April 29, 2017: Montreat Native Plant Sale & Arbor Day Celebration
The Town of Montreat will held its third annual Arbor Day and Landcare celebration in conjunction with their Native Plant Sale. What a lovely day outside. The Hemlock Restoration Initiative was honored to be part of this special celebration for the second year in a row.
Saturday, April 15th: Hemlock Treatment Volunteer Workday with American Whitewater
In collaboration with American Whitewater, the HRI and Mountain True joined a group of highly motivated whitewater paddlers to help conserve the wild waters we all love so dearly. What better way to protect our water resources than to conserve hemlocks, a foundation species that has major role in shaping the the ecosystems through which these waters flow!?
This was a fun day in the woods during which volunteers exchanged knowledge about innovative hemlock treatment methods and worked out strategies for future engagement with the passionate group of nature lovers that make up the white water community in here in the Southern Appalachians.
In just a few hours, the team treated 238 hemlock trees and 71 seedlings, improving their chances of surviving into the next decade treemendously!
Tuesday, April 11th: Hemlock Treatment at Chimney Rock
State Park Rangers, Forest Health Specialists, the Hemlock Restoration Initiative and a small group of highly motivated volunteers braved steep slopes and a blazing sun to spend the day, treating hundreds of Carolina hemlocks atop Chimney Rock State Park’s Cedar Knob. Within just a few hours, this hardy crew treated 223 mature hemlocks using CoreTect tablets.
This is a particularly special place that was dramatically impacted by the Party Rock fire in fall 2016. We were all honored to have played a role in helping these beautiful trees rise from the ashes.
March 31st and April 14th: Volunteer Workdays with the Forest Restoration Alliance
On these warm spring days 14 volunteers joined Research Scientist Dr. Ben Smith and Research Assistant Justin Kearse for two fun and informative workdays with HRI partner the Forest Restoration Alliance. Volunteers were a huge help to the scientists- transplanting hundreds of valuable hemlock seedlings, installing shade cloth on greenhouses and working to infest a newly established research plot with HWA so that researchers can measure the adelgid tolerance of these special trees, collected from stands around the US, which show promise for pest resistance.
Thursday March 25th: HRI Educational Presentation hosted by the Haywood County Cooperative Extension Services, Master Gardeners at the County Extension Office in Waynesville (5:00-6:30pm)
Saturday March 18th: HRI Tabling Event: Spring Garden Symposium and Fair Presented by Transylvania County Master Gardeners at the Transylvania County Library in Brevard (9:00am- 12:30pm)
Friday February 24, 2017: HRI Educational Presentation hosted by the WNC Botanical Club at Bullington Gardens in Hendersonville (2:00-4:00pm)
Tuesday February 21, 2017: HRI Educational Presentation hosted by the Blue Ridge Naturalist Network at the West Asheville Public Library (5:30-7:00pm)
Thursday February 16, 2017: Informational Meeting to Discuss Hemlock Cost Share in Transylvania County
To be held at the Dunn’s Rock Community Center on Camp High Rock Rd. in Brevard, NC 28712 from 6:00- 7:00pm. For more information about Cost Share in Transylvania County- to see if your trees qualify or to fill out an application please see: TCCES Website
Saturday January 28, 2017: Winter Hike at Christmount hosted by Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC)
Staff from the Hemlock Restoration Initiative joined our friends at the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) for a fun and informative winter hike hosted by Christmount Christian Assembly in beautiful Black Mountain North Carolina!
Location: Christmount Retreat and Conference Center, Black Mountain, NC
Date: Saturday, January 28th
Start Time: 11 AM
Difficulty: Moderate (4-5)
Leader: Haley Smith, SAHC AmeriCorps Outreach Member and Margot Wallston of the Hemlock Restoration Initiative
Description: This was the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy’s first hike of 2017 through the beautiful 400-acre, permanently protected woods of Christmount, where participants hiked 2 fairly steep miles along the Rocky Knob Trail. At the top of the ridge hikers were rewarded with beautiful views of the town of Black Mountain, the Black Mountains range, and Montreat, where SAHC also holds a conservation easement.
Staff from the Hemlock Restoration Initiative was on hand to talk about some of the previous treatments done at Christmount to mitigate the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) and future plans for treatment in the area.
