This week starts a summer of fun at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. On Thursday, June 12, from 5-8 p.m. the Wildflower Center kicks off the first Nature Nights of 2014 with a focus on plants and play in the new Luci and Ian Family Garden. (The garden is new to the Wildflower Center this year, and I’m looking forward to enjoying it with all the kids.)
There will be lots of free kids activities, including habitat hikes, a scavenger hunt, big bubbles (oooh! I’m liking this!), ring toss, and lots more. You’ll even meet local nature celebrities, including Bill Oliver and The Otter Space Band. (I first met Mr. Oliver at this spring’s Milam County Nature Festival.)
Invasive species at the Wildflower Center?
There are a few plants that I’m sure will not be part of the plant petting zoo during Nature Nights, and they’re all invasives!
- Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta)
- English Ivy (Hedera helix)
Giant Reed (Arundo donax)
You can do your part to help stop the spread of these non-native plant species from overrunning our native ecosystem.
As part of my Invasive Hunter Academy during Nature Nights, kids will get the chance to learn about invasive species and their impact on our environment through these fun activities:
- Visual activities (Is that an invasive or native plant that I see?)
- Action moves (I attended my taekwondo class last night to brush up on the moves that I’ll teach you!)
- Creating an action diorama featuring you battling an invasive species (You can take this home along with some other surprises!)
Graduates from the academy become Invasive Hunters, ready to protect their native ecosystems. We need young naturalists (like you and kids you know!) to become guardians of our central Texas galaxy!
Hope to see you there!