Nebraska Wildflower Events take place next month.
Bob Henrickson, Horticulture Program Coordinator, says the state is offering activities throughout the month of June that bring together organizations that recognize the value of wildflowers in the state.
Henrickson says events include guided hikes through conservation areas, plant sales, lectures, a scavenger hunt and more.
He says there’s a perception that Nebraska has lots of great wildflowers but the reality is that the eastern third of the state has only one tenth of one percent of the original prairie left.
Henrickson says driving around eastern Nebraska you won’t see a lot of native wildflowers or prairies because a lot of it has been removed.
"This is a way though to highlight the prairies still available in the east through conservation groups. But more importantly, western Nebraska and the panhandle where you can basically get drive by viewings on our roadsides even. So the early June date was picked because that’s the prime viewing time for the panhandle and the sandhills region and the far northern reaches of Nebraska, near Valentine for example.”
Wildflowers are important to our ecosystem as well. Henrickson says pollinators like bees and animals such as song birds need a diverse diet to remain healthy.
He says when wildflowers are thriving, it is a sign that the environment is healthy.
For more information on events as well as wildflower lists and resources, the website is plantnebraska.org/wildflower-week.