Educational Materials and Programs on Wildflowers

Note: The National Park Service does not control and cannot guarantee the relevance, timeliness, or accuracy of the materials provided by other agencies or organizations. The Federal Standards of Ethical Conduct prohibit the National Park Service from endorsing these outside agencies and organizations. 

Celebrating Wildflowers Educators Program 

The Celebrating Wildflowers Educators Program promotes understanding, appreciation, and conservation of native plants and their habitats by emphasizing their aesthetic, recreational, biological, ecological, medicinal, and economic values.  Using wildflowers as a window into native plant communities, the program includes teacher workshops, a 222-page curriculum guide called Celebrating Wildflowers: An Educator's Guide to the Appreciation and Conservation of Naitve Plants of Washington for teachers of 4th to 8th grade, and a 70-minute video titled Native Plants of Washington

The program acquaints teachers with a wide range of plant communities in Washington -- from the Olympic Penninsula San Juan Islands and westside lowland forests, to mountain and alpine meadows, to the dry shrub-steppe sagebrush communities of eastern Washington.  The program addresses one of the most critical environmental issues in the Northwest today - the loss of habitat and biological diversity - by focusing on one of the area's most spectacular and accessible natural resources, wildflowers.  Participants learn how to teach hands-on activities about native plants in the classroom and on field trips. 

This program is the result of a cooperative effort among North Cascades Institute, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington Native Plant Society, Naitve Plant Conservation Initiative and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.  The workshops are held throughout Washington State in spring and fall at schools, arboretums, colleges, universities, and teacher conferences.  Materials are also available for purchase from North Cascades Institute: 

Celebrating Wildflowers Educators Program 
North Cascades Institute 
2105 State Route 20 
Sedro-Woolley, WA  98284-9394 
Phone: 360-856-5700 ext. 209
Fax: 360-856-1934


Plantwatch is a phenology (study of the seasonal timing of life cycle events) program which links students and other observers as the "eyes of science," tracking the green wave of spring moving north.  Students develop scientific skills while observing springtime changes in plants and learning about biodiversity.  Observers monitor flowering of up to eight plants and report the bloom times to central scientists over the Internet or electronic mail.  Resulting maps are posted weekly to the Internet. Observer/teacher manuals illustrate flowering stages and describe the program and curriculum connections.  Schools are encouraged to establish "Plantwatch Gardens," planting the key indicator species. 

Observers have fun and learn through watching, recording, and comparing their results with other locations.  They learn about ecological relationships while contributing electronically to a climate change monitoring program.  We are seeing a trend in western Canada to earlier flowering with climate warming, the green wave arriving earlier in the spring.  This valuable seasonality information helps decision-making for farmers and foresters ie: to correctly time operations such as planting, fertilizing, crop protection and to predict harvest timing.  It also is useful in wildlife management (eg.: in early springs more deer fawns are successful); human health (pollen-warnings for allergy-sufferers), and tourism (best times to photograph flowers or animals, or to go fly-fishing). 

Based at the University of Alberta's Devonian Botanic Garden, home of the Alberta Wildflower Survey, Plantwatch seeks observers across North America, throughout the range of the following key indicator species: common purple lilac, aspen poplar, prairie crocus, serviceberry, western trillium, white trillium, purple saxifrage, and white dryad. 

Please register for the program through the website link listed below or contact Plantwatch by phone or E-mail.  In April 1998, a teacher's manual will be available and a "How to Plantwatch" manual for non-school participants. For more information please contact: 

Elisabeth Beaubien 
Research Associate 
Devonian Botanic Garden 
University of Alberta, Edmonton 
Alberta, Canada T6G 2E1. 
Phone:   (780) 987-5455/3054 
Fax  (780) 987-4141 

Center for Plant Conservation

The following educational publications are available from the Center for Plant Conservation. For more information about these publications, please write to the Center for Plant Conservation, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166 or contact Donna Key at (314) 577-9450 or e-mail 

Plants in Peril is an activity guide to exploring biodiversity and rare native plant conservation for middle school educators. The 24-page booklet includes background information, illustrations of rare native plants, and several activities to introduce middle school students to plant conservation issues in our country. 

The Guide to Educational Resources on Rare Native Plant Conservation in the United States is a 72-page resource guide that profiles the educational efforts of CPC's Participating Institutions as well as organizations outside of the CPC network, with an emphasis on the five CPC priority regions: Hawaii, California, Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.