Four nature walks hosted by the Oak Ridge Research Park are scheduled this spring in various areas of the U.S. Department of Energyâ€™s Oak Ridge Reservation.
The public is invited to join these walks, which showcase the rich flora and fauna diversity, as well as the sustainable management and conservation practices of the area.
The schedule for the spring nature walks is as follows:
- Sunday, April 13â€”Wildflower walk at Rainy Knob on Freels Bend. Participants will meet at the parking lot behind the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education building at the corner of Bethel Valley and Pumphouse roads at 1:30 p.m. The walk will conclude at 5 p.m. The tour limit is 25.Â The wildflower walk will be off trail in moderately rough terrain.
- Saturday, April 26â€”Bird nature walk at East Tennessee Technology Park ponds and vicinity. The group will meet at ETTP visitors overlook on the Oak Ridge Turnpike (Highway 58) at 7:30 a.m. The one- to two-mile walk over level dirt roads will conclude at 11 a.m.
- Saturday, May 17â€”Fish and aquatic insects walk at Bear Creek. At 9 a.m., the group will meet at the west entrance to North Boundary Greenway on Highway 95, just east of the Highway 95 and Highway 58 junction. This three-hour walk is limited to 15 people.Â Participants will have an opportunity to help collect and identify aquatic organisms in the creek. Older shoes or rubber boots are recommended.
- Sunday, June 1â€”Reptiles and amphibians inventory on Solway Bend. At 1:30 p.m. the group will meet at the parking lot behind the ORISE building at the corner of Bethel Valley and Pumphouse roads. The walk will end at 4:30 p.m. The tour limit is 20.Â This walk will be through fields and over level dirt and gravel roads.
Participants should plan to wear layered clothing and sturdy shoes, and bring bug spray and water. Children are welcome on all walks. To reserve your spot, make a reservation by noon of the Thursday prior to each walk by contacting Tracy Clem at (865) 574-5151 ([email protected]).
If there is inclement weather, ORNLâ€™s Information Line ((865) 574-9836) will announce a postponement two hours before the start of the walk.
For more information about these walks, contact Trent Jett at (865) 574-9188 or [email protected].