published Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Sequatchie institute hosts spring wildflower hikes

Hikes into the Sequatchie Valley to identify spring wildflowers will be held Sunday, April 7, at the Sequatchie Valley Institute.

Guides familiar with the geography, ecology and biology of the area will lead the hikes, which will showcase spring bloomers such as ragwort, dwarf buckeye, phlox, bloodroot, trout lily, trilliums, wild geranium, redbuds and dogwoods.

Each hike will begin at noon CDT from Moonshadow, the SVI center. Hikers need to arrive at the parking area between 10 and 11 a.m. for a shuttle or hike to Moonshadow, which is about one mile up a trail from the parking area.

Early arrivals may look around Moonshadow and its gardens, greenhouse, wildflowers and edible landscape, and there will be a short tour between 11 a.m. and noon. Participants are welcome to bring a picnic lunch to eat before the hike begins.

The two- to three-hour hike will be along a rugged rocky mountain trail that is not handicap-accessible. Participants are advised to wear or bring long pants, hat, sturdy shoes, rainwear/umbrella, water, snacks, camera, ID books and journal. Kids of all ages are welcome, though pets are not as the entire area is a nature preserve.

A sliding-scale donation of $5 to $20 will go toward SVI's nonprofit educational programs.

SVI is 45 minutes from Chattanooga in the Cartwright community, halfway between Dunlap and Whitwell. For directions, visit http://svionline.org/about-svi/directions, call 423-949-5922 or email carol-kimmons@utc.edu. Registration is requested to allow the staff to plan the hikes.

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