March 2023
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Thursday March 2, 2023 7:00 PM EST
two white trillium by log
Photo M. Campanis

Spring is just around the corner – we hope – so join the UT Arboretum Society for the March First Thursday Nature Supper Club as we look at our East Tennessee Spring ephemerals via Zoom on Thursday, March 2 at 7 p.m. Join Michelle Campanis, education coordinator at the University of Tennessee Arboretum, and naturalist Stephen Lyn Bales for an overview of these woodland wildflowers and places to see them in East Tennessee. 

 A walk through the woods along a greenway or path finds a welcome group of old friends, the so-called spring ephemerals starting to rise through the forest floor. But their time is short, their days in the sun brief. The woodland ephemerals are perennials that begin to appear in early March. Look for bloodroot, toothwort, Hepatica, spring beauty, squirrel corn, celandine poppy, twinleaf, Virginia bluebells, Jack-in-the-pulpit, mayapple, trout lily and several species of trillium. They all must grow, bloom and produce seeds quickly before the trees leaf out and cover their home with shade.     

The program is free, but registration is required to receive your Zoom link and the recording. The program is March 2 at 7 p.m. via Zoom or you will be sent a link to watch the recording at your convenience. Closed captions are available. Please contact Michelle Campanis for any registration issues.

RSVP deadline is past


Tuesday March 21, 2023 7:00 PM EDT

Black bear
Photo, Chris Norcott

Being so close to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it seems we have a fascination with all things bears. Join us for this in-person program at the UT Arboretum Auditorium on Tuesday, March 21, at 7pm. for an educational presentation about the American black bear by renowned photographer Chris Norcott. This free program is a crowd favorite, but seating is limited. You must RSVP in advance with the total number in your party below.  The UT Arboretum is located at 901 S. Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge.

Chris Norcott with camera in field
Chris Norcott

Norcott has spent more than a decade observing and studying black bears in the wilds of the Great Smoky Mountains. Over the past few years, he has been filming black bears for production companies and networks to be shown on wildlife documentaries. He currently has a video on Netflix and will soon have his work featured on the Discovery Network and NBC. He spends much of each year hiking off trail in the backcountry observing the wild and secretive lives of black bears. He photographs the bears’ rarely seen habitat and documents the behaviors of these beautiful animals. Norcott will be showing his images and sharing stories of their family relationships and survival in the wilderness. We are thrilled to have Chris back with us at the UT Arboretum!

Please contact Michelle Campanis, UT Arboretum Education Coordinator, with any registration issues.

RSVP deadline is past


Thursday March 30, 2023 7:00 PM EDT

The talk scheduled for Thursday, March 30, 7pm is postponed due to speaker illness. You do not need to re-register. You will use the same Zoom link and the new date will be sent to you as soon as we have that available. The talk will be recorded for those who can’t watch at the new time.

 examples of three ticks

Dr. Richard Gerhold, will update us on tick-borne diseases in East Tennessee at this Zoom program Thursday, March 30 at 7pm EST.. Dr. Gerhold will discuss updates on tick abundance and prevalence, as well as the spread of the Asian longhorned tick. He will also cover the various pathogens that can be transmitted, their geographical and temporal variations, diagnostics tests, and prevention. This is an important subject for everyone in our region as tick diseases spread from other regions.

Dr. Gerhold, who holds a BS degree in wildlife science and a DVM degree, both from Purdue University, is an associate professor of parasitology in the Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, at the University of Tennessee, where he researches Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases. In addition to the latter, his research interests include wildlife and public health associated parasite epidemiology and transmission, protozoa transmission and ecology, and avian diseases.

The program is co-sponsored by Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning. The program is free, but participants will need register to receive a Zoom link. The recording will be sent to everyone who registers. Closed captions will be available. Contact Michelle Campanis at [email protected] regarding any questions or registration issues. 

Logo tennessee citizens for wilderness planning

RSVP deadline is past


Thursday April 6, 2023 7:00 PM EDT
Baltimore Oriole on tree limb
Baltimore Oriole: photo by Betty Thompson

Thursday, April 6, 7pm EDT Many birds migrate south for the winter to find food because they primarily eat insects or fruit. Over the next few weeks millions will be returning north passing over our homes on their way to northern breeding grounds. They fly at night in order to not overheat and spend their days in our trees looking for food. It is estimated that if a Blackpole Warbler were burning gasoline instead of body fat it would be getting 720,000 miles per gallon!

Join Michelle Campanis, education coordinator at the University of Tennessee Arboretum, and naturalist Stephen Lyn Bales via Zoom for an overview of migratory birds in East Tennessee. The program is free and closed captions are available. You must register for your Zoom link for the live presentation and the recording will be sent to everyone that registers.

Please contact Michelle at [email protected] for any questions or registration issues.


Friday April 14, 2023 4:00 PM EDT to 7:00 PM EDT
flyer spring plant sale

Saturday April 15, 2023 8:00 AM EDT to 12:00 PM EDT

Wednesday June 14, 2023
Collage of children holding and looking at insects

BUG CAMP 2023 will be led by University of Tennessee entomologist, Dr. Jerome Grant with the “UT Insect Zoo” and staffed by UT entomology students, and UT Arboretum Society volunteers. The camp, open to rising third through fifth grade students, will be held on three consecutive days – Wednesday, June 14, 9am -2pm, Thursday, June 15, 9am-2pm and on to Friday, June 16 from 9:00 Noon. Other ages will be considered as space allows Limited to 16 children, the camp tuition is $60 for members of the UT Arboretum Society or $75 for non-members. For more information and applications, contact Michelle Campanis at [email protected].

 At BUG CAMP 2023, the children will get up close and personal with insects. They will learn why we can’t live without insects and about the value of different insects. They will explore the good, the bad and the “buggly” of our relationship with the insect world. Each participant will have an opportunity to take home and “host” an insect if they choose during the camp session. Bugs are good, bugs are fun! Come to BUG CAMP 2023 and find out why as we explore insects through bug crafts, nature walks, science activities and the UT Insect Zoo!  

BUG CAMP is held at the UT Arboretum Auditorium, 901 S. Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, TN 37830. BUG CAMP 2023 is co-sponsored by the UT Arboretum Society, the UT Arboretum and Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center, UT Herbert College of Agriculture and UT Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology.