Archive for the ‘Happenings’ category

Long Island Native Plant Symposium March, 11, 2011

December 3, 2010

The Long Island Native Grass Initiative presents its first annual native plant symposium Opportunities and Challenges of Working with Native Plants. This full day symposium will focus on the advantages of ecotypic (genetically local) native plant applications in ecological restorations, native plant production and landscaping.  Plant propagators, land managers, supervisors, government agencies, non-profit organizations, landscape architects, landscapers, nursery professionals and gardeners are all encouraged to attend.

The Long Island Native Grass Initiative (LINGI) is a cooperative effort of over 30 non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, nursery professionals and citizens.  LINGI’s mission is to preserve the genetic integrity of Long Island’s native plants by providing ecotypic seed and plant materials for commercial ecotypic plant propagation, fostering a demand for such plants and increasing the awareness of the importance for the use of ecotypes in the landscape.

Click for a larger image.


Lake Champlain Basin Program in the News

December 2, 2010

From the LCBP Website:

Lake Champlain Clean-Up Plan Signed

The Lake Champlain Basin Program hosted a signature event for Opportunities for Action, the long-term management plan for Lake Champlain on Tuesday, November 30, 2010. Vermont Governor Jim Douglas signed the plan, committing Vermont to many actions to clean-up Lake Champlain. New York Governor Paterson’s signature was presented by Betsy Lowe, NYSDEC Region 5 Director. Stephen Perkins and George Pavlou presented EPA signatures from the Boston and New York EPA offices.  Québec’s Premier Jean Charest, represented by Jean Pierre Laflamme from Québec’s Boston office, delivered an endorsement of support for Opportunities for Action.

The new plan identifies eight goal for Lake Champlain; chief among them are reducing phosphorus, preventing toxic contamination, managing aquatic invasive species, and implementing educational programs to increase public involvement in the stewardship of the Lake.  For the website and more details CLICK HERE.

This is good news for the native flora that lives in and around the lake – Steve Young.

Interesting Programs At Teatown Lake Reservation, Westchester County

October 30, 2010

All of these relate to our native flora. Click for a larger image.

Newsletter and Program Titles from Long Island and the Finger Lakes

October 25, 2010

Long Island Botanical Society Newsletter Fall 2010

A Dodonaea-like Capsule from the Upper Cretaceous of Long Island – Andy Greller
Plant Sightings – Eric Lamont
Request for Seed Collection Assistance for the Long Island Native Grass Initiative – Polly Weigand

Upcoming Programs
November 9 – Dave Taft on Discovering and Documenting Orchids.
December 14 – Members Night

To join the Society and obtain more details go to:

Finger Lakes Native Plant Society Newsletter Fall 2010

Finger Lakes Lichens – Robert Dirig
Seeking Individuals to Assist with the Plant Society Website.
Name That Plant Contest.
Chicory with White Flowers – Tom Kozlowski
Pokeweed – Gin Mistry

Upcoming Programs
November 14 – Fall tree identification – Anna Stalter
November 18 – fungi and wildflowers – Kathie Hodge
January 19 – bird friendly gardening – Marie Read
February 16 – origins of American ethnobotanical medicine – Elroy Rodriguez

To join the Society and obtain more details go to: www.fingerlakesnativeplantsociety

Torrey Botanical Society Announces Annual Lecture Series For Fall and Spring

October 22, 2010

Torrey Botanical Society Annual Lecture Series
Fall 2010 and Spring 2011

October, December, March, and April lectures will be presented at the Arthur and Janet Ross Lecture Hall,
The New York Botanical Garden,
200th Street and Kazimiroff Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458

November and May lectures will be presented at the Auditorium at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225

Lectures are free and open to the public

Mammals and plants on three continents: ecological niche modeling of species distributions for studies of evolutionary ecology, climate change, and invasive species
Tuesday, October 5, 2010, 6:30 PM
Presented by Robert P. Anderson, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, City College of the City University of New York (CCNY/CUNY)

Coupled with a great increase in the online availability of species occurrence records and environmental data, recent theoretical and computational advances now allow ecological niche modeling of species geographic distributions using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Such models hold wide application across ecology, evolutionary biology, biogeography, and conservation, including studies of the effects of climatic and other environmental changes. Although free, user-friendly software is available over the internet, production of realistic niche models requires substantial knowledge of the study species and of the principles of model evaluation. I present an overview of these developments, using examples from my research on mammals and plants. Specific study groups include purple loosestrife in the Great Plains, legumes in the Guiana Shield, rodents and tenrecs in Madagascar, and rodents in the sky islands of northern Venezuela.


