Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dendrology in GSMNP...

On November 22 and 23, Dendrology classes took an all day field trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a field presentation of an old historic trail system just past Smokemont campground. National Park Interpretive Ranger, Jay Johnstone, guided the classes on a short hike up the trail and pointed out the historic significance of the area and students were quizzed on bottomland tree species while on this, the first hike, of the day.  After Ranger Johnstone finished his tour and spoke of job opportunities within the park system and just how to get your foot in the door, the class ventured up the mountain to Newfound Gap, another area of very important historical significance.  From there, the class hit the Appalachian Trail and hiked 4.5 miles out, 9 miles round trip, to Charlie's Bunyon and got to see the species composition of the high elevation trail averaging about 5,800 feet above sea level.  Haywood Community College is in such a unigue setting in Western North Carolina, students have the chance to experience first hand, forest types, ranging from forest bottom lands, around 2,500 feet, up to over 6,000 feet in elevation.  All the species diversity here
makes this one of the finest dendrology lap settings in all of the United States. (post by Pinkston)

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