Long Hunter hosts Earth Day Festival
A day of nature hikes and presentations sponsored by the Friends of Long Hunter State Park. Activities for this free, family-friendly event start at 8:15 a.m. and end at 9 p.m. CT. For additions, last-minute hikes, cancellations and other park news, check the Long Hunter Facebook page www.facebook.com/longhunterstatepark.
Morning Bird Walk at 8:15 a.m.
Join Middle Tennessee Regional Interpretive Specialist John Froeschauer for a morning stroll to see (and hear) some of our feathered friends. Long Hunter is a unique habitat with its mix of glades, prairie, woods, and lakeshore, and we'll be attempting to identify both local and migratory birds by sight and sound. Please bring binoculars if you have them. The program will last approximately 90 minutes. Meet at the park office.
Live Reptiles Program at 10:15 a.m.
Everyone loves snakes, right? If you answered no, then perhaps this program will change your mind. Meet herpetologist Lisa Powers and some of her reptilian friends from Froghaven Farm! Lisa will show us a wide variety of reptiles and explain the many ways in which they are beneficial - and why you should never harm them. Don't miss this rare chance to see reptiles up close and personal! Meet at the Couchville picnic shelter in Area 2.
Iris Fund Presentation at 11:15 a.m.
For 20 years, Tennessee's iris license plate has generated funds which have beautified, enhanced and improved state park landscapes. This program, presented by the program administrator, discusses highlights of planting, invasive plant removal, and habitat enhancement activities throughout the state, including those at Long Hunter State Park. Presented by John Froeschauer, who is a regional interpretive specialist for Tennessee State Parks. Meet inside the park office.
Day Loop Nature Hike at 1:15 a.m.
Join Tennessee State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath for a 4.5-mile hike on the wild and scenic Day Loop Trail. This trail features some of the park's most impressive natural features: majestic trees, rocky outcrops, numerous wildflowers, songbirds and shorebirds, and splendid views of Percy Priest Lake from high atop the bluffs. Please bring sturdy hiking shoes, water and snacks. Since this is a special interpretive hike, no pets please. Meet at Day Loop/Volunteer Trail parking lot on Bakers Grove Rd. For further directions, call 615-885-2422.
The Odes: Dragonflies & Damselflies at 2:15 p.m.
The Odonates - better known as dragonflies and damselflies - are a fascinating group of insects. Field biologist Richard Connors, our guest speaker, has been photographing and studying these creatures for many years. With multifaceted eyes and colorful bodies, some are described as “flying jewels”. There are over 150 species of Odes found in Tennessee. This program will show a sampling from across the state and alert you to what might be found right here at Long Hunter. Meet inside the park office.
Getting to Know Cedar Glades at 3:30 p.m.
Long Hunter is well known for its rare cedar glade habitat. But what exactly is a cedar glade? This presentation will focus on these unique ecosystems and offer participants greater insight and understanding of these beautiful areas. Leading our discussion will be Middle Tennessee State University biology professor Kim Sadler, who is also co-director of the Center for Cedar Glade Studies at MTSU. Meet inside the park office.
Campfire Night: Earth Day Edition at 6 p.m.
Let's wind down from our Earth Day festival by relaxing under the stars around a glowing campfire! The Friends of Long Hunter will provide a few snacks, but feel free to bring other food, potluck items to share, beverages, s'mores, musical instruments, games, stories, telescopes, or any other campfire-appropriate items. This event is appropriate for all ages. Sponsored by Friends of Long Hunter State Park. Meet at Group Camp 2 (behind park office).