Snakes in Your Garden with Connie Deegan (Thursday, December 7th, 2023)

Posted & filed under Upcoming Events.

Good native landscaping attracts all animals.  Snakes are an amazingly important part of the ecosystem, and many people happily coexist with snakes on their property.  Connie Deegan’s program will include a discussion on the physiology of snakes, the rarity of actual snake bites and what to do in the event of a rare mishap.  Connie Deegan is a naturalist, with the city of Johnson City, TN Parks and Recreation Department, specializing in herpetology.  Connie received the Tennessee Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Award in 2021 for Conservation Educator of the Year.  Her motto: Any day working outside is a good day! Connie will have an article on this subject in the September issue of the Wild Ones quarterly digital journal available for WOAH members by accessing their Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes web account.

Read Connie’s article in the Fall 2023 Wild Ones Journal:

Date and Time: December 7, 2023 ; 7:00 – 8:00 PM Eastern Time

Where: Join Zoom Meeting:

Event is open to the public.

Wild Ones Native Plant Propagation – Part 1 (Thursday, January 11, 2024)

Posted & filed under Upcoming Events.

Ben Casteel, Horticulture Instructor and Program Coordinator at the Virginia Highlands Community College invites us to the campus greenhouse in Abingdon to learn about propagation of native Appalachian plants. Ben will cover both Sexual (seed prep – including processing, stratification, and scarification) and Asexual Propagation (division / separation, cuttings, layering, and grafting) of native plant species.

This will be a two-part series with the first class on January 11th at 7 pm, and the second class on March 14th at 7 pm.

A zoom link is posted below for those who would like to attend virtually.

Date: Thursday, January 11, 2024
Time: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm (Eastern Time)
Location: VHCC Greenhouse, 100 VHCC Dr, Abingdon, VA, 24210

Zoom Link:

Going Forward- November Members Only Gathering (Thursday, November 2nd, 2023)

Posted & filed under Past Events.

On November 2nd we will celebrate our second year as the Appalachian Highlands Chapter with a social hour and business meeting. The social hour will include a slide show reviewing our activities over the year. This will be followed by a short business meeting with election of 2024 officers. Finally, the 3-yr strategic plan for the Chapter will be presented. The plan is based primarily on the Chapter Strategic Directions survey which had 44% of the members providing input. Water and coffee will be provided. Please bring your favorite light refreshment and your nametag.

The Summit building is set back from Volunteer Parkway with an access road between Eastman Credit Union and Bank of Tennessee. There is a cut-through the Parkway divide for a left turn if you are coming from downtown Bristol area.  

Date: Thursday, November 2nd, 2023
Time: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm (Eastern Time)
Location: The Summit, Expedition Room, 1227 Volunteer Pkwy, Bristol, TN, 37620

Art & Nature: A Studio Visit with Suzanne Stryk (Thursday, October 26th , 2023)

Posted & filed under Past Events.

Artist Suzanne Stryk invites us to her William King Museum of Art studio to explore her newest project featuring natural landscapes in Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee. She’ll also read from her book, The Middle of Somewhere, which describes her three-year creative journey across Virginia to create an art project titled “Notes on the State of Virginia”– a spin on Thomas Jefferson’s book of that title. Suzanne’s assemblages will open your eyes to minute details and the vast natural world we all share.
There will be limited capacity with Wild Ones members given the first opportunity to register. Members will have until September 28 to register by sending an email to [email protected] . Registration will be open to non-members after September 28. You will receive a confirmation email with event details.

When: Thursday, October 26, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.

Location: William King Museum of Art, 415 Academy Drive, Abingdon, VA

Seed/Plant Swap with Potluck (October 14th, 2023) (Members Only)

Posted & filed under Past Events.

Members only!  

Benefits of being an official Wild Ones member! This is an opportunity to thin out your flower beds of native plants and bring your labeled plants or seeds to swap and share. Please start to gather your extra plants or seeds and identify them for the swap. If you don’t have any extras, just come and take some home!
The Swap will be followed by a chili supper and social hour. We will provide both regular and vegetarian chili. Please feel free to bring your own beverage and a dish to share. This will be a great opportunity to learn about natives, get plants, and meet members!
You will be charged $2 at the gate for parking.

When: October 14, 2023 at 3:30 – 6:00 pm

Location: Steele Creek Park • 4 Little Ln, Bristol, TN, 37620 • Civitan Shelter

Native Plant Gardening – Which Plants Work Where? – Chris Ludwig (Thursday, September 14th, 2023)

Posted & filed under Past Events.

