Enjoy Panhandle wildflower events next week

NEBRASKA – Although we’ve had a rather slow spring warm-up across the Panhandle and nearby areas in Wyoming and Colorado, air temperatures are warming, and abundant May precipitation has set the stage for a colorful June all around the region.

June is a great time to get out and enjoy nature’s showy celebration of rebirth, and across Nebraska it’s the time Wildflower Week is observed. The second week of June will include a number of events across the Nebraska Panhandle, many of which are within a reasonable driving distance for those residing in the tri-state region. There are also wildflower events scheduled in Wyoming and Colorado.

The annual celebration of Nebraska’s prairie heritage generally runs from the first Friday in June through the second Sunday of the month, neatly covering two weekends when early season wildflowers bloom in abundance. This year scheduled events begin June 1 in eastern Nebraska and culminate in the Panhandle Thursday through Saturday, June 9-11.

June 9 events in Chadron begin with a 9 a.m. coffee and conversation at Chadron’s Public Library (507 Bordeaux Street). The topic of conversation is “all things wildflowers and landscaping.” At 10 a.m. the event will move across the street for a tour of the Rolfsmeier Bloom Box Garden. At 11 a.m. there will be a tour of the Chadron State College Briggs Pond Cleanup and their new Labyrinth art installation. Early evening plans include touring native prairie wildflowers, possibly at Toadstool Park or Chadron State Park. More details will be available on the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum Wildflower Week web page. Search Nebraska Wildflower week or type https://plantnebraska.org/connect/events/wildflowers.html into your browser.

June 10 at Gering will feature “Plants in the Plaza” from 4-8 p.m. at the Gering Civic Plaza (1050 M. Street). An RSVP would be appreciated but is not required; RSVP by email [email protected] or by phone at 402-472-2971. Following “Plants in the Plaza” will be “Wildflower Outing in the Wildcats” at 7 p.m. at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center (210615 Highway 71) south of Gering. For more information email [email protected] or call 308-436-3777. You can also visit http://calendar.outdoornebraska.gov.

On June 11 at Kimball there will be a native prairie wildflower tour/hike on the EJE Ranch south of Kimball. The tour will begin with a 10 a.m. meet-up at the High Point Welcome Center (204 South Kimball Boulevard) just south of I-80 Exit 20 at the I-80/Highway 71 junction. At 10:30 a.m. the tour will caravan approximately two miles to the tour site on paved roads. Attendees should wear sturdy shoes and consider using sunscreen and bringing water. For more information, email the Welcome Center at [email protected], call 308-241-0573, or email [email protected]

This weekend (June 3-5) will be Wyoming Wildflower Weekend in Thermopolis at the Community Hall. The Weekend is an annual event of the Wyoming Native Plant Society and promises “a weekend of native plant hikes to stunning wildflower displays, workshops and talks. Cost is $20 per day per person or $40 for the three-day event. Kids 12 and under get in free. Each day is scheduled to run from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

In Colorado the major wildflower event is the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, July 8-17. Visit their website at https://crestedbuttewildflowerfestival.org/ for more information.

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