Visitor Center

The Visitor Center is your gateway to Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve.

A friendly volunteer or staff member in the Twinleaf Shop will orient you to the Preserve and tell you about seasonal highlights.

Using our map, they can suggest the best trails for you to walk on based on your time, interests and abilities.

They can also assist you to sign up for a program from our Calendar of Events or help you to become a member.

If you're not a member of the Preserve, please pay the admission fee to the Preserve in the Visitor Center. Your admission fee entitles you to unlimited access to the Preserve for the day and to a free, guided Wildflower Walk (offered Tues.- Sun. at 2:00 p.m. from April - October).

The Twinleaf Shop also sells field guides, books, nature-themed items and native plant seeds. Just outside the Visitor Center during the growing season, you'll also find an inviting selection of native plants for sale.

Restrooms and a water cooler also are located at the Visitor Center. Bottled water is available for purchase in the Twinleaf Shop. No food is sold on site, but there are restaurants and convenience stores in nearby New Hope.  

For more information about visiting the Preserve, check out the Plan Your Visit section of our website.

Visitor Center Idea Garden

Just outside the Visitor Center is our Native Plant Idea Garden, where you can discover more than 130 native plant species in a cultivated and easily accessible setting.  As our garden demonstrates, native plants are not just suited for wild spaces; they also thrive in home gardens and flower beds.  In fact, because they are adapted to our local environmental conditions, native plants actually require less maintenance than non-native garden plants and benefit the local ecosystem.

Our garden is full of flowers that bloom in all seasons, so it is always vibrant and constantly changing. In the early spring, our shooting stars (Dodecatheon meadia) steal the show. Mid-season, our fire-pinks (Silene virginica) are major stunners. And among our many aster species blooming in late summer, the New England aster (Symphotrichum novae-angliae) is a magnet for butterflies and other pollinators.

For those with a more adventurous green thumb, we encourage you to explore our bog idea garden.

Bog Garden

What is a bog?

A bog is a unique type of wetland, characterized by its high volume of Sphagnum moss. Bogs are typically fed only by rainwater, lacking access to any groundwater or streams. They tend to be highly acidic with nutrient-poor soils.

Bog plants have evolved various adaptations that enable them to live in these circumstances. As a result, bogs are host to some of the greatest plant diversity and can display a distinct array of unusual and interesting plants.

Why create a bog garden?

You don’t need a bog to take advantage of some of the fascinating plants that grow there. Want to grow the carnivorous pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) or the striking swamp rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) in your own garden? The BHWP bog garden is here to show you how to utilize these exceptional plants in your own landscaping.

Creating a bog garden can be as simple as a container filled with peat moss and sand, or it can be adapted to cover an expansive area of land. Bog gardens can prevent flooding by drawing in excess rainwater, and act as natural filters for ponds.

Like the main demonstration garden, the bog garden is intended to provide a point of reference for visitors looking to include native plants in their home landscape. The unique and captivating plants in this garden will provide a great addition to any home garden.

Inspired by our gardens?  See our Gardening with Natives page for helpful tips, and stop by our Native Plant Sales to begin your own native plant garden!

 

Exhibits & Resources

In the Visitor Center, you'll discover educational exhibits designed to enhance your knowledge of native plants and native plant issues.

Our Visitor Center houses the Platt Collection, a stunning display of birds, bird nests and eggs from the U.S.

While you're indoors, enjoy the Bird Observatory, a large indoor viewing area where you can relax, watch and learn about the many species of birds that visit our birdfeeders on a year-round basis.

An 800-title reference library of books about native plants, horticulture, ecology, plant folklore, birds and related subjects is catalogued and available to the public for on-site use. With a built-in bank of books beckoning through glass doors, the library corner provides a perfect place for learning more about plants you see on the trails or for digging deeper into a nature topic that interests you.