Picturing Plants

Students in the program Picturing Plants sketch the native plants growing at the Mima Mounds on Fri., May 10, 2013. The students were charged with drawing five different plants on the field trip. — Shauna Bittle photo

Last week was too nice to waste inside; so when we were offered the opportunity to accompany the program Picturing Plants on a field trip to the Mima Mounds, we jumped at the chance. The sun was high as faculty Frederica Bowcutt led students along the path, pointing out the native species that flourish in the natural area preserve. Stalks of camas rose above the grass, and the students looked for rare specimens like the chocolate lily and the golden paintbrush.

After spending the area at the Mima Mounds, the group traveled south to the Glacial Heritage Preserve. The preserve is an important restoration site for the Puget Prairie ecosystem–less than 5% of this original ecosystem remains today. At Glacial Heritage, volunteers are repopulating the land with the prairie plants that once grew wild there. At this time of year, the wildflowers are in bloom, and the area becomes a blanket of yellow, white and blue blooms. All in all, we could not have had a better day to be outside, nor a better venue to observe our area’s natural ecosystem.

This class will be featured at an exhibit in the Library at the end of the quarter. Come by and see their work!

Picturing Plants faculty Frederica Bowcutt (in red cap) holds a stock of St. John’s Wort as she introduces students to the native plant at the Mima Mounds. — Shauna Bittle photo

A student gets an eye-level perspective on the prairie plants growing at the Glacial Heritage preserve. — Andrew Jeffers photo

The group gathers in the pathways between plant restoration areas at Glacial Heritage in Littlerock, WA. Volunteers have been trying to rebuild native plant populations by harvesting, propagating and planting native seeds. — Shauna Bittle photo

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