of the beauty of our region's wildflowers and bird life.

Registration

Registration for field trips begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 2, in the lobby of Robinson Hall on the UNC Asheville campus. Signs on campus will direct you. The registration fee ($5 for adults and $1 for full time students) covers all events. Activities will take place regardless of weather conditions. Be prepared for rain and bring a lunch for morning or all-day trips. A hand lens or magnifying glass will be useful for wildflower tours, as will binoculars for birding trips. Motorcades are limited to 10 cars, and we do not furnish transportation. The mileages given are approximate one-way distances from tour starting points. All trips leave from the Zeis/Robinson Hall parking lot at UNCA or from the Folk Art Center lower parking lot on the Blue Ridge Parkway near milepost 382. The sponsoring organizations assume no responsibility for lost articles or injuries.

Friday Events (May 2)

ALL-DAY EVENT: DAY IN THE GARDENS

Friday (May 2) 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Also on Saturday (May 3) from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

The 45th Day in the Gardens will feature a wide variety of plants for sale by the Botanical Gardens and many other plant vendors and entertainment. Proceeds go toward maintenance of the gardens, which do not receive state or federal support. There is no charge for outdoor activities. The Botanical Gardens are located adjacent to the UNC Asheville campus at Weaver Boulevard and Broadway.

REGISTRATION FOR EVENING PROGRAM AND GUIDED WALKS

When and where to register:  6:30 - 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Hall lobby (UNC Asheville science building)

FRIDAY EVENING PROGRAM

Appalachian Spring

 ( 7:30 p.m. Robinson Hall Auditorium, UNC Asheville)

Scott Dean is a native of the Appalachians and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville after retiring from the U.S. Air Force.  His experience as a naturalist ranges from building cougar and bobcat habitats at the Western North Carolina Nature Center; teaching courses for the Blue Ridge Naturalist Program; and leading walks and giving talks for the Native Plant Conference at Cullowhee, The Great Smoky Mountains Wildflower Pilgrimage, and UNCA's Wildflower and Bird Pilgrimage.

Scott will show colorful slides of our native spring wildflowers and discuss the origins of plant names, strategies these plant use for pollination and seed dispersal, changes in growth forms through the seasons, and plant lore from the medicinal to the magical.

SATURDAY EVENTS (May 3)

ALL-DAY EVENT: DAY IN THE GARDENS

Saturday (May 3) 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

The 45th Day in the Gardens will feature a wide variety of plants for sale by the Botanical Gardens and many other plant vendors, food (on Saturday), and entertainment. Proceeds go toward maintenance of the gardens, which do not receive state or federal support. There is no charge for outdoor activities. The Botanical Gardens are located adjacent to the UNC Asheville campus at Weaver Boulevard and Broadway. 

ALL-DAY FIELD TRIP

Trip #1.  9:30 a.m.     Mountain Wildflowers

Start from Robinson Hall and travel to the Craggy Mountains.  Differing elevations along the drive provide an opportunity to see many different flowers, trees, and some impressive geological formations.  Driving distance 30 miles, hiking distance 1 mile.  15 person limit.  Leader Scott Dean.

HALF-DAY FIELD TRIPS (all morning trips will return in time to take afternoon trips):

Trip #2.  7:30 a.m.    Birding Trip

Start from the Folk Art Center and travel north by carpool along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Craven Gap and, depending on weather conditions, stopping at Beaver Lake, overlooks, and trailheads to observe spring migrant songbirds. Driving distance 30 miles, walking distance 1 1/2 miles or less. Leader Kitti Reynolds.

Trip #3. 9:00 a.m. Beyond Beauty: A Look at Plants and their Historic Uses 

Start from Robinson Hall and travel to selected sites along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Learn identification and uses of trees and wildflowers, from the showy to the shy, you encounter along the way.  Driving distance 20 miles, walking distance 1/2 to 1 mile.  Leader Cindy Carpenter

Trip #4. 9:30 a.m. Wildflowers: Local Treasures

Start from Robinson Hall to selected sites in the Asheville vicinity. For those who wish to learn about a rich assortment of wildflowers close to Asheville. Driving distance 25 miles, walking distance 1/2 mile. Leader David Clarke.

Trip #5.    9:00 a.m.    Wildflower Motorcade

Start from the Folk Art Center and travel north on the Blue Ridge Parkway to a point near Tanbark Ridge Tunnel and on to Craggy Gardens with frequent stops. Driving distance 18 miles, walking distance 1/2 mile or less. Leader Dan Lazar.

Trip #6.   1:30 p.m.     Spring Wildflowers and Ferns

Start from the Folk Art Center and travel south on the Blue Ridge Parkway for stops at selected sites and a walk on the Shut-In Trail. Driving distance 20 miles, walking distance 1 mile. Leader Jim Perry.

Trip #7. 1:30 p.m.   Trees and Wildflowers

Start from the Folk Art Center and travel north on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Craven Gap and Bull Gap. Driving distance 15 miles, hiking distance 2 miles or less. Leader David Clarke.

SUNDAY EVENTS (May 4)

Trip #8.    8 a.m.     Birding Trip

Start at the UNCA campus by carpool and travel north along the Parkway towards Mt. Mitchell.  Driving distance 25 miles, walking distance 1 mile or less. Leader Jim Petranka.

Trip #9.     9 a.m. to 1:00     Old Growth Forests of the Craggy Mountains

Start from Robinson Hall and travel to old growth sites in the Craggy Mountains. These areas are renowned not only for their impressive trees, but also for a profusion and diversity of wildflowers not found in less mature forest. Walking distance 3 miles and partially steep and off-trail. Driving distance 30 miles. Leaders: Dan Lazar and David Clarke.

Trip #10.   2 to 4:30 p.m.   Wildflower Walk in the Shinn Gardens

Start from Robinson Hall to the Thomas S. Shinn property (Stone Knife Farm) in Leicester for study of wildflowers, shrubs and trees in an extensive natural setting. Driving distance 10 miles, walking distance 1/2 mile. Leaders:  Scott Dean, Jim Perry, Jim Drake, and David Clarke.

Next Year's Pilgrimage: May 1-3, 2015?

Last edited by petranka@unca.edu on April 18, 2014