Birds and owls at UT Arboretum

Melanie StatenAnderson, Fun Outdoors

The University of Tennessee Arboretum Society has announced the opening of a new book on the Arboretum’s Nature Book Trail, “Birds: Discovering North American Species,” by author Dr. Shirley Raines and photographer Curt Hart.

The Nature Book Trail, about a half mile in length, begins near the parking lot by the UT Arboretum Visitors Center, 901 S. Illinois Ave. in Oak Ridge. Although it is not handicap accessible, it is an easy trail for children and adults to hike. The beautiful trail signs feature all 13 birds from the book, with photos of each bird as well as fun facts and verse.

This is the second book by Raines and Hart to be featured on the trail. It is published by Flowerpot Press in Franklin, Tennessee, a company dedicated to creating fun, high-quality children’s book for young readers. It is available for sale locally at The Ferrell Shop in Historic Jackson Square in Oak Ridge or through

During the month of November, two copies of the book will be left in the Arboretum’s Little Free Library, located on the back of the kiosk by the Visitors Center. The books were donated by Dr. Raines and Janet Bigelow, two of the trail’s sponsors. Children are encouraged to check out the Little Free Library and also to leave a book for another child to enjoy.

If you have a large quantity of books to donate, either for children or adults, please contact Janet Bigelow at The adult books will be traded at McKay’s in Knoxville for credit to purchase children’s books.

Owls (virtually) on Tuesday

“OWL-ology,” will be a virtual presentation sponsored by the UT Arboretum Society at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17. Participants will join this light-hearted look at the six species of owls that inhabit East Tennessee.

Led by area naturalist and author, Stephen Lyn Bales, the owls’ preferred nesting sites and natural histories will be discussed. A special treat will be a visit from a live, state-permitted rescue screech owl named Dexter McCoy.

Registration for this free Zoom event is required. Register here. You will be sent a link in your confirmation for program access.

Learn more about the Arboretum Society here or contact

Melanie Staten is a public relations consultant with her husband, Vince.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *