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May 6, 2014

Explore on your own or enjoy 10 guided walks at state parks

MADISON - Just in time for Mother's Day, Wisconsin's wildflowers are starting to put on a show.

Wisconsin State Natural Areas and state parks and forests are great places to see these colorful harbingers of spring, whether to explore at leisure or during the 10 guided wildflower walks offered at state parks in coming weeks.

"Wildflowers thrive in these areas that have been largely undisturbed, so just about any of our State Natural Areas are a great place to find wildflowers," says Thomas Meyer, conservation biologist who works with State Natural Areas.

Wisconsin has 673 State Natural Areas that protect forests, prairies, and wetlands and the incredible diversity of plants that call them home.

Meyer has created a slide show that highlights six sites that offer good viewing, but says that flower lovers will be in luck at just about any property.

Those State Natural Areas are:

  • Tellock's Hill Woods in Waupaca County;
  • Eureka Maple Woods in Monroe County;
  • Rush Creek in Crawford County;
  • Port Wing Boreal Forest in Bayfield County ;
  • Frog Lake and Pines in Iron County;
  • Genesee Oak Opening and Fen in Waukesha County;
  • Moonlight Bay Bedrock Beach in Door County
  • State Natural Areas are specially designated sites that preserve nearly 400,000 acres and are vital refuges for endangered plants and animals: 90 percent of Wisconsin's endangered plant species and 75 percent of endangered wildlife species can be found on State Natural Areas.

    Two-thirds of these State Natural Areas are owned by DNR in trust for the citizens of Wisconsin; 51 other agencies, organizations, local governments, land trusts and private citizens have designated State Natural Areas on their own lands. Most of these areas are open for all the outdoor sports and allow people to pursue these activities in some of the state's most unique and special natural places.

    Wildflower walks at state parks

    Join state park naturalists and volunteers for wildflower walks or hikes at five state parks and one wildlife area in coming weeks. The walks and hikes are free but park vehicle admission stickers are required for entrance to parks.

    Wednesday, May 7 & 21, 2014

    Saturday, May 10, 17, 24 & 31 2014

    Saturday, May 10, 2014

    Sunday, May 11

    Saturday, May 24, 2014

    Sunday, June 8, 2014

    FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Meyer, State Natural Areas, 608-266-0394 or Paul Holtan, state parks, 608-267-7517

    Last Revised: Tuesday, May 06, 2014

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