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Grandfather Mountain presents Adult Field Courses

LINVILLE, NC (March 8, 2019) — At Grandfather Mountain, education is literally a top priority.

After all, when your classroom is a mile high, the sky is the limit. Even for grown-ups.

The Linville, N.C.-based nature park is bringing its Adult Field Courses series back for 2019, offering participants the chance to explore Grandfather Mountain like never before.

“These courses allow students to examine specific aspects of the park ecosystem through fun field excursions,” said Amy Renfranz, director of education for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the park. “Our course leaders are experts in their fields and include professors, naturalists, scientists and acclaimed photographers, writers, historians and artists.”

The series runs from May through September, with topics including birding, trails, geology, fungi, spiders and more.

Courses cost $60 per person (or $20 for members of Grandfather Mountain’s Bridge Club membership program), with registration required in advance at www.grandfather.com.

Most courses run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., unless otherwise stated, and participants are asked to bring their own lunch to be eaten in the field.

Courses include:

The Joy of Spring Birding
May 4

May is an exciting month for birding in the High Country. Songbirds are arriving every day from as far away as South America, flying at night so they can use daylight hours to feed and rest. Join High Country Audubon’s Steve Dowlan to delight in the joy of spring birding. To register, visit:
grandfather.com/events/the-joy-of-spring-birding/

The Blackburnian warbler is one of many birds to be discussed during ‘The Joy of Spring Birding,’ an adult field course taking place May 4 at Grandfather Mountain. Photo by Monty Combs | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

Sketching Spring Ephemerals
May 18

Designed for enthusiasts with little to no artistic training, this foundation course focuses on creating accurate and artistic botanical illustrations. Led by Preston Montague, Carolina Naturalist, participants will learn basic observation and drawing techniques with pen and pencil and will use colored pencils to apply vibrant color. To register, visit:
grandfather.com/events/sketching-spring-ephemerals/

Rocky Top: The Art of Grandfather’s Trail System
June 15

Known as one of the most rugged mountains in the southeastern United States, Grandfather Mountain’s trails share the same status. Led by John Caveny, Grandfather Mountain’s natural resource management specialist, this course will provide participants with an in-depth look at how to sustainably maintain hiking trails, as well as discover the history of the mountain’s trail system. To register, visit :
grandfather.com/events/rocky-top-the-art-of-grandfathers-trail-system/

Investigating High Elevation Pollinators
June 26

We all know that rare plants grow atop Grandfather Mountain, but just who pollinates them? Join N.C. State University’s Dr. Clyde Sorenson to investigate the landscape with a special eye for bees, beetles, wasps and butterflies. To register, visit:
grandfather.com/events/investigating-high-elevation-pollinators/

Exploring Grandfather Mountain’s Geologic Window
July 12

There are more than 300 million years of history written into Grandfather Mountain’s rocks. Join Appalachian State University’s Dr. Anthony Love to learn to decipher the stone, and discover a world so complex and amazing that it will change your perspective of the Appalachian Mountains forever. To register, visit:
grandfather.com/events/exploring-grandfather-mountains-geologic-window/

Guests are invited to explore ‘Grandfather Mountain’s Geologic Window,’ an adult field course taking place July 12 at Grandfather Mountain. The course will examine the 300 million years of history written into the mountain’s rocks. Photo courtesy of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

Fungi of the Cloudland Forest
August 10

The Southern Appalachians are world-renowned for different types of fungi, from mushrooms to lichens, and are home to more than 2,000 species. Join mycologist Dr. Coleman McCleneghan for a chance to observe many kinds of fungi at higher elevations and learn how to identify them by size, shape and color. To register, visit:
grandfather.com/events/fungi-of-the-cloudland-forest/

The Southern Appalachians are world-renowned for different types of fungi and home to more than 2,000 species. Join expert mycologist Dr. Coleman McClenaghan Aug. 10 for an adult field course examining many kinds of fungi at higher elevations. Photo by Kolter Barrier | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

Spiders: Identification, Diversity, Ecology & Biology
August 24

Participants will be introduced to the biology of spiders, with an emphasis on the ecological roles of spiders, their incredible diversity and techniques to identify specimens to species level. Excursions will provide the opportunity for hands-on exploration of spider diversity and behavior. To register, visit:
grandfather.com/events/spiders-identification-diversity-ecology-biology/

Fall Color Sketchbook
September 28 

Designed for enthusiasts with little to no artistic training, this foundation course focuses on creating accurate and artistic botanical illustrations. Guided by artist and Carolina Naturalist Preston Montague, participants will learn basic observation and drawing techniques with pen and pencil and will use colored pencils to apply vibrant color. To register, visit:
grandfather.com/events/fall-color-sketchbook/

And More

For more information, call 828-733-2013, or visit www.grandfather.com. To learn more about the Bridge Club membership program, visit bit.ly/2Cq88Bf.

The not-for-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call 800-468-7325, or visit www.grandfather.com to plan a trip.