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National Wildflower Week

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National Wildflower Week is scheduled for May 2 - 8, 2016

Across the nation, wildflowers growing beside highways, in gardens and elsewhere are valued for their natural beauty. And as Lady Bird Johnson once said, they “give us a sense of where we are in this great land of ours.” What better way to commemorate these beautiful features of our landscapes than getting outside or learning more about them?

About Wildflower Week

The first full week of May marks National Wildflower Week each year. Of course, wildflower season peaks at various times throughout the country, so whether you celebrate the first week of May or mid-July, the point is to get outside and smell the flowers! 

Why Do Wildflowers Matter?

Wildflowers and native plants help conserve water, reduce mowing costs, provide habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife and protect the soil from erosion. In addition, native plants can require fewer resources to maintain than plants that aren't native to a region. But many wildflowers nationally are in danger from habitat loss, invasive species and other factors. We hope you will enjoy participating in National Wildflower Week-related activities wherever you are and appreciate all that wildflowers have to offer.

Wildflower Week Activities at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

The Wildflower Center offers guided walks in our lush gardens and at nature sites around Austin. 

Walking Among Wildflowers – Tuesday, May 3, 10 am – 11 am

Celebrate National Wildflower Week at the Wildflower Center! Explore the gardens with Carolyn Long, a long-time volunteer of the Wildflower Center, and learn about not only the beautiful wildflowers in bloom but also the history of the Wildflower Center. Hear about Mrs. Johnson and the efforts she put forth to make the Wildflower Center a reality. Discover not only the past accomplishments of the Wildflower Center, but also the current research programs, conservation efforts, and landscape design projects.

Where: Wildflower Center

Logistics: Meet at the admission kiosk at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Tour is free with admission.

Sprouts: Wildflowers Taking Shape – Wednesday, May 4, 10:00 am – 11 am

Families with preschoolers can join Anjoli Fry, education coordinator at the Center, to explore the world of plant parts and wildflowers by using shapes and patterns as the vehicle! Families also learn how a flower makes seeds and take a hand-held pollinator pal out for a wildflower walk to help with pollination.

Where: Wildflower Center

Logistics: Meet at outdoor classroom in the Center's Luci and Ian Family Garden. Activities move into the Little House with inclement weather. Program is free with admission. No registration required.

Birds & Blooms – Wednesday, May 4, 8am – 10am

Fields of wildflowers are often occupied by birds of all different kinds. Learn about the wildflowers growing at the Wildflower Center along with the birds that make the Wildflower Center their home. Hike the lesser traveled trails with Jane Tillman and Ken Zasow from the Travis Audubon Society and Julie Marcus from the Wildflower Center in search of wildflowers and birds. Bring binoculars.

Where: Wildflower Center

Logistics: Meet at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Walk is limited to 20 participants.

Watershed Walk: Botany of Boggy – Wednesday, May 4, Noon – 1pm

This special lunchtime walk is hosted by the City of Austin Watershed Protection Department. Join City of Austin staff on a stroll along Boggy Creek to learn about its plants. The talk will also include information about a variety of treatments used on this portion of the creek including channelization, engineered restoration, and Grow Zones.

Please wear comfortable walking shoes and clothes appropriate for the weather. The walk is about 1 mile round trip.

Where: 808 Nile St - 808 Nile Street, Austin, TX 78702

Logistics: Meet in the park near the creek.

Flowers and More of the Violet Crown Trail – Wednesday, May 4, 6pm – 8pm

Are there violets along the Violet Crown Trail? Join the Hill Country Conservancy and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on this 2 hour hike along a future segment of the Violet Crown Trail to find out. George Cofer will serve as the hike leader and will share along the way the history and future of the Violet Crown Trail. Dick Davis will serve as the plant expert pointing out wildflowers and more that are encountered during the hike. The hike will start at the Wildflower Center and will connect to the Violet Crown Trail that passes near the Texas State Arboretum.

