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Protecting Appalachian Forests: Treatment of the Eastern Hemlock

Program Number: 20882RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/15/2014 - 6/20/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Pembroke, Virginia
Price starting at: $875.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Service Learning; Science & Nature Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian    

The Wooly Adelgid Aphid poses a catastrophic threat to hemlock trees of the Appalachians — but with consistent treatment, hemlocks can survive this invasive threat. Lend a hand in the Hemlock Treatment Program as you join experts from the Mountain Lake Conservancy and Kentland Farm Research Facility at Virginia Tech in the treatment of hemlocks and the removal of invasive plants and parasites. Spend a week atop Salt Pond Mountain exploring a unique ecosystem tucked in the ancient Appalachian Mountains.




Highlights

• Talk with local community members about forestry health issues, and learn how these incidents have affected the region.
• Hike through old growth forest stands with expert ecologists and learn about the region’s biodiversity.
• Learn to identify the trees and vegetation of high-elevation forests with hands-on lessons and experience.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles; extensive bending and kneeling; elevation changes up to 500 feet.



Coordinated by The Mountain Lake Conservancy.




Pembroke

Situated at an elevation of 4,000 feet in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, Pembroke encompasses 2,600 peaceful wooded acres that surround the only natural lake in the region, which is also home to rural Appalachian culture and traditions.



Accommodations
Resort accommodations in cottages or historic hotel overlooking the highest natural lake east of the Mississippi River; famous as the site in the movie "Dirty Dancing."
Meals and Lodgings
   Mountain Lake Lodge
  Pembroke, VA 6 nights
 Mountain Lake Lodge
Type: Hotel
  Description: A grand old stone hotel (site of the film "Dirty Dancing") overlooking the highest natural lake East of the Mississippi River and sitting on 2,600 acres of unspoiled wilderness at more than 4,000 feet above sea level. Please visit our website at www.mountainlakehotel.com
  Contact info: 115 Hotel Circle
Pembroke, VA 24136 USA
phone: 540-626-7121
web: www.MountainLakeHotel.com
  Room amenities: Private bathroom, coffee, coffee machine. The rooms are not equipped with hairdryers but you can obtain one from the Front Desk. Our buildings are not air conditioned as this is not necessary with the elevation and cooler temperatures. Rooms are equipped with ceiling fans and additional window fan units.
  Facility amenities: New Harvest Restaurant; Lounge area & public computers with access to internet; Mary's Barn (billiards, ping pong, foosball, arcade games); Outdoor swimming pool (seasonal) & snack bar; Tennis court; lawn games (volleyball, badminton, tether ball, croquet, oversize lawn chess/checkers); 22 miles of multi-use trails; canoing & kayaking, fishing, water-dependent; artisan and gift shop, retail and outfitter shop, and Mountain Lake Conservancy Visitor Center.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Begin at $99 Please make reservations in advance by calling the Front Desk at Mountain Lake Lodge. 540-626-7121 x0
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Begin at $99 Please make reservations in advance by calling the Front Desk at Mountain Lake Lodge. 540-626-7121 x0
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00 pm You will be staying at Mountain Lake Lodge that night.
  End of Program:
12:00 pm You will be staying at Mountain Lake Lodge the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Road Scholar Health & Safety Form
  Parking availability:
Parking available on-site.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Pembroke, VA
  Nearest city or town:  Pembroke
  Nearest highway: US 460
  Nearest airport:  Roanoke Regional Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Pembroke, VA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Mountain Lake, Pembroke, VA

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Mountain Lake Lodge Shuttle
phone: 540-626-7121
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$80.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 

 

Distance:

 

56 miles

   

MUST RESERVE THROUGH MTN LAKE AT LEAST ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE. Only one departure from the lodge to the airport on Friday, June 20. Shuttle will depart the Mountain Lake Conservancy & Lodge after lunch and check-out at 1:00pm and will arrive at the Roanoke Regional Airport at approximately 2:15pm.

 

Roanoke, VA

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Mountain Lake Lodge Shuttle
phone: 540-626-7121
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$80.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 

 

Distance:

 

56 miles

   

MUST RESERVE THROUGH MTN LAKE AT LEAST ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE. Only one departure from airport to the lodge on Sunday, June 15. Shuttle will depart the Roanoke Regional Airport at 2:00pm and will arrive at the Mountain Lake Conservancy & Lodge at approximately 3:15pm.

