Archive for the ‘Education and Research’ category

“Plants Are Cool Too!” Video by Our Own Chris Martine

August 19, 2011

NYFA board member and botanist Chris Martine from SUNY Plattsburg is featured in this video about pitcher plants down south. Click the link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uak3m_q-HDo

Visit the “Native-Friendly” Garden at Cornell’s Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center

May 24, 2011

A small demonstration garden featuring alternatives to ornamental invasive plants has been installed at Cornell University’s Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center in Riverhead.  These “native-friendly” plants were selected based upon their similar ornamental characteristics and cultural requirements compared to the invasives.  Alternative plants may be native or non-native, but are not invasive.  Alternative plants are well-adapted to Long Island, and many are readily available at Long Island nurseries.  You can help make the future of Long Island greener by growing alternative plants instead of invasives!

Cornell University’s Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center
3059 Sound Ave.
Riverhead, NY 11901
631-727-3595

The public is welcome to visit the “Native-Friendly” Garden, but please check-in with the front office first and take a brochure.  The garden is located on the east side of the back parking lot.  Plant labels make a self-guided tour possible – each label lists the plant species, which invasive plant it is an alternative for, and whether the plant is native or not.  Brochures are also available in electronic format.  The Native-Friendly Garden was designed and installed by Alexis Alvey, Nursery & Landscape Specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. For more information, contact Alexis at: aaa34@cornell.edu; or 631-727-7850 ext. 213.

The garden after it was first planted in 2009. Photo Alexis Alvey.

The Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College

May 10, 2011

Here is a great resource for native plants in the Lower Hudson Valley and New York City areas.  To see their web site CLICK HERE.

Leafsnap iPhone/iPod Touch App for Identifying Trees

May 8, 2011

Many years in development, the leaf identification app Leafsnap is finally available for the iPhone and iPod touch with camera and wifi connection. It will be interesting to see how it will be integrated into dendrology and other flora classes. See the YouTube video below to see how it works.  Are the graminoids next?

Report: Researchers Say Children Need Green Plant Interventions

April 11, 2011

This is an article from the Green Local 175 in Rome/Utica:

Helsinki, Finland (SPX) Apr 5, 2011

Could “interventions” bring children closer to nature? Researchers in Finland think so. A new study published in HortTechnology compares urban and rural children’s relationships with plants and recommends horticultural interventions, especially for urban children. In Finland, a country famous for its forests and wilderness, researchers Taina Laaksoharju from the Department of Agricultural Sciences at the University of Helsinki and Erja Rappe of The Martha Association teamed up to investigate the role of vegetation in the lives of urban and rural children. “We were interested in finding out if it is true that children are not interested in plants or playing outdoors”, they noted. The study examined the relationships of 9- and 10-year-old Finnish school children to the environment and plants. Using a questionnaire of structured and open-ended questions, the researchers focused on two comparisons: children’s relationships with nature in rural and urban neighborhoods, and preferences for plants among boys and girls. 76 children-42 in the Helsinki suburb area and 34 in a rural area-participated in the study.

Results suggested that children living in rural surroundings had closer contact with nature than their urban counterparts. For example, more rural children considered people to be “part of nature” than did urban children. The researchers noted that, like children in other Western countries, Finnish children may be in danger of losing direct contact with the natural environment. “This suggests that further research is essential to understand children’s experiences if we are to enhance the crucial role of the environment in their lives”, they wrote. The children’s answers indicated that natural areas are important arenas for children’s free play and socializing. “In the suburbs, closer connections to nature are rare; interventions in schools, especially outdoor horticultural ones, can help children to build their relationship to vegetation.” The research also showed significant differences in the ways boys and girl experience green plants. Girls were more interested in plants in general, and were more eager to learn about plants than were the boys. Boys saw themselves as more independent of nature; more than 30% of the boys said that they could live without vegetation. Boys wrote that plants are meaningful mainly for nutrition and general living conditions, whereas girls appreciated the beauty of flowers and plants.

Laaksoharju and Rappe included recommendations for delivery of horticultural lessons based on remarks from the 9- and 10-year-old boys, who said that they did not like lectures, but enjoyed working with plants. “Learning by doing in an informal learning environment suits the kinesthetic boys better than sitting at a desk listening to a teacher”, they said. “Horticultural interventions can be effective starting points to add to children’s knowledge, affection, and interest toward greenery, but it is highly recommended that they take place outdoors rather than indoors.” The complete study and abstract are available at : http://horttech.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/20/4/689

The New York Flora Association supports any program that will get kids out into nature to learn plants. Let us know if you are aware of any in New York and we will post them.


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