Spring is in bloom and wildflowers are making an appearance around Athens. To make sure the wildflowers are recognized and admired, Rural Action is hosting a Citizen Science Saturday on Sat., April 17, from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
This Citizen Science Saturday will be a Wildflower Walk through Tom Jenkins Dam, 23500 Jenkins Dam Road, on Burr Oak Lake in Glouster. Guiding participants through nature, Rural Action’s Environmental Educators will teach participants more about the wildflowers.
“It'll just be a great time to hike through Burr Oak, which is an absolutely beautiful, natural resource that we have in this region,” Madison Donohue, an AmeriCorps member serving Rural Action and a member of the Environmental Education team, said. “It'll be really nice to hike with us, the naturalists, because we do have a pretty good understanding of our natural environment and it's really what our passion is.”
If You Go:
What: Rural Action’s Citizen Science Saturday: Wildflower Walk
Where: Tom Jenkins Dam, 23500 Jenkins Dam Road, Glouster, OH 45732
When: Sat., April 17, 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
This event provides an opportunity for participants to visit places that are lesser-known to the Athens area. Mia Miller, an AmeriCorps member serving Rural Action and a member of the Environmental Education team, noted every month from now through August, Rural Action’s Environmental Education team will have a Saturday dedicated to citizen science. For each of those Saturdays, they will collaborate and pick a location and a theme for the event.
“The whole point of these Citizen Science Saturdays is to get the community members involved in participating in citizen science,” Miller said. “So we're going to be out there identifying wildflowers, using field guides and learning about the flowers that are native to the area and growing in the spring.”
Those interested have the option to participate in one of two timeframes: 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. To join Rural Action on this refreshing nature walk, participants can email Miller at email@example.com and let her know the preferred time slot and how many participants will be joining.
“We're really excited to share that passion with others and point out the flowers and talk about ID factors of them, and it's also just really nice to kind of be able to be in a socially distant group of people,” Donohue said. “We'll all be masked and be able to stay distant outside, but we'll all have that common ground of being excited about wildflowers.”
Miller and Donohue encourage people to bring their family members, friends and anyone who’s willing to participate, for there is no age restriction when it comes to learning about nature.
“I've never heard someone say, ‘Oh man, I wish I would have stayed in bed’ or ‘I wish I would have stayed home for this event,’” Joe Brehm, Rural Action’s Environmental Education director, said. “People are always saying how they were enjoying being comfortable in the living room drinking some coffee in the morning but they are glad that they came out. Nonetheless, the wildflower eruption is truly one of the miracles of our region. I can't think of very many things I'd rather be doing than searching for what's blooming with people who are also passionate about plants and being outside.”
Rural Action plans on hosting more events as spring continues. For example, coming up May 8 and 9 there will be a Birds in the Hill event featuring activities that all surrounding birds within the region.
Rural Action hopes to bring members of the Athens area and surrounding together to grow their appreciation for nature while nature grows all around them.
“We're trying to get people out and exploring lesser-known areas that are amazing places that are just less explored and more off the beaten trail so to speak,” Miller said. “That's another fun aspect.”