The story of the American Chestnut

A presentation on the “Restoration of the American Chestnut Tree” by wildlife biologist Curt Laffin will be featured for First Friday, at 7 p.m.

Less than 100 years ago eastern United States forests were dominated by large American chestnut trees. An estimated 4 billion American chestnuts, one quarter of the hardwood tree population, grew within this range. They reigned over 200 million acres of eastern woodlands from Maine to Florida, and from the Piedmont west to the Ohio Valley, until succumbing to a lethal fungus disease, chestnut blight, imported to the U.S. by Asian chestnut trees. By the 1950s this population was reduced to short-lived stump sprouts.

In the late 1970s, the American Chestnut Foundation’s founder, Dr. Charles Burnham, proposed a methodology of breeding to incorporate blight resistance into the American chestnut tree.

KidCraft, from 5 to 6 p.m. will be sugar skulls. A gallery reception will be held from 6 to 7 p.m.

All events for First Friday are free and open to the public.

For more information, call 924-4555 or visit

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