Those who are yearning for more of those red and blue wildflower hues are in luck, as the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History will host their first annual Wildflower Day at Boonville Heritage Park on Saturday.
Boonville Heritage Park is the last preserved remnant of Brazos county’s original county seat. With its red cedar wood Tuner-Peters log house crafted from 90 percent of the original 1856 structure and meticulously furnished to fit period detail, the park allows guests to immerse themselves in a bygone era. This Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., community members will experience those frontier staples alongside live music, fresh food and lush greenery at no charge.
Maria Lazo, associate director and education coordinator at BVMNH, said Wildflower Day will be one of fun and education, as guests will have the opportunity to learn more about the park’s wildflower presence from local botanists and science experts.
“Of course, being a natural history museum, this is a great opportunity to teach the public and give them an environment where they can appreciate the wildflowers,” Lazo said. “Getting that exposure and education, rather than just driving by and admiring, will really drive this whole experience home for them.”
According to BVMNH executive director Deborah Cowman, bringing the community together through a shared appreciation of Texas’ wildflower season was only a matter of time, thanks to the efforts of park program coordinator Mary Ann Cusimano.
Cusimano said the idea for Wildflower Day was spearheaded by the splendor of a sight only Texas could provide.
“It’s just the visualization of the people who first arrived here in the 1800s,” Cusimano said. “When they came to this unbroken post oak forest, and this being the actual ground people lived and worked on, these descendents of the flowers were there. Life was hard, but they still had that beauty, and they wrote about it because it inspired them.”
Located on the 11.29 acres is an array of Indian Paintbrushes, Texas Dandelions, Wine Cups and, of course, the famed Bluebonnet. However, while each is eye-popping, Cusimano said she enjoys the sight of a flower easily missed by most park guests.
“There’s always little flowers like Bluets that are maybe three or four millimeters across and most people don’t stop to look at them, they just kind of walk on by,” Cusimano said. “I hope that by being here with the scientists and artists who do see these things, people will stop and actually look, because we have so many flowers that will give people the chance to breathe and refresh their souls.”
To capture Wildflower Day’s honorary guests in the ground, local artists and community members are invited to paint their own unique masterpieces with paper and watercolors located on-site.
While the allure of the park’s wildflowers is tempting, Cusimano said it is important for guests to remain on the designated pathways and to refrain from plucking any of the flowers.
“We’ll have the artists stay really close to the edges of the mowed path, so we aren’t having crowds of people walking everywhere and crushing the very reason we’re here,” Cusimano said.
Cowman said she is looking forward to promoting natural history and community involvement with nature.
“To me, it reflects the beauty of nature,” Cowman said. “Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘The Earth laughs in flowers,’ so when I see all these flowers I just feel really happy. It makes me think about how important and precious our natural environment is and how we need to do everything we can to preserve it.”