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Highlands Siler Bald Hike

Friday, May 29th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – On June 11 join the Highlands Biological Foundation for a guided hike to the top of Siler Bald in the Nantahala National Forest near Franklin, NC with trip leaders John and Jennie Stowers.  The trip offers beautiful panoramic views including Nantahala Lake to the west and Standing Indian Mountain to the south.  This hike is difficult in sections and will be approximately 4 miles round trip.  The climb will ascend through rhododendron thickets, a deciduous mixed hardwood forest.  We will see and discuss ancient oak trees and a true southern Appalachian bald at the summit of the trail.  This trip will depart from Highlands, NC at 10:00 am and return to Highlands at 3:00pm.  Cost is $15 for members of the Highlands Biological Foundation and $35 for new members.

For more information about the Biological Station and our three components:  The Highlands Nature Center, the Botanical Garden and the Biological Laboratory, and learn more about our many programs, workshops and classes.  Visit our website:  www.highlandsbiological.org.

 

Highlands on the Half-Shell

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – On Sunday, October 5th a group of Highlands residents are hosting “Highlands on the Half-Shell” in the amphitheatre behind the Nature Center to support the Highlands Biological Foundation. Feast on oysters, shrimp and jambalaya while enjoying the energetic tunes of Asheville’s Firecracker Jazz Band. The Highlands Biological Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides critical support for the Biological Station, Nature Center and Botanical Garden. Thanks to the generosity of members and community residents, admission to the Nature Center and Botanical Garden are free. Knowing that your support is directly contributing to conservation efforts in the southern Appalachian Mountains, you’ll find that oysters and jambalaya have never tasted – and jazz never sounded – so good.

The fun starts at 4:30pm and will last until dark. Come dressed in your favorite “Cajun casual.” Tickets are $75 for members and $100 for non-members. To purchase tickets, visit www.highlandsbiological.org/half-shell/. This event is hosted by Martha & Hal Stibbs, Jennie & Sto Stowers, Cookie & Harrison Jones, Nancy & Lyle Nichols, Julia & Bill Grumbles, Amanda & Greg Gregory, Vevie & Lawrence Dimmitt, Paul Sanger, and Diane & Ray McPhail.

Fish Foray with the Highlands Biological Station

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – You do not have to go to the tropics to see beautiful, diverse fish! On Friday, June 27 from 10am until 2pm, the Highlands Biological Station is combining forces with friends from the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee (LTLT) for a Fish Foray. This program will be led by Jason Meador, Citizen Science Program Manager at LTLT. Using electro-shock sampling techniques, we will explore the abundant, and often unseen fish within a swift moving mountain river. Please be sure to bring a bag lunch, drinking water, and both rain and sun protection. Cost is $15 for members or $20 for non-members. To register, visit http://www.highlandsbiological.org/forays/.

The Fish Foray is part of the Highlands Biological Foundation’s 2014 Foray Series, which offers opportunities to explore the biological and cultural diversity of the Highlands Plateau. These Forays are designed to complement the Zahner Conservation Lecture Series and explore the topics in much more depth, so if you want to learn more then join us for a Foray!  Each Foray is led either by Biological Station staff or by professionals from local conservation organizations.

Biological and Cultural Diversity Event at Highlands

Friday, June 13th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Explore the biological and cultural diversity of the southern Appalachian Mountains with the Highlands Biological Foundation, beginning on Friday, June 20 with a float down the Little Tennessee River led by Jennie and John Stowers. Either kayaks or canoes available, along with instruction from an experienced guide.  A catered lunch of local organic foods will be supplied.  Please be sure to bring drinking water, both rain gear and sun protection (hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen) and comfortable shoes.  Your lunch will be included.  Cost is $40 for members or $50.00 for non-members. The Highlands Biological Foundation is offering this float as part of its Foundation Forays series. For more information, visit www.highlandsbiological.org/forays/ or call (828) 526-2221.

Gardening Workshop for Kids at Highlands Botanical Garden

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The Highlands Botanical Garden is hosting a gardening workshop for kids, Monday, June 16 through Wednesday, June 18. The workshop is for kids age seven to 10 and will be held each day from 10:30am until 12:30pm. It is designed to get kids excited about the amazing world of plants and to teach them that they can have fun gardening in their own backyards. A hands-on camp, kids will get to practice what they learn each day and bring projects home to enjoy throughout the summer.

The first day will focus on the basics of gardening, including a review of the essentials that plants need to grow, and proper planting methods. Kids will put these methods to use by planting flowers in the Botanical Garden, and they will plant their own vegetable seeds to bring home.

Composting and mosses are the focus of the second day. Kids will learn how to create their own garden soil using food scraps and other organic waste. They will also learn about plants that don’t need soil: mosses. After a moss scavenger hunt in the Botanical Garden, they will try “moss milkshake” propagation to create their own moss art to take home.

