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Homemade Salve-making Class

Join Robert Wilson from

Seven Pines Survival

for a basic class about salve-making with native plants. This class is centered towards using Plantain, a common ‘weed’ that has many benefits, and useful for making ointments for bug bites, sunburn, psoriasis, & poison ivy rashes.

Robert will teach about the properties of this wonderful ‘weed’, and show how to make a simple salve that you can take home.

Date: Thursday, March 26, 2015

Time: 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Where: DeSoto State Park-Fort Payne, Alabama. Country Store & Information Center

Fee: Free, & open to everyone.

For details, 256.997.5025 or email Brittney.Hughes@dcnr.alabama.gov


Bunny-Palooza: Spring Fest for Children

Celebrate the season by visiting the Bunny Factory, where children are magically transformed into bunnies and learn all the basics:

How to hop, decorate eggs, and more enchanting fun)! Children’s Spring Art Show, storytelling, music, baby animals, bunny games, egg hunt with prizes…a day your little bunny will NEVER forget!

Date: Saturday, March 28, 2015 (Easter is April 4, 2015)

Where: Little River Canyon Center in Fort Payne, AL (15 minutes from DeSoto State Park)

Time: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Fee: No fee; some programs may have limited space so pre-registration is encouraged

Call 256-782-5697 or email fieldschool@jsu.edu for more details.


Blacksmith Forging Demonstration

with Walter Howell

Locally & nationally-known craftsman Walter Howell will demonstrate this interesting artform of usefulness & beauty. See raw materials become works of art using this age-old method of heating & shaping metal known as forging.

Some of Walter’s finished pieces of art will be available for purchase.

Info on Walter’s Forge

(Please note: demo may be postponed due to wet conditions)

Date: Saturday, March 28, 2015

Time: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Where: DeSoto State Park-Fort Payne, Alabama-Country Store & information Center

Fee: Free & open to everyone. Stop by anytime!

Call 256.997.5025 or email Brittney.Hughes@dcnr.alabama.gov for more details.


Backpacking 101

An early spring backpacking class. A great class for beginners. Topics on the backpacking essentials, camping items to choose and use, fire building, cooking, and more!

Date: Saturday, March 28th-Sunday, March 29th

Time: check in 10 AM Saturday check out 12 Sunday.

Where: DeSoto State Park, Fort Payne, Alabama. Nature Center

Cost: $110 per person – includes all equipment and food. Ages 12 and up

Pre-registration is required, as class size is limited. Register by calling 256-634-8370


Sculpt your Own Flower Class

Orbix Hot Glass is a glass blowing studio and gallery on Lookout Mountain that offers fine decorative and functional glass, as well as very popular glass blowing classes. Have you ever wanted to actually sit at the gaffer bench and feel what it is like to shape hot glass? In this class, it’s all about a hands-on experience in a safe and fun atmosphere with a final product we know you will love. After watching us shape glass into a flower, it’s your turn to sit at the bench to a sculpt your own from an array of colors. Our artists are the to step in and lend a hand or guide you as you shape the glass.

Check out even more classes and info at


. Classes have a minimum of 3 people and a maximum of 5. Class is about an hour in length.

Date: Saturday, March 28, 2015

Where: Orbix Hot Glass in Fort Payne, Alabama (within 30 minutes of DeSoto State Park)

Fee: $75.00 per person. Minimum age is 13 & up. Pre-registration is required. Custom reservations

can be made for groups anytime. Call 256.523.3188 or email info@orbixhotglass.com for details.


Paddle Trip on Little River

-Little River Canyon National Preserve

National Park Ranger Larry Beane will lead a paddle trip in the backcountry part of the preserve on Little River. This section of Little River is known for easy paddling with class one and two rapids. This trip is scheduled to last all day (paddling from 9 am to 4 pm). Larry will include stops along the way to learn about safety and special resources in the park.

Paddlers will need to bring their own kayak/canoe, paddle, life preservers, food, water, hat and sunscreen. The water will probably be cold, and the weather may be cool too, so plan your clothing accordingly. A dry suit, wetsuit, splash jacket, and warm change of clothes may be needed, depending on weather, especially on the early trips. The park is planning to provide free shuttle service for these events.

Date: Saturday, March 28, 2015


Little River Canyon National Preserve

in Fort Payne (15 minutes from DeSoto State Park)

Time: 10:00 am-4:00 p.m.

Fee: Free; Space is limited for each trip so please call the National Park Service office at (256) 845-9605 or email Ranger Beane at Larry_Beane@nps.gov for more information or to RSVP. . Time and meeting place will be given at that time.


Early Spring Walk in DeSoto State Park

One of the most beautiful times of the year at DeSoto State Park! Join DSP staff on an easy meandering walk along the ADA-Accessible Azalea Cascade Boardwalk Trail to see early blooming-species of plants along Laurel Creek & Azalea Cascade.

Date: Saturday, March 28, 2015

Where: DeSoto State Park-Fort Payne, Alabama-Meet at Country Store & Information Center

Time: 10:00-12:00

Fee: Free to the public; pre-registration not required. (we ask that groups larger than 5 RSVP)

Great for all ages! Pets welcome on leash. Call 256.997.5025 for details.

Things to bring: Water and/or sports drink, snacks, please be sure to dress appropriately according to seasonal temperatures/weather.

WEATHER: As with all outdoor events, if it’s raining/stormy or very poor trail conditions, we may have to cancel. If the weather is questionable, please check with the park (256.845.0051) before leaving home. Please make every effort to arrive early or on time so that you do not hold up the group.

Directions to Desoto State Park:

Using a GPS or Phone to navigate to Desoto State Park can be unreliable.

Driving Directions


Appalachian Broom-Making Demonstration

with Lenton Williams

Locally & nationally-known craftsman Lenton Williams will demonstrate the interesting art form of making hand-tied brooms & brushes in the Appalachian style. Lenton uses raw materials such as natural broom corn and handles to fashion useful & beautiful pieces of art.

Some of Lenton’s finished pieces will be available for purchase.

(Please note: demo may be postponed due to wet conditions)

Date: Saturday, March 28, 2015

Time: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Where: DeSoto State Park-Fort Payne, Alabama-Country Store

Fee: Free & open to everyone.

Call 256.997.5025 or email Brittney.Hughes@dcnr.alabama.gov for more details.


Chattanoogan.com – Chattanooga's source for breaking local news

Dangers of burning poison ivy

The chill in the air makes this time of year prime time bonfire season, and here in Sportsman’s Paradise: hunting season. But before you clear out the brush from your hunting camp or light any brush on fire, pay special attention to this warning on what you burn.

When Todd Taylor and his wife, Ashley, moved into a new home in Moss Bluff – the first step was to clear out some of the old brush. “We started raking up pine straw and we threw the pine straw onto the pile. We started trimming trees,” he said.

Then the pile was set on fire. Todd kept an eye on it, inadvertently breathing in the smoke.

The next day, Todd’s eyelids turned blood red. Then his health took a nose dive. “I start throwing up, I have chills, I’m running fever,” he said.

Todd thought it might be a temporary virus, until his skin broke out. All over his body, painful, itchy rashes started popping up. “I’ve had some blisters in my eyebrows, irritation on my neck, all over my arms,” he said.

Those symptoms were not new to this country boy that can recognize a reaction to poison ivy. “I know this is poison ivy. I’ve been down this road before, but my eyes were still kind of reddish,” he said.

Todd decided to go to see a doctor. The diagnosis: systemic poison ivy. Imperial Health Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist Bridget Loehn explains, “Systemic poison ivy is an extreme allergic reaction to the oils from the poison ivy plant.”

It was not physically touching the poison ivy plant that sickened Todd. It was breathing in the oils of the plant as it burned, traveling from the lungs to the blood stream.

Fortunately, Todd’s case cleared up with steroids, allergy medicine and antihistamines. But Dr. Loehn says the symptoms can be life-threatening. “Symptoms of nausea, vomiting, fever, they can have swollen lymph nodes and even develop respiratory difficulties.”

If you do not spend a lot of time in the woods, you may not know how to recognize poison ivy. Here is an easy way to remember: leaves of three, let it be. Vines with hair, beware!

“It’s just a good reminder to go look up pictures and be familiar with what poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac looks like,” said Todd, “because it is very indigenous to the area.”

It is also important to note that even if you have burned poison ivy before and had no health problems, your neighbors could be affected by inhaling the burning plant’s oils.

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Dangers of burning poison ivy

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