May 1, 2013
UNC Asheville's Biology Department and the Botanical Gardens at Asheville will celebrate Appalachian nature with the 41st annual Spring Wildflower and Bird Pilgrimage May 3-5. This weekend of special events, including talks and guided tours, will focus on local flora and fauna. All are open to the public.
The popular annual celebration begins with registration at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 3, in the lobby of UNC Asheville's Robinson Hall. The registration fee is $5 for adults and $1 for students, which covers all events.
Following registration, Alison Arnold, owner of Alison Arnold Gardens and Landscapes, Inc., will present "Landscaping with Native Plants: Considerations for Selecting the Best Plants for Your Garden" at 7:30 p.m. in UNC Asheville's Robinson Hall Auditorium.
Events on Saturday, May 4 include eight guided tours and activities. The outings feature both morning and afternoon half-day adventures such as a birding trip through Craven Gap and Beaver Lake, and a nature walk to the Ray Mine in Burnsville.
The day will conclude with a presentation by Jim Drake, former president and current board member of the Georgia Botanical Society. Drake's talk and slideshow, "Wildflowers through the Seasons," begins at 7:30 p.m. in UNC Asheville's Robinson Hall Auditorium.
Events on Sunday, May 5, include a birding trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a trip to the old growth sites in the Craggy Mountains, and a wildflower walk in the Shinn Gardens.
Coinciding with the Spring Wildflower and Bird Pilgrimage is the annual "Day in the Gardens" festival at the Botanical Gardens at Asheville. The celebration includes plant and craft vendors, food and entertainment from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at 151 W.T. Weaver Blvd., adjacent to campus.
For more information about UNC Asheville's Spring Wildflower and Bird Pilgrimage, call David Clarke, UNC Asheville associate professor of biology, at 828.232.5151 or visit the Department of Biology website.