On the third and final day of the workshop, we will look inside the belly of the beast as we dissect a pitcher plant and discuss ways that carnivorous plants capture their prey. We will also talk about weeds and practice weeding in the Botanical Garden.

For more information about this workshop, including a gear list, visit www.highlandsbiological.org/botanical-garden/, call (828) 526-0188, or e-mail [email protected] Kelder Monar, one of the horticulturists at the Highlands Botanical Garden, will instruct the workshop. The cost is only $30 per child, or $20 for Salamembers.

 

“The Wild Gardener” to Speak at Wildflower Whimsy

Monday, April 14th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Spring ephemerals decorate the forest floor with a riot of color and fragrance, yet within a few short weeks they disappear until next spring. On May 2nd and 3rd, the Highlands Biological Foundation is celebrating the emergence of spring ephemerals in the southern Appalachians with their event “Wildflower Whimsy.” Wildflower Whimsy will feature guided garden tours, a lecture, live plant auction and reception (with live music), and guided wildflower walks. The event will be held Friday May 2nd from 5pm until 8pm, and Saturday May 3rd from 10am until 2pm.

Peter Loewer will present Friday night’s lecture at 6pm, “Wildflowers and Native Perennials – and Even a Few exotics – for the Southeast.” Known as The Wild Gardener, Peter Loewer is an established writer and botanical artist. The topics of his books are diverse within the world of botany. In 1973 he wrote the first book on ornamental grasses, “Growing and Decorating with Ornamental Grasses.” Other books include a book on nocturnal flowers titled “The Evening Garden,” another “Thoreau’s Garden” and “Jefferson’s Garden”, both of which were illu­strated by Peter Loewer. In addition to being an avid writer, The Wild Gardener has a garden show on public radio in Asheville, and is a contributing editor for Carolina Gardener. The American Horticultural Society named his book “The Wild Gardener” one of the 20th century’s 75 best garden books. Peter Loewer has a popular website – www.thewildgardener.com – where he answers your questions on gardening, wildflowers, native plants and how to bring the world of nature into your backyard. He currently teaches and practices art – particularly printmaking – and works on pen and colored pencil renderings of native plants and pollinators. For an example of his work, check out the cover of Sow True Seed’s 2014 catalogue. With his background and expertise, Peter Loewer is the perfect fit for the guest speaker of Wildflower Whimsy.

All proceeds from Wildflower Whimsy go directly to the Highlands Botanical Garden. Your support ensures that we can continue to maintain and improve the Botanical Garden for everyone to enjoy. Carefully curated by the horticulturists of the Highlands Botanical Garden, the live plant auction will be an excellent opportunity both to acquire plants for your garden and support the operations and maintenance of the Botanical Garden.

Tickets are $40 for members of the Highlands Biological Foundation and $50 for non-members, or you can participate in only Friday night’s activities for $25. Your ticket includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer, garden tours, live music, and a seat during the lecture on Friday night. On Saturday your ticket includes lunch and a wildflower walk. For more information, call (828) 526-2221 or visit highlandsbiological.org/wildflower-whimsy.  The Highlands Biological Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Highlands Wildflower Whimsy 2014

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The annual emergence of spring wildflowers in the woodlands is a remarkable event. Thousands of plants awaken from their winter slumber and decorate the forest with a riot of color and fragrance. Soon, the leaves of the trees will fill in the canopy and rob the wildflowers of sunlight. Many of these plants, known as ephemerals for their short season of productive growth, will disappear back into dormancy, not to be seen again until next spring.

To celebrate this occasion the Highlands Biological Foundation will host Wildflower Whimsy on May 2nd and 3rd at the Highlands Biological Station. On Friday, May 2nd at 5:00pm, join us for guided tours of the Highlands Botanical Garden to see and learn more about these fleeting spring wildflowers. At 6:00pm Peter Loewer will present “Wildflowers and Native Perennials-and Even a Few Exotics–for the Southeast” at the Highlands Nature Center. Afterwards, stay for a native plant auction and reception with live music.  On Saturday, May 3rd, choose your favorite of four guided wildflower walks.

Registration is now open. Your donation ensures that we can continue to maintain and improve the Botanical Garden for everyone to enjoy. It includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine & beer, garden tours, an auction number, and a seat during the lecture on Friday. On Saturday your donation includes lunch and a wildflower walk.  Tickets are $40 for members of the Highlands Biological Foundation and $50 for non-members. If you wish to attend Friday evening’s activities only, tickets for $25 will be available at the door.  All proceeds benefit the Highlands Botanical Garden.  For more information, call (828) 526-2221 or visit highlandsbiological.org/wildflower-whimsy.  The Highlands Biological Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Highlands Native Plant Symposium

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – The Highlands Biological Foundation has another exciting program for this year’s Native Plant Symposium, filled with new information, field trips, social gatherings, and plant auction.  It promises to be a year of fascinating lectures covering new ways to approach gardening, and in the intimate setting that the Highlands plant symposium has always offered.  This year, the Symposium will take place on the beautiful campus of the Highlands Biological Station, in the Botanical Garden to which 100% of the proceeds from the Symposium go.

