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Annual Wildflower Walk at Wagon Box Site Held Thursday

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One of the first events of the 2024 summer season from the Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association (FPK/BTA) was the annual Wildflower Walk on Thursday, June 6 at 5 pm at the Wagon Box Fight Site.

JoAnne Puckett of FPK/BTA, talked about the history of the Wagon Box Fight, and then the program was turned over to Mae Smith, Agriculture Program Director and Agriculture Instructor at Sheridan College, who gave a talk about the wildflowers in the area, designating them as “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.”

She also talked about the soil in the area, and the uses of the vegetation, such as wildlife, livestock graze and even recreation.

The ‘Good’ plants were those that are good feed for wildlife and livestock, such as various native grasses and forbs.

She talked about the plants that could be found in the area.

Good plants included Arrowleaf Balsamroot, Mouse Ears Chickweed, Golden Banner, Western Yarrow and others.

The ‘Bad’ included Lupine, Low Larkspur and Death Cama which are poisonous; as well Smooth Brome and Kentucky Bluegrass which are introduced species.

The Ugly or ‘Villan’ plants that could be found there are Houndstongue, and invasive species such as Bulbous bluegrass and cheatgrass.

There was a scavenger hunt for young and old alike, and Smith had badges for those who collected two or more ‘villain’ plants and they could receive the title of ‘Plant Detective.’ Over 30 people attended the event and looked for the various plants at the site. Smith said she found 31 different plants this year at the site.

The next upcoming program at Fort Phil Kearny is the ALS Guided Tour, on Tuesday, June 11 from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. The Fort is partnering with an American Sign Language interpreter to provide an accessible tour of the grounds. Attendees need not be hearing impaired to join the tour, and registration is not required. For more information go to Regular park fees may apply.

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