‘Big and beautiful bloom’: Aullwood Audubon hosts tallgrass prairie walks

Aullwood Audubon, 1000 Aullwood Rd., will host two upcoming Bloomin’ Prairie Walks led by a naturalist, Aug. 14 and 28 from 11 a.m. to noon. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

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Aullwood Audubon, 1000 Aullwood Rd., will host two upcoming Bloomin’ Prairie Walks led by a naturalist, Aug. 14 and 28 from 11 a.m. to noon. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

This is a wonderful time to wander through a tallgrass prairie blooming in summer colors.

Aullwood Audubon, 1000 Aullwood Rd., will host two upcoming Bloomin’ Prairie Walks led by a naturalist on Saturday, Aug. 14 and Saturday, Aug. 28 from 11 a.m. to noon.

“Within the past few weeks, the flowering plants have grown an extra foot and they’re all in big and beautiful bloom,” said Sam Romeo, environmental educator at Aullwood.

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Aullwood Audubon, 1000 Aullwood Rd., will host two upcoming Bloomin’ Prairie Walks led by a naturalist, Aug. 14 and 28 from 11 a.m. to noon. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Aullwood Audubon, 1000 Aullwood Rd., will host two upcoming Bloomin’ Prairie Walks led by a naturalist, Aug. 14 and 28 from 11 a.m. to noon. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

caption arrowCaption
Aullwood Audubon, 1000 Aullwood Rd., will host two upcoming Bloomin’ Prairie Walks led by a naturalist, Aug. 14 and 28 from 11 a.m. to noon. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Visitors will see three acres of blooming flowers during the walks through Woodcock Meadow, Romeo said. Royal catchfly, compass plant, prairie dock, rattlesnake master, tall coreopsis and gray headed coneflowers are among the flowering plants on display.

This is also a great time of year to see butterflies, birds and insects within the prairie, Romeo said.

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“You could sit in one 10 x 10 square for an entire day and not even get through half of it,” he said. “You just keep coming across all these things that you’ve never seen before.”

The prairie excursions are leisurely hour-long walks that wander along mowed paths. Visitors will also learn how prairies benefit water retention and absorb heavy metals from soil.

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Aullwood Audubon, 1000 Aullwood Rd., will host two upcoming Bloomin’ Prairie Walks led by a naturalist, Aug. 14 and 28 from 11 a.m. to noon. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Aullwood Audubon, 1000 Aullwood Rd., will host two upcoming Bloomin’ Prairie Walks led by a naturalist, Aug. 14 and 28 from 11 a.m. to noon. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

caption arrowCaption
Aullwood Audubon, 1000 Aullwood Rd., will host two upcoming Bloomin’ Prairie Walks led by a naturalist, Aug. 14 and 28 from 11 a.m. to noon. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The prairie walks are limited to 20 people and pre-registration can be done here or by calling 937-890-7360. The walk is free for Aullwood members and active and retired military with ID.

Non-members may register and pay general admission to participate. General admission is $10 for adults 12 and over, $7 for children 3 to 11 and free for children 2 and under.

More information about the prairie walks can be found here.

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If you can’t make a prairie walk there’s still a great way to visit and help Aullwood’s butterfly walks. Romeo and Aullwood’s long-term butterfly monitoring team count and monitor butterfly and skipper populations in the prairie each Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. This community science project is free but pre-registration is required or call 937-890-7360.

More information about the butterfly walks can be found here.

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