Tiptoe through the wildflowers this month as the annual Core Arboretum guided wildflower walks return. Continuing a West Virginia University tradition begun in the 1950s, the Department of Biology invites members of the local community to join the 2 p.m. walks on the final three Sundays in April. This years dates are April 14, 21 and 28. No reservations are necessary. The tours are free, though monetary donations are welcome and aid the University in maintaining the arboretum.
Guides for the walks are Jon Weems, arboretum specialist, and Donna Ford-Werntz, clinical associate professor of biology. Walks begin at the arboretums gravel parking lot and take about two hours to cover just over a mile.
Virginia bluebells carpet the ground in some areas during mid-April. Many other wildflowersincluding bloodroot, dwarf larkspur and wild blue phloxare plentiful at various times from late March into early May.
Persons who are not able to take part in a Sunday wildflower walk are welcome to come to the arboretum and enjoy the spring season on their own. Brochures with maps are available on site, and the arboretum is open to the public from dawn until dusk seven days a week.
Named in memory of Earl L. Core, a distinguished WVU botanist who provided the stimulus and direction to develop the 75-acre tact of open field, wooded hillside and lagoon area into a living laboratory to enhance the Department of Biologys teaching, research and service missions.
The biology department is one of 16 academic units of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.