This week: pollinator presentation and wildflower walks offered by other local organizations.
Updated: May 4
"Bountiful Pollinators in Your Yard - Plants and Practical Tips to Lure Them In"
presented by Lisa Hill (multi-talented artist, designer of our beautiful Friends t-shirts)
Lower Columbia Basin Audubon Society (LCBAS) on April 25, Tuesday, 7pm, in person meeting
First Lutheran Church, 418 N. Yelm, Kennewick, WA
Information for Columbia Basin Washington Native Plant Society field trips/wildflower walks for April 28, 29, and 30, 2023.
To register for these wildflower field trips go to https://www.cbwnps.org/calendar , click on the hike you are interested in. You will receive a confirmation email with any additional instructions for that trip.
These three field trips over the last weekend in April offer the opportunity to see some gorgeous views of our basalt cliffs, the Columbia River and adjacent hills while taking in the wildflower blooms. You may register for any of these field outings individually or for all three. The field leaders for these outings will be camping overnight on Friday and Saturday at the Sand Hollow Campground along the eastern bank of the Columbia just south of Vantage. If you should choose to camp or stay in the area, you are welcome to join them for some late afternoon/evening discussions of the flora and natural history of the area. Your choice to camp or stay is considered as time “on your own.” As always, the field trips start at the trailhead. The meeting times at the Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Center are for your convenience to caravan to the trail head.
April 28th, Friday at 1:00 p.m.
Basalt Gardens and Basalt Pillars
Meet at the parking area at the Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Center just to the north of Vantage. Leave I-90 taking the Vantage Exit, drive through Vantage to the north going past the Chevron Station to the outskirts of town. Signs will direct you to the right.
Basalt Gardens supports several communities with different types of flora. The lower elevation consists of active and stabilized dune sands with abundant wildflowers and shrubs that are scattered across the sands. Following the trail to the top of the basalt cliffs, you will see the wildflowers common in lithosols (rocky soils). Just to the south of the sand dunes, you can get up close and personal with striking basalt formations. Field trip length approximately 3 hours.
April 29th at 10:00 a.m.
Meet at 9:30 at the Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Center if you want to caravan to the Trailhead. Or if you want to meet at the Trailhead at 10:00 a.m. head east on I-90 and take exit 143, to Silica Road and The Gorge Amphitheater. At the bottom of the ramp, go left under the freeway for 0.7 mile. Turn left on Vantage Road SW. A Discover Pass is required beyond this point. Meet at the parking area past the camping area. There are several vaulted restrooms there.
At Frenchman Coulee we will take a steep rocky trail to see large specimens of Phlox speciousa and Erigeron thymoides across the top of the basalt columns. Once you gain the top, the trails are relatively flat and easy compared to some of the rocky steep stretches on the way up. The difficult parts of the trail are fairly short, and can be navigated easily with a hiking pole and shoes with good tread. Length of trip will be approximately 4 hours.
April 30th at 10:00 a.m.
Whiskey Dick Pumphouse Unit
Meet at the Gingko Petrified Forest Interpretive Center to caravan to the site. The caravan will take the old Vantage highway toward Ellensburg. Bring your Discover Pass since we will be on WDFW lands.
We may see Pediocactus, sagebrush violets and a host of other sagebrush steppe wildflowers. We will travel to several different locations by car to view different areas.
Trip will be approximately 3 hours in duration.