Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Four nature walks planned this spring

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., April 4, 2006 — Four public nature walks are planned this spring in four different areas of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park.

The schedule includes two wildflower walks April 8 and May 6, along with a couple of bird walks April 22 and April 30.

"Spring is a great time to experience some of the amazing biological diversity of the Oak Ridge Reservation," said Pat Parr of ORNL's Facilities and Operations Directorate, who is responsible for ORNL's natural resources management. "We began offering these spring walks 10 years ago so that individuals in the community could have an opportunity to see parts of the Oak Ridge Reservation that are not typically open to the public. They have been well received and have helped increase awareness of the reservation as a biologically special resource."

Participants should plan to dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes and bring a container of water. Each walk is limited to 25 participants, and children are permitted.

The first wildflower walk will last from 2 until 5 p.m. Saturday, April 8, covering a distance of almost two miles with about half of the trip off the trail in some steep sloped areas of the Mesic Forest area. Larry Pounds, who has conducted many of the wildflower walks over the years in Oak Ridge, will be the guide.

The first bird walk is from 7 until 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 22 in the Freels Bend area on the eastern end of the reservation. Conducted by Jim Evans of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the walk will cover about two miles. It is recommended participants bring along a field guide about birds and binoculars.

Evans will conduct the season's second bird walk from 1 until 4 p.m. Sunday, April 30 in the Black Oak Ridge area. This will involve another approximate two-mile walk.

The second wildflower walk will be from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, May 6 along Poplar Creek with Kris Light of the ORNL Ecological and Physical Sciences Study Center conducting.

Reservations must be made in advance by noon the day prior to each walk by calling Mary Beth Watt, 865-574-6417 (wattmb@ornl.gov). If inclement weather forces postponement, it will be announced on ORNL's Information Line at 865-574-9836 two hours before the scheduled walk.

More information is available by calling Neil Giffen at 865-241-9421 (giffennr1@ornl.gov).

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.