Taste test acorn cookies during Thanksgiving hike

Acorns, acorns everywhere.

Kenue Park is full of acorns that have fallen from the bur oaks in the oak savanna, and squirrels get so happy to store them up for a good snack in the winter.

(Read about a fun acorn craft here.)

However, acorns are not only good for the squirrels. People can enjoy acorns in a variety of ways too. Learn why you can be thankful for this native nut as well as cattails, nettles and a variety of other plants during the ethnobotany-themed Thanksgiving hike 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, at the Dickinson County Nature Center.

Photo of a hike through tall grass

“As we walk through, we can talk about why we’re thankful for different plants in the prairie, wetland and woodland,” said environmental education Bryanna Kuhlman.

She will discuss how flour can be made from ground acorns that have been processed to take out the bitter tannins, and medicinal uses of a variety of plants will also be addressed.

“Ethnobotany is a cool way to see how people have utilized plants in the past and present,” Kuhlman said. “They were utilized to help people and were a big a part of people’s diets.”

The Thanksgiving hike will take the place of the usual Tuesday Hike the Wild in November and is open to people of all ages, but may be best for those ages 10 and older. The hike will last approximately 45 minutes and will go through the Kenue Park prairie, around the wetland and through the oak savanna.

The hike will end with treats inside the Dickinson County Nature Center, including an opportunity to try fresh, homemade cookies made with acorn flour.

Photo of people touching a turkey feather

“This is a change from our typical Hike the Wild programs, but the Thanksgiving hike will be a fun time to get outside with the family before the holiday to learn a little bit about local plants’ overlooked uses,” said Kiley Roth, community relations coordinator. “Time in the fresh air, interesting information, yummy treats — what could be a better way to start the long holiday weekend?”

The final Hike the Wild of the year will be a winter survival-themed hike held 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 27, in Kenue Park.

For more information on Dickinson County Nature Center programming, visit our environmental education page or call 712-336-6352. You can also keep up on the latest happenings on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

(See more photos from the 2015 Native Thanksgiving Hike here.)

Leave a Comment