Wild Plant Scavenger Hunts and Cool Bug Safaris

Using fun and educational activities, we are opening the eyes of kids young and old to the interesting and important nature under our noses.

Armed with hand lenses instead of cameras, we look for native wild plants with such fun names as Frogfruit, Cheesytoes, and Spanish needle, all of which host butterflies, offer nectar for pollinators, and provide a whole host of other benefits in the ecosystem.

Checking out the Frogfruit with hand lenses.  Frogfuit hosts four different butterfly species.
The students were given chalk boards so they could draw what they saw. None of them had ever seen a chalkboard and they were joking about what apps were downloaded on them
All gathered around to check out the nature under our noses.
The wonder of having a butterfly land on your hand...
Pointing to the tiny flowers of Cheesytoes/Stylosanthes hamata.
With the hand lens, you can see all the little sippy cups full of nectar in a Spanish needle/Bidens alba flower.

We collaborated with artist Kim Heise to create beautiful watercolor portraits of these wild plants and the butterflies that host on them. Using her watercolors, we created a Field Guide to Wild Plants that Host Butterflies. We use the Field Guide, as well as these flashcard IDs, to help people find these wild plants on our Scavenger Hunts.

This Field Guide and ID cards:

  • enable kids to go out on hunts for these plants in their own gardens and create chalk drawings on nearby sidewalks of those they find in order to educate passersby;
  • encourage parents and kids to search for these plants when they go for walks in their neighborhood;
  • offer teachers a fun and educational opportunity to get their students outside learning about the nature under our noses.

In short, these Guides will inspire people to get outside to learn about our ecosystem and the beautiful and important biodiversity that surrounds us – and upon which we depend .  And, at the end of the day, who is going to want to apply deadly poison to plants that enable butterflies to survive?

We hope this makes you want to discover the nature under your nose.
Who knows what special plants and interesting insects you will find and what fun you will have in finding them?


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