Townsend River Walk & Arboretum Receives the The Dee Lidvall Sustainable Stewardship Award
from Keep Blount Beautiful at the Foothills Beautification Awards - READ MORE!



Lamar Alexander Parkway (US 321) Townsend, TN  37882


Latest News!

A Fallen Princess Turns Into a Faerie Playland!

Faerie House In Stumptown on the Townsend River Walk & Arboretum


Last year we took down a very old invasive Princess Tree (Paulownia tomentosa).  The logs had been stacked by the side of the river walk, that we affectionately named Stumptown. Our Tuckaleechee Garden Club member and TRWA volunteer extraordinaire Allison Pearson decided to turn trash into treasures - or at least try to! 

Allison had recently seen a picture of a tree stump turned into a “fairy house”, so why not try the idea on the Princess tree logs?  Allison along with her husband Rodney, selected one log that was beginning to hollow and brought it home for trial and error design.  They began the process by further hollowing out the log with chisels.  Rodney used a drill and a reciprocating saw to cut the doorway and window openings and a Dremel and chisel to further clean out the openings.  The front door was purchased from a vendor on Etsy.  The front porch and walkway are made from a red cedar branch - the same branch provided material for the window boxes and table.  Rodney made the roof from scrap lumber, and hinged one side so there would be access into the stump ( the house!).  The chimney for the house is a forked piece of cedar which doubles as the handle to open the roof.  Pine cone scales were used for the roof gables and various bark form the shingles for the roof.  Inside the fairy house is a mesh bag of small accessories - a rake, shovel, bench, etc.   

The National Garden Clubs, National Wildlife Federation and a host of other organizations encourage organizations, parks, and families to find ways for children to play more naturally outdoors, stimulating their imagination and helping foster a love of nature.  The fairy house at Stumptown, on the Townsend River Walk and Arboretum, is a fun way to engage in nature play.  And, we hope it puts a smile on the faces of those that pass by.  

A Big THANKS AND APPRECIATION to Allison and Rodney!


Pollinator House Installed: Mason Bees Wanted

Mason Bee House at the Townsend River Walk & Arboretum

The honey bee is always forefront when talking about pollinators but there are super pollinators in the forms of Mason Bees.  To provide a home to help support the Mason Bees we have added a Bee House to the TRWA in the sloped wildflower field across from the Pollinator garden,

The house contains tubes that are approx. 1/4 to 3/8 in diameter and 6 in. long.  The tubes are from bamboo and blocks of wood that have been drilled.

Mason bees do not gather in colonies but are solitary with each female fertile.  The female lays about 15 to 20 eggs.  She creates compartments in the tubes from mud, in each compartment she creates a mound of pollen and nectar and then lays a single egg. When the egg hatches the larvae feeds on the food until ready to move on to adulthood by cocoon within the compartment.  The following Spring the adult emerges from the cocoon, leave the tube and is ready to start pollinating.   Eggs laid to the back of the tube are generally female and those toward the front male.   The males emerge first and start mating with the females as they emerge.  They are solitary bees meaning each female is a queen bee and there are no worker bees.

A single female mason bee can pollinate as much as 100 honey bees can pollinate.  A couple of females can pollinate a fruit tree in about 24 hours.  The mason bee uses hairs on its body instead of sacs to gather the pollen.  It is incredibly rare that they use there stinger, so there is very little chance of bee stings.

A female will live for about 6 weeks and a male for about 2 weeks.  

Stop by this Spring and Summer and check out the Pollinator House.

The video shows how the Mason Bee builds her nest.  Fascinating!




Penn State University - Orchard Pollination: Solitary Mason Bees -

Penn State University - Mason Bees in the Home Garden -

KCET - The Most Fascinating Facts About Mason Bees -

Duck, Duck, Geese!!!

Geese on The Little River from the TRWA - February 2021

Strolling through the Townsend River Walk & Arboretum (TRWA) in winter is a serene experience and encourage you all to do so.  There is always something on the trail that catches your eye weather it be a fox making tracks, the first sign of flowers awakening for their Spring symphony that is about to begin or ducks and geese on The Little River.

Yesterday I was fortunate to see a couple of geese sunning themselves on a high spot on the river. Big and beautiful they were enjoying the warmth of the sun.  As I was watching them a pair of ducks swam by.  These weren't your ordinary mallard or wood duck but some that I have not seen on the river before today.  From the trail I watched them swimming up and down stream with the green necked, red billed, male in the lead and her brown head feathers flowing in the wind, female in close tow.  Took some pictures and video to take home and do a bit of homework to find out what kind of ducks they were.

Common Merganser Duck on The Little River - February, 10 2021.Common Merganser Duck on The Little River at the TRWA - February, 10 2021.Turns out, they were out-of-towners!  The Common Merganser.  They make there home up north during the summer and head a bit south for the winter but rarely this far south.  Most stop in Virginia and Northern Kentucky and not going much further south.  For more information see: Common Merganser on All About Birds.

If you get a chance head on down to the Townsend River Walk and Arboretum for a chance to see the Common Merganser.  Walk about half way up the lower walk and look out on the river.  They spend most of their time in the river and are beautiful and hard to miss.  If you can't make it here is a little video of their graceful movements.

Just another reason to DONATE for the continued maintenance and improvements of the Townsend River Walk & Arboretum.

Dec. 12, 2020 - Bench Dedications for Bob Russell & Ron Byrd

bob russellBob Russell "Father of the Townsend River Walk & Arboretum"  Relaxing on the Bench Dedicated to Him
at the Townsend River Walk & Arboretum

On December 12, 2020 a bench was dedicated to the "Father of the Townsend River Walk & Arboretum", Bob Russell.  Bob was instrumental in obtaining the right-of- way and funds for the Townsend River Walk Trail more than 15 years ago. He created the initial signage and helped to clear the initial trail.  Bob was also a Townsend Commissioner and Mayor of Townsend.   We wish Bob all the best and thank him for making the Townsend River Walk & Arboretum a reality.

