Come and join Wild South at our training events for two citizen science projects to protect Spruce-Fir forests and endangered Bumble Bees! Information for each event is below, please RSVP by emailing or by marking yourself as “Going” on our Facebook events.

Saving Spruce Facebook Event

The Search for the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Facebook Event 

Saving Spruce 

Join Wild South and the USFWS on Saturday, April 7th as we guide you through the process of collecting data that will help us save Spruce-fir Forests in North Carolina. This project will gather data that is essential to understanding the health of Spruce-fir Forests across Western North Carolina and will help us set priorities for the restoration of the 2nd most endangered ecosystem in the United States.

This event will cover the use of two apps that will be needed to navigate to the focal areas and then collect data at those locations. You will learn how to use these two apps, what data will be collected, and how to collect those data accurately.

Event Details:
9:00 am – Meet at the USFWS office in the lobby (160 Zillicoa St, Asheville, NC 28801)
9:15 – 10:00 am – Project information and instructions on Apps
10:00 – 11:30 am – Field trip to nearby Spruce-Fir Forest for field data collection training
12:00 noon – return to USFWS office, Training Done!

Please RSVP for the event so we know you’re coming! You can either mark that you’re going on our Facebook Event or contact to let us know.


The Search For the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

Come and join us at the NC Arboretum on Saturday, April 21st from 2 – 5 pm for a training day to become a citizen scientist for Wild South. This training will provide you with some materials, including a free “Bumble Bees of the Eastern U.S.” Field Guide, and all the knowledge you will need to help us search for the Federally Endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee.
The training event will start in the Library in the Education Center Building at the NC Arboretum in Asheville, NC at 2pm and will run until about 5 pm (Map: Admission to the Arboretum will be free for anyone coming to this event even if you are not a member of the Arboretum. After the training we will head outside and hike around the Arboretum grounds and through their Azalea gardens to see if we can find any Bumble Bees moving around to get some practice. So, be sure to bring a camera that you would use for Bumble Bees and clothing for being outside for an hour or so.

The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee (RPBB) is a federally endangered Bumble Bee species that is native to the Eastern United States and was once found throughout the forests of the Appalachian Mountains, including the Southern Appalachians. This species is unique in that it spends a lot of its time in the forest, although in the summer and fall they do venture out into the open at forest edges to follow the blooming wildflowers. RPBB is the first bumble bee species to emerge in the Spring and the last species to go into hibernation in the Fall.

Though once widespread, this species has seen a significant decline over the past 20 years and has not been seen in North Carolina since 1994 outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The species also has not been seen in GSMNP since 2001. For this reason, we are asking for your help to give us a chance to re-discover this species in the Southern Appalachians so that the proper actions can be taken to make sure we conserve this species’ habitat and give the RPBB a chance to recover in our our region. In addition to the noble effort to search for this disappearing species, this project will help us learn more about the plight of other Bumble Bee species that may be following the same trajectory and give us the opportunity to learn how to prevent any other species from disappearing from the Southern Appalachians.

The project design is simple and easy for you to incorporate into any hike or wildflower hunts you go on for recreation. We will give you a jar to capture the Bumble Bees in and then you will take pictures of the bumble bee while it is in the jar. We will also have an iNaturalist project set up for you to upload all of your observations to. Come and join us at the training day for areas of interest, tips and tricks for photos, to get a jar for capturing, and a free Bumble Bee field guide!

Please RSVP for the event so we know you’re coming! You can either mark that you’re going on our Facebook Event or contact to let us know.