Volunteers in Action: Waurika Sorosis Club
January 17, 2023
From left: GFWC-OK Waurika Sorosis Club President, Lisa Adkins; Waurika City Manager, Kyote Dunn; Waurika Development Trust Chairman, Roy Bartling; Sorosis Club Co-Vice President, Jennifer Aldridge; Martin Villarreal, ODOT; City of Waurika Street Dept. Supervisor, Chad Dodson; ODOT Jefferson County Superintendent, Billy Martin, and ODOT employee, Blake Latta, meet with ODOT about this year’s wildflower plantings.
Spring is a few months away, but several groups gathered on Monday, December 12, 2022 to watch the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) plant wildflower seeds that will color the entrances to Waurika with beautiful flowers in late April and continue through July. The Waurika wildflower project is in its fifth year and is a collaborative project with the GFWC-OK Waurika Sorosis Club, Color Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation with cooperation from the City of Waurika and Jefferson County.
One hundred forty five pounds of wildflower seeds were donated to the Waurika Sorosis Club with just over half coming from a grant from Color Oklahoma. The grant was matched by donations from the Waurika Sorosis Club, Bartling Ranch, Bentley Bartling Enterprises and Marketing Solutions Groups. Additional seeds were generously donated by Color Oklahoma Board Members Craig Williams, owner of Williams Landscape in Lawton, and Monica Bartling. Most of the seeds are perennials or seeds that re-seed themselves each year. “We add additional seeds each year to continually extend the area planted and also to keep the established areas blooming,” Craig Williams said. “My vision is to have wildflowers blooming each spring along U.S Highway 81 from the Red River to the Stephens County Line and beyond.”
“ODOT has a long standing Roadside Wildflower Program that has planted approximately 2,500 acres of wildflowers since the program’s inception in 1990,” according to Billy Martin, ODOT County Superintendent for Jefferson County. “This year we are planting 15.8 acres of seeds along the entrances to Waurika.” Kyote Dunn, Waurika City Manager, added, “We are pleased to assist with this project and support the plantings along the entrances to our city. We thank the individuals and organizations who donate to this project. There are no city funds used on the wildflower project and it actually saves us a little on mowing expenses.”
Elizabeth Scott, GFWC-OK Waurika Sorosis Club Environmental Chairperson for 2022-2024, stated, “The Wildflower Project is one of our club’s signature programs. Since 2018, with our first planting of seven acres north and south of the U.S. 70 and U.S 81 intersections, we continue to grow the area planted. We are grateful for Color Oklahoma working with us each year and that our club members are so supportive of this project. This year’s planting includes seeds for Indian Blanket, Lance Tickseed, Showy Primrose, Plains Coreopsis, Red Corn and California Poppies, and Bishop’s Flower.”
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