Hike & Help the Hemlocks 2011 Recap
On October 1, Save Georgia’s Hemlocks and our good friends in the Benton MacKaye Trail Association (BMTA) teamed up to sponsor a Hike & Help the Hemlocks event along a wonderful section of the BMT that runs through the Cherry Log Mountain Development. The goals for the event were to increase awareness of the hemlock crisis, build synergy among groups and individuals who care, treat some trees that really need help, and have a good time together in the great outdoors. Mission definitely accomplished!
Following an initial orientation and training session, thirty-eight volunteers enjoyed a family-friendly hike through some beautiful woods, treated 160 HWA-infested hemlocks, and did some trail clean-up along the way. Joe Sisson, president of Sisson Company in Cherry Log, generously donated the cost of the chemicals used to treat the trees.
When the work was done, everyone gathered beside Indian Lake for a picnic and time to get to know each other better. Jim Wentworth of the U. S. Forest Service gave us an update on the hemlocks in the national forest and the HWA control methods being used, and Jay Dement of the BMTA shared a lesson on the core principles of the Leave No Trace program for outdoor ethics.
On a second visit later in the month, SGH volunteer Facilitators treated an additional 50 large hemlocks. A product containing Imidacloprid, a mild but very effective treatment material, was applied by soil injection close to the base of each tree and is expected to provide residual protection for an average of five years.
Our sincere thanks to Joe Sisson of the Sisson Company; BMTA President Dick Evans; BMTA planners Ralph and Marge Heller; hike leaders Tom Keene and Bruce Granger; treatment team leaders Frank and Linda Gheesling, Clyde Lightfoot, Bob Pledger, John Ross, Mark Shearer, and Jim Wentworth; and all the other great volunteers who participated.
The Venue -- Cherry Log Mountain, a Sisson Development
We gathered at the Sisson Pavilion in the morning for some "meet and greet" and a preview of how the day would go.
Scouting the Trail & Marking the Trees
Several weeks before the event, Ralph and Marge Heller, Tom Keene, Bruce and Jackie Granger helped scout and mark the trail. They also tagged the trees that would be treated.
Part of the group hiked the trail and did some trail clean-up as they went. Along the way, the scenery included a lovely stream that paralleled the trail, a large fallen hemlock showing how shallow its roots typically are, Cherry Log Lake, the trail-side chapel, and Indian Rock near Indian Lake.
The Treatment Teams
The other part of the group formed teams of 2 or 3 volunteers who treated the tagged hemlocks along the trail. Part of the terrain was very steep, so the most hearty souls had to do some "mountain goat" climbing to reach the trees.
Lunch and Learn
Everyone came together for lunch beside Indian Lake which was adorned with blooming water lilies and other flowers. Here are Jim Wentworth giving us an update on the forest and Jay Dement sharing the core principles of the Leave No Trace program.
© Save Georgia's Hemlocks
2009. Last updated