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Beth Burkhart, GPNPS Field Trip Coordinator, lists these field trips for Society members and guests.

To receive notification of further details (departure time & place, etc.) you must sign up by contacting us at 605-673-3159 or GPNPS Fieldtrips, PO Box 321, Hermosa, SD 57744 USA. Only those on the list will receive the detail mailing, so sign up if there is any slight chance you will be interested in attending.

Aug 21   •   Grassland Botany under the Full Solar Eclipse
Our August 21 field-trip is on a Monday.
We will view the 2017 Full Solar Eclipse a little before noon in a remote privately owned grassland area. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy the plains botany and experience a full solar eclipse in a wonderfully remote viewing location.
Viewing any solar eclipse requires special dark glasses or can cost you your vision. You must bring special solar eclipse viewing glasses, available online, not expensive. Or you can use welding goggles: #12 or #14.
You can easily find plenty of information regarding the eclipse. Just search "solar eclipse 2017" at your local library or on-line.
Allow at least 3 hrs driving time from Rapid City, SD or Cheyenne, WY.
Bring water, food, sun protection, rain gear, folding chairs, plant books, bird books, camera, and your friends.
RSVP early for complete planning info. We will mail you a detailed map & other info beginning approximately 5 weeks prior.
  • RSVP by Aug 15
  • Trip leader: Cindy Reed
  • 605-745-3397
May 19   •   Spring plants at Limestone Butte, Buffalo Gap National Grassland
Visit Limestone Butte east of Oelrichs, South Dakota to find Barr's milkvetch (_Astragalus barrii_) in bloom as well as other spring gems of the mixed grass prairie. Claude Barr first spotted this milkvetch which was previously unknown to science. It is considered a regional endemic plant species since it is only known from four states in North America (SD, ND, NE and MT).

We will enjoy an easy hike on gentle terrain in the Buffalo Gap National Grassland.

Meet at 10 am at the Maverick Junction gas station (about 5 miles south of Hot Springs) and car caravan to Limestone Butte from there. Or meet us at 11am at Limestone Butte if you know how to get there! We expect to return to Maverick Junction about 3 pm.

Bring water, sun protection (hat, sunblock, etc.), lunch, good walking shoes, and dress in layers appropriate for variable spring weather.

Sorry, no dogs on any of our field trips.

RSVP by May 17 to Beth Burkhart at
  • RSVP by May 17
  • Trip leader: Beth Burkhart
  • 605-673-3159
Jun 09   •   Open House at the Log Cabin Visitor Center of the Great Plains Garden
Saturday, June 9 from 9 am to 4 pm.
Come whenever you like and stay as long as you like, between those times!
Find us 5 miles south of Hermosa, SD on Hwy 79. Turn east on Windbreak Road, and go not quite 1/8 mile to our entry gate. You can see the Log Cabin Visitor Center from Hwy 79.
Beware, Windbreak Road goes only to the east; the road to the west at that intersection has a different name.
If you are coming from the south, you will find Windbreak Road near Mile Marker 55.
You'll be able to see many different kinds of Penstemons in bloom in the Display Gardens, and walk our new Trail to see some of what's blooming now on the Plains. Our new Trail is an easy 20 or 30 minute walk, no difficult terrain.
  • Trip leader: Cindy Reed
  • 605-745-3397 or 605-890-0150 cell
Jul 21   •   Explore Botany Canyon (South Stagebarn Creek)
On Saturday, July 21, Great Plains Native Plant Society and Norbeck Society are jointly offering a field trip - to Botany Canyon, a unique gem of Black Hills NF geography/geology/hydrology/botany/ecology on the east slope of the Black Hills. The canyon hosts more than 200 botanical species and spectacular geology.

Meet at 10:00am at Old Stagebarn School parking lot (from I-90 Exit 48 (Stage Stop), travel west to Hwy 79, turn north and drive about 1/4 mile to parking lot on the right). We will depart for the trailhead at 10:15am.

Colin Paterson, geologist, and Beth Burkhart, botanist, will lead the trip.

Expect 3-4 miles total of hiking on an informal low-gradient trail with uneven footing. Wear appropriate footwear.
Bring a trail lunch, water, hat, sunscreen, bug repellent, rain jacket and camera. The intent is to walk 1.5-2 miles to the upper end of Botany Canyon to have lunch by the spring and then return to the trailhead. Time to the spring: 1-2 hrs, or longer if you wish to observe more flowers/plants. Because this is an out and back hike, there are options for shorter distances.

Please leave your pets at home.
  • Trip leader: Beth Burkhart
  • 605-673-3159

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