Town and Village

State Mushroom celebration walk planned in Westminster

WESTMINSTER-Vermont became the sixth state to designate a state mushroom on May 7. Christopher Denette, a Williamsville naturalist, forager, and mushroom cultivator, along with state Rep. Michelle Bos-Lun, D-Westminster, who introduced the bill, are offering a guided mushroom walk on Monday, May 20, to celebrate and learn about Vermont mushrooms.

"Foraging, mycography (mushroom photography) and mushroom identification in Vermont's rural areas are ways Vermonters and visitors to Vermont can enjoy being active in our natural worlds," said Bos-Lun in a news release.

Students from the Compass School and Windham Elementary School chose the bear's head tooth mushroom (Hericium americanum) to nominate as an official Vermont symbol, joining the state tree: sugar maple, state reptile: painted turtle, and 23 other symbols.

Students from second through eighth grade along with numerous experts testified in the Statehouse about their choice. After review by both the House and Senate in the Vermont Legislature and approval by the governor, bear's head tooth became the state's mushroom.

Bear's head tooth is most abundant in the later summer and early fall, so the May state mushroom celebration walk will be seeking one of the earliest mushrooms that emerge in local woods, the morel mushroom.

Denette, a certified wild mushroom expert, will guide walkers through Bald Hill Reserve, seeking morels and educating foragers about how and where other types of mushroom can be found as the foraging season emerges. Denette offers guided mushroom walks throughout New England in the summer and fall and testified in support of the State Mushroom in the Vermont House committee on Agriculture, Food Resiliency, and Forestry.

The State Mushroom Celebration walks will be offered at no cost.

Another State Mushroom Celebration hike will be offered on Saturday, Oct. 5, when bear's head tooth and other Hericium mushrooms are most common.

For more information, contact Bos-Lun at [email protected] or 802-289-2495. Walks will happen rain or shine. The group will meet at the entrance gate to Bald Hill Reserve in Westminster by Covered Bridge Road/Henwood Hill entrance.

This Town and Village item was submitted to The Commons.

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