The Environmental Journal of Southern Appalachia

Displaying items by tag: national public lands day

Thursday, 29 September 2022 12:14

Wither wisteria: ‘People care about our land’

IMG 4106Anne Child removes invasive exotic plants during a recent Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning event to mark National Public Lands Day at TVA’s Worthington Cemetery in Oak Ridge. Ben Pounds/Hellbender Press

Citizens pay it back on Public Lands Day in Oak Ridge, Smokies and beyond

OAK RIDGE — Rain drizzled as volunteers dug and clipped plants in woods around an old cemetery turned science lab.

It was a Public Lands Day event at Tennessee Valley Authority Worthington Cemetery Ecological Study area in Oak Ridge near Melton Hill Lake. Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning, an environmental organization based in Oak Ridge, led the Sept. 24 work party in support of American public lands.

Other events were held throughout the country to mark the date (including Great Smoky Mountains National Park), which has proven itself to be the most productive day of the year for citizen sweat equity in public lands.

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1 smokies most wanted infographic credit Emma Oxford GSMA

This story was provided by Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Next demonstration on Thursday, Oct. 20

GATLINBURG — Great Smoky Mountains National Park is celebrating the success of a community science project led by nonprofit partner Discover Life in America (DLiA) called Smokies Most Wanted. The initiative encourages visitors to record life they find in the park through the iNaturalist nature app. DLiA and the park use these data points to map species range, track exotic species, and even discover new kinds of life in the park. 

“iNaturalist usage in the Smokies has skyrocketed from just four users in 2011, to 3,800 in 2020, to now more than 7,100 users,” said Will Kuhn, DLIA’s director of science and research. 

In August, the project reached a milestone, surpassing 100,000 records of insects, plants, fungi, and other Smokies life submitted through the app. Among them are 92 new species not previously seen in the park.

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