By JESSALYN KIRCHHOFF
Tiger Media Network
Hays Public Library (HPL) Director Brandon Hines would like to welcome everyone in the Hays community to come to the first ever ‘Wildflowers & Pollinators’ event at HPL. The event will be from 6-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday in the Schmidt Gallery.
According to the HPL website, Wildflowers & Pollinators is going to be an activity in which Pheasants Forever biologists, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks biologists, and representatives from the Fort Hays State University Biology department will talk about the relationship among wildflowers, pollinators, and life on the Great Plains.
“We will have a general discussion about wildflowers and pollinators in our area and then share specific projects, research, pictures, and stories on the topic. Wildflowers and pollinators play an interesting and important role in the places we live,” Hines said. “Developing an understanding and appreciation of them helps us to develop our appreciation of the places we live and visit. As a library, we value stories, education, and community engagement.”
Hines goes on to speak about one wildflower and one pollinator that are important to him.
“I was stunned earlier this summer when I was walking through a grassland area and came across Catclaw Sensitive Briar. Its pink and yellow flowers looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss book,” he said. “Moreover, the perseverance of the monarch butterfly is so incredible. Thinking back on several encounters I’ve had with migrating monarchs brings me back various places and times that are very special to me.”
Additionally, Hines also makes sure to mention that all attendees of the ‘Wildflowers & Pollinators’ event will receive a compliment of SWAG, including local honey from Jensen Farms, Pheasants Forever Pollinator seed packets, and a copy of Humanities Kansas Chap Book, “Wild Words.”
“Wild Words,” a collection of wildflower illustrations and poetry, while not the focal point of the conversation, was the inspiration to get the ball rolling on this event.
The “Wild Words” chap book referenced can be found here in pdf format: https://www.humanitieskansas.org/doccenter/ec08fec531b2405ca72d0fc00b5c1839
Both Sarah Elzay, assistant professor of Biological Sciences, and Matt Galliart, instructor of Biological Sciences, will be presenting. Elzay will be providing the general overview of pollinators in our region and Galliart will provide the general overview of wildflowers. Elzay and Galliart are members of the FHSU Department of Biology.
Although this is where the FHSU biology Department presentation portion will end, Hines expects that two will stay engaged in the conversation throughout as participants learn about the Pheasants Forever and Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks works to increase the abundance of wildflowers and pollinators.
Hines wants to thank everyone who has been involved in the planning and execution of this project, but specifically, he extends his gratitude to Nathan Legleiter, current President of the local Smoky Hill Pheasants Forever Chapter.
“All our presenters have been quick to engage in this discussion. Nathan (Legleiter) really went all in on this partnership. He made the connection with Pheasants Forever biologists, led promotion and has provided art and gifts for attendees. His enthusiasm for the topic is incredible,” Hines said.
Hines urges everyone to attend the event and appreciate all of the hard work that the crew put into this activity, as he does not know if the HPL will host this event, or an event similar to this one again.