Spring officially arrives Sunday, but the collective bloom of native plants is well underway.The White Pine Chapter of the Idaho Native Plant Society will welcome the new season by giving people a chance to view the blossoming foliage Saturday during a field trip to the Nisqually John Habitat Management Unit Area and Wawawai County Park.
The trips are free and open to the public.
White Pine Chapter member and Potlatch resident Judy Ferguson said she has already seen plenty of flora in bloom throughout the past weeks at Nisqually John Canyon and along its Snake River drainage sites and trails. There, Ferguson said, it’s not too early for the smallflowered woodland star, Gray’s desert parsley and salt and pepper biscuit root along the various riverine zones. Trees like gray alder and the serviceberry shrub have also started to bloom.
Although there’s no telling what nature will do, Ferguson said, more should bud at both sites before Saturday.
Along with Ferguson, White Pine Chapter member Terry Gray will lead the group through both areas. They will field questions, point out native plants and other areas of interest along the way,
Ferguson said. They will also note threats to native habitat, like the invasive Himalayan blackberry or the encroachment of human development, Ferguson said.
The tenor of the trip depends on who shows up. It can be selfguided if attendance leans toward folks with ecology backgrounds or more educational if there is a large public turnout, Ferguson said.
Education and awareness are lumped with the overarching goal of native plant and habitat conservation, and inviting the public to these trips helps promote that goal, Ferguson said.
Along with other field trips already planned for the spring and summer months, the White Pine Chapter will host botanist Kristen Pekas on March 29 in Moscow for “A Day in the Life of a Field Botanist.” The group will hold its annual native plant sale May 21 in Moscow.
If You Go:
What: White Pine Chapter field trip to Nisqually John HMU and Wawawai County Park
When: At 9 a.m. Saturday, meet at Dissmore’s IGA, 1205 N. Grand Ave., Pullman