The 2015 class of the TN Naturalist @ Ijams met last Saturday for their third in a series of 12 classes.
With the trees now leafing out, and the lush green canopy returning to the nature Center it was a good time to discuss Tennessee trees. including the ever present State Tree, the tuliptree. The tall pioneer species is often misidentified as a tulip poplar, when in fact, it's in the magnolia family. As the late Dr. Aaron Sharp, professor of botany at UT, used to say, "it's no more of a poplar than I am."
Ijams senior naturalist Peg Beute taught the class which included a walk to the Homesite and overlook.
This is the third year that Ijams is involved in this state-wide program. In addition to the 12 classes, students must put in 40 hours of volunteer work at Ijams or elsewhere. After all the classes and volunteer requirements are met, the students become certified Tennessee Naturalists.