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Contact: Howard Duncan , 423-569-9778
The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will host a series of day and evening programs over the Memorial Day weekend. Park rangers will present a variety of programs in both Tennessee and Kentucky. The Tennessee programs will be held at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center. Programs in Kentucky will be at the Blue Heron Campground.
Saturday, May 28 – Bandy Creek Visitor Center - Tennessee
They’re Here! Insects with an Attitude - 10:00 a.m.
Middle Tennessee and nearby counties are buzzing with excitement as the 13-year cicadas emerge from the ground. Brood XIX was last heard in 1998 when this year’s graduating seniors were just kindergarteners. The romantic song of the males may seem deafening at times. Join Ranger Brenda Deaver on Saturday morning at 10:00 on the back porch of the Bandy Creek Visitor Center and learn more about these remarkable insects.
Hemlock Woolly Adelgids - 10:30 a.m.
While cicadas do not cause lasting harm to trees, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid has killed over 90% of the Eastern and Carolina Hemlocks in the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountain National Parks. Traveling by wind, birds, forest animals, and people, they have now reached the Big South Fork. This program will discuss the life cycle of the Woolly Adelgid, and how they kill hemlocks. You will also learn what the park is doing to preserve this beautiful tree.
Big South Fork Scavenger Hunt - 2:00 p.m.
Join Park Ranger Dustin Beaty for an exciting and fun filled scavenger hunt. Please wear sturdy shoes, bring a flashlight and use an insect repellent. Children need to be accompanied by an adult. This activity will take approximately 1 ½ hours. Meet at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center.
Solar Viewing - 3:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Come view the sun, our closest star. Just outside the Bandy Creek Visitor Center telescopes equipped with special light blocking filters will allow you to view the sun safely. The telescopes will be set up so people may come by to view the sun’s features whenever they wish during this hour. This program is weather dependent.
Astronomy Slide Program and Night Sky Viewing - 9:00 p.m.
Paul Lewis from the University of Tennessee will be presenting an astronomy slide program. The program will be held in the Bandy Creek Visitor Center parking lot just across from the visitor center. After this program, telescopes will be set up for viewing the night sky, weather permitting. You may want to bring a chair or blanket to sit on. The slide program will be moved inside in case of inclement weather.
Saturday, May 28 - Blue Heron Campground – Kentucky
What’s your connection? Making a park become your very own - 7:30 p.m.
When visiting a national park, be ready to experience a special moment that ties you to the park and renews your sense of wonder. Discover a way to express yourself and pass on your enthusiasm to others. Join Park Ranger Sherry Fritschi on an original musical tour of Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah National Park and Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
Sunday, May 29 - Bandy Creek Campground
Trailside Botany - 10:30 a.m.
Park Ranger Bill Herman will be taking an easy walk through the campground to look at and discuss common trees, shrubs and other plants found within the park. Meet at the campground kiosk. Wear sturdy walking shoes and use an insect repellant before venturing out on this walk.
Monday, May 30 - Bandy Creek Visitor Center
Hippity Hop and a Ribbet Too! - 10:30 a.m.
Amphibians live a secret life living on the ground. Park Ranger Jessica Moore will tell you more about the habits of creatures who hop along the forest floor. Meet at the visitor center.
All programs are Eastern Time. Bring the family. Everyone is invited to attend these free presentations.
For more information, contact the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at (423) 286-7275 or the Stearns Visitor Center in Kentucky at (606) 376-5073.