12 Weeks of Summer: Week 9

Flowers at Eloise ButlerAnyone else feel like summer is fleeting? How are we on Week 9 already in our 12 Weeks of Summer series?

This week is all about wildflowers, plants and birds at our very own Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary in Minneapolis.

This 15-acre garden is the oldest public wildflower garden in the country, dating back to 1907. That’s the year Minneapolis botanist Eloise Butler and botany teachers successfully petitioned the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to create a natural botanic garden as the city grew.

It began when three acres of bog, meadow and hillside were fenced in at Theodore Wirth Park, and the garden opened on April 27, 1907. Since then, it has grown to be home to more than 500 plant species and provides habitat for more than 140 resident and migratory bird species.

Over 60,000 visitors go the garden each year, which offers seasonal displays of native wildflowers in woodland, wetland and prairie areas.

Right now – and all the way through summer – prairie flowers such as asters, sunflowers, blazing stars and goldenrods are at peak, and it’s a spectacular time to see all the colors the garden has to offer.

You can explore the garden on your own. There is a trail that is two-thirds of a mile in length which contains 49 interpretive stations for self-guided tours. In addition, you will find friendly staff and volunteers at the Martha Crone Visitor Shelter to help you with any garden-related questions.

In addition, the center offers many special classes and tours for toddlers and preschoolers, such as Six Legged Friends on August 15 where you will go out looking for all types of insects and discover why they are so important for our flowers.

On August 29, participants in the Busy Bees will make a special craft, go on a bee hike and do a bee dance.

So whether you explore it on your own or with a naturalist, you won’t want to miss this jewel nestled in the heart of our city. You will find the garden on Theodore Wirth Parkway at Glenwood Ave. in Minneapolis, and it is open from 7:30 am until one hour before sunset through October 15. For more information – including where to park – please click here.

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden

Curious about the other 8 Weeks of Summer? Check out Week 1 by clicking here, Week 2 by clicking here, Week 3 by clicking here, Week 4 by clicking here, Week 5 by clicking here, Week 6 by clicking here, Week 7 by clicking here, and Week 8 by clicking here.

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