Friends of Roan Mountain to host 2022 Winter Roan Mountain Naturalists Rally

Published 5:03 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022

BY NIC MILLER
STAR STAFF
nic.miller@elizabethton.com

The Friends of Roan Mountain Group is once again hosting their annual Winter Naturalists Rally.

The event will be held on Feb. 12 and will take place at 1:30 p.m. and will only consist of two field trips. There will be no lunch served to participants and there will be no Conference Center morning programs.

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“Those participating in this year’s field trips will meet in the Roan Mountain State Park Conference Center parking lot. For this year’s rally, all trips are free and there is no printed brochure,” the Friends of Roan Mountain said in a recent statement regarding the event.

The two field trips taking place at this year’s rally consist of Birding and Winter Tree Identification. Participants are encouraged to wear warm clothes and sturdy shoes.

The birding activity will be led by Larry McDaniel, who is a local birder and naturalist. McDaniel describes the event as one where participants will “look for birds in and around the park and discuss the various winter strategies they use.” McDaniel said the walk will not be strenuous and that participants will need binoculars. There will be a few available to be lended out, but bringing your own is encouraged.

Winter Tree Identification will be led by ETSU biology student and naturalist Cade Campbell. Participants taking part in this activity will have the chance to learn how to identify various trees and woody plants during their long winter rest in the mountains.

Due to a surge in COVID-19 across the area, several precautions for both participants and leaders will be in place. These precautions are as follows:

1. Everyone should maintain a safe distance of at least 6 feet.
2. Everyone will be required to bring a mask and wear it when social distancing is not possible.
4. Trip group size will be limited to 10 participants and 1 leader.
5. Pre-registration is required for all events.

As of Tuesday, Jan. 25, there are two spots available for birding and one open slot available for Winter Tree Identification. Those interested in taking part can sign up at https://www.friendsofroanmtn.org/2022-winter-rally.

Once pre-registration is complete, an email with a ticket will be sent to those who sign up.

Roan Mountain State Park’s Conference Center is located at 1011 TN Highway 143, Roan Mountain, TN 37687.