Roan Mountain State Park


Roan Mountain

Spring Naturalists Rally

April 28–30, 2023   


Rally Directors; Gary Barrigar and Larry McDaniel

[email protected]





Nancy Barrigar, Treasurer

708 Allen Avenue

Elizabethton, TN 37643

Sponsored by:

The Friends of Roan Mountain


Featured Speakers: 


Friday Evening Program:

Co-existing with Snakes Connie Deegan 

Connie Deegan is a naturalist with the Johnson City, TN Parks and Recreation Department, specializing in herpetology. Deegan is responsible for trail signage and maps, trail design and construction, and keeping the trails clear of downed trees. She conducts week-long seasonal camps about nature and writes a popular weekly nature series, ‘Naturally Yours’. Connie received the Tennessee Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Award in 2021 for Conservation Educator of the Year. She also received the 2022 Pinnacle Award for Adventure Tourism Leader.

Program Description:

Snakes are an amazingly important part of the ecosystem and many people happily coexist with snakes on their property. Deegan’s program will include a discussion on the physiology of snakes and what to do in the event of a rare mishap.

Saturday Evening Program:

Flora Lore & Uses – Fascinating Stories About Flowers Tavia Cathcart Brown 

Tavia is Executive Director of the 170-acre Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve in Goshen, Kentucky, where she has established a two-acre Woodland Garden that highlights native wildflowers and ferns, along with creating multiple Certified Monarch Waystations. With Tavia’s support, Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve started Kentucky’s first full-time outdoor preschool, Thrive Forest School, serving more than 350 students and campers a year. During the pandemic, Tavia created a Take a Walk with Tavia video series about plants, which may be viewed from Creasey Mahan’s web site or YouTube page. She coauthored the field guide, Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley, and Southern Appalachians, which covers 16 states, 1,250 wildflowers, and presents 800 photographs. A highly regarded lecturer, educator, writer and photographer, Tavia shares her love of plants and pollinators at every opportunity, giving presentations to regional and national groups.

Program Description:

Tavia will present vivid examples of how Native Americans and early pioneers used plants as medicinal aids. You’ll also discover myths, legends, and lore spotlighting wildflowers that were revered and sometimes feared.  



FRIDAY APRIL 28 Conference Center Activities

   5:30 pm Registration and Check-in


   6:30 pm Buffet Dinner – Requires reservation prepaid by deadline of Tues April 25.


   7:30 pm Program:  Co-existing with Snakes by Connie Deegan


9:00 pm 

  1. Night Walk (E, J,J) Cade Campbell


  1. Moth Viewing (E,J) Larry McDaniel




   6:30 am  Early Birds (E) Herndon Chapter TOS. Meet at park Visitors Center (water wheel). Bring binoculars.


   8:30 am  Field Trips: Meet at the field adjacent to the park cabins entrance. On-site registration is available.


  1.   Birds of Roan Mountain (E, J) Herndon Chapter TOS. Bring binoculars.


  1. Beginning Birding (E, J) Herndon Chapter TOS. Bring binoculars.


  1. Salamanders (E, J) Tyler Wicks


  1. Wildflowers (E) Guy Mauldin


  1. Land Snails (E, J) Cade Campbell


  1. Introduction to iNaturalist (E, J) Philip Hylen


  1. Hike to Jones Falls (M/S) Marty Silver


   11:00 am – 1:30 pm Conference Center Activities


  1. Fossil Casting – (J) Mick Whitelaw, ETSU Dept. of Geology, Geoscience Club


  1. Flint Knapping – Demonstration

of ancient method of fashioning tools from stone. (J) Bob Estep


11:30 pm – Nature Slide Show -Tracy Campbell


12:00 pm Lunch – Bag lunches with prepaid reservation (deadline Tues April 25) or bring your own lunch and join us!


12:30 pm – Program “Native Orchids to North American & Nearby” – Mary Ruden


   2:00 pm Field Trips: Meet at the field adjacent to the park cabins entrance.


  1. Wildflowers (E) Anne Whittemore


  1. Mosses and Liverworts (M) Jim Goldsmith


  1. Aquatic Insects as Water Quality Indicators (W, E, J) Gary Barrigar and Anna Grizzard


  1. Hampton Creek Cove Hike (M, J) Richard Broadwell


  1. Wildlife Tracking (E, J) Marty Silver


  1. Butterflies (E. J) Park Greer


  1. Geology/Paleo-ecology Hike 5 mi (M/S, J) Jeremy Stout.


   6:30 pm Buffet Dinner—Requires reservation prepaid by deadline of Tues. April 25.


    Conference Center Activities


    7:30 pm  Program: Flora Lore & Uses  – Fascinating Stories About Flowers by Tavia Cathcart Brown


     9:00 pm 


  1. Night Walk (E, J) Cade Campbell


  1. Moth Viewing (E, J) Larry McDaniel





  5:45 am Sunrise Hike (M, J) Connie Deegan (meet at Carver’s Gap parking area, walk up Round Bald, will be back at park for 9:00 AM field trips)


   9:00 am  Field Trips  Meet at the field adjacent to the park cabins entrance.


  1. Birds of Hampton Creek Cove (M,J) Herndon Chapter TOS. Bring binoculars.


  1. Laurel Falls Hike: Dennis Cove to Hampton (M,J) Gabrielle Zeiger, Mick Whitelaw, Don Holt. All-day hike;bring water, lunch and rain gear.


  1. Snake Talk/Walk Connie Deegan (E. J)


 2:00 pm  Field Trips  Meet at the field adjacent to the park cabins entrance.


  1. Salamanders (E,J) Lance Jesse


  1. Twin Springs Ephemerals and Plant Ecology (E) Jamey Donaldson



KEY:  E      Easy

M     Moderate

S       Strenuous

J      Kid-friendly

W      Wade in water