Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wildflower Enthusiasts Gather for Flora-Quest

Many of Ohio’s foremost botanists will be leading field trips the weekend of May 1-2, 2010 in the beautiful hills of Shawnee State Forest in southern Ohio. Flora-Quest is a botanical retreat geared towards learning, meeting like-minded people, and above all, appreciating the most spectacular flora in all of Ohio.

The rugged, hilly landscape and steep forested slopes are blanketed with an incredible array of flora. Botanically, Shawnee represents the northern most outposts for many Appalachian plants that one would otherwise have to go to the Great Smokey Mountains to find. Early May is peak for wildflowers, and the hills will be cloaked with trillium, over a dozen species of violets, native magnolias, wild azaleas, orchids and many more. As an added bonus, well over 100 species of birds occur in the forest in spring, including scores of our most colorful jewels like Scarlet Tanager, Hooded Warbler, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Bring your binoculars!

Guest speakers representing Ohio State Parks, The Nature Conservancy and the Ohio Heritage Botanists will highlight recent efforts for botanical conservation. Jenny Richards and Pete Whan know their subjects well, as they live within this region and are intimately familiar with the flora. Dr. Harvey Ballard will present an evening program on Violets, including Ohio’s arguably most beautiful and rare Bird-foot Violet, Viola pedata. Greg Schneider from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will also present on the fascinating work of the Ohio Heritage Botanists. A special FREE program Friday evening April 30th will preview the diversity of Shawnee State Park.

There will be other bonuses, too, such as special evening field trips, vendors, and an optional trip to The Eulett Center and more. The center of activities will be the beautiful Shawnee Lodge and Resort, located in the heart of the forest. Take this opportunity to hike the newest properties in TNC’s Sunshine Corridor, visit a private preserve, improve your photography skills or kayak the Scioto Brush Creek. You will be amazed to discover the diversity in southern Ohio!

Please, visit the website at for more information. Registration and complete trip descriptions are available on-line.

Flora-Quest will be May 1 & 2 at Shawnee State Park.

Photo: Bird-foot Violet, Viola pedata credit John Howard

No comments: