fra_logoJoin us on Friday, June 11, 2021 from 10 am to 4 pm as we lend a hand to our partners at the Forest Restoration Alliance (FRA). Instead of heading out to the forest to chemically treat hemlock trees, volunteers will be getting their hands dirty in the greenhouse to combat the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) by supporting the work of the FRA at their research facility in Waynesville, where they are working on breeding HWA-resistant hemlock trees.

The FRA is a nonprofit group of researchers who work on selective breeding of our native hemlock and fir species for resistance to the adelgids that threaten them. Our volunteer work days with the FRA help to educate the public about the plight of hemlocks and the work the FRA is doing to save them, as well as lending many hands to the FRA staff on some larger projects.

Volunteers repotting hemlocks at the FRA greenhouse

Volunteers will work in their greenhouse to help with their selective breeding program. This season, that will involve inventorying and transplanting saplings to be studied for resistance to HWA as well as some other maintenance tasks. 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.

If you would like to volunteer, please RSVP by 6/4 to volunteer@savehemlocksnc.org. Please include the name, phone number, and email of the volunteers participating.

More information about FRA can be found on their website: http://threatenedforests.com

COVID information for in-person activities:
The Hemlock Restoration Initiative is grateful to be able to offer educational programs and volunteer 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, HRI is limiting the number of participants at all events and requiring that all individuals follow HRI’s COVID-19 safety guidelines. This means that sign-ups will be held on a first-come-first-served basis. Anyone not following the guidelines on the day of the event will be asked to leave. Please review the COVID-19 safety guidelines on our website to ensure that you are comfortable following these guidelines. Please also let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend an event for which you are registered so that we may allow someone else to fill your spot.