June 2021
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Tuesday March 15, 2022 11:00 PM UTC
Picture of home with patio and plants

Tuesday March 15, on ZOOM 7pm EDT – with Michael Ross, SITES AP, ASLA, assistant professor in the University of Tennessee Department of Plant Sciences’ Sustainable Landscape Design concentration and in the School of Landscape Architecture

We have learned that our insects and wildlife need our help as we plan our home landscapes, but how to do that can be confusing. What elements make a landscape sustainable? How do native plants impact a sustainable landscape? What if I want a formal landscape design – can that be sustainable also? We will investigate these questions and more to give you some options as spring approaches and you start planning your garden. Michael Ross from the UT School of Landscape Architect and Plant Sciences Sustainable Landscape Design will teach us and show us several options for incorporating sustainability into our own landscape.  We will be having our Annual Spring Plant Sale Online March 18-April 1st and want you to have some great information from a design professional on what things to consider.

This program will be recorded and the recording will be sent to everyone who register, and closed captioning is available. Please contact UT Arboretum Education Coordinator, Michelle Campanis, at [email protected] with any questions or registration issues.

RSVP deadline is past

Saturday March 19, 2022 1:00 PM UTC

We are happy to offer our Third Saturday Hike again! Meet at the kiosk by the UT Arboretum Visitors Center and volunteers from the UT Arboretum Society will lead you on a hike on one of our trails. We aim for this hike to be suitable for everyone but this can vary upon your fitness level. Our trails are rocky with some exposed roots. Please wear close toed comfortable walking shoes and remember a water bottle. No pets please – we cannot have pets on site due to research projects. There is no need to register. Portable restrooms are available in the parking lot.

Wednesday March 23, 2022 2:00 PM UTC

flyer for plant sale

For two weeks (March 18- April 1) online you can browse the selection of perennials, trees, and shrubs available from our vendors Tennessee Naturescapes, Riverdale Nursery and East Fork Nursery of Sevierville. The three vendors offer a wonderful selection of plants including unique conifers, both evergreen and native azaleas, hydrangeas,  beautyberry, and a wide variety of native pollinator plants to name just a few.  Beginning March 18th at 10 am, log on to to shop and make payment. Online sales will end on April 1st at 5 pm.  Payments must be made by credit card online in advance for online purchases.  There will be limited sales on site on pickup day but for best selection shop the online sale and then go to visit our vendors to shop onsite after you pick up your order on April 8.

For online orders, you will be provided a link to choose a pick-up time between 9 am and 6 pm on Friday, April 8th  at the UT Arboretum, 901 S. Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge. You must schedule a pick-up time Friday April 8. We are not able to hold orders for other pickup dates. Arboretum Society members will have your plant orders ready for pick-up. This is a no contact pick-up system. When you arrive at your scheduled time, you be directed to designated pick up spots and your order will be brought to your car.  If you want to check out the onsite sale you will be able to go up to that location after you pick up your order. For more information contact UT Arboretum Education Coordinator, Michelle Campanis at [email protected]

Thursday April 7, 2022 11:00 PM UTC
Logan hummingbird on cardinal flower

In early April, our hummingbirds will return to East Tennessee from their winter vacations. Let’s welcome them back with fresh feeders and lots of native flowering plants.  Join local naturalist Stephen Lyn Bales for a look at these beautiful birds at the UT Arboretum Society’s First Thursday Nature Supper Club via Zoom on April 7 at 7 p.m. EDT.

You provide your own stay-at-home supper, and we provide the nature as Stephen Lyn will entertain and teach us via Zoom  about these tiny birds’ life histories and how you can fill your backyard with everything they need.

The program is free, but registration is required to receive your link.  This program will be recorded, and closed captioning is available. Please contact UT Arboretum Education Coordinator, Michelle Campanis, at [email protected] with any questions or registration issues.

To contact Stephen Lyn Bales or buy one of his UT Press books, email him at [email protected]

RSVP deadline is past

Tuesday April 19, 2022 11:00 PM UTC
Hog-Nosed Snake
Hog-nosed snake – photo by Don Hazel

Tuesday, April 19 at 7pm EDT on Zoom – As spring approaches we look forward to getting back outside. Understanding what we may encounter outside helps us be safe and prepared. Snakes are often misunderstood so join us to learn about our 32 species of snakes in Tennessee including the 4 venomous species, where they live, what they eat, and how to identify them.  There will be no live animals but plenty of photos to learn about these fascinating animals.

Our presenter is Don Hazel. Don has always had an interest in nature. He writes a twice monthly nature column for the Glade Sun and Crossville Chronicle Newspapers. Don is the President of the Tennessee Bluebird Society,  a member of the Friends of the Trails organization, and President of the Fairfield Glade Fly Fishing Club.

Don and his wife Nancy are retired and have lived in Fairfield Glade, near Crossville Tennessee for 16 years. Previously he lived in five other states while working for large corporations.

This program will be recorded and the recording sent to all who register. Closed captions will be available. For questions or issues with your registration please contact UT Arboretum Education Coordinator, Michelle Campanis – [email protected]

RSVP deadline is past

Thursday April 28, 2022 11:00 PM UTC
Cover photo of book showing tree frogs, whale , and bird

Join us via Zoom with author, scientist and professor David George Haskell. He will discuss how listening to the world around us – whether in the city, a natural area, or to music through our earbuds – can connect us to the living world. This free program is cosponsored with the UT Arboretum Society by Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning and the Oak Ridge Public Library. Closed captions will be available.

His latest book, Sounds Wild and Broken, writer and biologist David Haskell, explores the story of sound on Earth. Starting with the origins of animal song and traversing the whole arc of Earth history, he illuminates and celebrates the emergence, diversification, and loss of the sounds of our world, including human music and language. His previous books, The Forest Unseen and The Songs of Trees are acclaimed for their integration of science, poetry, and rich attention to the living world. Among their honors include the National Academies’ Best Book Award, John Burroughs Medal, finalist for Pulitzer Prize, Iris Book Award, Reed Environmental Writing Award, National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature, and runner-up for the PEN E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Haskell received his BA from the University of Oxford and PhD from Cornell University. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and William R. Kenan Jr. Professor at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. Find him at and on social media @DGHaskell (Twitter), DavidGeorgeHaskell (Instagram and Facebook).

Contact Michelle Campanis, University of Tennessee Arboretum Education Coordinator, with questions or registration issues.

Logo tennessee citizens for wilderness planning
Oak Ridge Public Library logo

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Thursday May 5, 2022 11:00 PM UTC
Saw-whet owl
Saw-whet Owl photo by Clare Dattilo

Thursday, May 5, on Zoom – 7pm Eastern Time Zone The highest elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains are like another world. The environment is more like Canada than the Tennessee Valley. Consequently, you find different birds there in the summer, species like raven, saw-whet owl, peregrine falcon, black-capped chickadee and many more. Come explore this special environment with us and the wildlife that lives there.

Join Michelle Campanis, education coordinator at UT Arboretum, and local naturalist, Stephen Lyn Bales, for a look at the birds of the high country in their May First Thursday Nature Supper Club via Zoom. The program is free and will be recorded and sent to all who register. Closed captions are available. You can have whatever you like for supper and you do not even have to put your shoes on. Please note this program is Eastern Time Zone.

Stephen Lyn Bales is the author of Natural Histories, Ghost Birds and Ephemeral by Nature all published by the University of Tennessee Press. He may be contacted at [email protected]

RSVP deadline is past

Thursday June 30, 2022 11:00 PM UTC
UT Compost Facility entrance sign

NEW DATE, THURSDAY, JUNE 30TH AT 7PM EDT ON ZOOM: The UT Compost Facility is tasked with taking all organic waste from the University of Tennessee and processing it into a nutrient rich fertilizer substitute, otherwise known as compost! At this stage in our program we can take in approximately 1300 tons (2.6 million pounds) of organic wastes per year, and we are only growing upwards from there. Of all the waste that is diverted from landfills at the University, compost collection makes up over 60% of that effort, totaling more than the recycling, donations, and other diversion methods put together. The Facility has started diving into composting research and education in order to expand the public’s awareness of organic recycling. Soon we will begin a new phase of construction allowing us to serve as the most advanced composting facility of any university with the goal of being a hub of information to the entire composting industry.

