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Walks in the Woods – Byron Almquist

Intent is to provide opportunities to increase nature observation skills, learn some history about an area and to how to identify native trees.  Six Walks are scheduled during coming months to local public lands.   All are scheduled on the second Sunday of each month except for February to avoid a conflict with Carnival.  Most often, meet time is 9 am with ending time about midday.  The pace is very leisurely with a stop for lunch.  Most often a handout is provided about the public land, trails and trees to be encountered.   To sign up for a Walk, send me a note along with your cell phone number that you are coming.  On Thursday night before the outing, I will send an email with driving directions and other pertinent details.

The walks are lead by Byron Almquist.
Class - fall 2013 - Percy Viosca awardee 2021  

 Sunday November 12, 2023    Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Covington.   The refuge is in the Pearl River Basin – a bottomland hardwood swamp located in a floodplain.  By the fall, the basin except for larger streams has dried out.  This means that explorers can walk on the floor of the floodplain – an experience not available most of the year.  Specifically, we will wander through a “gum” pond - stands of tupelo and cypress with water marks over our heads.

Sunday, December 10, 2023     Audubon Park – looking over fences, giraffes and horses will observe humans zigzagging from tree to tree.  Surprisingly, there is in the southeast corner of Audubon Park, about 35 native trees – perhaps more than anywhere else in greater New Orleans area including City Park.  This walk is in the area of the massive live oak, Tree of Life, and the maze. 

Sunday, January 14, 2024      City Park – how many species of native trees are there in this century old park?  The app “Picture This” has ided about 30 species of native trees.  Our intrepid crew of naturalists will seek to concur or disprove that number.  This Walk will involve convoying from the northwest corner to Gro Dat near I 610 to canvas the park’s natives in one day. 

Sunday, February 18, 2024    Northlake Nature Center east of Mandeville.   By having vehicles at two trailheads, our crew of explorers will connect trails seeking out a variety of habitats and the trees and shrubs that reside in them.  Intend to mosey through wetlands of cypress, upland forests of oaks and hickories and then the restored site of the long leaf pines.

March 10, 2024          Will leave the destination of this Walk open for now.

April 14, 2024             Bogue Chitto State Park north of Folsom.   Spring will have sprung by the middle of April in the park.  What will be in bloom or newly leafed out?   This venture may involve some off trail hiking – either out on a threatened peninsula or up the slopes to the white oaks on the forested bluffs which overlook the floodplain of the Bogue Chitto river.