Spring Wildflower ID Workshop
Before the big showy blooms of summer arrive, spring offers an opportunity to view the more delicate forest flowers that blossom for only a few short weeks each year. Taking advantage of the period between snow melt and tree leaf-out, this small but mighty group of wildflowers collectively known as the spring ephemerals offer an excellent opportunity to practice plant ID. Kick off the season with ecologist Dan Stuart for a tour through High Park’s forests and oak savannahs to seek out this diverse and fascinating group. This workshop will focus on plant identification techniques and ecosystem dynamics, with an emphasis on native spring wildflower identification. • An understanding of foundational plant identification methods, including familiarity with the use of a dichotomous key.
• Knowledge of plant anatomy, and an introduction to categorizing plants by family.
• The ability to identify many native spring wildflowers located in High Park and beyond.
The workshop will include a brief indoor seminar (approximately 45 minutes) followed by an outdoor field hike (approximately 3 hours). The hike will be easy to moderate in difficulty, and participants should come prepared with comfortable outdoor gear.
Dan Stuart is an ecologist, naturalist, and avid hiker, having worked for the University of Guelph and in the environmental consulting sector since 2009. Dan currently works for Azimuth Environmental Consulting, Inc. in Barrie, Ontario as a terrestrial ecologist with a focus on botanical inventories and restoration ecology, but also undertakes studies to evaluate the habitats of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and Species at Risk. He holds Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry certifications in Ecological Land Classification, the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System, and is a designated Butternut Health Assessor. Dan also sits on the executive committee of Tallgrass Ontario, where he helps to oversee and facilitate grant applications, monthly board meetings, and implementation of numerous tallgrass prairie creation, restoration and maintenance projects throughout Southern Ontario.