Senior University offers spring wildflower course


The Winona State University (WSU) Retiree Center’s Senior University program will host “Spring Wildflowers: Take a Walk on the Wild Side” from 2-4 p.m. on Wednesdays, March 27; April 10; and May 1, 8, and 15 in Krueger Library, room 107 on the WSU campus, for first session only — all other sessions will be field trips.

This course consists of field trips planned around some of the area’s most charismatic wildflowers as spring unfolds in the driftless rrea. Participants will discover the diversity of spring wildflowers and learn the relationship between habitat and plant communities. Students will discover how these plants have been used over the last 10,000 years by Native Americans, as well as early settlers.

Participants must be able to walk on uneven terrain unassisted, and provide their own transportation or arrange car pools with other registered participants in class for the course field trips. A headphone tour-guide system to facilitate instructor communication with class participants on field trips will be provided. Please, only registered class participants may attend the field trips since class size is limited.

Judy Shepard has been an outdoor enthusiast all her life, but moving to the driftless area of Minnesota in 1975 was a life-changing experience. She took a variety of classes at WSU on the natural sciences, which led to a job at Whitewater State Park as a seasonal naturalist assistant under the mentorship of Dave Palmquist. There, she led programs and walks for school groups and the public. Shepard has also volunteered for 27 years with school groups at the former Hixon Forest Nature Center in La Crosse, Wis. She and her husband, Chuck, seize any opportunity to explore the natural features of the driftless area.

The cost to attend this course is $45, and registration is online at

Senior University is open to all adult learners in the Winona community, not just WSU retirees. The program is a series of non-credit short courses that are peer-led by WSU faculty, retirees and community members. The goal is to provide intellectual and cultural stimulation and growth for lifelong learners. Courses cover current events, history, philosophy, science, art, poetry, wellness, nature, politics, literature and much more. For more information, contact the WSU Retiree Center at 507-457-5565 or visit the center website at


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