The Scarlet & Black

The Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Wildflower Walk

There is a group on campus that gets their nourishment from Mother Nature and they aren’t just a bunch of hippies, they’re the Spring Wildflower walk group. This past Monday afternoon, the group ventured out to our prairie at CERA for a journey into an environment that used to rule Iowa. This activity has been a Grinnell tradition as long as most others, as evidenced by an image of Louisa Conard, wife of CERA’s namesake Henry S. Conard, touring the forested slopes in 1916.

The event has attracted quite a few of the same students and community members over the past few years. Over the past eleven years, Larissa Mottl of Prairie Studies has been leading this group. She usually hosts one walk in early April and one later in April or early May so participants can see different species in bloom.

Mottl hopes that with all the spring beauties at peak bloom—Dutchman’s breeches and various other prairie species—those who attend will be invigorated by what they see.

“The goal is to provide an opportunity for people (from campus and the greater Grinnell community) to learn about native oak forests and see an impressive display of spring wildflowers in bloom,” Mottl said.

The hope is that these walks will instill a greater appreciation for this part of nature and allow community members to see what a healthy forest looks like. Through this, there is hope that stronger support will grow to preserve and restore these forests for the future.

With the blooms of crocus, daffodils and tulips in town, the coming of spring is celebrated no matter where one finds themselves. Still, the prairie has an unprecedented beauty that serves as a setting for a deeply meditative retreat.

“The ‘true’ coming of spring happens in our forests with our native wildflowers,” Mottl said. “It’s such a pleasant time of year to walk in the woods—you can see through the trees, it’s cool, there’s dappled sunlight through the trees, very few biting insects, and the place is alive with blooms.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *