Sparta Speaker Series focuses on numerous nature topics

by | July 17, 2017 6:19 am

Seth Webster, upcoming speaker for the Sparta Speaker Series, and Nathan Dodson perform as a group known as the Mockingbirds. (Photo courtesy of CHUCK SUTHERLAND)

Organizers have recently developed what has become known as the Sparta Speaker Series, which is a joint-venture between the City of Sparta and Virgin Falls State Natural Area.

The Sparta Speaker Series focuses on several nature-based topics. Over the course of the summer, there will be nine different presentations. Each presentation will cover a different topic and be presented by various speakers. These events will begin at 7 p.m., at Oldham Theater, on Liberty Square, in downtown Sparta.

On July 13, a presentation was given by Stuart Carroll called Virgin Falls and the Pocket Wilderness System. Carroll, who is the manager of Virgin Falls State Natural Area, in White County, spoke about the Pocket Wilderness System, in Tennessee, and shared photos of numerous Tennessee hiking trails.

The remaining eight events in the Sparta Speaker Series at Oldham Theater will be:

-July 18: Traditional Music of the Cumberland Plateau by Seth Webster.

Webster, of Tennessee State Parks, will be showcasing the early traditional music of the Cumberland Plateau region. Webster has been performing with the fiddle and banjo for over 15 years.

-July 25: Coal Mining in White County by Linda Mackie.

Mackie, along with members of the Bon Air Historical Society, will give a presentation about the rich history of the coal mining industry, in White County. In addition to speaking about the coal mining history, they will speak about the Ravenscroft Mine Site, as well as current events and goals for the museum.

-Aug. 1: Wildflowers of Tennessee by Randy Hedgepath

Hedgepath, who is a state naturalist, will be providing a presentation about the native wildflowers found in Tennessee. Hedgepath, who has been working with Tennessee State Parks for over 30 years, is considered to be one of the top interpretive specialists in the southern region of the United States

-Aug. 8: Geology of the Eastern Highland Rim by Chuck Sutherland.

Sutherland, a cartographer and spelunker, will be speaking about the various landforms found along the rim of the Cumberland Plateau. Sutherland will also be talking about the geological process that created the landforms.

-Aug. 15: Paddling and Fishing the Waters of White County by Jackson Kayak.

Staff members of Sparta’s Jackson Kayak company will be talking about the numerous paddling and fishing opportunities found in White County.

-Aug. 22: Preparing for Hiking and Backpacking Trips in Virgin Falls by Sawyer Campbell

Sawyer Campbell from Outdoor Experience will be giving a presentation sharing tips and techniques and speaking about the necessary equipment needed to successfully hike and backpack.

-Aug. 29: Hiking Tennessee Book Presentation by Stuart Carroll.

Manager of Virgin Falls State Natural Area and coauthor of Hiking Tennessee, Carroll will speak about some of many hiking trails found across Tennessee.

-Sept. 5: Tips and Tricks of Nature Photography by Bob Saylers.

Veteran nature photographer Bob Saylers will be showing some of his methods to capture great nature photographs. Saylers is an award winning photographer who has several pieces of work published and in several galleries throughout Florida.

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