Center for Cedar Glade Studies

The Center for Cedar Glade Studies Research Roundtable will be held next year, 2024, at Cedars of Lebanon State Park. For more information about the Roundtable 2024 contact: Dr. Jeff Walck, email: PH: 615.904.8390

Please join us in 2023 for the Elsie Quarterman Cedar Glade Wildflower Festival, the evening of May 5 and  all day May 6, 2023 at Cedars of Lebanon State Park. All events will take place outside, weather permitting. Keep in mind extreme weather or excessive rain will cancel most outdoor activities. There is not a food concession at the park, so bring snacks/food if you are planning to spend the day. There will be a Food Truck, Roasted Coconut, offering healthy smoothies, salad, and soup (check out the delicious menu of their website).  More information and the two-day schedule of events for 2023: Elsie Quarterman Festival Program 2023

Notes about registration fees for events: Several events have associated fees that cover costs for materials and other items. See the Tennessee Division of Natural Areas website for several hosted by DNA at the festival. See Cedars of Lebanon Events website for all other events. For free events, the Events Website gives you the OPTION to make a donation (which is fine, that money supports the park) but to register without a donation select $0. See the program for information about fees and events that require pre-registration.

Friday, May 5, 2023, the Elsie Quarterman Cedar Glade Wildflower Evening Program will be held at Cedar of Lebanon State Park from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the beautiful Cedar Forest Lodge (from the main entrance take a right at the fork in the road, park in the large lot next to the Cedar Forest Lodge and Nature Center). Light refreshments provided by the Center for Cedar Glade Studies and Friends of Cedars of Lebanon. Todd Crabtree, state botanist with the Natural Heritage Program, will speak about the rare plants program in Tennessee. The second presentation will be by Tennessee Department of Conservation Archivist, Hobart Akin, who will explain about the history of Cedars of Lebanon. For questions, email for more information or suggested speakers for next year's gathering, May 3, 2024.

Saturday, May 6, 2023 come for more fun! Registration for events secures your spot, since the number of participants needs to be limited for some events. Registration for events can be done through the Cedars of Lebanon Events website and also on site at the Cedar Forest Lodge on Friday, May 5, before the evening program at 7PM and at 8:30AM on Saturday, May 6. For more information about the May 6, 2023 weekend events contact: Dr. Kim Sadler, email: PH:615.904.8283 (office number) or contact Ranger Sarah Geeslin

Events for May 6, 2023 include: bird-watching in the morning (7am to 8:30am) with Melissa Turentine, TOS, and Dr. Jeffrey Walck, Professor of Biology at MTSU. The Division of Natural Areas will host a 4-hour "Botany by Bike Experience"  with Roger McCoy, Director of DNA. Sam KIng, Stewardship Ecologist with DNA, will share  from 9am to 11am about restoration practices in cedar glades in action. There are 3-hour morning and afternoon hikes with botany professionals: the morning hike is 9am to noon with Holly Taylor, Associate State Naturalist, and Dr. Darel Hess. Afternoon hike is 1pm to 4pm with Sam King, TDEC Stewardship Ecologist & Holly Taylor, Associate State Naturalist. Native plant specialist Linda Robertson will lead a program (9am to 10am) about gardening with our beautiful native plants, showcasing the native plant garden at the Nature Center. There are family-friendly activities from (10am to 2pm) that teach cool things about cedar glades led by MTSU, volunteers, and Park Staff. You will learn more about the geology of the glades from 10am to 11am and a longer hike from 3pm to 5pm with Ron Zurawaski, TN Department of Geology. Ranger Shauna Bridges will teach us about owls (11am to noon) with an opportunity to meet one up close that is in her rehabilitative care. Sharen Bracy will lead a native edible plants program (noon to 1pm) and provides samples of her delicious jellies, juices, and dips. Two other programs are a photography workshop by David Pineros, Data Specialist with DNA (10am to 12:30pm) and an introduction to the Avenza app by Ranger Jesse which gets you "unlost" while hiking in a state park (3:30pm to 4:30pm). Back by popular demand, 'Paint a Coneflower' session (12:30pm to 2pm) with in-residence artist, Renee Moore will let you explore your creative side. Grab dinner in Lebanon or grill hotdogs at the park on your own. Plan to stay Saturday evening for the evening program (7pm to 9pm) sponsored by the Tennessee Native Plant Society with Pandy Upchurch from Tennesseee Healthy Habitats, as she shares conservation challenges facing our unique habitats in Middle Tennessee. Another event at the same time as Pandy's talk that would be great for families, is an Owl Prowl led by Cedars of Lebanon park rangers. Here is the 2023 Elsie Quarterman Program of Events.

If you have questions, contact PH: 615.904.8283, or contact Ranger Sarah Geeslin or call the park office which is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PH: 615.444.4565 or 615.443.2769.

Limestone cedar glades are globally unique and fragile habitats found primarily in Middle Tennessee. Viewed historically as wastelands, they support a plant community of highly specialized species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.  (Slideshow photographs by Darel Hess.)