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'Light Up the New Year' at Warriors' Path State Park

Katherine Scoggins • Dec 27, 2016 at 10:28 AM

Working at a local non-profit agency, I am always amazed at how other non-profits can come up with some of the most interesting and creative activities on very little money to keep visitors entertained. And one of the first groups that comes to mind is Ranger Marty Silver and the folks at Warriors’ Path State Park.

Honestly, who would think of an evening hike in December, guided by firelight and enhanced with hot chocolate? Or welcoming in the New Year with a Winter Garden Seminar on wildflowers and butterflies? And yet, what could be more relaxing and welcome after months of frazzled rushing about, overindulging and watching too many reruns?

On Jan. 1, 2017, take some time to de-stress and chill (literally) as you take part in the New Year’s Day Lantern-Lit Hike. Every state park in Tennessee is having a New Year's Day hike. Warriors’ theme is “Light Up the New Year,” according to Ranger Marty Silver of Warriors’ Path State Park.

“Start the new year right with a ‘de-light-full’ hike through the night. We’ll light up the midnight trail with old-timey kerosene lanterns, and discover a ‘new world’ at the start of a new year. After the hike, we’ll warm up at the campfire and enjoy a sip of hot cocoa to celebrate!” he smiles.

Come dressed for the weather and wear sturdy hiking boots. Meet at 12:01 a.m. (just after midnight) at the pool parking lot.

Then, on Saturday, Jan. 14, at 10 a.m., attend the 28th Annual Warriors’ Path State Park Winter Garden Seminar on Butterfly Gardening.

“Discover how to create a healthy landscape that will also attract butterflies. Winter is the perfect time to plan your natural yard and garden! Butterflies are beautiful and fascinating insects. We can entice butterflies to feed or to lay their eggs in our yards and gardens by planting certain plants as nectar sources or caterpillar food sources,” explains Silver.

Join guest speaker Kris Light as she discusses butterflies, moths and the plants to attract them. She will share some of the best ways to keep gardens lovely and the natural landscape full of beautiful, useful native insects. Because everyone’s garden is different, there will also be time for answering gardeners’ questions.

Kris H. Light grew up in Nashville and spent as much of her childhood outdoors as possible. Her love of nature followed her into adulthood, and she continues to enjoy sharing her enthusiasm about wildflowers and insects with others. She has taught environmental and science outreach classes for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the American Museum of Science and Energy, and Oak Ridge schools since 1987. In 2003, she started using her photographs to develop a website - EastTennesseeWildflowers.com - which contains thousands of images of flowers, insects, birds, and other creatures.

Plan now to spend a brisk winter morning learning how to create a more beautiful, more natural neighborhood. The seminar will be held at the Recreation Building on Duck Island at Warriors’ Path State Park. Although the seminar is free and open to everyone, please pre-register now if you plan to attend.

For more information or to pre-register, contact Warriors’ Path State Park, P.O. Box 5026, Kingsport, TN 37663, call (423) 239-6786 or email Marty.Silver@tn.gov.

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