TWRA and Legacy Parks are joining together for the second sunflower festival at the Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area in Knoxville.
WMA Manager Bill Smith recognized the public’s interest in the sunflower fields planted on the area a few years ago and decided it would benefit TWRA and the public to have a festival. “The sunflowers draw thousands of people to the area every year and we want them to understand their benefits to wildlife, to hunters, and help them enjoy their aesthetic value as well,” says Smith.
The Sunflower Festival will be held Saturday, July 8, 2017 at 9 a.m. at Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area, 3140 McClure Lane in Knoxville.
The WMA has about 70 acres planted in sunflowers this year and while their showy blooms are pleasing to the eye, they are also highly beneficial to pollinators and the seeds they produce provide an abundance of food for several species of birds. Smith also wants to remind the public that the large sunflower fields are only present every other year as crop rotation is important to maintain soil fertility and control pests.
The festival kicks off at 9 a.m. with a welcome followed by a guided hike courtesy of Legacy Parks. TWRA will deliver an interpretive talk at 10:30 a.m. followed by another guided hike with Legacy Parks. The festival will also consist of a wildlife informational trailer, a booth featuring wildlife identification, as well as kid’s activities.
For more information, contact Bill Smith at 865-386-3579.