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Magnificent Mast: Oak, Hickory, Walnut, Beech

November 1, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

In forestry “mast” refers to the fruits of woody plants, especially the nuts produced by trees. Much of our native wildlife depend on on the trees that produce nuts including bears, deer, wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, raccoons, foxes, as well as squirrels, chipmunks and smaller forest mammals. Humans in times past depended on the nuts of these tree species as well, and humans have been eating acorns far longer than they’ve been eating wheat.  

Join us in learning what the squirrels already know — about the diverse character of our native oaks, walnuts, hickories and beech trees. We’ll show how to ID over 15 different species of native oaks, hickories, beech, black walnut and butternut.

We’ll take it a step further and learn how to harvest and make tasty and nutritious foods from our native nuts and acorns, such as pancakes and muffins. We’ll also learn how to recognize mast trees in any season, so you can learn which trees to look for in the fall.

Location: Akers Mill Trail in the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area

Cost: $25 – Limit 15  –  to register (RSVP) click HERE – details and directions sent to registered participants. donation of $15 or more helps support our programs.

Join us for other Eco-A outings with Susan Edwards in 2020:

Apr 5 Spring Greens 1-4pm

Jun 7 Summer Blooms and Small Tree Medicines 1-4pm

Sept 12 Wisdom and Medicine from the Vines 10am-4pm

More about Susan Edwards: Susan is a Naturalist Educator and lives in Stone Mountain Village, GA with her musician husband Dan and their two young children.  She has degrees in both Natural Sciences and Education from the University of Georgia Athens. A B.S.A. in Entomology, B.S. in Ecology, and a Master’s of Education in Environmental Education. She has worked as a Naturalist Educator in numerous settings from Audubon in Mississippi, Nature Centers in Athens GA, Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, public schools in and around Atlanta, and at Reggio Emilia inspired preschools. She even started one of her own.

Susan has been interested in plants and their myriad of uses since growing up exploring the Great Plains ecosystems in Oklahoma as a young girl, where her classroom was nature. Playing in the meadow edge and creeks, she was “always mixing various plants with the water and mud and making various concoctions.” After moving to Georgia while still in school, she was able to immerse herself in the eastern Piedmont region and explore the wilds of the Southeast U.S. In high school she had the opportunity to learn from naturalists in several fields at Fernbank Science Center. In college she expanded her knowledge base, and through a period of 10yrs of international travel experience furthered her study of medicinal plants all over the world. She says:  “It was always out there, the voice on the edge of my work and experiences, always calling to me in a consistent yet whispering way. And finally as an adult I’ve been fortunate enough to truly be able to dive even deeper into the traditional knowings of plants, the healing world of them and beyond. That has felt like my calling all along.”

Susan continues to learn from regional herbalists in Georgia and the Southeast, gathering new knowledge and experiences with plant uses and the natural world and our deep connection to it. She is teaching at some regional herb conferences this year such as the Midsouth Women’s Herb Conference at Lookout Mountain. “It’s a passion and a life long journey for me — I love sharing it with others so much.” Most recently Susan and Dan started their own program called Sound of Nature School,, which offers hands-on homeschool classes in areas such as Nature Exploration, Herbs & Body Systems, History of the 20th century through Art & Music, as well as Music studio classes in their home studio, creative writing and even interactive physics classes. She is thrilled to work with Eco-A again this year and loves learning together with the broader community on engaging walks “that help connect us all to the nature that is within us and all around us.”

Join Eco-A and co-host Susan Edwards for a seasonal series of walks featuring the special qualities of some of our common plant friends. Susan will introduce us to the edible and medicinal qualities of some of our most common trees and “weeds” – some you may be surprised to find growing along a sidewalk, fence or in your own backyard.


November 1, 2020
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm