1:00 p.m. Saturday, April 21, 2018
"Earth Day with Captain Lewis

The Sioux City Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center will present “Earth Day with Captain Lewis,” a kids’ activity to celebrate Earth Day with a “do-it-yourself” (DIY) Seed Jar at 1 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 21 in the Center’s Sgt. Floyd Classroom. Admission and materials will be free.

As “botanist-for-a-day,” kids will create a Seed Jar to watch seeds grow into plants, a process called germination; then keep a journal to record the growth of the seed.

“A Seed Jar is a great way for kids to actually watch a seed take sprout. We’ll compare the growth of sunflower, pea and green bean seeds,” says Sara Olson, the Center’s History Education Coordinator. “We’ll also take a look at Captain Lewis’ huge collection of western plants.”

One of Captain Lewis’ tasks during the expedition was to record the plant life in the Louisiana Territory. He made sure to send seed samples to President Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson, an avid gardener, was particularly curious to learn how if these new plants could be use as a source of food and medicine. Lewis sent over 200 specimens back east.

Some of the seeds sent to Jefferson were forwarded to Philadelphian horticulturist Bernard McMahon. McMahon was impressed with the expedition’s collection of western plants, successfully growing a variety of currants and gooseberries from the seeds sent to him.