Earth Day activities planned at Jefferson County Park
Several Earth Day activities, including a wildflower hike, a frog and toad program and an invasive species program, are scheduled at Jefferson County Park.
The “Earth Day: Spring Wildflower Hike” is set for 10 a.m. Saturday.
Participants should meet Jefferson County naturalist Therese Cummiskey in front of the Jefferson County Park Nature Center.
The hike, which is co-sponsored by the Iowa State Extension Master Gardeners program, will last an hour and will take place over flat, even terrain.
During the free program, participants will learn about the natural history of spring woodland flowers from Spring Beauties and Trilliums to Bloodroot and Bluebells.
The “Earth Day: Iowa Frogs,” program is set 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday.
According to Cummiskey, there are 16 species of frogs and toads found in Iowa, and the free program will highlight the local ones.
The family-friendly program will start indoors at the nature center, with a session on identification and frog calls, and then head outdoors to a small, nearby wetland to see what frogs can be found.
“Participants with children might want their kids to wear boots,” said Cummiskey.
“Intro to Invasive Species,” is set from 6:45-7:45 p.m. Monday at the Jefferson County Park Nature Center.
Join Cummiskey and members of Green Iowa AmeriCorps for an introduction to invasive species. From garlic mustard to honeysuckle, Jefferson County Park has its share of invasive species to contend with. These plants might seem harmless in appearance, but they are aggressive weeds that dominate and choke out the native plants, leading to a less diverse natural area.
Attendees will learn about some of the species that the conservation board staff is working to limit and eradicate in the park.