Get Colorful during National Pollinator Week, June 20-26
June 20, 2016
“I’m that mom” who looks for ways to turn family vacations into field trips and seeks out educational learning opportunities for the fun of it. Yes, hands-on learning can be so much fun! Why not brush up on math skills by baking a Butterfly Cake? Get crafty making beautiful butterflies using coffee filters. Keep your kids “busy as a bee” with these coloring pages.
After all, June 20-26 is National Pollinator Week. I’m looking forward to celebrating with a day trip Saturday to Reiman Gardens for its “Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® bricks” exhibit. My kids and I saw this exhibit in 2012 and am looking forward to its return. Simulating how all living things are interconnected, the exhibit features 13 larger than life displays made with 500,000 LEGO® pieces.
The Children’s Garden at Reiman showcases how Mother Nature paints the world with vibrant flowers, leaves, and insects. There’s also a Garden Display called “My Colorful Plate” that shows how a well-balanced meal includes a colorful plate of fruits and vegetables such as red apples, orange peppers, leafy greens, purple tomatoes and yellow squash. In addition, we’ll have to stop by the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing.
Speaking of butterflies, the Monarch Mania website from Lime Creek Nature Center features blogs about Monarch butterflies and other pollinators. It also lists many resources, including tips for growing milkweeds and planning pollinator gardens. I’m planning to add some “Cinderella” milkweed to my wild garden that I started this spring at Enchanted Acres. This “messy garden,” as my son calls it, was inspired by the no-mow areas I read about to establish butterfly habitat. My hope is that it will look like the wild flowers one sees in restored prairies or while walking through wooded trails like those at Lime Creek.
A hike through Lime Creek can be as relaxing as it is inspiring. My daughter and I have enjoying attending Yoga Hikes there. Perhaps you’d like to make attending one part of your Summer Bucket List! Another fun Summer Bucket List item that can also inspire ideas is the Central Gardens of North Iowa, which features several different types of gardens including a “Bee Happy Garden.” Check out the Central Gardens’ “Fresh on Friday” event where you can take home a fresh flower bouquet. Kids can pick produce from the Kids Bee Happy garden, a pollinator friendly space.
Speaking of pollinator-friendly spaces, each spring I purchase a hanging basket of bold and brightly colored flowers and place it just outside my dining room window in hopes I’ll catch a glimpse of a hummingbird or at least a hummingbird month. There’s just something captivating about their quickness. Did you know a hummingbird’s wings can beat 70 times per second?!