The Photography of D L Ennis, and more!


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Coming soon to a Field or Forest near You: Wildflowers

Image: by D L Ennis, Wild Columbine/ April-August

The first calendar day of spring (March 20) is fast approaching, and soon the natural beauty of America’s diverse and colorful flora will be on display for all to enjoy.

Our national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges, grasslands, and millions of acres of public lands are beyond doubt America's wildflower gardens. There are over 630 million acres of public land providing diverse habitats for much of America's flora.

Plants are vitally important to humans and their environment, though usually taken for granted, the role they play in our lives ranges from subtle to obvious.

From the forests, woodlands, and grasslands surrounding our towns and cities to the wildflower gardens and natural landscaping in backyards, native plants provide a spiritual link between nature and our Nation's diverse cultural history. Many of the plants grown by gardeners are domesticated versions of wild plants. Many other beautiful native plants have yet to be chosen for use in horticultural cultivation.

Image right: by D L Ennis, Butterfly Weed/ June-August

There are over 15,000 different species of known native plants in the United States and Canada and many new species are discovered each year.

This year explore our public lands and learn to appreciate and understanding of the value of the wildflowers right under your nose. Wildflowers are easy to spot and nearly all natural areas have guidebooks for beginners. You can also call local botanical gardens and arboreta. Educational materials include plant identification books, coloring books, and trail guides to highlight the best ways to learn about and enjoy the wonders of our native wildflowers. Numerous guided walks, displays, and presentations are available from federal agencies and private organizations in order to aid you in your quest for botanical appreciation and understanding.

Image: by D L Ennis, Bull Thistle/ June- September

Like the cherished wildlife, forest, and waters of our public lands wildflowers, like any treasure, must be protected for all to enjoy. You can join the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service in the stewardship of these priceless resources.

*Take a hike and stop to smell the fragrant wild roses.
*Take only photographs and memories when you leave.
*Please, don't pick the flowers.
*Tread lightly and stay on the trail.
*Don't be afraid to ask for information on wildflowers.
*Get involved! Explore volunteer opportunities on your public lands.

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