This Saturday (May 7, 2011) is P.J. Hoffmaster State Park's "Spring Blooms in the Dunes" event. In the 1980's, Hoffmaster was known for its annual Trillium Festival but an overabundance of deer ate many of the park's wildflowers, forcing organizers to rename the event. Since 2005, a controlled hunt has been used to reduce the size of the deer herd so the native plants can recover.
We visited Hoffmaster earlier this week and we didn't see many wildflowers in bloom. We did see some trillium plants but their buds were tightly closed, suggesting their season is well behind Kalamazoo's this year. There was a nice colony of Hepatica in peak flower, again suggesting a later season.
There were a variety of native plants in bloom in a wildflower garden in front of the park's visitor center.
Update: The 2013 event will be held Saturday May11
The 2013 "Spring Blooms in the Dunes" schedule includes
Native Plant Sale 9am - 3pm
Native Plantings for Birds talk 11 am
Bluebirds brownbag lunch noon
Nature Art for Children 1 pm - 3 pm
Various hikes throughout the day
for more information see the Gillette Nature Association
Hoffmaster State Park
6585 Lake Harbor Rd
Norton Shores, MI 49441-6199