Preserving Global Landscapes Field Trip: Seed collecting in the Precambrian granite of central Texas
New Horizons in Science 2009
Wednesday, 21 October Optional CASW-NASW events
Texas is second only to California in plant biodiversity, and five ecoregions converge at Enchanted Rock, a 400-foot-tall expanse of exposed, Precambrian rock not far from Austin. Among the plants are dozens of species collected as part of the Millennium Seed Bank project, an international effort to collect thousands of seeds from each of thousands of species around the world that define native landscapes.
Learn about the geologic history of the Llano Uplift that includes this granite outcrop, which Native Americans believed had spiritual powers. Hear from the Wildflower Center’s Michael Eason and Minnette Marr, leaders of the Texas collections for the seed bank project, about why it’s important to set aside native plants for the future. They will discuss representative Texas native plants they have collected near Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and elsewhere in Texas, and show how they identify plants and select seeds to freeze for potential use hundreds of years later.
An extended lunch in Fredericksburg, a historic German town in the heart of Texas Hill Country, will include time for browsing antique shops and the National Museum of the Pacific War ($7 admission fee required).
Departure from hotel: 8:00AM sharp! Return 4-6:00PM Cost: $20 advance registration. Bring money for lunch on your own in Fredericksburg and museum admission if desired.
Limit: 36 people.
Provisions: Sun hat, water bottle, and shoes with good traction recommended. Participants should be able to hike 1 hour uphill on uneven ground.
Organizer: Barbra Rodriguez, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin
8 :00-10:00AM: Drive to Enchanted Rock from Austin (77 miles to Fredericksburg, then 20 miles to Enchanted Rock)
10:00AM-Noon: Hike to top of Enchanted Rock and learn along the way about its natural history, plants on it and the general scope of the Millennium Seed Bank project (1 hour to reach top).
Noon-1:00PM: Lunch in Fredericksburg. Recommendations include the Peach Tree, Navajo Grill and Alfendorf. Advance reservations recommended.
1:00 – 2:00PM: Visit shops and/or National Museum of the Pacific War.
2:00 – 4:00PM: Back to Enchanted Rock for more in-depth questions about Seed Bank project, review of plants near Sandy Creek and other locations at the base of the Rock.
4:00 – 6:00PM: Return to Austin.