Where: Violet Crown Trail

Logistics: Meet at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Walk is limited to 15 participants.

THIS WALK IS FULL. JOIN THE WAITLIST BY CLICKING REGISTER.

Sprouts: Wildflowers Taking Shape – Friday, May 6, 10:00 am-11 am

Families with preschoolers can join Anjoli Fry, education coordinator at the Center, to explore the world of plant parts and wildflowers by using shapes and patterns as the vehicle! Families also learn how a flower makes seeds and take a hand-held pollinator pal out for a wildflower walk to help with pollination.

Where: Wildflower Center

Logistics: Meet at outdoor classroom in the Center's Luci and Ian Family Garden. Activities move into the Little House with inclement weather.

Wildflowers of Spring Lake Preserve – Saturday, May 7, 9 am – 11 am

Spring Lake Preserve is known for its nesting Golden Cheeked Warblers along with the lake. However, it is also home to many spectacular wildflowers. Spend the morning walking the preserve and learning about wildflowers from the Wildflower Center's Plant Conservationist Minnette Marr.

Where: Spring Lake Preserve

Logistics: Meet at the parking lot for The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at 201 San Marcos Springs Dr. San Marcos, TX.

Wildflowers of the Elisabet Ney Museum – Saturday, May 7, 10 am – 11:30 am

In celebration of National Wildflower Week, the Elisabet Ney Museum is hosting a walking tour of the landscape on Saturday May 7 at 10AM. This walk will be held with help from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The recent work done on the landscape should result in some lovely and informative subject matter come early May. Tour is free.

Where: Elisabet Ney Museum

Logistics: Meet at the museum. 304 East 44th St., Austin, TX 78751

Flowers for Mom – Sunday, May 8, 11am – 12pm

Treat your mother to a garden full of flowers for this Mother's Day. Join Dr. Karen Clary, plant conservationist program manager at the Center, on a garden stroll. Learn about the variety of wildflowers native to Central Texas. Walk is free with paid admission.

Where: Wildflower Center

Logistics: Meet at Center Courtyard. Cancellation due to inclement weather will be shared via social media.

Walk on the Wild Side: Explore Wildflowers of Blunn Creek – Sunday, May 8, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Volunteer efforts in Blunn Creek Nature Preserve include wildflower seed plantings, tree plantings, and invasive species removal. Hike the trails with Land Steward Dick Davis to see how the efforts of the volunteers are resulting in more wildflowers and native plant diversity within this urban preserve.

Where: Blunn Creek Nature Preserve

Logistics: Meet at trailhead across from Brothers of the Holy Cross Province Center located at 1101 St. Edwards Dr. Austin, TX 78704. Cancellation due to inclement weather will be shared via social media, and by e-mail with registrants. Walk is limited to 20 participants.

National Wildflower Week printable mask

Fun Printable Activities!

Ideas on how to participate during National Wildflower Week:

Participate in a Local Event

Chances are, there is a wildflower event happening in your neighborhood. Visit our National Organizations Directory (http://www.wildflower.org/organizations/) to find a native plant society, conservation group, botanical garden or other plant-related organizations in your neck of the woods.

Wildflower Walks and Garden Visits

Explore for yourself. Bring a field guide. Visit a sanctuary, state or local park, national forest or refuge, public or private garden, and other locations to experience the joy and beauty of wildflowers.

Wildflower Beautification Projects

Introduce native wildflowers along roadsides, in parks, and around church, public, and private buildings. Request government and private support for such projects. Encourage local nurseries and garden centers to stock native plants and seeds.

Celebrating Wildflowers

The national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges, grasslands, and millions of acres of public lands are trulyamerica's wildflower gardens.  Celebrating Wildflowers' promotes the many programs featuring the important role that the Nation's public lands, over 630 million acres, play in providing diverse habitats for much ofamerica's flora. Visit http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/index.shtml for more information.

For a full list of fun ideas on how to participate during National Wildflower Week.

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