Posted under: South Georgia.
Saturday October 24 and Sunday October 25, 2015, Longleaf Pine Understory and its Restoration, Worth and Berrien Counties
Saturday: Lolly Creek at Oakridge Farms 10:00 am, Worth County
Field Trip Leader: Wilson Baker and John Cox
Description: We’ll look at the fields of native plants (such as Tephrosia, Desmodium, Aristida, Sorghastrum), which are used for seed-gathering for Lolly Creek’s ground cover restoration business. We’ll hear about the work they’re doing in colleting and cleaning seeds and understory planting as they work to create a southern ecotype seed source for native plants. In the afternoon we’ll explore Oakridge Farm’s longleaf pine understory and look at a diversity sampling plot. Following the walk Lisa Giencke, Jones Ecological Research Center, will talk about the Longleaf pine understory.
Meet At: I-75 Exit 62, Ride Share Lot at I-75 and US Hy 82 near Tifton, GA.
Directions: From I-75 Exit 62., take US 82 east. Ride Share lot is next to, and just east of, I-75, and on the north side of Hy 82. We will caravan to Oakridge Farms from the Ride Share lot. If you prefer (or arrive late), you could drive directly to the trip site several miles away at 1684 Wrights Chapel Rd. Sumner GA 31789. Link to map at: http://lollycreek.com/Contact/index.html
Walking Difficulty: easy
Bring: Lunch, snacks, water, & bug spray. Remember to dress for the weather and wear comfortable hiking shoes. Dress in layers so that you can adjust to changes in the temperature and your activity level. It may still be hot in South Georgia in October. You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, notebook, and camera.
Sunday: Gaskins Forest Educational Center, Berrien County 10:00 am
Field Trip Leader: Heather Brasell & Bobby Hattaway
Description: We’ll see and discuss the work Heather and Karla Gaskins on this family property to preserve and restore the variety of natural communities focusing on the longleaf pine understory. They use a variety of management techniques to improve the understory: an active prescribe fire regime; transplanting intensively for pollinators; herbiciding, invasives, and planting seeds. We’ll see the results of a Wild Turkey Federation native warm season grass mix planting. Though the results aren’t visible yet we’ll look at the work that went into a John Cox and Lolly Creek planting of two understory mixes customized for the site by Roundstone Native Seed Company.
Location & Directions: Gaskins Forest Education Center, 3359 Moore Sawmill Rd. Alapaha, GA 31622. Alapaha is 20 miles east of Tifton on US 82. From Alapaha (junction US 82 and GA 129): Go south on GA 129 – 0.6 mi. Turn left on E Brunswick St. E Brunswick St becomes Moore Sawmill Rd. – 3.2 mi.; Gaskins Forest Education Center is on the left. If you reach Rudolph Rd you’ve gone about 0.4 miles too far.
Meet at: the Gaskins Forest Education Center. Look for an old barn behind young longleaf pines just off Sawmill Rd.
Bathroom Facilities: yes
Walking Difficulty: easy
Bring: same as Saturday. We’ll plan to end at lunch and there are picnic tables under lovely pecan trees that will be a great spot to have lunch.
Contact: Ellen Corrie Ellennet@aol.com 404-374-2633 or
Heather Brasell – 229-339-3966
Posted under: Middle Georgia.
Field Trip Leader: Hal Massie
Grass-of-Parnassus, Parnassia asarifolia
Description: The focus of this trip to FDR State Park will be to see a spectacular display of kidney-leaf grass-of-Parnassus, Parnassia asarifolia. In past years, this display has been at its best on or about Veteran’s Day. The site is a boggy springhead on the south side of Pine Mountain. Gentiana saponaria, soapwort gentian is another possibility for this wet area. We’ll walk down part of the Pine Mountain Trail to Sparks Creek, hopefully with colorful fall foliage and a late wildflower or two along the way. After the grass-of-Parnassus population, we will cross Sparks Creek and walk upslope on the trail to see a couple of American chestnuts, Castanea dentata. Near the crest of the ridge we will see scattered montane longleaf pine. Eventually, we will come out at the Boot Top Trail parking area on the road to Dowdell Knob.
Pine Mountain style boulder field
Directions: From the Atlanta area, Take I-85 south to Exit 41 (I-185), and head south on US 27Alt. Stay on US 27Alt all the way through the town of Warm Springs, then up the side of Pine Mountain. Just as you top the crest of Pine Mountain, you will see GA 190 and the eastern entrance to FDR State Park. Turn right onto 190 (heading west) and go just under 2 miles to the Rocky Point Trailhead parking lot on the left. From the south, take US 27A north from Columbus until you crest Pine Mountain. Turn left onto GA 190 and go to the Rocky Point Trailhead parking lot.
Walking: Easy to moderately strenuous. We’ll walk about a mile on the Pine Mountain Trail on a gradual downhill slope to Spark’s Creek. The trail is rocky, but well-used and well maintained. After Sparks Creek, we will continue west on the Pine Mountain Trail until we reach the Boot Top Trail. This portion of the trail has a long uphill stretch. We will finish at the Boot Top Trail parking area. Total hiking distance will be 2.4 miles. We will arrange a shuttle to take us back to the Rocky Point Parking Area.
Soapwort Gentian, Gentiana saponaria
Facilities: There are no facilities at the eastern end of FDR State Park. Last facilities will be in Warm Springs. However, we have managed to place trees, rocks and tangles of vegetation at regular intervals for your privacy and convenience. There are public bathrooms at the park headquarters on the west end of the park.
Bring: Comfortable walking shoes, $5.00 parking fee or annual pass, water, camera, binoculars to see features high in the trees, and a lunch to eat somewhere along the trail. You can probably leave the bug spray at home this time. Dress for the weather.
Leader: Hal Massie 478-957-6095 (C) firstname.lastname@example.org. Should have good cell reception the day of the hike.
Photos by Hal Massie
Posted under: Middle Georgia.
November 14: Geology and Natural Communities: Contrasts across the Fall Line and the Story of Providence Canyon, talk and walk
Time: 1:00 (talk at Oxbow Meadows); 2:00 (walk at Providence Canyon State Park)
Leaders: Bill Witherspoon and Leslie Edwards
Location: Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center (for the talk); Providence Canyon Outdoor Recreation Area (for the walk).
Description: Two related events: First, a talk at Oxbow Meadows will describe the geology of the Fall Line and ways in which that geology influences the formation of different natural communities. This will be followed by a walk in Providence Canyon that will explore the geologic story of the Canyon and some of the natural communities there.
Difficulty level: moderate to easy
Facilities: Restaurants near both locations
Directions to Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center: http://oxbow.columbusstate.edu/driving_directions.php
Directions to Providence Cayon Outdoor Recreation Area: http://gastateparks.org/ProvidenceCanyon#direction
Contact: Leslie Edwards, email@example.com
Posted under: Northeast Georgia.
Come one and all to the BotSoc annual holiday party on Saturday, December 5, 2015, at the Sandy Creek Nature Center in Athens. It is located at 205 Old Commerce Rd, Athens, GA 30607; the phone number is (706) 613-3615.
The party starts with morning coffee at 10 am and will last until 2 pm. We will have access to the nature center at 9:30 Satuay morning for set-up. As usual we will enjoy a pot luck luncheon together so bring a festive appetizer, entree or dessert to share. After lunch we will explore, on a leisurely walk, some of the 225 acres of woodlands and wetlands that contain 4 miles of trails. Should you feel energetic that day, you may wish to continue to North Oconee River Greenway and Cook’s Trail which connect with the Nature Center’s trails. More information on the walk and the leader will be available in the December newsletter, on the web site and in the weekly email.
Following are directions to the Sandy Creek Nature Center:
FROM ATLANTA: Head north on I-85 out of Atlanta. About 13 miles north of I-285, merge right onto GA Hwy 316/University Parkway toward Athens. Stay on Hwy 316 for about 40 miles. Just outside of Athens, you will cross the Oconee Connector but stay on GA 316, getting into the left lane and bearing NORTH on GA Loop 10 (the Athens bypass). Once on the Loop,headed north, drive 7.5 miles to Exit 12/ US Hwy 441/ Commerce. At the end of the exit ramp, turn left (north) onto US Hwy 441/Commerce Rd. Drive north about 1.5 miles and turn left onto Nature Center Road at the sign for Sandy Creek NATURE CENTER and drive to the T-intersection. Turn left and drive about 0.5 mile to the Education & Visitor Center and the parking lot. (If you go too far north on Hwy 441, and see signs for Sandy Creek PARK, turn around and drive back south for about 2 miles.)
FROM POINTS NORTH: Take US Hwy 441 south toward Athens. About 20 miles south of I-85, you will see signs for Sandy Creek PARK on your left. DO NOT TURN IN THERE. Continue south on US 441 for another 2 miles, watching for signs for Sandy Creek NATURE CENTER, and make a right turn onto Nature Center Road. Drive to the T-intersection, then turn left and drive about 0.5 mile to the Education & Visitor Center and the parking lot.
FROM POINTS SOUTH: Take US Hwy 441 north toward Athens. Watch for signs for GA Loop 10/Athens Bypass, and turn left onto the Loop heading WEST. Stay on the Loop about 10 miles (the next exit will be numbered 1, then 20, 18, 15, 14, 12.). Leave the Loop at Exit 12 / US Hwy 441/ Commerce. At the end of the exit ramp, turn left (North) onto US Hwy 441/Commerce Rd. Drive north about 1.5 miles and turn left onto Nature Center Road at the sign for Sandy Creek Nature Center and drive to the T-intersection. Turn left and drive about 0.5 mile to the Education & Visitor Center and the parking lot. (If you go too far north on Hwy 441, and see signs for Sandy Creek PARK, turn around and drive back south for about 2 miles.)
IMPORTANT: If you get lost on the Loop (and, believe me, it happens a lot), remember that you are looking for US Hwy 441 NORTH out of Athens. AND you are looking for the Nature Center — NOT the park.
Walt Cook will be leading our walk at the holidayparty and will join us for lunch that day. He has a BS, MS in Forestry and a Ph.D in Forest Aesthetics. He moved to Athens in 1971 to teach at the Worrell School of Forestry at UGA, and he retired in 1996. Since then, he has been designing, building, maintaining and hiking foot trails in Georgia and South Carolina. He co-founded the Sandy Creek Nature Center in1973. He has been an active Board member of the Oconee River Land Trust for 22 years, is a member of the Benton MacKaye Trail Association, and currently maintains trails at the Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens once a week.
Trip Leader: Maureen Donohue, firstname.lastname@example.org