We had a great time presenting basic mycology and facilitating a mushroom walk for the "Vets in the Valley Foundation" at the Camp Elk Tannery in Benton. It is a local non-profit organization with a heartfelt passion to help veterans and other people by exposing them to activities in the rural outdoors.
After a 23 year career in the Army, Dr. Monte Kapec, Exective Director, decided to repurpose a 110 acre forest property to make a difference in communities across the northeast.
Some of the camp's activities include fireside chats, mentoring, and outdoor activities which range from fly fishing, archery, nature hikes and education. The emphasis is to learn about the importance of woodland conservation, wildlife habitat, and clean water.
Dustan explained to the group the basic life cycles and morphology of fungi, followed by hands-on identification of cultivated and wild mushrooms (fresh, dried and clay models). Afterwards, Dustan discussed modern cultivation techniques and demonstrated log cultivation. Lastly, the whole group went for a mushroom walk to discover and discern species.
We are grateful to be able to share the world fungi with others and it was wonderful to meet so many great veterans!