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Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
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News 2014

A selection of events held at the AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center during the year. Read about past year's events at News Archives >>>


UT National Forensic Academy – Collegiate Training Session

Forensic Training Session 1
Forensic Training Session 2

The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center (FRREC) hosted a contingent of criminal justice students from UT-Martin on July 25th and again on August 1, 2014 as part of the UT National Forensic Academy’s (NFA) collegiate field training program. The training exercises took place on the NFA’s new field training site which is located on the FRREC property. This training site is a result of a unique UT partnership, finalized in 2013, between the UT Institute of Agriculture and the UT Institute of Public Service. The NFA’s 9-credit hour collegiate training program is administered through the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center in Oak Ridge. Over 15 students were in attendance for the off-campus field training event, which consisted of mock crime scene and clandestine grave site investigations.


New Information Boxes for the UT Arboretum Trail System

Girl Scouts Replace Information Boxes

The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center (FRREC) recently received a generous donation of fifteen new trail information boxes from Sophia McDuffee (left) from Hardin Valley Academy, and Megan McEahern (right) from Oak Ridge High School. Both girls are from Girl Scout Troop 20737 in Oak Ridge. The donation was part of their Girl Scout Silver Award project which requires at least fifty hours of community outreach service. These newly donated boxes were either reconditioned from the existing boxes or were new construction, and which will now be re-installed on the Oak Hickory and Tulip Poplar trails.


UT FRREC Hosts City of Oak Ridge Community Work Day

UTAS Board Meeting Tour of the CenterThe Creek Cleanup Volunteer Team stands proudly in front of a truckload of woody debris they collected during the Community Workday.
UTAS Board Meeting at the CenterThe Bench Construction Volunteer Team poses proudly with the three new benches they constructed during the Community Workday.

The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center hosted the City of Oak Ridge “Community Outreach Work Day” on Saturday June 21st. Over twenty volunteers from the local community participated in a creek walk cleanup and the construction of three new wooden benches for the new creek access area near the entrance to the Arboretum. The event was scheduled as part of City’s initiative to become the first EPA designated Green Power Community in the Southeast. As a part of this milestone the City and TVA facilitated the 'community outreach' work day that would benefit the local community and say “thanks” for helping the City to achieve Green Power Community status. The volunteers who participated in the event were: Karen Crutchfield, Alex Crutchfield, Angie Nabe, Greg Nabe, Daniel Black, Charles Young, Tashia Larkin, Christopher Law, Brandon Edington, Mike Casey, Jacob Chauvin, Ben Davis, Michael White, Johnathon Huckabey, Elizabeth Huckabey, Savannah Huckabey, Joe Huckabey, Daniel Huckabey, Stephanie Huckabey, Will McMillen, Christy Brooks, Jack Suggs, and Marlene Witt, who coordinated the event.


UT Arboretum Director delivers update presentation to Oak Ridge Rotary Club

FRREC Director Delivers Updaate to Rotary Club

Dr. Kevin Hoyt, Director, UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center (FRREC), gave a FRREC “update” presentation on June 5th, 2014 to the Oak Ridge Rotary Club during their regularly scheduled noon meeting luncheon. Dr. Hoyt’s presentation covered an overview of the center’s research, demonstration, and outreach activities, as well as, an update on the potential groundbreaking for the new UT Arboretum auditorium. He also noted the special recognition for the FRREC’s 50th Anniversary which occurred in 2014. The luncheon meeting was held at the Oak Ridge Double Tree Hotel, and was attended by over 50 Rotary members and invited guests.


UT Arboretum Society Holds Spring "Pot Luck" Board Meeting

UTAS Board Meeting Tour of the CenterMr. Bo Duncan (on orange Kubota tractor) provided the safe operation of the transportation for the UT Arboretum Society board meeting.
UTAS Board Meeting at the CenterMr. Don Green (center, white shirt and tie) provided a candid overview of the UT Law Enforcement Innovation Center field training site during the “behind-the-scenes” tractor-trailer tour.

Photos courtesy of Charles Samuels, UTAS President

The UT Arboretum Society (UTAS) board members held their regular May 2014 monthly meeting at the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center (FRREC) program shelter. The meeting included a pot-luck dinner and a “behind-the-scenes” tractor-trailer tour of various research projects located on the property. Kevin P. Hoyt, Director, acted as the tour guide, and Mr. Bo Duncan, FRREC Farm Equipment Operator, provided the safe tractor-trailer operation for the event. The tour featured a stop at the new UT Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC) field training site. Mr. Don Green, Executive Director of LEIC, gave an overview of the law enforcement forensic training programs being conducted at the FRREC and ongoing field training relationship between the FRREC and LEIC. UTAS Members Present: David Alspaugh, Janet Bigelow, Janet Cushman, Lee Ann Dobbs, Kevin Hoyt, Pat Hunsicker, Charlie Jernigan, Emily Jernigan, Tom Row, Marti Salk, Charles Samuels, Randy Stewart, and Dennis Superczynski.


UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center Hosts Land Use Tour

Martin Schubert, Cumberland Forest Unit Manager, and Kevin Hoyt, FRREC DirectorDr. Daniel Yoder (far left), Professor, UT Biosystems Engineering & Soil Science, presents a talk on road construction Best Management Practices to a group of county commissioners who attended the land use tour.

The Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center (FRREC) hosted a land use tour sponsored by the East Tennessee Development District and the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation on May 19, 2014. The land use tour was focused on soils, sinkholes, road construction, and water resources as related to land use and development in the East Tennessee region. Vans were used to shuttle the participants between the 20-minute tour stops which included areas inside the FRREC research landbase, as well as the arboretum. Over 60 county commissioners and resource professionals participated in the event.


UT Arboretum Society Holds Extremely Successful Spring Plant Sale

UTAS Spring Plant Sale 2

The UT Arboretum Society (UTAS) hosted their Annual Spring Plant Sale at the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center program shelter on Saturday, April 12, 2014. The beautiful spring weather brought members, patrons, and visitors out in large crowds, making it one of the best spring sales in years. This is traditionally the biggest annual UTAS fundraising event, as all proceeds go toward supporting the mission, programs, and projects of the UT Arboretum. (Photo courtesy of Mr. Charles Samuels, UTAS President)


Martin Schubert - 15 Years of Service

Martin Schubert, Cumberland Forest Unit Manager, and Kevin Hoyt, FRREC DirectorMartin Schubert, Cumberland Forest Unit Manager, receives 15 Year Service Recognition from Kevin Hoyt, FRREC Director.

Please join us as we recognize Martin Schubert (left) for his 15 years of hard work and dedication to the UT Forest Resources Research and Education Center (FRREC). Martin started his long relationship with the FRREC as student worker while completing his master’s degree on a pine planting spacing study at the Highland Rim Forest in Tullahoma, TN. He began his full-time employment working at the Cumberland Forest Unit in Morgan County; working under the guidance of Mr. Richard Evans (former Director). Martin is known as an extremely detailed, dedicated, and hard-working person who can get the job done. He has recently helped coordinate several key research project initiatives focused on switchgrass establishment, feral hog control and shortleaf pine reforestation techniques. He is also a strong supporter of the UT Forestry, Wildlife, & Fisheries Department, helping to coordinate several field labs each year focused on forest measurements and the use of prescribed fire for pine and hardwood management.


UT Arboretum Society - Native Plant Group Work Day

UTAS Workday

UTAS Workday Mulching

On March 19, 2014 nine UT Arboretum Society volunteers from the UTAS Native Plant Group spent the morning sprucing up the Arboretum visitors center office/parking lot area flower beds. General bed cleaning, weeding and mulching were completed as part of the effort to get ready for the Spring Plant Sale. These volunteers, led by Lee Ann Dobbs, do a fantastic job in keeping the visitor’s center looking beautiful, not just in the springtime, but year round. The volunteers that participated in the 3/19 work day were: David Alspaugh, Ken Farrell, Joan Johnson, Lynda Haynes, Pat Hunsicker, James Mee, Gail Nichols, Peggy Mahoney, and Marti Salk.


UT Arboretum Society Sponsors Lecture Series Programs

Yoder LectureDr. Daniel Yoder (top left), Professor, UT Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, talks about the proposed UT SMART Center site that will be built on the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center property.

Wyss LectureMr. Alex Wyss (top left), Director of Conservation Programs – TN Nature Conservancy, discusses the potential impacts of the Emerald Ash Borer on the Ash trees in Tennessee and the south’s forests.
(Photos courtesy of Mr. Charles Samuels, UTAS President)

The UT Arboretum Society sponsored two new lecture series events this past winter. Dr. Daniel Yoder, Professor, Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science gave a presentation entitled "The SMART approach to stormwater management" on February 25th. The subject matter focused on general stormwater management issues and opportunities, and the proposed UT SMART Center site. The program was well received by the diverse group of 26 people who attended the event. Mr. Alex Wyss, Director of Conservation Programs – TN Nature Conservancy, gave a presentation entitled "Healthy Trees – Healthy Tennessee" on March 13th. The program focused on several invasive insect pests that are attacking the native forests of East Tennessee. 40 people attended the event.


2014 UTAS Father-Daughter Hike

UTAS Father-Daughter Hike 2014

Jeff Holt, Consulting Forester and UTAS Volunteer (left - green jacket), again led the annual Father-Daughter hike this year, which was held on Saturday, February 15, 2014. The event was co-sponsored by the UT Arboretum Society and the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. An overcast cold winter day, remnant snowfall, and muddy trails did not deter the family memories for 36 fathers and daughters in attendance. The hikers enjoyed a brisk 2+ hour walk along the Marsh Area, on the Crossroads Trail, the Lost Chestnut Trail, and the Oak Hickory Trail during the 3+ mile outing. At the end of the hike, the girls and dads in attendance received complimentary back packs and tote bags donated by East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.


