Castle Valley residents Trish Ogilvy (front) and Donnarae Aiello caught this Swertia radiata plant in full bloom last summer in the La Sal Mountains. Castle Valley resident Diane Ackerman will be holding a meeting next week to discuss the possibility of forming a local chapter of the Utah Native Plant Society. [Photo courtesy of Diane Ackerman]

Diane Ackerman says there are few things that she enjoys more than a hike in the La Sal Mountains in search of wildflowers.

This summer, she invited a few friends from Castle Valley to join her, and after that experience, Ackerman wants to explore the possibility of establishing a local chapter of the Utah Native Plant Society.

She will be holding a meeting at the Grand County Public Library’s Board Room on Tuesday, Oct. 6, from 7 to 7:45 p.m., to further discuss the idea, and she encourages anyone else who is interested to join her.

Ackerman was the driving force behind the creation of the Columbia Basin chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society, and she says she misses the wildflower hikes she used to join before she moved to Utah.

When she and her friends took off this summer in search of Swertia radiata, they found the plant in full bloom. It’s a rare occurrence that only happens every 30 to 40 years, she said, and the discovery is something to celebrate.

Ackerman has since contacted the Utah Native Plant Society to find out how to set up a local chapter, and she says she welcomes others who would like to learn more about the process.

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Residents invited to Oct. 6 meeting at library