Sparta Speaker Series

Every Tuesday night special guests will be presenting interesting talks and discussions with subjects ranging from caves to Native Americans and from butterflies to rock n’ roll music. These events are a great way to learn more about natural and cultural topics located in the Upper Cumberland region.

All events take place at the White County Courthouse beginning at 7 o’clock. Address: 1 East Bockman Way, Sparta, TN 38583

Tuesday, April 30th – Manager Stuart Carroll – “Virgin Falls, Lost Creek, and Dog Cove: what we have accomplished, and where we are bound”

A look at the accomplishments of 2018, and laying a course for the future. 

Tuesday, May 7th – Dr. Troy Smith – “Indians of the Cumberlands” 

The Upper Cumberland region has been inhabited by humans for thousands of years, but few modern residents know many details about those who came before, or even of the tribes who were here when European colonists first arrived. Dr. Troy D. Smith, TTU history professor and two-time winner of Western Writers of America’s Spur Award, explains the history and politics of Tennessee’s Native American inhabitants.

Tuesday, May 14th – Chuck Sutherland – “Caves of Tennessee” 

This area contains as many cave entrances as any comparable place in the U.S. Join Chuck for a photo exploration of some of these caves and their diversity. Also, he will share some insights into the associated karst geology. 

Tuesday, May 21st – Jordan Lowe – “Wild Hogs: Damage and Eradication” 

A look into the detrimental effects wild hogs are having on our area and how the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) is taking measures to control them.

Tuesday, May 28th – John Powell – “White County, and Rock n’ Roll”

I will be speaking and sharing my lifelong adventures in the music business. I have spent 55 years performing live around the country and in many recording studios, etc. I have also many years on the radio and I will be taking questions. I want this to be an interactive evening. I also would like to describe how I turned my food business into a musical adventure as well. I have been published in several books concerning these subjects.”

Tuesday, June 4th – Bob Salyers – “Wildlife Photography”

Join Bob Salyers and discover some amazing waterfalls within a tank full of gas.  Middle Tennessee is a wonderful place for hikers, photographers and outdoor enjoyment.

Tuesday, June 11th – Gary Clendenon – “Invasive and Detrimental Insect Invaders: The Original Ecoterrorists”

A PowerPoint discussing some of Tennessee’s least wanted insect pests. An overview of how to Identify, what to look for, the hosts, and how they are spread. Covering Spotted Lantern Fly, Asian Longhorn Beetle, Emerald Ash Borer, Walnut Twig Beetle    (Thousand Canker Disease), Gypsy Moth, Light Brown Apple Moth, Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, Imported Fire Ants, Asian  Needle Ants, Ambrosia Beetles. Mounted samples for viewing and hand outs will be available. 

Tuesday, June 18th – Dr. Stephen Stedman – “Spring Butterflies of Dog Cove” 

A discussion of all the butterflies Dr. Stedman has found in the Dog Cove Area so far with comments on their abundance and habitat preferences. 

Tuesday, June  25th – Jay Replogle – “Bladesmithing” 

A discussion on the history of the art of bladesmithing. Join local blacksmith Jay Replogle as he discusses how this medium has influenced his life and his work as an artist.

Tuesday, July 2nd – Debbie Moore – “The Trail of Tears: the causes and the outcomes”

Debbie Moore, President of the Tennessee Trail of Tears will be presenting “The Trail of Tears: the causes and the outcomes” a general overview of the events that lead to the forced removal of the Cherokee in in 1838, the struggles during removal, and resettlement in Indian Territory.

Tuesday, July 9th – Trisha Johnson and Jacqueline Broeker – “Our Majestic Tennessee Hemlocks” 

Join The Nature Conservancy and TN Division of Forestry for a night of learning about Tennessee’s Hemlock Trees. The hemlocks, the forest they support, as well as the plants and animals that rely on them are under attack by a non-native insect called hemlock woolly adelgid. We will share a background and status of the hemlock woolly adelgid and the TN Hemlock Conservation Partnership as well as hands on opportunity to learn how to treat your own hemlock trees.

Tuesday, July 16th – Park Manager Stuart Carroll –“Environmental Struggles to Protect Fall Creek Falls State Park”.  

Since Fall Creek was set aside in 1935, there have been numerous struggles to protect the Park’s resource integrity and beauty.  Join Stuart for a look at these controversies.