Sunday November 13, 2016: Volunteer Workday in Henderson/ Transylvania County (exact location TBA)
In anticipation of fall rains, the HRI has some exciting volunteer workdays planned.
We want to invite anyone and everyone to join us for a fun and rewarding volunteer workday, treating hemlock trees in the Henderson/ Transylvania County area on Sunday November 13, 2016.
Whether you are a plant or tree care professional, a student, a homeowner with hemlocks, a concerned citizen, a forest lover, or simply looking for more information about hemlocks and how to help them, we hope to see you there!
While we have yet to finalize a location, we will either be working to complete treatment of all the healthy hemlocks in Holmes Educational State Forest, a project begun by AmeriCorps service members, in celebration of National Public Lands Day back in September, OR we will be working on treating trees in beautiful, neighboring DuPont State Forest.
If you think you may be interested in joining us, or if you have any questions about the day please RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org by November 4, 2016.
We look forward to seeing everyone in November!
Tuesday November 1, 2016: Volunteer Workday in Dupont State Forest
As the heat fades and we move into the fall, it is time to get back out in those woods and turn more hemlocks into HWA-free zones! The HRI has scheduled what may be our best hemlock treatment project yet.
We have a really exciting site picked out in Dupont State forest, the Sandy-Wintergreen Falls trail loop. This area is full of hemlocks (close to the trail!), including some mature Carolinas in good shape! It also has the added bonus of a swimming hole at the beautiful Wintergreen falls as the potential ending point to a rewarding day in the forest!!
We are so grateful to all of our dedicated volunteers who make these fun workdays possible and we are really looking forward to meeting some new folks as we together take on invasive forest pests and appreciate the wonder of our dynamic forests!
Contact Sara at email@example.com for more details and to sign up.
Saturday October 1st: Cradle of Forestry, Forest Festival Day
The Cradle of Forestry Forest Festival was a day of celebration and education that was fun for the whole family! The main event of the festival was the John G. Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet, showcasing such events as team log rolling and axe throwing!
The Hemlock Restoration Initiative was also on display at a booth where we, and our partners, provided information about the plight of our native (eastern and Carolina) hemlocks, potential solutions to the problem of HWA infestation, and how you can get involved. We were joined by the Forest Restoration Alliance and the Blue Ridge Resource Conservation & Development Council, who highlighted their efforts to breed HWA-resistant hemlocks and beetles that eat adelgids.
This workday was different! Instead of treating hemlock trees volunteers were combating hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) by planting hemlock trees! Working with the Forest Restoration Alliance (FRA) at their Mountain Research Station in Waynesville, participants helped to transplant seedlings and rooted cuttings in the greenhouse and plant a study area in the forest.
The FRA is a group of researchers from government organizations and academic institutions–led by NC State University’s Dr. Fred Hain, who conduct a selective breeding program, modeled on the success of the American Chestnut Foundation, and aimed at breeding and establishing a future of resistant trees in North American forests.
More information about FRA can be found on their website: http://threatenedforests.com/
September 24, 2016: National Public Lands Day: Hemlock Treatments
Holmes Educational State Forest: Henderson County NC
On September 24, 2016 twenty-seven AmeriCorps Project Conserve service members and six dedicated friends and volunteers convened at Holmes Educational State Forest in Henderson County to celebrate National Public Lands Day by undertaking an ambitious and rewarding day of hemlock treatment. In just 2.5 hours, a total of 227 mature trees and more than 60 seedlings were treated, extending the lives of Holmes’ hemlocks by up to five years and buying valuable time in the pursuit of long term solutions to the devastating problem of hemlock woolly adelgid. Read more about it here.
September 8, 2016: A Celebration of Hemlock Conservation in WNC
Town of Montreat
The Hemlock Restoration Initiative (HRI) of WNC Communities and the Montreat Land Care Committee were delighted to host NC Commissioner of Agriculture, Steve Troxler, Buncombe County Commissioner, David Gantt, and other HRI-affiliated agency representatives for an event that highlighted the collaborative nature of the HRI program and multi-agency partnerships as we enter into our third year of NCDA&CS funding and second year of USDA – FS Forest Health Protection and Buncombe County funding. To learn more about the event, including a list of speakers click Here.
February 24th and 25th, 2016: NC HWA Bio-Control Forum
Montreat Conference Center
As someone whose actions can impact the health of Appalachian forests, you are invited to the NC Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Bio-Control Forum. Presented by the Blue Ridge RC&D and partners, this forum will bring together public agencies, regional councils and conservation groups, local non-profits, and environmental professionals, to address regional bio-control efforts. See the full agenda and register here.
The Nature Conservancy will be applying CoreTect tablets to hemlock trees at their Bat Cave preserve in the Hickory Nut Gorge in order to control HWA. Bat Cave is home to a population of Carolina hemlocks, which are unique to the southern Appalachian mountains, and it is a high priority to protect them.
The treatment will take place on Saturday, March 12 with a backup rain date of March 19. This project will be strenuous. Accessing most of the trees will require a short but steep hike and some pretty adventurous climbing around on boulders. If this sounds like your cup of tea, please call Karen Vaughn at (828) 350-1431 ext. 104 to sign up. They will also need a few people to treat some trees along the trailside, so if you are feeling slightly less adventurous, you are still welcome to sign up.
Saturday and Sunday, March 12-13, 2016: HWA Biological Control Class at the Organic Growers School
HRI and the Blue Ridge RC&D team up to teach a 1.5-hour class on HWA bio-control. Saturday 2:00-3:30 and Sunday 11:00-12:30 at UNC Asheville. Follow this link for more information.
Calling eager volunteers! Get your “green” on with SAHC, MountainTrue, Hemlock Restoration Initiative, and NCWRC this St. Patrick’s Day for a workday in Sandy Mush to tackle trash/debris and treat hemlocks. To get more details and sign up go here.
Join SAHC and the HRI on a hike to explore some beautiful stands of Carolina hemlocks in the Fairview Farming Community, where SAHC has helped protect over 1,300 acres of forest and historic farmland. We will learn about Carolina hemlock ecosystems, the hemlock woolly adelgid, and current options and efforts to control the adelgid. Local naturalist Luke ‘Learningdeer” Cannon will be a guest teacher on this hike. To get more details and sign up go here.
(We will be scheduling additional treatment dates for DuPont State Forest and Gorges State Park in May…stay tuned…)
Contact Margot at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and to sign up.
The Center is located inside Blue Ridge Mall near Belk. A social hour begins at 6:45 PM, with the meeting getting underway at 7:15 PM. Parking is available in the rear of the Mall behind Belk.
Friday, April 15th: Insectary Monitoring and Microscope Party
Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC
The HRI and Blue Ridge RC&D are co-hosting a training for insectary partners to get a better understanding of HWA predator beetle monitoring techniques and what we should be seeing when we take a closer look at whats living on our hemlock branches.
Wednesday, April 20th: Hemlock Hike and Educational Presentation in Dupont State Forest
HRI and MountainTrue are partnering with the Friends of DuPont Forest to offer a two-part hemlock educational event! From 9:00 AM-12:00 PM, enjoy a hike through the forest as we take a look at hemlocks near Grassy Creek Falls trail and venture into a hemlock grove, while learning about hemlock trees, the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), and treatment options from our hike leader and the Hemlock Restoration Initiative Coordinator, Margot Wallston. Then, from 1:00 PM-4:00 PM, Margot Wallston and Eric Folk, a DSRF Ranger, will hold a classroom presentation on hemlock treatment and HWA. There will be an opportunity to take a look at female adelgids and egg masses under a microscope in the Aleen Steinberg Center. After the presentations, we will carpool to a site in the forest to see infested hemlock trees and, time permitting, an experimental research plot of hemlock trees. You have the option of attending the hike, the educational session, or both!
You must sign up before Monday, April 18th at NOON. Please sign up here.
Contact email@example.com if you have any questions.
HRI will have a booth, give a presentation and possibly lead a hike.
More details forthcoming.
Wednesday, May 25th: Volunteer hemlock treatment day on conserved property on Sandy Mush Creek
Thursday, May 26th: HRI presentation at Sierra Club Pisgah Group monthly meeting
5:15 Sage Brush social gathering/dinner
7:00 meeting at Unitarian Universalist Church in Brevard