 

Mountain Lake, VA

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Roanoke Airport Transportation Service
phone: 800-288-1958
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$109.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 hours 

 

Distance:

 

56 miles

 

Roanoke, VA

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Roanoke Airport Transportation Service
phone: 800-288-1958
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$109.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 hours 

 

Distance:

 

56 miles

 
Driving Directions
  I-77 Take US 460 East at Princeton, WV. 460 E, 36 miles crossing into Virginia, past Pembroke to left on Rt. 700, Mountain Lake Road. Follow Rt. 700 for seven miles to Mountain Lake.
  I-81 Take exit 118 B, Christiansburg/VA Tech. Follow US 460 West, including bypass around Blacksburg to right on Route 700 (Mountain Lake Road). Follow Route 700 for seven miles up the mountain to Mountain Lake.
  Washington DC area I-66 West to I-81 South, then follow directions above.
Elevation Note: The Mountain Lake Conservancy & Hotel is at approximately 3,800 feet in elevation.

Equipment Requirements: Participants may want to bring personal work gloves - leather or other suitable for vegetation removal by hand. Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, sturdy walking shoes and comfortable, breathable clothing for working outdoors.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival & Check-in, Wine & Cheese Social, Registration & Orientation
(Sunday, June 15)

Note: Enjoy a social hour with wine and cheese tasting to meet fellow participants and program leaders. A brief orientation will introduce the week's itinerary and sessions in detail.



   
 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: You may check-in at the hotel library from 4:00-5:00pm. WINE & CHEESE SOCIAL: Begin getting to know your fellow participants during an informal get-together with wine and cheese on the hotel veranda from 5:00-6:00 pm.
 Dinner: Dinner begins at 6:15 pm in the Dining Room.
 Evening: ORIENTATION: After introductions of participants and program staff, we will have an informative overview of the program. reviewing the updated schedule, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answering any questions you may have.

Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

In this special new program, you will have opportunities to learn about threats to forests in the Appalachian region with a specific focus on the non-native Wooly adelgid aphid and the treatment and research program at Mountain Lake for the affected Eastern hemlock tree. You will also be able to assist in the Hemlock Treatment Program at the Mountain Lake Conservancy and Kentland Farm Research Facility at Virginia Tech. In addition, we will explore a unique ecosystem atop Salt Pond Mountain and learn to identify the trees and vegetation of high-elevation forests with hands-on lessons and experience. Plus, feel the history of historic Mountain Lake Hotel as you learn, lodge, dine, and relax.

   
Accommodations: Mountain Lake Lodge
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Introduction to the Eastern Hemlock and Wooly Adelgid, Hemlock Treatment Field Trip, Evening presentation: Songs of the Night
(Monday, June 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is available in the Mountain Lake Dining Room from 7:30am to 9:30 am.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: Tom McAvoy, noted Virginia Tech entomologist, will provide an introduction to the Wooly Adelgid and Eastern Hemlock. Learn about the origins and discovery of Wooly Adelgid infestation of Hemlock trees in the eastern U.S. and large-scale efforts to manage the complete spectrum of biological control activities including foreign exploration, quarantine evaluation, mass production, release, and evaluation of approved insect natural enemies.
 Lunch: Lunch begins at 12:00 Noon in the Dining Room.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: From approximately 1:30-4:00pm, we will take an expert-led field trip to learn about and participate in field treatment of Hemlock trees. The field trip involves hiking along forested trails for up to two (2) miles with frequent stops. HWA has spread to cover 50% of the Eastern Hemlock’s geographic range. In the past 20 years, this invasive pest has left most of the trees it has enountered either dead or in a highly weakened state. Since 1997, the major emphasis for addressing the problem has been investment into biological control.
 Dinner: Dinner begins at 5:30pm in the Dining Room.
 Evening: EVENING PROGRAM: Enjoy "Songs of the Night" with biologist and ornithologist Jerry Via, an entertaining multi-media presentation on the chirps, croaks, and hoots of nighttime bird sounds. Don’t be surprised if an owl answers the call!
   
