Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 23, 2023

What is a superbloom—and how can you see one responsibly?

National Geographic writes about what a superbloom is and how to visit wildflower areas in a nondestructive way. Here are a few excerpts for responsible wildflower viewing:

But the glorious natural events are under threat—from hundreds of thousands of flower tourists who sometimes trample delicate blooms and soil; invasive species; ongoing development; and climate change, which is already making the region drier and hotter.

a few rules of thumb for being a responsible flower tourist:

  • First, consider heading to less-trafficked blooms. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park can get over 200,000 visitors during a good flower season, while 2017’s bloom in Joshua Tree National Park brought in more than 1.5 million people.
  • When you’re there, tread carefully, says Daniel Winkler, a desert biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey: Desert and arid landscapes don’t recover quickly, and “a footprint can last a decade.” So stay on-trail and try not to step in or among the flowers.
  • Learn before you go—stop at a ranger station, call a “wildflower hotline,” and learn about the vast array of different flowers you might encounter.
  • Plant your own poppy fields! “What if we brought these flowers back to urban landscapes?” asks Meyer. Convert your front yard, balcony, or whatever space you have into a native wildflower haven. Neat!

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