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Explosions of color

Cedar Rapids has been recognized in multiple publications and websites across the country for its local work in returning public land to native prairie and increasing pollinator habitat.  Pollinator habitat provides benefits including watershed, improved water quality, and wildlife habitat. However, one of the most captivating benefits is the beauty of pollinator zones in bloom.

Native prairies bloom from April through fall, with changing palettes of color creating a new viewing experience every month. Prairies offer continual enjoyment, as some colors fade, new ones become vibrant. In the next few months’ watch for a color explosion that includes an abundance of yellows, whites, oranges, lavenders and purples.

“We plant prairies for their benefits to pollinators and the environment, however, they are quickly becoming an attraction in our parks.” Rory Smith, Parks Natural Resources Supervisor, said. “The constantly changing colors,” he continued, “make viewing them a new experience each time. It is exciting to watch them develop.”

We encourage you to visit the many prairies throughout the park system.

Best viewed by hiking or on a bike

  • Gardner Park, 5101 Golf Course Rd, Hwy 13
  • Beverly Park, off of King Drive SW

Can be viewed by car

  • Seminole Valley Park, 5925 Seminole Valley Trail NE
  • Noelridge Park, 4900 Council St NE, near the lagoon park lot south of the gardens

If you are short on time, make sure to at least stop by Noelridge Park. Explore Flutterby Acres, a pollinator area near the greenhouse, that provides habitat, nectar plants and forage plants for a wide variety of bees, bats, birds and butterflies. It is a quick escape from an urban setting into a natural oasis erupting with color.

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