WEATHER BRINGS PROMISE OF SHOWY WILDFLOWER DISPLAY
The wet weather of late
gives hope for a stellar wildflower display this spring. Zion Canyon
Field Institute is positioned to take advantage of this with numerous
classes focusing on botany this spring.
This botanical bonanza
all gets started on April 3 & 4 with the increasingly popular
“Lytle Preserve” class. Thirty-six miles west of St.
George, Utah, across the Beaver Dam Mountains, is a natural oasis
known as the Lytle Preserve. Plant and animal diversity offers an
ironic contrast in what seems, at first, to be an inhospitable environment.
The low elevation course of the entrenched Beaver Dam Creek has
provided a pathway for plants, animals, and humans into the Beaver
Dam Wash vicinity. A year-round water source on the Lytle Preserve
is an unusual feature in the margin of the Mohave Desert, which
extends into Utah at this point. The unusual combination of geology,
climate, elevation and water supply supports many trees, shrubs,
and wildlife, most of which are unique to this part of Utah. Join
a ZCFI geologist, botanist, and birder during peak spring migratory
bird season for a multi discipline study of this incredible natural
April continues with
two wildflower classes; “Zion’s Low Desert Wildflowers”
on April 10 and “Mojave Wildflowers” on April 25. In
between these two classes folks looking to create more desert-friendly
landscaping around their homes can sign up for “Native Plants
and Xeriscaping” on April 18. If you want to take a stab at
drawing your wildflowers there is a “Watercolor Journaling”
class also on April 18. And on April 18 Zion Canyon celebrates Earth
Day with activities in both the park and neighboring Springdale.
May brings three more
classes with botany as a major component. On May 9 & 10 ZCFI
is offering their new class entitled “Zion 101” which
is the interaction of geology and botany and how each affects the
other with regards to desert ecosystems. “Kolob Wildflowers”
on May 15 moves our enjoyment of the spring wildflower display up
to the higher elevations of the Kolob Finger Canyons in the northwest
corner of the park. Moving up higher still on May 30 we offer our
naturalist-guided “Rim to Floor” hike on the East Rim.
On June 13 we are offering
another new class “The Hanging Gardens of Zion.” Zion
is renowned for its “hanging gardens” created by the
contact line of Navajo sandstone with Kayenta shale. Join us on
a Saturday visit to major hanging garden locations in the park where
will hopefully see Scarlet Monkeyflower, Zion Shooting Star, and
Western and Golden Columbine in their full splendor.
Field Institute is the educational arm of Zion Natural History Association
and all classes are fee-based. Proceeds from class tuition help
Zion Natural History Assoication further their mission goals in
support of Zion National Park. For more information or to register
please call Michael Plyler @ 435-772-3264 OR email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration can also be accomplished online @ www.zionpark.org.
From the home page click on Field Institute.
Schedule of 2008 ZCFI Workshops and Seminars