Over 65 Native Plant Enthusiasts Meet At Reflection Riding Arboretum

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Over 65 native plant enthusiasts from across Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia will meet Thursday and Friday at Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center just outside Chattanooga.  This is the first joint meeting of the three state’s Plant Conservation Alliances (PCA).  Most of the meeting participants are members of their respective state’s PCA.  A plant conservation alliance is a network of private and public entities that agree to work together to leverage expertise and resources for a common goal to conserve the state’s native plants and their habitats.

 

Chattanooga is a worthy location for the first joint PCA meeting as it is close to the junction of the three state’s borders which happens to be within a hotspot for botanical diversity and significant natural communities. According to the Biota of North America Program (BONAP), this region has over 1,200 native vascular plant species including several endemic species.  This diversity is reflected in the number of documented plant species within the border counties of the three states.  For example the Alabama Plant Atlas notes that 1,140 species occur in Jackson County and according to the University of Tennessee Knoxville Herbarium Franklin and Marion counties each have over 1,120 native species, which represents approximately 47 percent of Tennessee’s native flora.  In Georgia, the Cumberland Plateau is the smallest ecoregion occupying portions of just three counties: Chattooga, Dade, and Walker. Nevertheless, this area is also known to support over 1,000 native vascular plant species.  Within this region there are also dozens of plant species of conservation concern.

 

The nationally-recognized Georgia PCA, established in 1995, has proven to be a highly successful model for rare plant conservation in the Southeast and beyond.  The Alabama PCA started in 2009 with assistance from the Georgia PCA.  In a similar approach the Tennessee PCA formed earlier in 2017 at a meeting held in Nashville at the Cheekwood Botanical Garden.  In close coordination with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, which has lead responsibility for plant conservation in the state, the Tennessee alliance will prioritize native plant species and plant communities for conservation projects.  The alliance will be project driven and focus on preventing plant extinctions in the state. A coordinator will be hired in the near future to facilitate communication among members, including volunteers, and implementation of alliance activities.  The coordinator will be positioned within the Center of Excellence for Field Biology at Austin Peay State University.  The Tennessee PCA will be a statewide network of conservation professionals and specially trained volunteers actively working to conserve and restore Tennessee’s imperiled plant species and their habitats.  In addition to the meeting on Thursday the botanists will hike the slopes of Lookout Mountain on Friday to check on the status of the threatened large-flowered skullcap on Reflection Riding Arboretum and Chickamauga & Chattanooga Battlefield National Military Park lands.



Reflection Riding Holds Spring Native Plant Sale This Weekend

Reflection Riding is holding its Spring Native Plant Sale selling the region's best selection of trees, shrubs, and perennials.  Here is the schedule: Friday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. - Public Sale Saturday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. - Public Sale and Earth Day Festival.  Native plants, grown for a variety of garden conditions, are beautiful, sustainable, and contribute ... (click for more)

TWRA Congratulates Tennessee Wildlife Federation On Award

A strong advocate for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation has been honored with a prestigious national award. The Federation has been named the 2018 Affiliate of the Year by the National Wildlife Federation in recognition of its outstanding achievement in promoting conservation of wildlife and natural resources on the state and national level. ... (click for more)

TBI Puts Man Who Killed 4 At Waffle House On Its "10 Most Wanted" List

A man who killed four people and injured two others at a Waffle House near Nashville on Sunday morning is still on the loose and has been added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list. He was identified as Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, Ill., was arrested last year when he was in a restricted area at the White House in Washington, D.C. Reinking ... (click for more)

Dayton Teen Arrested After Running From Deputies On Highway 60; Passenger Caught With Drugs

Hamilton County Sheriff deputies caught up with a Dayton teen who drove off at a high rate of speed on Highway 60 on Sunday afternoon. A passenger in the vehicle was caught with drugs. At approximately  5 p.m. , deputies observed a white Chrysler 200 traveling south in the 7800 block of Highway 60 at a high rate of speed. The driver was improperly passing other vehicles ... (click for more)

Teachers Have Good Compensation Compared To Other Taxpayers - And Response

Hamilton County experienced a property tax increase of about 10.7 percent in 2017. By law the reappraisal of property shall not increase tax revenue. So after the reappraisal the state certified millage rate for Hamilton County was 2.4976 per hundred dollars assessed value. The county commission voted to raise the millage rate to 2.7652 per hundred. That's about a 10.7 percent increase ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Always Know The Facts

I adore the fact so many of America’s high school and college students are very active in our battle against violence in our schools but bemoan the fact that when you combine youth and ‘lack of experience’ they often are misguided and ill-informed. The best example came on Saturday when a reporter for Campus Reform walked around the Cal State-Santa Barbara campus asking the students ... (click for more)