Employees of Alabama’s Gulf Shores State Park are now better equipped to share the region’s diverse assortment of wildflowers and plants with visitors thanks to the efforts of three Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture students.
Kelly Reetz, Gulf Shores State Park naturalist, said that she and other employees wanted to create a park wildflower and plant guide for many years, but were unable to due to the sheer amount of time and labor required.
Dr. Pat Stephens-Williams, associate professor of human dimensions of natural resources, learned about their desire for the guide while attending a Certified Interpretive Guide training course held at the park and realized it would be a great opportunity to engage students.
After nearly a year of compiling information and photographs, Angela Sutherland, Lana Welford and Ashley Johnson, all pursuing a Bachelor of Science in forestry, presented the guide containing nearly 200 species of wildflowers and plants to park staff.
“They did above and beyond what I expected,” said Reetz.
Reetz said the guide, distributed at their most recent staff meeting, will serve as a way for all park staff to assist visitors in identifying the area’s most common wildflowers.
View the guide online.