Spring is in the air, trees and flowers are starting to bloom, and the air is warm and humid. To celebrate the beauty that winter's rain brings us, SRT is holding a First Flower contest at Kaweah Oaks Preserve, to see when the Elderberry trees start their annual bloom.
SRT stewardship staff has protected and cared for a group of Elderberry trees on the KOP property, and every year we monitor their progress from bud to bloom to fruit. This year, we're inviting people to help us track the trees' progression, with a contest that will award great prizes to those who record data for us on their visits to KOP.
The contest will kick off on Saturday, February 18 at 9 a.m. with a talk about the trees and why SRT monitors them. We'll also have staff lead a hike and talk about the wonders of KOP. The contest will run until April 8. All you have to do to enter is to visit KOP, check out the Elderberry trees marked for the contest, and let us know what you observe - even if the trees aren't blooming yet.
Better yet, everyone is a winner! Prizes below.
For those who submit an actual "first flower" observation on one of the eight labeled elderberry trees:
• 18 and over: Western Redbud, guidebook and citizen science kit
• 13-17: Western Redbud, guidebook and citizen science kit
• 12 and under: Western Redbud, children's nature guide and citizen science kit
*Western redbuds (Cercis occidentalis) are for the first 25 observations received. Redbuds will come with a care sheet, and phenology monitoring guide (provided by National Phenology Network).
For those who submit any observation:
• A citizen science certificate