Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Happening Now

Standing Stone Nature Rally Friday and Saturday

Standing Stone State Park will host its annual Nature Rally this weekend to educate visitors on the Upper Cumberland’s natural resources.

Park Ranger Jonathan Williams said the rally will include presentations from nature experts and live animal shows. He said visitors can take to the trails for guided hikes or opt to stay indoors and learn about the history of the park. He said that every spring, he looks forward to seeing rally visitors have a “wow” moment when they learn something new about Tennessee’s natural landscape.

“To us, it’s a pretty important event,” Williams said. “Honestly, just because as more folks learn about nature and figure out, you know, what this is, it usually is the first step into wanting to protect it.”

Appreciation begins with understanding, Williams said. He said he feels privileged to be able to help drive the public’s understanding of nature and encourage them to be more active in taking care of it.

“So someone, for example, you know, doesn’t know anything about snakes, they’re afraid of snakes,” Williams said. “But you go to one of our snake shows during the events, you learn about the snakes, then you might not still be completely afraid of the snakes, but you have a greater appreciation of the snakes.”

Events begin at 3:30pm Friday, 7:30am Saturday.

He said visitors can hear presentations on fish, birds of prey, trees, and wildflowers. He said in nearly 20 years of holding the annual event, visitation seems to grow every year and there has been a particularly drastic spike in the last several years.

“When you get out there, you never really know what it is you’re going to see in the state park,” Williams said. “And to me, that’s always been a little bit of a wonder. Yes, if you go to a waterfall state park, you’re expecting to see waterfalls, but you might also see some cool animals, some coll wildlife, cool plant species, and you might just go home with a greater appreciation of it all.”

Williams said for many, these resources are right in their backyard. He said after being stuck inside all winter, now is the perfect time to venture into nature and see the new life coming into the fold.

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