William Clark’s Lofty Copse

Hidden Valley HNC

(Hidden Valley, Hitchcock Nature Center. Photo by Robert Smith)

During the summer of 1804, the Corps of Discovery entered the Great Plains by way of the Missouri River. William Clark described the native flora in his journal: “The Plains of this countrey are covered with a Leek Green Grass, well calculated for the sweetest and most nourishing hay – interspersed with Cops of trees, Spreding ther lofty branchs over Pools Springs or Brooks of fine water. Groops of Shrubs with the most delicious froot is to be seen in every direction…”

The Great Plains are known for rich biodiversity, but not often for its forests. The native nations and early explorers of the Missouri River region enjoyed a woodland bounty of cool waters and plentiful fruits sustained by upland forest watersheds. Our New Tree School workshops and saunters at Hitchcock Nature Center are sustained by these watersheds as well. Explore the rich biodiversity of the Loess Hills this Saturday on our Native Trees and Shrubs Hike and discover what William Clark found over 200 years ago. Consult the “Offerings 2015” page for details on this and all of our June events.

Walk wildly. Apply insect repellent.

Jack Phillips