The 67th TFGC Conservation Camp was held at Paris Landing State Park, October 24–25, 2022, with a Board Meeting on October 23 at 7 p.m. The Endowment Trust Committee and the Trillium Council also met earlier on October 23.
Our thanks to Suzy Askew, Conservation Camp committee chair, and her team for a conference that was interesting, fun, and full of camaraderie.
We learned new skills by making smug sticks, flower bombs with wild flower seeds, mending kits, and repurposing old shopping bags. We created decorative toad houses, oyster shell containers, and calling cards (that we exchange with new friends). We used our creativity to design some lovely arrangements with dried flowers (in decorated cylinder vases), as well as designs with fresh flowers in a willow armature.
We had an opportunity to learn and use crafting skills by making large-image frog and toad mosaics from paint chips and enjoyed rendering the Mississippi River Basic on a large map of the United States. Daily readings from various environmental books and gardening tips from Gertrude Jekyll (reincarnated by Anne Krekelberg) were inspirational.
We also took a few minutes each morning and afternoon for a website quiz (M&Ms to the winners). Additionally, we had the opportunity for group participation in identifying and reporting on various sedges.
Guest speakers provided various environmental topics, and we had numerous questions for our speakers.
- Wayne Estes, Austin Peay University, “Southeastern Grasslands Initiative”
- Jared Gorrell, graduate student, Austin Peay University, “Frogs and Toads as Indicator Species”
- Gene Burr, Architect and Planning Consultant, “Preservation Is Conservation. A Salute to Racheff”
- Melissa Barker, Archivist of Houston County, TN “The Importance of Archiving in Preservation”
- Suzy Askew & Kim Rucker, TFGC, District I, “Propagating Ferns from Spores”
- Betty Tusa, TFGC, District I, “Going Green” cleaning products
- Barron Crawford, Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Manager, “Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge”
- Laurie Williams, Memphis Botanic Garden, “Horticulture Therapy”
- Tara Henderson, “Designing with Natives: Plant Communities”
- Anne Ballentine, “Propagation for Vines and More Difficult Plants”
- Karen Hill, “Tennessee Native Plant Society History and Mission”
Of course, sack lunches and buffet dinners were enjoyed by all. A hospitality open house was offered each evening by District I Director Phyllis Allen. And, as a special treat on our last evening, TFGC President Julie Wilson hosted a bonfire and marshmallow roast.
Please enjoy some of our photos of the attendees, designs, laughter, and fellowship!
Remember: our next Conservation Camp will be in 2024.
I pledge to protect and conserve the natural resources of the planet Earth and promise to promote education so we may become caretakers of our air, water, forest, land, and wildlife.