Several events are being planned in celebration of Panhandle Wildflower Week in western Nebraska to promote and celebrate the value of native plants. This years’ events range from Chadron to Gering and the public is invited to join staff from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum and city representatives as they tour communities.
“Wildflowers endure tough weather, lending beauty and brightness even to landscapes rarely seen by humans. They feed birds, butterflies and other wildlife; their roots loosen and improve soil and they lend fragrance and beauty to wild places, making us take a closer look at places we might otherwise ignore,” according to the NSA.
Events to be held in Scottsbluff and Gering on June 7-8 provide the community an opportunity to tour existing projects, learn about community and urban landscaping and take part in a planting and learning project.
In Scottsbluff a program educating the public about the importance of pollinator habitat in urban settings entitled “Pollinators in the Plaza” starts at 10:00 a.m. on June 7th in the 18th Street Plaza, with the planting of a Pollinator Box with the assistance of the Teen Advisory Council. A walking tour of the Scottsbluff Downtown Garden Arboretum will be guided on Broadway with commentary by the NSA and Scottsbluff Stormwater Specialist, Leann Sato.
Also on June 7th, the City of Gering will be hosting a planting and learning project from 1:30-3:30 p.m. to be held at Oregon Trail Park Stadium, 800 13th Street in Gering informing participants how to utilizing different species of plants for different functions. There will also be a Wildflower Hike starting at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center south of Gering on Highway 71 beginning at 7:00 p.m.
On June 8th from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., a “Historical Plant Walk” will be led by botanist Steve Rolfsmeier, Physical and Life Sciences Director at Chadron State College. The walk is scheduled to start from the Visitor’s Center at Scotts Bluff National Monument and will connect current flora to findings of the 1834 Wyeth Expedition. Participants are being reminded to dress for rough terrain and bring water, sunscreen, camera, and sketch book.