Throughout the months of April and May, Silvoor Biological Sanctuary in Oxford’s Peffer Park will host guided wildflower walks. The walks are scheduled to take place every Sunday at 1 p.m. from April 2 to May 14 and are free to the public.
The natural area looks small and grassy at first, but instantly upon entering the sanctuary, colorful blooms of all shapes and sizes capture visitors’ attention. Brilliant purples, bright blues and milky whites occupy the once-barren land.
“The Sunday afternoon walks at Silvoor are a great way to experience spring. The color palette is constantly changing as different plants come into their own,” said Holly Wissing, a wildflower walk guide.
Silvoor Biological Sanctuary was donated to Miami in 1978 by Robert A. Hefner and his wife, Ilo.
The couple created the sanctuary from an old landfill they purchased during the Great Depression. They completely transformed the land with dams, a suspension bridge and an abundance of flowers and native vegetation.
Amanda Bentley Brymer, Silvoor Biological Sanctuary’s curator, explained the history the sanctuary’s creation.
“It was in terrible shape — bare, eroding slopes and overrun with pigs and livestock. [Hefner] and his family worked to restore it,” Brymer said. “Residents and students in Oxford have enjoyed hiking through little sanctuary for eight decades and counting.”
The sanctuary is now “one of the most unique landscapes in Oxford” as it is home to over 60 species of wildflowers including trillium, bloodroot, wild geranium, blue-eyed Mary, trout lily, anemone, Dutchman’s breeches and larkspur, Brymer said. The wildflower walk guides emphasized their aesthetic as one of the main reasons for both their involvement with the sanctuary and the idea behind the walks.
The sanctuary will also be holding a celebration on April 23 from noon to 3 p.m. as a thank you to everyone who has taken part in local conservation efforts. The celebration will include outdoor children’s games, a wildflower walk and a lunch. Anyone is welcome to attend the event. Both the celebration and the weekly wildflower walks are sponsored by Miami’s Natural Areas.
“We see bright days and happy trails ahead in Silvoor this spring and summer,” said Brymer.