Plants on a Winter Walk

It’s this kind of day for bunnies here. For deer and turkeys and other wildlife too. For us humans, though, it’s lots of windshield time, not out in nature. Our local parks exist for helping us connect with nature on a simple walk.


Let’s take a walk by a couple of area parks to see plants on a winter day. The first is Meridian Plaza, in front of the Meridian Bridge over the Missouri River. Colorful yarrows attracted lots of pollinators last summer and now birds can find seeds in the flower heads.


Stately, amber switchgrass draws winter interest with Rudbeckia beneath in the plaza.


Raised beds flank either side of the base of the Meridian Bridge. One of the west raised beds holds perennial Butterfly weed. Wind-dispersed seedpods are empty.


Last summer the Butterfly weed attracted Monarchs and other pollinators as it matured.


Another west raised bed by the Meridian Bridge grows goldenrod. These erect perennials nod homage to Nebraska as their state flower. Goldenrod supplies birds with seeds in winter.


Winter interest enjoyment is the reason the plants weren’t trimmed last fall. That’s according to Lisa Kortan, of Yankton Parks & Recreation Department. She installed the plants earlier.

Another place for a walk is along the shoreline of Lake Yankton near the winter ice shacks. By the closed Chief White Crane Campground entrance, is a bit of landscaping.  The birch tree, granite stones, and grasses that move in the wind mark the location.


Part of the serenity here comes from the harmony of the elements to placement. The birch tree anchors the site. It’s a paper or canoe birch, according to park staff at Lewis & Clark Recreation Area. It grows in a full sun, protected spot with adequate soil moisture.


Grasses, tree roots and stones help prevent erosion on the natural slope. One can almost imagine water that flowed over the gray stone in some receding glacier. The tree, stones and grass highlight the campground entrance in all seasons.

What other winter-interest landscapes await discovery, a short walk away? We hope you are inspired to find your winter connection with nature soon.

A link to the article is found at the Yankton Press & Dakotan website where it was published:

Thanks for visiting Plant Exchange today. We hope you find other topics of interest too. Thanks for the “Likes” that show us what you enjoy. We appreciate all visits and especially those of our loyal “Followers” who hardly miss a weekly visit.








2 thoughts on “Plants on a Winter Walk

    • These are a cultivar of native goldenrod but were golden as they bloomed. The orange butterfly weed grows well once established. Hard to grow from seed.

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