The Project

The Inspiration for A Field Guide to the Wildflowers of Mexico’s Copper Canyon


Linda Ford first visited the Copper Canyon region with her husband Phil in the Fall of 2004. She was immediately enthralled by the abundance of wildflowers during her autumn visit. She wanted to know more. Upon further investigation, she found that although there were books about the area’s birds and trees and wildlife, there was no guide for the wildflowers of the Copper Canyon region. Linda, a Master Gardener in her home state of New York, decided that it was time to make one!


The Research



Linda returned to the Copper Canyon region in the Fall of 2005 to start the project. Hosted by the generous and ever-encouraging Doug “Diego” Rhodes at the Hotel Paraiso del Oso in Cerocahui, Chihuahua, Linda set out on her mission. The first autumn was a great success as Linda found and documented over 40 wildflowers in the area. Then Linda returned to the region again in 2006 and 2007 and was joined by Ryan J. Hawkins, who was a Rotary International volunteer in Mexico.
Field Technician Ryan Hawkins collecting data in Cerocahui

Field Technician Ryan Hawkins collecting data in Cerocahui

He assisted her as a field technician, found trails to explore, and navigated the rural roadways of Mexico. The total number of wildflowers that were documented and photographed was 140.During her time in the canyons, she utilized the expertise of local guides to further her experience and also to learn some of the local names of the plants.



image006The research had been compiled, and it was time to start on the book. Since her return from Mexico, Linda has persistently worked on the book. She has worked with Daniel Atha, botanist from the New York Botanical Garden, to identify the plants she documented.






image008Dr. Toutcha Lebgue, botany professor from the Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua, has translated the text into Spanish so that the locals can enjoy the book too!



Linda is thrilled that her dream is coming to fruition as this has been her main post-retirement focus. Ms. Ford is excited to be able to share the beauty and splendor of this spectacular region of the world through the publication of this book and to raise awareness of this natural resource and encourage the preservation of the wildflowers. She is providing an easy-to-use, comprehensive wildflower field guide for all to enjoy during their visits to Copper Canyon.


Proceeds from A Field Guide to the Wildflowers of Mexico’s Copper Canyon


Linda has generously chosen to dedicate the proceeds from the sale of the book to the Rota-Scholars program in the Copper Canyon region. This program was closed as of December 20, 2016. The purpose of the Rota-Scholars program is to provide educational opportunities to the youth of the region, with particular focus on the educational opportunities of the indigenous Raramuri (Tarahumara) and mestizo girls. Purchasing a book will help continue the education of those in less fortunate situations.

Even though the Rota-Scholarship program closed in December 2016, Linda will continue to sponsor her two remaining students through to their graduations.

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