Contact: Mara Meisel, 540-999-3500 x3282
Shenandoah National Park Hosts Wildflower Weekend
Native flowers will be in the spotlight during Shenandoah National Park’s 25th annual Wildflower Weekend, May 7 and 8, 2011. Visitors will have a chance to meet woodland beauties such as wild geranium, trillium, jack-in-the-pulpit, and many others on naturalist-led hikes.
Participants will search for wildflowers along the Millers Head, Mill Prong, South River Falls, Appalachian, and Gravel Springs-Bluff trails. A "Cultural Connections" walk will focus on historical uses of plants. There will be a wildflower walk just for kids and an opportunity to explore the Big Meadow. Birders will have a chance to seek out feathered beauties with experts on three different walks. The complete schedule is posted here.
There will be several featured program leaders on this special anniversary year.
Peter M. Mazzeo, retired botanist at the National Arboretum, will present the keynote slide program, "Shenandoah Wildflowers – Kaleidoscope of Color" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at Byrd Visitor Center auditorium, milepost 51 on Skyline Drive. He will also present "Fronds and Allies: Shenandoah’s Amazing Ferns," at 1 p.m. Saturday. He will lead short hikes on both days.
Douglas A. Coleman, executive director and founder of The Wintergreen Nature Foundation, will lead the hike to South River Falls at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 7.
Naturalists and professional photographers Ann and Rob Simpson will present free wildflower photography workshops at 10 a.m. both days. Their recently published book, "Wildflowers of Shenandoah National Park," is available at park bookstores.
Programs are free, and no registration is required. There is a $15-per-car entrance fee to the park, good for seven days. For more information about Wildflower Weekend, call the park at 540-999-3500 ext. 3283.
Did You Know?
Although it’s native to these mountains, much of the beautiful mountain laurel you see blooming along Skyline Drive in June was planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.