Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

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


Six nature walks scheduled this spring

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., April 4, 2011 — Six free nature walks are scheduled this spring in various areas of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Reservation.

As 2011 has been declared the International Year of Forests by the United Nations, this spring's walks will include information regarding local efforts to sustainably manage and conserve the reservation's resources - such as forests - and efforts to protect them from invasive plants.

Participants should plan to wear layered clothing, sturdy shoes and bring bug spray and water.

Nature walks scheduled this spring include:

Sunday, April 10: Wildflower walk at Rainy Knob on Freels Bend. Group will meet at 1:30 p.m. at the south parking lot of the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE) building located at the intersection of Bethel Valley and Pumphouse roads. The walk will conclude at 4:30 p.m.

The walk will be off trail, but not overly steep terrain. The tour is limited to 20 people.

Saturday, April 23: Wildflower walk at East Fork Ridge Old Growth Forest. Group will meet at 9 a.m. at the West Guardhouse along Oak Ridge Turnpike for the three-hour walk over one to two miles. Twenty participants is the limit.

Saturday, April 30: Bird walk in the Freels Bend area. Group will meet at 7 a.m. in the ORISE parking lot at the Bethel Valley-Pumphouse intersection. This walk will last until 10:30 a.m. The walk is between one and two miles along a dirt road. Binoculars and a field guide are recommended. The tour limit is 25.

Saturday, May 7: Bird walk along Poplar Creek and East Poplar Creek in the vicinity of the East Tennessee Technology Park Beaver Pond. Beginning at 7 a.m., the group will meet at the West Guardhouse for the 3 ½-hour walk over mostly level dirt roads. Binoculars and a field guide are recommended. The tour limit is 25.

Sunday, June 5: Animal inventories along Solway Bend. Group will meet at 1:30 p.m. at the Bethel Valley-Pumphouse intersection for the start of the three-hour walk. Fifteen is the participant limit. Children are particularly encouraged to participate in this walk, accompanied by an adult.

Saturday, June 11: Invasive plants studied at various locations on the reservation. The three-hour activity begins at 9 a.m. at the West Guardhouse. A short presentation on invasive plants will precede the walk.

Different walks have various limits on number of participants. Children are welcome to participate, but children under 10 are not permitted on the June 11 walk.

Reservations must be made in advance by noon the Thursday prior to each walk by contacting Lana McDonald at 865-574-7323 (mcdonaldlk@ornl.gov).

If inclement weather forces cancellation of a walk, it will be posted two hours prior to the scheduled start on ORNL's Information Line at 865-574-9836.

More information about the walks is available by contacting Trent Jett at 865-574-9188 (jettrt@ornl.gov) or Marti Salk at 865-574-7315 (salkms@ornl.gov).

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy's Office of Science.