Accommodations: Mountain Lake Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Kentland Farm Research Facility Field Trip, Hemlock Treatment Field Work, Biological Control Agent Tactics, Free Evening
(Tuesday, June 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is available in the Mountain Lake Dining Room from 7:30am to 9:30 am.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Kentland Farm. The historic Kentland Farm is part of the Virginia Tech College Farm Operation that comprises 3,000 acres in the Blacksburg area. The operation provides resources and assistance to research, teaching, and extension programs related to environmental concerns, sustainable agriculture, natural resources, alternative crops, and improved agricultural efficiencies.

After exploring parts of the farm to see examples of its work, we will engage in some field work treating hemlocks on site.

 Lunch: Lunch begins at 12:00 Noon in the Dining Room.
 Afternoon: PRESENTATION: Learn about biological control agents in forestry including predator species and systemic insecticides, and tactics being used in the hemlock treatment program.
 Dinner: Dinner begins at 5:30pm in the Dining Room.
 Evening: FREE EVENING: Enjoy time to use the hotel’s facilities or just relax after some busy days.
   
Accommodations: Mountain Lake Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: War Spur Trail Naturalist Hike, Pearisburg Historical Society Museum Complex, Evening Program on Native and Non-native Plant-Tree Identification
(Wednesday, June 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is available in the Mountain Lake Dining Room from 7:30am to 9:30 am.
 Morning: NATURALIST HIKE: Explore a section of old growth forest with local naturalist guides as we hike along the War Spur Loop Trail in the Mountain Lake Wilderness. The hike is approximately two (2) miles and considered moderately difficult with some rocky terrain and elevation gain. Unique attributes of this area include the numerous stands of virgin hemlock, red spruce, and pines. Other site habitats to be explored include stream-side rhododendron thickets, moss-covered rock outcrops, eastern hardwood forests, moist woodland understory blanketed with delicate ferns, and awe-inspiring overlook views of surrounding mountains and valleys.
 Lunch: Lunch begins at 12:00 Noon in the Dining Room.
 Afternoon: EXCURSION: Giles County Historical Society Museum Complex in Pearisburg, VA. This small museum complex traces the history of Giles County dating back to Native Americans, its most significant families from the settlement era onward, and preserves typical small town character. During the Civil War, one of the properties was used as Union headquarters briefly in 1862 by Col. Rutherford B. Hayes and Sgt. William McKinley, both later presidents of the United States.
 Dinner: Dinner begins at 5:30pm in the Dining Room.
 Evening: EVENING PRESENTATION: Learn how to identify common plant and tree species atop Salt Pond Mountain and the Appalachian region.
   
Accommodations: Mountain Lake Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Non-native & Invasive Species, Survey & Removal of Invasive Vegetation, Bluegrass Music
(Thursday, June 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is available in the Mountain Lake Dining Room from 7:30am to 9:30 am.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: Learn about non-native and invasive plant species affecting the Appalachian region.
 Lunch: Lunch begins at 12:00 Noon in the Dining Room.
 Afternoon: FIELD WORK: Under expert supervision, survey and remove invasive vegetation within the Mountain Lake Conservancy.
 Dinner: Dinner begins at 5:30pm in the Dining Room.
 Evening: ENTERTAINMENT: Enjoy an outdoor performance on the Mountain Lake Hotel Veranda with local musicians the Nelson's and Liam Kelly. Listen to and learn about traditional Appalachian mountain music and instruments in this relaxed, informal setting.
   
Accommodations: Mountain Lake Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Threatened Species in the Appalachian Region and Citizen Conservation Efforts, Program Concludes
(Friday, June 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is available in the Mountain Lake Dining Room from 7:30am to 9:30 am.
 Morning: CLOSING PRESENTATION WITH Q&A: Learn more about threatened species in the Appalachian region and what you and other citizens can do to help in conservation efforts.

HOTEL CHECK-OUT: Please be sure you have checked out no later than 11:30am.

 Lunch: We will have our final lunch together in the Mountain Lake Restaurant.

This concludes our program. We hope you have enjoyed learning with us and will return for other rewarding Road Scholar educational adventures in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys!

   
Accommodations: Mountain Lake Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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