- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Stephen Lyn Bales, editor

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Getting by with a little help from our friends

Old dead tree brought down away from historic tombstones

Sometimes things just fall right into your lap and other things just never seem to fall.  A tree falling down is something we deal with all the time at Ijams.  Storms come and go and leave trees on the ground, but they rarely knock down the ones you want.  One old snag we have been watching at the Stanton Cemetery had outlasted many storms while giants around it toppled like dominoes.  This particular snag loomed ominously over a bench, an interpretive sign and the resting place of many fine people.

Now, as I said, sometimes things just fall right into your lap.  The day before our annual spring plant sale a gentleman walked up to me and asked if we ever need any help on the grounds here at Ijams Nature Center.  I replied that we always need help.  This gentleman’s name is Travis Davis and he is an arborist with Wolf Tree in Knoxville, which is a division of the Davey Tree Expert Company.  He offered his help with any trouble trees on the property and we showed him to the old snag atop Mead’s Quarry.  “No problem” was his response.  Now, I’d looked at that tree many times and this is not the way I would have categorized it, but several days later Travis had that monster on the ground safely and with only help from a homemade battery operated winch.

Historic Stanton Cemetery located
on Tharp Trace near Mead's Quarry
The acquisition of Mead’s Quarry and Ross Marble Natural Area has added a unique dimension to the Ijams landscape.  It has also added a tremendous workload.  The management staff is fortunate enough to have a collection of outstanding volunteers who are self motivated and hard working.  Ed Bellinghausen and Jim Quick are long time volunteers and if things look good at these two locations, you can bet these guys had a hand in it!  Ed maintains Tharp Trace (Ijams’ steepest trail), Stanton Cemetery, Secret pond trail, and other points around Mead’s Quarry.  Jim maintains the hiking paths on Ross Marble Natural Area including the keyhole and rock bridge.  They are great guys and wonderful ambassadors for Ijams Nature Center.  The Appalachian Mountain Bike Club also does a tremendous job on all mountain biking trails. 

Now we are glad to welcome the help of a new volunteer in Travis Davis, who is also a member and frequent visitor to Ijams where he enjoys mountain biking.  Thank you Travis!

If you’d like to speak with Travis about a tree on your property or the services they provide, he can be reached at 687-3400.  Also, you can find information on the web at www.wolftreeinc.com.

- Ben Nanny, assistant park manager

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