Nature Nights returns to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center this Thursday, June 11, 2015, and I’m excited to let you know that I’ll be there with my Invasive Hunter Academy.
The Wildflower Center hosts this free, fun, and family event on Thursday nights during the summer. It’s a great opportunity for kids to enjoy learning about the plants, animals, and the ecology of Central Texas.
You’ll get the chance to create crafts, go on hikes and adventures, and listen to nature presentations. In addition to goodies that they can pick up as part of the nature night activities, kids 12 and under will also receive a free gift from the gift store.
Plants – They taste good!
This Thursday’s Nature Night is all about plants and how they taste good and can help us. We all know about fruits and vegetable plants, but what about invasive species? (Watch my video invitation to the Nature Night’s event on plants.)
Invasive species are not native to the ecosystem, and they can cause millions of dollars in damage to the environment and economy.
The best way to get rid of invasive species is to prevent their spread. If they’re already established, removal efforts can be time consuming and expensive. It may not even be feasible to get rid of them. For example, it’s not going to be possible to remove KR Bluestem from our Texas roadsides and fields, even with the Amazing Invasive Hunter Man’s help.
There is another way to get rid of invasive plant species…to eat them!
Join me at the Nature Nights event on Thursday, June 11, to learn about invasive plant species you can eat, including a variety of delicious Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta – also known as Taro) and Golden Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea).
Note: Always be sure to learn about invasive plant species to see if they are edible before you decide to eat them. (Kids, always ask your parents first.) For example, don’t try eating elephant ear raw. It’s inedible, but the variety commonly known as Taro, can be boiled or cooked to make it both edible and tasty.
In addition to learning about invasive species and sampling an invasive plant as part of the Invasive Hunter Academy, you’ll also be able to take a guided tour of the gardens, enjoy story time, and go on a scavenger hunt as part of the Nature Night’s event.
That’ll build up your appetite!
Videos for your invasive plants dining
While you’re snacking on invasive plants, enjoy some of my earlier Battles with Invasive Species videos:
- In an Ecesis Far Far Away… – Best watched while you’re eating Taro.
- The Man with the Golden Bamboo – Savor this thriller with your bamboo.
Did invasive plants wet your appetite for more invasive species?
- Eat the Invaders – Fighting invasive species, one bite at a time
- invasivore.org – Eat invasive species
- The Lionfish Project – Add some protein to your diet – Part of the Invasive Species Initiative
- 5 Invasive Species You Should Be Eating – That tasty Lionfish keeps popping up
2015 Summer Nature Nights Schedule
There are many fun Nature Nights events planned for this summer.
- June 11 – Plants
- June 18 – Pollinators
- June 25 – Snakes
- July 9 – Springs, Streams and Ponds Ecology
- July 16 – Harnessing Fire
- July 23 – Birds of Prey
Hope to see you there!