Enjoy area's outdoors with plant sales, birding walks, pollinator talks, park events

Join Tennessee Ornithological Society members for an early morning bird walk Saturday, April 7.

If you go

› What: Spring Plant Sale and Festival› Where: Crabtree Farms, 1000 E. 30th St.› When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday-Saturday, April 6-7; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, April 8› Admission: Free, plants priced $3-$12› For more information: 423-493-9155Saturday Workshop Schedule10:30 a.m. “The Faces of Local Food: Celebrating the People Who Feed Us,” author talk and book signing by Charlotte Caldwell11:30 a.m. Gardening with Mushrooms, by Angel and Michael Miller12:30 p.m. Composting 101​1:30 p.m. “The Faces of Local Food: Celebrating the People Who Feed Us,” author talk and book signing by Charlotte Caldwell

Nearly 300 varieties of sustainably grown starts in fruit, herbs, vegetables, flowers and shrubs will be ready to go home with gardeners who visit Crabtree Farms' 18th annual Spring Plant Sale and Festival.

The three-day sale opens to the public on Friday morning at 9 a.m. A pre-sale for Crabtree Farms members only is today, April 5, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Visitors can enjoy free gardening workshops, live music, food, fun-on-the-farm activities for kids and handcrafted items from local artisans while selecting from available plants.

Melissa Astin, Crabtree Farms event coordinator, says the young plants are priced from $3 for small starts to gallon plants for $12, depending on size. They've been nurtured by Mike Barron and Andy Boyd, Crabtree Farms' greenhouse team, who propagate and grow the plants with help from community volunteers.

Twenty vendors will be on-site, and there will be children's activities such as storytelling, face painting, building fairy houses and animal encounters led by staff at Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center and from Poppy Creek Farm. Children's activities are scheduled 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

Visitors will be entertained with music by Just Us Gals from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, and Laura Walker and Friends on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tennessee Valley chapter of Wild Ones is holding its Pollinator Palooza on Sunday in conjunction with the plant sale. Admission is free to its three talks by Wild Ones members.

At noon, Lisa Lemza will speak on "Bee Native." Ann Brown will present "The Waggle Dance, Smelly Feet, Buzz Pollination and Other Amazing Facts About Bees" at 1 p.m. Sally Wencel will discuss bees and their garden allies at 2 p.m.

For more information: www.crabtreefarms.org/spring-plant-sale.


Plant Giveaway

» Where: Daisy United Methodist Church, 9508 Old Dayton Pike, Soddy-Daisy

» When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday

» Admission: Free. The first three plants are free, up to five additional plants $2 each

» For more information: 423-326-9248

Daisy UMC is nicknamed "the church with the flowers" because its grounds are awash in colorful blooms from spring to fall. Church members are donating plants ranging from Lenten rose and bearded iris to sundrops and sedum for this giveaway. Additionally there will be a large selection of daylilies, iris and other perennials from the church grounds that have been divided and potted for the giveaway.


» Where: Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park, 404 Spring Creek Road, Delano, Tenn.

» When: 9 am.-11 p.m. Saturday

» Admission: Free

» For more information: 423-263-0050

Get ready to enjoy summer outside by attending Ocowassee, where vendors, classes and hands-on demonstrations will teach you more about outdoor living. Topics will cover mountain biking, building fires and fire safety, growing mushrooms, birding, rock climbing, hiking and beekeeping. There will also be snake and birds of prey shows.

Spring Wildflower Walks

» Where: Rising Fawn Gardens, 521 Cureton Mill Road, Rising Fawn,Ga.

» When: 2-5 p.m. Sunday

» Admission: $4 Tennessee Aquarium members, $10 nonmembers

» For more information: risingfawngardens.com

Just a 30-minute drive from downtown Chattanooga, Rising Fawn Gardens' trail systems are scattered with a diversity and abundance of wildflowers. Tennessee Aquarium horticulturist Christine Bock will lead the hike, pointing out spring blossoms such as Virginia bluebells. Wear clothing appropriate for the weather and hiking, and bring a water bottle. Registration in advance is required due to limited space.

» Where: Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center, 400 Garden Road

» When: 10 a.m.-noon Saturday

» Admission: $12 RRANC or Hunter Museum members, $15 nonmembers

» For more information: 423-267-0968

Join representatives from Hunter Museum of American Art and Reflection Riding for a nature walk in search of bluebells and other native wildflowers. Record your discoveries in a field journal, then create prints inspired by the textures, sights, sounds and smells of spring.

Materials and a light snack will be provided. Register through Hunter Museum.

Waking Up With the Birds

» Where: Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center, 400 Garden Road

» When: 7-11:30 a.m. Saturday

» Admission: Free for RRANC members, donation of $10 to $20 suggested for nonmembers

» For more information: www.reflectionriding.org

Join Tennessee Ornithological Society members for an early morning bird walk. You'll learn the basics of birding and bird identification.

Volunteer for Civil War Trust Park Day

» Where: Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, 3370 LaFayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.

» When: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday

» Admission: Free

» For more information: 423-866-9241, ext. 1347

The National Park Service and Civil War Trust are again partnering for a hands-on preservation event at battlefields and historic sites across the country, including Chickamauga Battlefield.

Volunteers are needed to help build a fence at McDonald Farm around the park's headquarters. Sign-ups will be held in the lower parking lot of the Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

Come dressed in clothes that can get dirty and wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, tennis shoes or work boots for safety reasons. Bring cap, sunscreen and reusable water bottle. Gloves and other protective equipment will be provided.

A brief ceremony will take place at 12:30 p.m. to dedicate the park's new visitor entrance sign.

- Compiled by staff writer Susan Pierce