Nature walk.
Nature Walk (hi-res image)

April 19, 2017

The next spring nature walk scheduled on the Oak Ridge Reservation is a wildflower walk from 1:30 until 5 p.m. Sunday, April 23 in the Gallaher Bend Greenway, led by Jamie Herold and Larry Pounds.

Reservations must be made by noon Thursday, April 20 by calling Tracy Clem, 574-5151, Walkers should have good balance and stamina as the hike includes some rough terrain of about two miles.

Participants should meet south of the ORISE building at the corner of Bethel Valley and Pumphouse roads. Walkers should have good balance and stamina as the hike includes some rough terrain of about two miles.

The April 29 bird walk runs from 8 until 11 a.m. along Freels Bend and will focus on observing birds of prey and many sparrows in the extensive native grass fields, migrating warblers in the early successional and mature forested areas and wading birds in the waters along the Clinch River. Leaders are ORNL’s Kelly Roy and Trent Jett. A field guide to birds and binoculars are recommended. The group will meet at 8 a.m. at ORISE.

A wildflower walk, previously scheduled April 15, has been rescheduled from 1:30 until 3 p.m. Sunday, May 7. This walk will be highlighted by a viewing of the pink lady’s slipper, which is a native orchid with a showy pink flower. ORNL’s Jamie Herold will be the guide. Participants should meet at the west entrance to the North Boundary Greenway along Highway 95 just east of the intersection with Highway 58.

A frog calls and bat monitoring event is scheduled from 8 until 10 p.m. Friday, May 19 May 19 as participants will visit some small impounded waterbodies along the Freels Bend causeway to learn how ORNL personnel are monitoring local bat populations and how to identify local frog populations based on calls. Nikki Jones and Kitty McCracken will lead the group along a one-mile level dirt and gravel road. A reliable flashlight is recommended as the walk will occur after sunset. The walk is limited to 25 and children are allowed.

A reptiles and amphibians inventory will take place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, June 4 in Solway Bend and will be led by John Byrd and Kathy Strunk . Several turtle species will be collected and there will be a presentation about local snake identification and management of local herpetological populations. The walk is over dirt and gravel roads and through fields of limited distance. The event is limited to 20. Children are allowed and there will be opportunities for children to get involved and learn about the animals. Participants should have good balance. The group will meet at 1:30 p.m. at ORISE.

Reservations must be made in advance of each walk and the deadline is noon each Thursday prior to a particular walk. To make reservations, contact Tracy Clem, 865-574-5151,

Participants to each walk should dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, bring bug spray and water. Most walks are along dirt and gravel trails of about two miles. Service animals are permitted, but must remain under the control of the owner at all times.

More information is available by calling Trent Jett of ORNL’s Environmental Sciences Division, 574-9188,