We are pleased to have Chris Ludwig draw on his passion and knowledge of Virginia’s flora to describe native plants that can be utilized in our gardens to create natural wildlife habitat.
Chris worked for the Virginia Natural Heritage Program within the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. There he served as Staff Botanist from 1988 to 1996 and Chief Biologist from 1997 until his retirement in 2019. For 31 years, Chris explored the wilds of Virginia, documenting more than 1,000 rare species populations resulting in a new, richer understanding of Virginia’s biodiversity. In 2001, he founded and served as executive director of the Flora of Virginia Project ( an organization supporting the 2012 publication of The Flora of Virginia, a comprehensive manual to the vascular plants of the Commonwealth. Chris was a coauthor of the manual which describes nearly 3,200 plant species native to or naturalized in Virginia.
Join Wild Ones Appalachian Highlands Chapter on Thursday, September 14 at 7 p.m. for Chris’s presentation. It will be at the Virginia Highlands Community College located at 100 VHCC Drive, Abingdon, VA. Take Exit 14/I-81. Drive toward Abingdon and turn right at the first traffic light onto VHCC Drive. Take the first left on to Opportunity Ln. when you enter campus (do not drive down to the Higher Education Center). We will be meeting in the Keyser-Aday Theatre on campus. The campus map below highlights parking and the theater. The theater is straight ahead from the roundabout, but you can find parking from any of the turns.

Limit Deer Damage in Your Landscape with Michele Armon (Thursday, August 3rd, 2023)

Posted & filed under Past Events.

Damage from deer pressure can be very frustrating and costly! Michele Armon from Ninety % Native deals with this issue daily on her wooded lot in Northern Virginia.  She will talk about the methods she uses to reduce deer damage and the plants she finds to be particularly unattractive for deer browsing. While different herds are known to eat different things and nothing is really deer resistant, Michele hopes you can apply some of her lessons learned in a way that will help you limit deer damage in your landscape.

Date and Time: Thursday, August 3rd, 2023 at 7:00 p.m.

Zoom Link:

Member’s Expanding Meadow Garden Tour (Sunday, July 16, 2023)

Posted & filed under Past Events.

Members Only!

When: Sunday, July 16, 2023
6:00 – 8:00 pm (Eastern Time)

Garden meadows have color, interest, and wildlife value every month, but July can be one of the more spectacular displays of native wildflowers.  Gail Olson has been converting a hayfield to a meadow for 10 years. She will describe the process and lessons learned to establish over 40 species of wildflowers, grasses, and shrubs covering ¼ acre. The Olson’s Garden was featured in a recent issue of the Wild Ones digital journal, see Read More.
Directions will be sent to members in the Chapter Newsletter.

Read More: WO-Journal-Spring-2022.pdf (
The tour will be followed by a social hour. You are invited to bring light refreshments to share and a beverage of your choice. Water will be provided.
Members only • free event • free parking • family friendly

Pink Lady Slipper Walk and Damascus Trail Center Native Gardens Tour (Sunday, May 7, 2023)

Posted & filed under Past Events.

Parking is limited at the Laurel Creek trailhead in the Cherokee National Forest. Therefore, we plan to meet in Damascus and, after touring the Gardens, carpool to view the Pink Lady Slippers about 5 miles south. There is adequate parking in Damascus at Laurel Creek Park (127 West Imboden Street) 2 blocks from the Damascus Trail Center. If you plan to come to this Family Friendly event, please send an email to [email protected] before May 5.

First Stop: 1:30 pm, Damascus Trail Center, 209 West Laurel Ave., Damascus, VA. Past president Gail Olson will describe native plant landscaping that she designed in her Master Gardener role. This is the second growing season for this collection of 40 native species. A native plant wetland is currently being installed there. Arrive early to tour the DTC, which has restrooms available.

Second Stop: 3:00 pm, Laurel Creek Trail, Cherokee National Forest, Johnson County, TN, Highway 91, approximately 5 miles south from Damascus, Va. and 9 miles north from Mountain City, TN. Member Ken More, retired Asst. Dir. of the North Carolina Botanical Garden, will lead the walk to see a thriving natural population of pink lady slippers along a short, accessible, hard packed gravel trail. Seeing Pink Lady Slippers in the wild is very special, because these orchids do not survive relocation away from their natural home. We may also see Showy Orchids and Louseworts, among other early May wildflowers. Participants wishing to extend their afternoon of wildflower observations, are welcome to stay longer to explore a nearby more difficult creek-side trail. Picnic tables and a handicap-accessible Porto-toilet are near the parking lot.

Laurel Run Park, Wild flowers and more, City Nature Challenge Walk (Sunday, April 30th, 2023)

Posted & filed under Past Events.

Photo by Derek Brown

Laurel Run Park’s floral and fauna diversity is amazing! Join us as we inventory all the naturally occurring life the park has to offer as part of the world’s largest all species bioblitz- the City Nature Challenge.  Parts of the trail will be muddy, wear sturdy shoes.  This walk is to the creek but we will not be crossing it.  Last year we recorded rare butterflies, rare plants and rare migrating birds!

Photo by Macey Brown

Sunday, April 30th, 2023
10:00 am to 11:30 am (Eastern Time)
at Laurel Run Park

Information about the event and the park:

  • Public Welcome
  • Free Event
  • Nature Walk/Hike
  • Public Restroom
  • Free Public Parking
  • Lots of Physical Activity

Read more about the City Nature Challenge:

Photo by Macey Brown