Our speaker is Wayne Mason, Supervisor of the UT Compost Facility. Wayne, born and raised in Texas joined the US Navy at the age of 17. Training and working as a mechanical nuclear engineer on the USS Carl Vinson, he was able to serve for 5 years before being medically retired from radiation exposure. Venturing into civilian life Wayne then began work in construction, learning the skills of a stonemason and working a wide variety of heavy equipment. When medical complications lead to leaving that industry, Wayne sought higher education at the University of Tennessee. Over many chance circumstances, he landed a summer job working at what was then known as the “Compost Site,” a place all but ready to be shut down due to years of negligence. Over the course of 3 years Wayne was able to convert the muddy site into a full blown facility proper roads, convert his student worker position into a supervisory staff position, hire 6 additional staff members, and secure over $1.7 million in site upgrades and new equipment. Wayne aspires to connect the people of the state of Tennessee to the idea of keeping their waste out of landfills and expanding the composting industry through proper regulations and connections with local governments.

This program will be recorded and sent to all who register. Closed captions are available. For any registration issues please contact UT Arboretum Education Coordinator, Michelle Campanis at [email protected]

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Event Types:

Thursday July 7, 2022 11:00 PM UTC
Tadpole changing to frog

Thursday, July 7 at 7pm EDT on ZOOM -Here in East Tennessee, we are surrounded by trees and that means we live in the middle of gray treefrog land! Join UT Arboretum education coordinator, Michelle Campanis, and roving naturalist Stephen Lyn Bales as they follow a clutch of gelatinous frogspawn from egg to hop-away adult gray treefrogs (Hyla versicolor). It’s the UT Arboretum Society’s First Thursday Nature Supper Club via Zoom, July 7 at 7 p.m. You can have whatever you like for supper and you do not even have to put your shoes on.

 The program is free and, but registration is required to receive link. Closed captions are available and the program will be recorded and sent to all who register.

RSVP deadline is past

Tuesday July 19, 2022 11:00 PM UTC
Picture of mussels found in Southeastern rivers

Tuesday, July 19 at 7pm EDT on Zoom: So what is Musselrama? During Musselrama, as many as 20 to 30 biologists and volunteers gather for a week each summer to monitor the largest mussel population centers, reaching from Cleveland, VA, downstream to Speers Ferry, VA. Join us to learn why they are such crucial animals humans need to conserve/recover and protect.

Started in 2001, intensive benthic surveys have been led annually in the Clinch and Powell rivers by the Virginia DWR. The information collected is used to inform management actions aimed at protecting and enhancing this unique aquatic resource. The Clinch River, which flows through the far southwestern corner of Virginia in Tazewell, Russell, and Scott counties before crossing into Tennessee, is home to more endangered mussel species than any other river in North America.

Volunteers snorkeling for mussels

Tim Lane, who leads the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources’ annual Musselrama mussel sampling event in the Clinch River, will talk about this year’s event and other efforts to protect our native mussels in our Zoom program. As the Mussel Recovery Coordinator at the DWR, Lane oversees operations at the Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Center in Marion, VA (which focuses on raising and stocking rare species), and monitors and manages mussel recovery in streams of the Upper Tennessee River Basin, including the Clinch, Powell, and Holston rivers and their tributaries. He has extensive experience with more than 40 mussel species in the region, specifically the 20 federally listed species that call Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee home.  He also assists USFWS, TWRA, TVA, and consultant groups with monitoring of mussel populations in the Tennessee section of the river, extending from Looney’s Gap downstream to Sneedville, TN.

This free program is cosponsored by the UT Arboretum Society and Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning. The program will be recorded and sent to all who register. Contact YT Arboretum Education Coordinator, Michelle Campanis, at [email protected] regarding any questions or registration issues

Logo tennessee citizens for wilderness planning

RSVP deadline is past