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DeWitt County, wildflower capital, prepares for late start to celebration

By Bianca Montes
March 9, 2014 at 11:05 p.m.
Updated March 9, 2014 at 10:10 p.m.

An early season Trout lily  wildflower is found during a wildflower survey at Breckenridge Park in Richardson on Wednesday. The University of Texas at Austin's Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center says that good fall and winter precipitation will mean great blooms in many parts of the state.

The bloom of spring isn't here yet, but the folks in DeWitt County are gearing up for a monthlong celebration of the Texas wildflower.

"We're hopeful," said Ronni Diaz with the Cuero Chamber of Commerce.

Kirk Feuerbacher with the Nature Conservancy said a cool winter has delayed the blooms. "I think you're going to have to wait about two weeks," he said.

"I heard somebody on Facebook saw some bluebonnets near Corpus, but they're farther south."

The University of Texas at Austin's Lady Bird Wildflower Center said last week that the wildflower season might be delayed by cooler than usual weather in parts of the state, but many areas should have good blooms thanks to ample fall and winter precipitation.

"In some patches, it could be spectacular but overall averaging out to a good season," said Damon Waitt, the senior botanist at the wildflower center.

April is Wildflower Month in DeWitt County, designated by the state Legislature as the Wildflower Capital of Texas.

The chamber of commerce is hosting the event this year, which begins with a wildflower painting exhibit by artist Jean Morrow, of Cuero.

Although bus tours were offered in previous years to tour the region, this year, Diaz said, the chamber printed out self-guided wildflower tours and color-guided maps.

In addition, the 15th annual Cuero Wellness Center Wildflower 5K will take place April 5.

The course will go back behind the golf course and into Glen Oaks subdivision, said Chandra Carbonara of the Cuero Wellness Center.

"If we are lucky with the rain this year, we will hopefully have a few wildflowers to see," she said. "It is a very laid-back, fun race. We encourage kid participants, strollers, dogs, walkers - anyone who wants to take part in this event."

The Junior Wildflower Jog will follow. All kids that participate receive a medal. Anyone age 0-12 can participate, Carbonara said.

"In the past, we've had daddies carrying kids across the finish line, parents running with the kids," she said. "It is just a nice family event."

The annual Anchor Club of Cuero Wildflower Bike Ride will take place April 12 with routes ranging from 10 to 60 miles, group member Tiffani Hilburn said.

People should be able to see a lot of wildflowers across the Cuero countryside, Hilburn said, as well as support the Anchor Club, which spreads awareness of traumatic brain injuries.

Proceeds from the ride will help put on a life school prom at Cuero High School.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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