This year the Symposium will be held Friday and Saturday, September 14 and 15.  Friday’s activities will include a social hour with hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar, and a lecture with Lisa Wagner, Clemson University, on how to garden to maximize the amount of wildlife that enjoy it.  She will also talk about how to create pocket meadows in your garden.  Lisa’s lecture will be followed by illuminated garden tours, where the Botanical Garden trails will be beautifully lit!

Saturday’s activities will kick off with field trips in the morning.  Participants can choose from options that include a guided tour of Pond Hollow Garden, hike to Jones Gap, a bog dish workshop, fern propagation workshop, or hike along the Chattooga Loop.  After the field trips, return to the Biological Station for two more lectures.  Larry Mellichamp from UNC-Charlotte will talk about the mysteries of carnivorous plants and how you can use these plants in your garden.  Robert Wyatt, former director, will discuss sex in the garden and the wonders of plant reproduction.

The Symposium culminates in a native plant auction, a fun way to get those rare plants that you have not been able to find while enjoying dinner and a wine reception.  The auction is also a main source of support for the Botanical Garden, a true Highlands treasure.

In sum, the 13th annual Native Plant Symposium will feature garden tours, lectures, fieldtrips and workshops, a plant auction, dinner and wine, and all proceeds go to the Highlands Botanical Garden. To register for the Symposium or to find out the full schedule, call (828) 526-2221 or visit www.highlandsbiological.org/events/.  Cost is $75 for members and $125 for non-members.  Don’t miss this fun and informative way to support the Highlands Botanical Garden!

Highlands Biological Station Offers Course for Science Educators

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – June 25 through June 29, the Highlands Biological Station is hosting a field-based course for science educators titled “Mountain Biodiversity” with Karen Kandl, associate director of the Station.  We invite educators of all levels to enroll in this engaging study of the biogeography and biodiversity of the southern Appalachian Mountains.  Mountain Biodiversity focuses on the theory and practice of conservation biology as it relates to this unique regional environment.  Topics include southern Appalachian historical geology, regional biogeography, principles of ecology and evolution, biodiversity assessment, and conservation biology.

Science educators may take the course for three CEU’s or two graduate credits through Western Carolina University, or just for fun!  There are no prerequisites and the registration fee, which includes housing, is just $150.  There are additional fees to receive graduate credit.  For more information, or to register, visit www.highlandsbiological.org/ or call (828) 526-2602.  We’d love to hear from you!

Biological Foundation Brings TV Host to Garden Celebration

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Wildflower Whimsy will be held this Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 at the Highlands Biological Station to celebrate the Highlands Botanical Garden’s 50th anniversary.  The event will feature Patrick McMillan, the host, co-creator, and writer of the popular and award-winning ETV nature program Expeditions with Patrick McMillan.

Patrick’s qualifications make him a great keynote speaker for this celebration.  As a professional naturalist, biologist, and educator, he has extensive experience in botany.  He is the director of the Campbell Museum of Natural History at Clemson University as well as the interim director of the South Carolina Botanical Gardens.  His intense interest in natural history, which he attributes to his grandmother, has taken him all over the world

On Saturday, May 12, participants of Wildflower Whimsy will have the opportunity to hear Patrick McMillan talk about one of the world’s great centers of temperature biodiversity: our own back yards here on the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment.  Join Patrick as he takes an in-depth look at this often overlooked region of the Appalachians that harbors species that have long-since disappeared from the rest of the continent.  This is the heart of the most diverse temperate broad-leaved forest on the continent!  Patrick’s talk, titled “The Southern Blue Ridge: Crucible of Life” will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 12.  Registration for Saturday includes a wildflower walk, lunch, the chance to bid on silent auction items while listening to live music and enjoying a reception and cash bar, and, of course, the opportunity to hear Patrick McMillan’s talk.  Cost is $50 for members and $60 for non-members.

If you can’t make it on Saturday, join us on Friday, May 11 from 5pm to 8pm, free of charge.  Friday’s events are certain to be a lot of fun, with illuminated trails and photographic installations in the Garden.  Sip on a drink or grab a plate of hors d’oeuvres and join a guided tour of the Highlands Botanical Garden and see it as you’ve never seen it before.  And if you’re interested in spring ephemerals and the history of the garden, Clay Bolt, co-founder of Meet Your Neighbours, and Dr. James T. Costa, Director of the Highlands Biological Station, are sure to grab your attention with their talks that night.  Finally, the silent auction will open and all bids are welcome.

For more information, call (828) 526-2221 or visit highlandsbiological.org/wildflower-whimsy.  Hosted by the Highlands Biological Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.