Shenandoah National Park hosts Wildflower Weekend

shenandoah national parkNative spring wildflowers and nature art will be celebrated during Shenandoah National Park’s 33rd annual Wildflower Weekend, May 11-12.

Special hikes and programs will focus on the diversity and importance of hundreds of species of flowering plants that are protected by the park.

Visitors may view the winning entries in the park’s annual “Youth Art in the Park” wildflower art contest. The top-winning works will be exhibited at Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51on Skyline Drive) from May 11 to17 and at Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (mile 4.6) from May 18 to 24. Winning artists will be recognized in a ceremony at noon Saturday, May 11, at Byrd Visitor Center.

The special feature this year is a botanical art workshop led by watercolor artist Betty Gatewood at Byrd Visitor Center on May 11 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. No art experience is necessary, and all materials will be provided. Artist-in-Residence Julie Elkins will demonstrate sculpting with activities for visitors on May 11 and 12 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Byrd Visitor Center.

Hikes include South River Falls, Hawksbill Summit, Passamaquoddy Loop, Millers Head, Mill Prong Trail and the Appalachian Trail to Bearfence Mountain, as well as a birding walk.

All programs are free. No reservations are needed. However, there is a $30 entrance fee to the park (good for seven days). Adults and children are welcome on all Wildflower Weekend programs. The complete program schedule is posted on the park’s special events page: https://www.nps.gov/shen/upload/2019_WildflowerWeekend_web.pdf.

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