CANTON — The Maxwell Wildlife Refuge in Canton will take the phrase ‘wake up and smell the flowers’ to a whole new level on June 9 and 16 during its annual Spring Wildflower Tour.

“There are a lot of people that have an interest in flowers, period; and identifying the wildflowers. The wildflowers were an important part of the prairie years ago for medicine, food and other things. They were also important for the insects. It’s so popular we started doing two Saturdays in the spring and fall,” said Betty Schmidt, director of Maxwell.

The tour will begin at 9:30 a.m. on June 9 and June 16; but Schmidt said those coming should give themselves enough time to check in beforehand and to arrive 15 minutes early so they don’t miss the tour’s departure.

“We always ask people to show up a little earlier to check in and we will leave right at 9:30 a.m.,” she said.

The tour costs $10 for adults along with children 12 and above plus tax and children ages 5 through 11 cost $5 plus tax.

Schmidt said those wanting to attend should call the office and reserve a spot.

The wildflower tour lasts longer than normal park tours because attendees have the opportunity to get out and smell the flowers — literally.

“We take an extra 20 to 30 minutes to showcase the flowers and walk around and identify them. Photography bugs love this stuff,” Schmidt said.

Over the years, Schmidt said employees at Maxwell have identified more than 375 different varieties of wildflowers that are in the refuge.

“They don’t bloom all at once or every year, but we have identified that many out there,” she said.

Schmidt strongly emphasized the material is for ages 12 and up.

To attend the wildflower tour, Call Maxwell at 620-628-4455 or visit their website at 

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