Mushroom expert Greg Marley will lead a walk through Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson and share some of the skills needed to identify common mushrooms Friday, July 29 from 9 a.m. to noon. The hike will focus on identification features, ecology and the seasonal occurrence of mushrooms. Marley will address edible as well as common poisonous mushrooms as they are found.

Most people interested in learning to collect and identify mushrooms are driven more by a hunger for their great edible potential than curiosity about their ecology. Maine’s wild mushrooms offer a great opportunity to sustainably collect world-class gourmet edible mushrooms as well as medicinal mushrooms. The only thing standing in the way is having the knowledge and confidence to tell the good edible mushrooms from toxic ones. The good news is that there are a handful of common, easily identified, edible or medicinal mushrooms.

Marley has been collecting, studying, eating, growing and teaching about mushrooms for over 35 years. Marley is the author of “Mushrooms for Health; Medicinal Secrets of Northeastern Fungi” and “Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares; The Love, Lore and Mystic of Mushrooms.” He is a volunteer mushroom identification consultant to Poison Control Centers across New England, providing expertise in mushroom poisoning cases.

Thanks to the support of Joel Davis, financial planner, the suggested donation is $5 for Hidden Valley Nature Center members, $10 for all others. Space is limited; reservations are required.

Hidden Valley Nature Center, located in Jefferson, is a member-based, community-supported organization with diverse habitat, many small ponds and vernal pools, miles of trails, and a range of low-impact, sustainable forestry projects both completed and under way. It is dedicated to providing educational and recreational opportunities to the community throughout the year. All donations are tax deductible. Primitive cabins and camping sites are available. For more information visit hvnc.org, email gary@hnvc.org or call 586-6752.