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Traveling the Southern Appalachians with Dr. Dan Pittillo

Posted on by SCNPS Website Team

Photo Credit: Dan Pittillo

Recently Rick Huffman shared some memories of Dr. Dan Pittillo and sent along a self-guided tour entitled “Natural Areas of the Blue Ridge Parkway” as well as a plant list from Pisgah Campground and Flat Laurel Bog that Dr. Pittillo put together in 2019.

Dr. Pittillo is renowned for his extensive knowledge of the flora and ecology of the Southern Appalachians as well as for his passion for sharing knowledge. A long-time professor at Western Carolina University, he has been critical to the success of conservation projects and plant surveys throughout the lower Appalachians, from the Biltmore Estate to the Great Smoky Mountains.

He’s also known for his stories (listen to an oral history interview HERE), and he and his family own the Nodding Trillium Garden preserve (conserved by the Highland-Cashiers Land Trust). Since his retirement in 2004, he’s also been deeply involved with the DLIA (Discover Life in America).

Rick said, “Dan and I shared a passion for the parkway, but the one thing we always recognized is how little we know of the ageless ecosystem, and that’s Ok. The adventure of discovery and reconnection are part of the parkway experience. I attach the list and tour here; I hope you get a lot out of them. Enjoy!”

Download the list for the Pisgah Campground and Flat Laurel Bog and the Devil’s Courthouse list and see how many you can spot!