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University of Iowa News Release

April 10, 2003

Natural History Museum Holds April 19 Woodland Field Trip

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History will sponsor a Morel Mushroom Preview and Wildflower Walk at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 19 in Palisades-Kepler State Park. The field trip is co-sponsored by the Prairie State Mushroom Club and will be led by club members Damian Pieper and Dean Abel.

Pieper is president of the Prairie State Mushroom Club and a member of the Iowa Native Plant Society. Abel is the co-author of "A Guide to Kansas Mushrooms" and chair of the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) annual Photo Contest. According to Pieper and Abel, the secret of finding morel mushrooms is knowing when to look in the spring. By learning nature's timing signals, such as the blooming of wildflowers, morel hunters can significantly increase their chances for a successful harvest.

The program is free and open to the public. Participants should gather near the park entrance in the first shelter on the left at 10 a.m., rain or shine, and be prepared for hiking with sturdy shoes, long pants, long-sleeved shirt and a hat. Water, a paper bag for collecting mushrooms and a hand-lens for identification are recommended. The two-hour morning foray will be followed by an identification session. A short and relatively flat trail is available for participants looking for an easy hike.

For further information call David Brenzel, museum coordinator, at 319-335-0482 or visit the Museum's web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~nathist.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Gary Galluzzo, University of Iowa News Services 319-384-0012, gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu.