With author Richard Louv as keynote speaker for the Trails & Trilliums Festival in Monteagle on April 10-12, the Friends of South Cumberland State Park (FSC) is doing its part to fight what Louv calls “nature-deficit disorder.”
In a statement, Richard Louv said, “I invite you to join me for the 12th ‘perennial’ Trails and Trilliums, which is the 10th anniversary of the publication of “Last Child in the Woods.” I am pleased to join with the Friends of South Cumberland as we unite to tear down the barriers between children and the natural world. We encourage families, park rangers, and educators not to think ‘back to nature’ but ‘forward to nature’ in new and innovative ways.” The 3-day event takes place at the historic Monteagle Sunday School Assembly, in Monteagle.
Louv will participate in a symposium for outdoor educators on April, at the University of the South and give the keynote address on April 11, followed by a book signing. His , entitled “A Nature-Rich Life,” will highlight the Wine and Wildflowers reception. To complement Louv’s groundbreaking work on kids and nature, the festival will open April 10 with a Children’s Choir Concert, over 130 strong. Children’s nature-themed artworks will be on display as well. Students from 10 areas schools and three counties are participating.
The expanded family fun activities are Saturday, April 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. These free events, all designed to spark children’s interest in the outdoors, include a ropes course with a giant swing, wildlife programs with snake, turtles, and birds of prey, making fairy houses, building shelters, fire building, Davy Crockett re-enactment, short nature walks, hayrides, and outdoor games. Presenters are Vera Vollbrecht, Director of the Warner Park Nature Center; John DiDiego, education director at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont; Sylvia Alsup, statewide Junior Ranger Program; as well as outstanding teachers, park rangers, nature camp directors, TWRA wildlife rehabilitators, and the author of a child’s book on wildflowers. Educators are invited to observe the hands-on programs.
For Saturday kids’ events, no registration is needed and there is no admissions charge.
Trails and Trilliums offers much more than “child’s play.” Saturday and Sunday will be filled with over 20 guided hikes, wildflowers, workshops, programs of interest to naturalists and gardeners, a new garden tour, speakers, and more. All weekend artists and vendors will be selling their wares, and the ever-popular native plant sale will continue to provide a wide range of great natives for landscaping. Live music and great food. Visit the festival website for a detailed schedule. www.trailsandtrilliums.org Pre-Registration is recommended to assure a spot, but attendees can register at the festival as well. General Admission is $10. Expanded admissions, $20, which includes all hikes, programs, and workshops during the weekend.
Trails and Trilliums will again be hosted by longstanding event partner, the historic Monteagle Sunday School Assembly, located near Sewanee. All festival proceeds support the FSC’s “Every Child in the Park” programs. For information, visit www.trailsandtrilliums.