AUGUST 2022 PROGRAM
Prairie Flower and Ecology with Craig Elston
Hudsonville Nature Center 2700 New Holland St, Hudsonville, MI 49426
HNC Website: https://www.hudsonville.org/Nature-Center/
August 15 • 6:30-8:30 pm
This program will be a walk led by Craig Elston, CDE Nature, Naturalist – City of Hudsonville, President of White Pine Chapter – Michigan Botanical Club, 2nd Vice President of Wildflower Association of Michigan.
August is the peak of many prairie and summer wildflowers with the heat spurring them on. Four different Silphiums plus coneflowers, goldenrods and more will be in bloom as well as grasses blooming and easier to identify. This walk will be held on the Prairie Path and a trip into the prairie itself to experience what it is like walking in tall grasses over your head. We will also view the prairie from the raised observation deck.
- FREE event
- Consider carpooling. Parking is limited.
- Masks optional
- A brochure of Hudsonville Nature Center with map will be provided.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes (closed-toed), long pants, hat, and bring bug spray.
BIOGRAPHY: As a Michigan native, Craig Elston has always been interested in nature from his youth on his grandparents’ farm through the present. He has also always been interested in growing plants and has had a great interest in native plants for most of his adult life. Craig has been leading interpretive hikes at the Hudsonville Nature Center since the mid 1990s. He has also led walks and presented lectures or slide programs at other nature centers, including Hoffmaster State Park’s Gillette Visitor Center, Frederik Meijer Gardens, the Michigan Botanical Club, various events for MSU County Extensions in West Michigan and other garden clubs or nature organizations. Craig has been the Naturalist for the City of Hudsonville since 2001. As a member of the Hudsonville Parks and Grounds committee from 1988 he was involved in planting a Tall Grass Prairie at the Nature Center. He has earned the Advanced Master Gardener from Ottawa County. In 2003 he was privileged to be a part of the Kent County MSU Extension’s Master Naturalist program from its inception, developing and writing the Prairie Environments segment with time both indoors and in the field, for first hand personal experience.
His interest for Michigan’s native flora is not just observation and photographing, but propagation and cultivation of these marvelous gems. He finds it exciting to not only learn about these habitats and their inhabitants, but also to share with others who are interested and willing to listen. Finding species that are new to him or rare species is always exciting. An interest in the native plant Jeffersonia dyphilla has led to an almost obsession with Thomas Jefferson and Monticello.