Bob Russell FamilyBob Russell and Family

A second bench was dedicated to the memory of Ron Byrd, who passed away 2019.  Bob was another of the pioneers that help to get the River Walk on track to become what it is today.  

Ron Byrd Memorial BenchRon Byrd Memorial Bench with Theresa Schehr, Charlotte Miller and Ron's wife Florence. All members of the Tuckaleechee Garden Club.

Ron Byrd FamilyRon Byrd Family

A New Iris Garden on the TRWA

Iris Garden is Planted at the TRWAKay Goodwin and Charlotte Miller are Busy Planting the Latest Addition to the TRWA, an Iris Garden.

Friday the 13th turned out to be an excellent day for our TRWA maintenance.  Signs were cleaned, grass cut, sidewalks edged, some invasives and weeds removed, trash collected and an iris garden planted as a tribute to the Tennessee state flower, the Cultivated Iris. 

A special thanks to all the volunteers: Charlotte Miller, Rodney & Allison Pearson, Kay Goodwin and Mark Seder.

Allison Pearson Putting the Final Touches on the TRWAAllison Pearson Doing the Finishing Touches on Our TRWA Maintenance.


Thank You TRWA Volunteers. Great Job! - 2021.02.12

Rodney and Allison Creating StumptownRodney and Allison Creating Stumptown

We had a really good maintenance day, this wet morning, at the Townsend River Walk & Arboretum (TRWA).  Special thanks to our wonderful volunteers: Charlotte Miller (TGC, MG), Theresa Schehr (TGC), Scott Schehr (TGC), Allison Pearson (TGC), Rodney Pearson (TGC) and Mark Seder (TGC,MG). (TGC - Tuckaleechee Garden Club, MG - Blount County Master Gardeners).

General maintenance was done, as well as the creation of Stumptown (Allison & Rodney) and the removal of about a dozen medium sized Mimosa Trees of the right bank by the tunnel.

The TRWA is in great shape for this time of year, with the last two years of intensive invasive management showing incredible results.  The river is well viewed from both paths and the start of the wildflowers and plants can be readily seen.  There are even some daffodil blooms showing a hint of Spring.  

Stop by and take a walk at the TRWA to enjoy the winter beauty,

Scott and Charlotte Looking on as Theresa clears around the Yellow Twig DogwoodsScott and Charlotte Looking on as Theresa clears around the Yellow Twig Dogwoods

Allison and Rodney made the most out of the invasive Princess Tree logs that were cut last year.  They have created an area that we now call Stumptown.

Princess Tree logs used to create a natural area, Stumptown, for plant and animals to make new homes.Princess Tree logs used to create a natural area, Stumptown, for plant and animals to make new homes.


More of Stumptown.  We may fill these logs with plants and ferns.More of Stumptown. We may fill these logs with plants and ferns.




Recent Donations to the TRWA - 2021.02.10

The Townsend River Walk & Arboretum (TRWA) had a couple of donations made over the last few of months.

BCMGLogoFirst, a BIG THANKS to the Blount County Master Gardeners who have budgeted $500 for 2021 for the TRWA.  This money will be allocated to help re-forest areas of the TRWA that have had invasives removed.   Planting erosion control plants and trees along The Little River and to help ease the bank erosion that is taking place and also to replace invasives that have been removed along the bank,

GBU Life

Second, GBU Life has for the 3rd year straight donated $150 for the hours that have been donated by Master Gardener and Tuckaleechee Garden Club member Mark Seder.  Mark spent over 200 hours in 2020 doing TRWA maintenance, refurbishing and replanting the Butterfly & Memorial Garden and continuing invasive plant management.   Thanks to GBU Life for the the continuing support.

Donations allow for the continued maintenance and enhancements to the Townsend River Walk & Arboretum.  Help support the Townsend River Walk & Arboretum with your donation today!

Donate to Support the TRWA, Today!

Dec. 12, 2020, A Study in Invasive Management

TWRA Invasive ManagementTWRA Invasive Management - Scott Schehr, Martha Frink & Theresa Schehr

A group of 8 Tuckaleechee Garden Club members and spouses performed very successful invasive management at the Townsend River Walk & Arboretum.  Bush Honeysuckle, Privet, Euonymous and Ivy.   We were able to clear a large swath that is about 20 yards to the right of the cave and also do maintenance clearing of the area below the Greenway path from the Pollinator & Memorial Garden to the the new cleanup area. 


buckthorneblasterWe used saws, loppers, picks and our newest tools the Buckthorne Blaster, herbicide applier, and the Pullbearers, tree and root rrmovers.

The Buckthorne Blaster is a bingo dauber like device that is filled with herbicide (25% glyphosate), a surfacant and dye.   It reduces the amount herbicide used by pinpointing the use and the dye indicates areas that it has been applied.  No over spraying or over use of herbicide.

The Pullbears allow us to completely remove an invasive up to 4 inches in diameter.  Just clamp onto it and pull back.  Invasive and roots removed!  Much harder for the invasive to grow back.


Fall 2020! What a Beautiful Blooming Finale.

Asters at the Townsend River Walk & Arboretum

This year has been one of the best years for flower blooms thru Spring, Summer and Fall.  The final blooming finale at the TRWA was Asters, Asters, Asters everywhere.  There were several varieties a with golden rod and other flowers it made for delightful strolls on the TRWA.  Enjoy the slide show below and take some time for a walk on the Townsend River Walk & Arboretum.