Spring Wildflower Symposium
Wellness From the Forest
Virtual Lectures • In Person Walks Saturday, May 15
Access to programming opens Friday, May 14
Registration goes live Monday, March 22 at 9am
Our Native Plant greenhouse will be open Saturday, May 15th from 10am to 4pm. You can order plants by email ahead of time for pick up or take the time to stop in and shop.
We’re excited to bring you the 41st annual Spring Wildflower Symposium! This year’s event will be a hybrid model of both in person walks and virtual lectures.
Topics covered by our leading experts share one commonality: the natural world has proven to be the key to our well-being. Presentations cover the wellness of the forest, acoustic archeology, and forest food for the soul and mind. There are lots of options!
You can attend the Symposium in your pajamas, barefoot, with a glass of wine or with your hiking boots laced up and ready to go.
- The majority of our programs will be virtual, but we will offer a few in person, socially distanced and masked walks led by Symposium instructors on Saturday, May 15.
- Your registration allows you a playlist of programs for 30 days, so you don’t have to attend a particular weekend.
- You can register for the Symposium, and then add the in person walks you wish to attend, but you must be registered for the Symposium to attend the walks.
- We do anticipate the in person programs will fill up quickly, so if you do not receive our weekly email, sign up for it on our website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (434) 325-7451.
Event cost: $60 & $15 for each walk. Please make sure to include your email when you register. To register by phone, please call 434-325-7451. For more information, please contact email@example.com or call 434-325-7451.
Friday, May 14: Access to programming opens with opening remarks by Executive Director Doug Coleman.
Saturday, May 15: In person, socially distanced and masked moderate-to-easy walks led by Symposium instructors.
8am-10am: To the Trees with Josh Palumbo. Walk rating – moderate.
10am-12pm: Geological Sites of Wintergreen with Dr. Chuck Bailey. Walk rating – moderate.
10am-12pm: The Use of Native Plants in the Landscape – Devil’s Backbone landscape Tour with TNFW’s John James and DB landscape architect, David Anhold. Walk rating- easy.
1pm-3pm: Local Landscaped Home with Cole Burrell. Walk rating – easy.
2pm-4pm: Finding the Ferns with Dr. Chip Morgan. Walk rating – moderate.
3pm- 5pm: Seeing with Your Ears: Acoustic Archeology with Dr. Carole Nash. Walk rating – moderate.
Presenter Bios & Programs
• The Uniqueness of Virginia’s Blue Ridge
Dr. Bailey will discuss how the Blue Ridge Mountains were formed by tectonics and differential erosion between Wintergreen and Rockfish Gap.
• Geological Sites of Wintergreen
This walk will leave from Trillium House parking lot and will last 2 hours. Space is limited to 10 people, we will maintain social distance and everyone is expected to bring a mask. Participants will drive separately. Walk rating – moderate.
• Native Plants in Your Garden: Lessons from Nature and Culture
Native plants are currently the height of fashion, but do we really know what is native, and where? When we plant a floodplain species in an upland situation, are we gardening ecologically? Are cultivars native? These are a few of the questions Cole will explore as he examines the current popularity of landscaping with native plants from an ecological perspective. This lecture focuses on techniques for working with seasonal rhythms, structure and dynamics of native plant communities to design sustainable native gardens of unique and lasting beauty.
• Local Landscaped Home
Join Cole for a tour of a variety of native gardens. Space is limited to 10 people, we will maintain social distance and everyone is expected to bring a mask. Participants will drive separately. Walk rating – easy.
• The Use of Native Plants in the Landscape – Greenhouse Tour
Join John James, prominent Landscape Architect and David Anhold, the Landscape Architect who designed the gardening space at Devils Backbone Brewery, as they explain the thought process behind installing native plantings to this commercial space. Learn what techniques you can apply to your own outdoor space from experts in the landscaping field. This walk will conclude with a tour and a brief explanation of native plant propagation with Doug Coleman at The Nature Foundation greenhouse. Space is limited to 10 people, we will maintain social distance and everyone is expected to bring a mask. Participants will drive separately. Walk rating – easy.
• Bountiful Botany
Our early blooming wildflower species provide an array of floral colors and characteristics to behold. By reviewing basic floral terminology and morphology, we can note similar arrangements and differences between flowering families. This floristic foundation will prepare us for this year’s wildflower abundance.
• Debunking Popular Bug Myths
Entomologist Cindy Lane will discuss popular bug myths such as: Are Daddy-Long-legs the most poisonous spiders in the world and are their fangs too short to bite humans? Are Periodical Cicadas about to invade my hometown? Is that a Murder Hornet in my backyard? Is it true that Assassin Bugs might kill me? Cindy will provide facts about bugs that have had a bad reputation and discuss the role of certain bugs in the health of ecosystems.
• Bats: Be Afraid!
Bats remain a vital part of the health of ecosystems throughout the world. With over 1400 species of bats, each with a certain specialty, they are vital in insect control, as pollinators, and as seed dispersers. Bonnie will share general information about the natural history of bats, including the benefits they provide to people and the many threats bats are facing.
• Finding the Ferns
Journey into Wintergreen’s woods with one of the best naturalists in this region. Learn how to identify one fern from another and understand why ferns are so important to our ecosystem. Any chance to get in the field with Chip is something you should jump at. This walk will leave from Trillium House parking lot at 2pm sharp and will last 2 hours. Space is limited to 10 people, we will maintain social distance and everyone is expected to bring a mask. Participants will drive separately. Walk rating – moderate.
• Acoustic Archaeology in the Blue Ridge: Listening to the Past
Learn about new archaeological research into the role of waterfalls as sound-focused sacred landmarks for the Indigenous peoples of the Blue Ridge.
• Seeing with Your Ears: Acoustic Archeology
Join Dr. Nash for a holistic and scientific walk along Wintergreen’s acoustical trails. This walk will leave from Trillium House parking lot at 3pm sharp and will last 2 hours. Space is limited to 10 people, we will maintain social distance and everyone is expected to bring a mask. Participants will drive separately. Walk rating – moderate.
• Forest Food For the Soul
In this workshop on springtime weeds and tonics, participants will be introduced to several common but amazing plants that are likely growing right outside their doorstep. Participants will learn about some of the medicinal qualities of the plants, their growth habits, and simple ways to include them in a springtime diet. Nina will also demonstrate the step by step process of how to make medicinal preparations for immediate use or to keep on hand to enjoy throughout the year!
• To the Trees
Join Josh Palumbo as we venture across the Wintergreen landscape in pursuit of all things woody. This walk will be a crash course in woody plant identification and an in-depth look at the forest health at Wintergreen. The walk will lead to the most diverse locations for woody plants to increase knowledge and appreciation of a healthy forest. This walk will leave from Trillium House parking lot at 8am sharp and will last 2 hours. Space is limited to 10 people, we will maintain social distance and everyone is expected to bring a mask. Participants will drive separately. Walk rating – moderate.
• Forest Flow
Breathe in, breathe out … surround yourself with the serene healing energy of the forest during this gentle yet invigorating yoga flow that is perfect for all levels. Namaste! Additional information: the session can last from 30-45 minutes, longer if needed (up to 75 mins), yoga mat recommended (also suggested: blocks, strap/hand towel, chair, blankets).
• Identifying Ferns is Easier Than You Might Think
We will identify the common ferns of Wintergreen and introduce the basic elements of fern morphology and reproduction.