Tennessee Naturalist Program returns to Bays Mountain Park

Matthew Lane • Jul 20, 2019 at 2:30 PM

KINGSPORT — In case you’re interested in learning more about Tennessee’s natural history and want to help maintain it, then a program taking place at Bays Mountain Park might just be right up your valley.

The Tennessee Naturalist Program is returning to Bays Mountain this year and registration is now open. The cost of the program is $250, which includes all classes and class material, a hand lens and field notebook. You can register in person at the nature center or call (423) 229-9447 to register over the phone. For more information, call Krystal Haney at (423) 229-9483 or email her at [email protected]


The Tennessee Naturalist Program is an education training course designed to introduce the natural history of Tennessee to interested adults. Graduates join a critical corps of Tennessee Naturalist volunteers providing education, outreach and service dedicated to the appreciation, understanding and beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities.

The purpose of the program is to teach Tennesseans about our natural world, inspire the desire to learn more, instill an appreciation of responsible environmental stewardship and channel volunteer efforts toward education of the general public and conservation of the state’s natural resources.

To become a Tennessee Naturalist, you must complete a minimum of 40 hours instruction through the training course and perform a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service.

After training, Tennessee Naturalists may participate in many different types of volunteer activities, such as helping a nature outreach program at a park, museum, nature center or school, assisting the collection of scientific data for a bird census, water quality assessment or rare plant monitoring, and working with trail maintenance or habitat restoration projects.


The classes at Bays Mountain will take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and cover a variety of topics and activities, including:

— Aug. 16: So you want to be a naturalist?

— Aug. 23: Feathered friends: the birds of Tennessee

— Aug. 30: The world of invertebrates: pollinators, predators, pests, and parasitoids

— Sept. 6: Tennessee’s living waters

— Sept. 13: Forbs, ferns, fungi, and more

— Sept. 20: Hooray for herbs

— Sept. 27: Forests and trees of Tennessee

— Oct. 4: The geology of Tennessee

— Oct. 11: The furry creatures of Tennessee

— Oct. 18: The ecology of Tennessee

— Oct. 25: Nocturnal naturalist

Attire and footwear should both be appropriate for hiking and outdoor activities. The first two hours of each class are held inside, while the last two hours are held outside, weather permitting. For more information, call Bays Mountain Park at (423) 229-9447.

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