Although the weather kept some away, the 43rd annual Mount Rogers Naturalist Rally drew a large crowd of enthusiastic participants during the second weekend in May. The Rally was held in memory of Wallace Coffey, Rally co-founder, and Claude Greever, long-time Rally supporter and guide.
For the 2nd year in a row, BRDC partnered with the Independence Farmers Market www.independencefarmersmarket.org to provide high quality and locally sourced ingredients for the Farm--to-Table meal, which featured slow smoked, local, pasture-raised pork, plenty of local veggies, home-made breads, and a garden salad to die for. Home-made desserts finished off the meal. With all profits from the dinner returning to the community center, those in attendance made for a successful fundraiser.
As rain poured outside, keynote speaker George Constantz, author of Hollows, Peepers, and Highlanders: An Appalachian Mountain Ecology, spoke to a packed house at the Konnarock Community Center after the Friday night dinner.
Field trips on Saturday included several new opportunities such as Caving, Intro to Birding and Ecology of Grassy Balds, while many of the tried and true trips from the past also remained popular. With the rain giving way to cloudy skies and even a little bit of sunshine, conditions were wet but good for the hearty naturalist who didn’t mind a little mud.
Special thanks to all of the volunteers and committee members who worked to make the event a success! The wonderful support of our volunteer guides was greatly appreciated as they lead 26 different field trips during the weekend as well as two kids programs. The Rally was held in memory of Wallace Coffey, Rally co-founder, and Claude Greever, long-time Rally supporter and guide.
All in all, the 43rd annual Mount Rogers Naturalist Rally was an inspiring addition to the long tradition of this exploration and discovery event within the Blue Ridge.