By Cydney Ross, Outdoor Education Manager
Photo credits: Jeff Witters (three photos on left); Jillian Gutherie (right)

Walking through quality woodlands instantly brings me joy. The smell of damp earth and emergence of flora makes hiking irresistible this time of year. Enjoying the outdoors is also a great way to learn about our natural world. Pair your hike with nature enthusiasts and you’ve got yourself an adventure!

This year I’m leading a series of in-person hikes with Johnson County Parks and Recreation District. On our first hike we’ll explore the spring woodlands at Cedar Niles in Olathe, Kansas. Expert guest speakers from JCPRD will share how their natural resource management practices have supported this woodland ecosystem.

If you’ve ever hiked with me, you know these aren’t extreme endurance hikes. (My record is one mile in three hours!) I like to take things slow, at our own pace, and soak in the beauty of the great outdoors. At this time of year landscapes are rich in spring ephemeral native plants that provide food for wildlife. From the emergence of spring beauties to columbines clinging on moss-covered boulders, experience the magic of nature in person.

Before the hike, tune in to Deep Root’s free Lunch and Learn series on Thursday, April 4 at noon for a glimpse of what to anticipate during this Guided Naturalist Walk!

Register today for our Saturday, April 13 walk.

Questions? Email