The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

Newsletter Signup

Get our news delivered straight to your inbox every week.

* indicates required

Wildflower walks call attention to local biodiversity

Wildflower+walks+call+attention+to+local+biodiversity
Dr. Annkatrin Rose

 

When Appalachian State University biology professor Annkatrin Rose moved to Boone from Germany in 2002 for a job teaching botany, she knew little about the area other than its scenery and hiking trails.

web
Photo courtesy of Annkatrin Rose

Rose began hiking near Boone to take pictures of the land and plants she encountered for her own enjoyment, but soon realized she could transform her hobby into something more.

One of her photos made it to the final round of last year’s Appalachian Mountain Photography Contest, and around that same time she began to lead guided wildflower walks through campus and surrounding areas a few times a week.

“That’s kind of how it all started, me going out with my camera to take pictures of plants,” Rose said. “Then I started buying books to try and identify those plants and I learned a lot.”

Now, she is regarded as a local expert in native plants and has begun a program called Boone in Bloom, which includes a series of campus walks through the Department of Biology’s nature preserve behind Greenwood Parking Lot.

Last year, these walks attracted about 12 students and community members on a sunny day, but she anticipates many more participants this year as she has expanded her program to include the Daniel Boone Native Gardens and sections of Grandfather Mountain.

The trips usually last two hours, and primarily attract locals interested in gardening or medicinal and Native American uses of plants in addition to biology majors.

Rebecca Kaenzig, chair of the board of directors for the Daniel Boone Native Gardens, said that walks like this call attention to the often-overlooked diversity of nature that exists in this region.

“Our mission is to preserve and become educated about native plants, which is just what [Rose is] trying to do,” Kaenzig said.

Sue McBean, the superintendent of Grandfather State Park, helped Rose expand her program to off-campus sites this year. McBean said that Rose’s inclusion of Grandfather, which has 16 distinct ecological zones due to various elevations and climates, will help students see a much wider range of wildflowers.

Rose said she does not try to force a love of hard sciences such as botany on participants, but prefers to simply call their attention to the beauty surrounding them.

“I hope they get some interaction with nature and just knowing what’s flowering out there,” Rose said.

Boone in Bloom’s 2014 nature walks began April 4 and are scheduled through June. For more information, visit Boone In Bloom on Facebook or check the Wildflower Report at biology.appstate.edu.

Story by Laney Cooper, Senior A&E Reporter
Photo courtesy of Annkatrin Rose

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Appalachian
$1271
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

We hope you appreciate this article! Before you move on, our student staff wanted to ask if you would consider supporting The Appalachian's award-winning journalism. We are celebrating our 90th anniversary of The Appalachian in 2024!

We receive funding from the university, which helps us to compensate our students for the work they do for The Appalachian. However, the bulk of our operational expenses — from printing and website hosting to training and entering our work into competitions — is dependent upon advertising revenue and donations. We cannot exist without the financial and educational support of our fellow departments on campus, our local and regional businesses, and donations of money and time from alumni, parents, subscribers and friends.

Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest, both on campus and within the community. From anywhere in the world, readers can access our paywall-free journalism, through our website, through our email newsletter, and through our social media channels. Our supporters help to keep us editorially independent, user-friendly, and accessible to everyone.

If you can, please consider supporting us with a financial gift from $10. We appreciate your consideration and support of student journalism at Appalachian State University. If you prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, or if you would prefer to make a recurring monthly gift, please give to The Appalachian Student News Fund through the university here: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1727/cg20/form.aspx?sid=1727&gid=2&pgid=392&cid=1011&dids=418.15&bledit=1&sort=1.

Donate to The Appalachian
$1271
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Appalachian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *