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The time is just about right to check out the spring flowers. The Pittsburgh region has parks, botanical gardens, arboretums and farms to display a kaleidoscope of colors for families to enjoy. Here are four of the best places to enjoy spring flowers in the Pittsburgh area.

Jennings Environmental Education Center
2951 Prospect Road
Slippery Rock, PA 16057
(724) 794-6011
www.dcnr.state.pa.us

The Jennings Environmental Education Center is a great place to put on your hiking boots and traverse the five miles of trails that loop among the 20 acres of prairie ecosystem. Within those trails are wildflowers and ferns that are present near the streams and in the meadows. The education programs operate all year long for students from preschool to college age, and there are special events and workshops to explore the prairie and forest. The Jennings Woodlands area is covered with woodland wildflowers, trillium, spring beauties, hepatica and a variety of flowers waiting to bloom.

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Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden
4905 Fifth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 621-6566
biblicalgardenpittsburgh.org

Visitors to the Biblical Botanical Garden will not only find spring flowers, but also an educational journey of history throughout the garden. For 29 years, that beauty has been viewed on a national and international level. There are more than 100 tropical plants that have names from the Bible, and there are streams, a waterfall and a desert that will enhance the mystical journey at each step. To make it easier to describe the flowers and plant life, there are labels and a verse to learn more about the culture and agriculture of ancient Israel.

Pittsburgh Botanic Garden
799 Pinkerton Road
Oakdale, PA 15071
(412) 444-4464
www.pittsburghbotanicgarden.org

Located just a short distance from downtown Pittsburgh is the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. There are about 20 gardens and woodlands and enough space to make a whole day of perusing the spring flowers. In 2012, there were 1,000 bulbs planted, and at last count, there are 20,000 daffodils, tulips and glory-of-snow flowers. In 2013, there were 3,000 Virginia bluebells planted, resulting in a wondrous display. Among the meadows and woodlands are 500 native white flooring dogwood trees with stunning flowers. Walking along the paths, meadows and woodlands is an educational experience, made possible by the labels on many of the plants and trees.

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Pittsburgh Parks Conservatory
45 S. 23rd St., Suite 101
Pittsburgh, PA 15203-2120
(412) 682-7275
www.pittsburghparks.org

Scott Roller, senior manager of communications and creative, commented, “Our Pittsburgh parks have some of the best places in the city to see spring flowers.” The walled garden at Mellon Park has lenten rose, white tulips and daffodils. Schenley Plaza boasts of white and pink species tulips and yellow and white daffodils. The visitor center at the plaza is adorned with multi-colored tulips, with an emphasis on red. Schenley Park has one of the largest fields of yellow daffodils in the region, and Mellon Square displays a gorgeous assortment of white and yellow daffodils. Scott said, “A walk or drive around the Highland Park reservoir will provide great view of the multi-colored hyacinth, white and yellow daffodils, and various trees will begin to bud late in April. Riverview Park has gardens of white daffodils, and a dogwood tree blooms in late April.”

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Gerry Cernicky is a retired health and physical education teacher with 36 years of experience. He is a former teacher of the year and a sports writer for the Vandergrift News. He delivers podcasts, and maintains a website and blog. He currently resides in Pittsburgh. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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