Spring Has Sprung!
The sun is shining, birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and trails are calling your name. Spring is a great time to Hike a WildLand and see some of the best remnant spaces the Kansas City area has to offer. Before the trees have fully leafed out and the tall grasses have overtaken the prairies and glades, tiny flowers, called spring ephemerals, are taking advantage of the full sun. Tiny plants in prairies burned over the winter are sprouting. With all this fresh plant and newly awaken animal life tempting you to take a closer look, please keep some hiking etiquette in mind as you venture out.
Leave the flowers for pollinators and other hikers to enjoy. Pollinators are searching for food after the long winter, and during early spring pollen sources are not as abundant. Picking the flowers prevents insects from finding important nourishment. Instead of picking a bouquet, consider buying a locally grown arrangement at a farmers’ market or install a native plant garden in your yard to sustainably harvest.
Stay on the trail. Natural spaces such as Kansas City WildLands sites are sensitive year-round but especially in the spring. Hiking in sensitive areas could disturb plant and animal life. And we all know the saying, April showers bring May flowers. Dirt and rock trails are susceptible to damage when used while wet. Pay attention to trail closures and consider using some of the many paved trails instead.
Follow park ordinances and rules. Most land managers have ordinances posted in parks or on their website. And everyone loves taking Fido along when it is allowed but be sure to keep them on a leash.
Take your trash with you. Help to keep our WildLands sites beautiful by ensuring proper disposal of your trash. Pitch in by picking up trash while you hike or consider signing up for a Bridging The Gap litter cleanup or one in your city.