UT National Forensic Academy Training Session

National Forensic Academy Vehicle

National Forensic Academy Training

National Forensic Academy Training Session

The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center (FRREC) hosted a contingent of law enforcement professionals in January 2014 as part of the UT National Forensic Academy’s (NFA) ongoing field training operations. The training exercises took place on the NFA’s field training site which is located on the FRREC property. This training site is a result of a unique UT partnership, finalized in September 2013, when the UT Institute of Agriculture and the UT Institute of Public Service entered into a long-term Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for use of this permanent seven acre field site.

The NFA’s 10-week unique training program is administered through the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center in Oak Ridge, TN and is funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Over 30 law enforcement professionals from around the country were in attendance for the training event which focused on mock crime scene investigation, the use of cadaver dogs, ground penetrating radar, grave subsidence, and probing exercise to locate clandestine graves.


A Place for All Seasons

Snow in the Elmore Holly Garden "No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn." ~Hal Borland, nature journalist and author

The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center and Arboretum remains a place “for all seasons”, and wintertime definitely provides a quiet time to enjoy the tranquility of the Arboretum, especially when we have snow on the ground. The recent snow certainly did not deter visitors to the arboretum, despite the hazardous road conditions and slippery trail system. We hope that people will remember the Arboretum during future snow events as a destination for a quiet walk or great photo opportunity!


Richard Evans Receives Tennessee Forestry Association Award

Preparing the area for the wetland installation Richard Evans (right) is presented the Tennessee Forestry Association (TFA) “Forest Resources Award” by Candace Dinwiddie, Executive Director of TFA.

Richard Evans, former Director of the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center, was honored with the Tennessee Forest Resources Award by the Tennessee Forestry Association (TFA) at their regional meeting in Knoxville, TN on January 23rd, 2014. The “Tennessee Forest Resources Award” is presented annually to a person making a recognized contribution to forestry in Tennessee, not necessarily through TFA activities. Richard's award recognition was partly for his life-long service to the profession of forestry throughout the state of Tennessee, his past service to TFA as a life-long member, and his past leadership position as the East Tennessee Vice President of the organization. We are very proud of Richard’s life-long accomplishments and wish him well in his ongoing retirement from the Center.


Harold Elmore Holly Collection "Happenings"

Preparing the area for the wetland installation Ms. Fran Scheidt (center – orange jacket) and Dr. Will Witte (right – white jacket) lead a group of attendees on a tour of the Elmore Holly Collection.(Photo courtesy of Mr. Charles Samuels)

The UT Arboretum Society - Holly Task Force held their annual fall work day on Saturday November 9th, 2013. Ms. Fran Scheidt and Dr. Will Witte, Holly Task Force members, coordinated the event. The work day included a tour of the Elmore Holly Collection, holly plant care demonstrations (pruning, planting, mulching, and irrigation), and the planting of seven new hollies into the collection. Refreshments and information handouts were also available for the 19 people who participated in the event. This year the work day was symbolically titled “Holly Fest” which the task force hopes to expand and grow into an annual holiday event.

The prepared wetland area Mr. Carmen Gianforte (left) receives the prestigious Wolf-Fenton Award at the annual meeting of the Holly Society of America.(Photo courtesy of Mr. Carmen Gianforte)


In a related event, Mr. Carmen Gianforte, Holly Task Force member, was recently recognized with the prestigious Holly Society of America – Wolf Fenton Award. This award is given annually to an individual for outstanding contributions and dedicated service in the field of holly. Mr. Gianforte is known within the Holly Task Force as the guy who propagates baby hollies to help perpetuate the UT Arboretum collection. He also has the boyhood nickname as the guy with the “holly green thumb”.

Finally, the Farm Bureau Insurance company sent a photographer out to the Arboretum on Friday, January 24th, 2014 for a photo session focused on the Harold Elmore Holly Collection. The session will ultimately become a holiday feature story in the 2014 fall/winter edition of the company's “Tennessee Home and Farm” magazine edition. This will provide great exposure for the collection and the Arboretum, hopefully bringing out more visitors and guests during the 2014 holiday season.


Highland Rim Forest Conducts Controlled Burn Training Exercise

Highland Rim Forest Control Burn

Highland Rim Forest Control Burn


The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center - Highland Rim Forest Unit in Tullahoma, TN conducted a controlled burn training exercise on November 4, 2013 with the Tennessee Division of Forestry (TDF) and students from the UT Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries (FWF). The annual prescribed burn is a focused field exercise aimed at enhancing wildlife habitat, while reducing downed woody fuel loading on the unit's forestland property. It also provides a cooperative field training exercise for TDF personnel and students from the FWF forest fire management class of Associate Professor Jennifer Franklin and Assistant Professor Emma Willcox.


University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 · Telephone: 865-483-3571 · Email: UTforest@utk.edu