Community invited to explore origins of the Nature Park, Learning Trail Saturday at the Riverwalk

BUCKHANNON – Ever wonder about the origins of the Buckhannon Nature Park and Learning Trail at the Riverwalk?

In other words, have you ever been curious about its roots and how they grew?

If so, head over to West Virginia Wesleyan College this Saturday, April 13, where Dr. Kathy Gregg, Professor Emerita of Biology, will be delivering a talk to members of West Virginia’s Native Plant Society about the park’s design – as well as its native, exotic and invasive species.

The talk is set for 1 p.m. in Room 217 of Christopher Hall of Science, and Gregg is issuing a special invitation to members of the Buckhannon-Upshur community.

“I thought people in the area might want to come over and learn a little more about the park and its history,” she said Thursday.

Gregg said she’ll be delivering a PowerPoint presentation designed to provide a general overview of the park.

“The presentation will be about history of park, how it came to be and some of the activities there, and especially, the volunteers who have been weeding out the exotic invasive species from the park,” she said. “The people who will be coming here (from the W.Va. Native Plant Society) may well want to establish such a place in their community.”

Following the presentation, the group will meander over to the Nature Park/Learning Trail, which is located adjacent to the Buckhannon River.

During the nature walk, there will be discussions about future activities, management and ongoing development of the park, Gregg said.

The park, which was dreamed up in 2009 and began to take shape in 2011, is a mixture of native species and invasive species, some of which include European privet and Japanese stiltgrass.

Gregg said invasive species – some of which are exotic but not always – take over and “outcompete” native species.

“I always welcome volunteers to come over and help weed,” she said.

Check out the Buckhannon Volunteer Center’s website at for listed opportunities, Gregg said.

Saturday’s talk will last approximately 45 minutes and a stroll around the Nature Park and Learning Trail will immediately follow.

“Of course, we’ll stay around the trail and park for discussion as long as participants would like,” Gregg said.

Gregg serves as curator of Wesleyan’s George B. Rossbach Herbarium.

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