RADFORD – The return of the Wildwood Park Nature Lecture Series has been a well-received addition to Radford’s summer offerings, with good-sized crowds heading down into the heart of Wildwood Park to learn about the local flora, fauna, geology and more.
The last two installments of the lectures are set for September. On Thursday, Sept. 7 the talk will be about Native Plants, led by the Virginia Native Plant Society. On Thursday, Sept. 21, it will be an evening of Nature Inspired Poetry and Song.
The lecture series takes place in the heart of Wildwood Park at the Outdoor Classroom (pavilion). To get to the site, attendees can park at the Sundell Drive parking lot for Wildwood Park and take the walkway into the center of the park. The talks start at 7:30 p.m. and are held rain or shine unless there are thunderstorms.
The biggest crowd of the year thus far turned out for Frank Talyor’s lecture about salamanders. With the help of Justin Lucas and Radford University Professor Matt Close, Taylor told the crowd about various types of salamanders and had dozens of live salamanders for attendees to get an up-close look, much to the delight of children and adults alike.
Taylor is a retired biology teacher from Radford High School who has found success on YouTube post-retirement with his educational channel, Nature At Your Door.
The channel has had a whopping 4,301,451 views as of Thursday and has more than 41,000 subscribers. Taylor launched the channel in 2016.
“I have the distinct honor of having the most-watched video about stink bugs on YouTube, followed by National Geographic and Animal Planet,” Taylor told the crowd at the salamander lecture.
Taylor describes the channel like this:
“This series describes nature as it unfolds through the seasons in the Appalachian Mountains and the east coast region,” Taylor writes on his channel description. “Plants and animals that you might encounter in your backyard, neighborhood or local park or forest are highlighted as they emerge, flower, or become active. The goal is to engage children and families in exploring the world of nature just outside their door. With almost 40 years’ experience in biology teaching, I cover many state and national science standards.”
Watch the videos at www.youtube.com/@natureatyourdoor/.