Join us on Friday, August 26, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as we lend a hand to our partners at the Forest Restoration Alliance (FRA). Instead of chemically treating hemlock trees, volunteers will be combating hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) by supporting the work of the FRA at their research facility in Waynesville, where they are breeding HWA-resistant hemlock trees.

The FRA is a nonprofit group of researchers who work on selective breeding of our native hemlock species for resistance to the hemlock woolly adelgid that threatens them. FRA is affiliated with NC State University. As well as helping out the FRA staff, our volunteer work days with the FRA help educate the public about the plight of hemlocks and the work they are doing to save them. Volunteers will help with tasks in their greenhouse and nursery to help with their selective breeding program. Volunteers will also get a tour of the facility by researcher Ben Smith and learn about their efforts to restore hemlocks. This is a great opportunity to help hemlocks without handling insecticide.

We request that volunteers RSVP by emailing, or through calling our office at 828-252-4783 by Monday, August 22. More information about the meeting location and what to bring will be provided after registering. Please include contact phone number and email address when you sign up.

To learn more about the Forest Restoration Alliance please visit their website:

The Hemlock Restoration Initiative is grateful to be able to offer public events in this difficult time. Despite the lifting of restrictions, we acknowledge the risk that COVID-19 continues to pose to members of our community. To maintain the safety of our event participants and staff, we are requiring that all participants follow HRI’s COVID-19 safety guidelines. Anyone not following the guidelines on the day of the event will be asked to leave. Despite taking precautions, we cannot eliminate all risk of exposure and participants will be accepting some level of risk by choosing to attend. Please review the COVID-19 safety guidelines on our website to ensure that you are comfortable following these guidelines. Note: these guidelines may adjust depending on changing guidance from health authorities.