Allegany Nature Pilgrimage 2009
Last weekend the 51st annual Allegany Nature Pilgrimage was held in Allegany State Park. This is my 14th year attending the pilgrimage and my 11th year as a trip leader. The Allegany Nature Pilgrimage was started by Gilbert Burgeson (aka Gib) who traveled to Tennesee to visit their daughter. While in Tennessee he attended the Smokey Mountain Wildflower Pilgrimage and said, “Why can’t we have a pilgrimage? Why not at Allegany Park?”! Over the past 51 years the organization still frequently has visitors from all over the United States, Canada and other Countries to attend the Pilgrimage weekend.
This year I lead 72 individuals in two groups on the “Old Growth Forest Hike” into the Big Basin area of the Park. I tried to show everyone a few different forest types so that everyone could have a better understanding of how an older growth forest operates. The two groups I had were amazing and I happily handed out some of my Temporary Tattoos to anyone who would wear one (and represent this blog)!
A few years ago you might remember that I ranted about the how at the ANP committee was encouraging people to dig up rare and unique flowers to be used as display showcase! It created some controversy for a short time but unlike them successfully switching over to biodegradable silverware and plates (CHEERS to that change) . . . . the group has failed to do anything about the continued digging up of plants for display and then encouraging others to plant them wherever!!
I promised myself not to get off on any kind of rant again and I had only once accidentally entered the room that stored all these plants (to only find these the plants are still being dug up for display)! I just wish a group like Audubon would reconsider the 1950’s way of digging up plants for display and find a better “GREEN” ways of displaying information on wildflowers within the region!
Congrats to Young Naturalist C and Young Naturalist J for doing another fine job with their “Nature for kids, by Kids” walk! We all ended our Pilgrimage weekend with another one of our favorite hikes called “Evening Hike” lead by Lon! We had a blast as always and I can’t wait till next years event where I will be leading the 20th anniversary Tornado Blowdown Hike and handing the Old Growth hike over to a new individual. Thanks to Jeremy Martin for letting me use his amazing photos!
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