Master Naturalists’ May Wildflower Walk

by Chuck Hulse

Despite the cold and rainy forecast, the fourth training session for the Master Naturalist BTV Program took place on May 14th at the Ethan Allen Park.  The goal of the day was for the group to teach and learn about the spring wildflowers that can be found in the forested landscape of the park.


The day began with Sean Beckett, recent graduate of the University of Vermont’s Field Naturalist Program and coordinator of the Burlington Geographic Program, giving a brief history of the Ethan Allen Park.


After a brief tutorial on how to identify plants using an identification key, the group headed out on the trail in search of wildflowers.  Each member of the group was responsible for teaching the rest of the group about at least two wildflowers.  The group learned and shared information about flowers such as Trillium, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Meadow Rue, Hepatica, Bellwort, Bloodroot, Dutchman’s Breeches and many others.


As with any naturalist walk, several diversions lead to an American Chestnut, a discussion about identifying poison ivy and questions about the history and the geology of the park.


The group reviews the use of Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide in identifying flowering plants.
(Tim Wick, a Master Naturalist BVT trainee, teaches the group about Hepatica.)
(Elise Schadler, a Master Naturalist trainee and Technical Assistance Coordinator VT Urban & Community Forestry Program, teaches the group about American Chestnut.)



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