Seed Banking in New York: A Biological Savings Account\
Wednesday, November 3, 2010, 6:30 PM
Presented by Tim Chambers and Heather Liljengren, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation’s Greenbelt Native Plant Center

Did you know that there is a global bank of seeds being saved around the world to protect plant species? The Greenbelt Native Plant Center, along with Brooklyn Botanic Garden, have contributed 75 native plant species from our region to the Millennium Seed Bank Project, an initiative led by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, which has been called a Noah’s ark for Earth’s flora. The Native Plant Center and BBG are founding partners of the Seeds of Success program, which aims to preserve seed of the flora of the United States and develop native plant materials from regional and local seed resources. The Native Plant Center currently maintains its own seed bank and is working with BBG to develop a mid-Atlantic regional seed bank to help others conserve their local flora.

To stock seed banks, botanists collect samples from native wild populations. Each collection is processed, individually packaged, and deposited in the bank, similar to a giant walk-in cooler. These collections have the potential to survive storage for hundreds of years. The seeds can then be used to stem the effects of such conditions as habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change, and biological invasion, now and into the future.


The role of field work in modern systematics; planes, trains and automobiles (plus other modes of transportation) in search of neotropical Melastomataceae
Tuesday, December 7, 2010, 6:30 PM
Presented by Fabian Michelangeli, Assistant Curator, Institute of Systematic Botany, The New York Botanical Garden

Modern systematics relies on several tools not available only a few decades ago, such as DNA sequencing and powerful computing. Thus, many evolutionary biologists have focused their research in the laboratory, trying to take advantage of these developments in order to answer questions that we could not address in the past. During this talk I will show, using systematics work on the Melastomataceae (meadow beauties and princess flowers) as an example, how field work is still necessary to carry out modern systematics. Some unforeseen lines of research have developed from actual observations of the plants in the field, which has opened completely new lines of research in this group of plants.


Capturing Today’s Botanical Treasures: An Artistic Journey with Orchids and Other Threatened Plants
Sunday, March 6, 2011, 1:00 PM (Annual Banquet)
Presented by Carol Woodin, Botanical Artist and Exhibitions Coordinator, American Society of Botanical Artists

Abstract:  TBA


Tiger nuts and velcro plants: a walk through the relationships, biogeography and remarkable diversity of sedges (family Cyperaceae)
Tuesday, April 5, 2011, 6:30 PM
Presented by Julian R. Starr, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, and Research Scientist, Canadian Museum of Nature

The Cyperaceae or sedge family is a truly remarkable group characterised by its exceptional diversity (ca. 5000 spp.), varied habitats (deserts to rain forests), unusual chromosomes (holocentric) and diverse biogeographical patterns. Distributed across every continent except Antarctica, sedges represent nearly 3% of the native vascular flora of North America, north of Mexico, and in some regions, such as the Arctic, they are the dominant component in terms of species diversity and biomass. In addition, approximately 10% of sedge species are of either direct (e.g., medicines, crops) or indirect (e.g., weeds) economic importance to humanity, and yet sedges are largely unknown to the general public, and they are frequently mistaken for other plants such as rushes or grasses, even by professionals. In this talk we will learn about the fascinating biology of the sedge family and how to recognise them in nature. In addition, we will learn about recent advances in our understanding of their relationships, evolution, and diversity through the application of new genetic techniques such as DNA sequencing and barcoding. Recent collecting trips to the Arctic, the Rocky Mountains, and the most southerly reaches of South America (Tierra del Fuego), will highlight the beginning of our research on the biogeography and taxonomy of arctic-alpine and bipolar species complexes including the discovery of hidden diversity in this poorly known, but remarkable family of plants.


Trouble in Paradise: Are We Losing Our Native Bees?
Wednesday, May 4, 2011 6:30 PM
Presented by Stephen Buchmann, entomologist, International Coordinator of The Pollinator Partnership and co-author of The Forgotten Pollinators
This lecture is presented in collaboration with NYC Wildflower Week (

Dr. Stephen Buchmann, co-author of “The Forgotten Pollinators,” twelve other books and more than 170 scientific publications, presents an illustrated talk showcasing North American native bee diversity, along with threats to bees and other pollinators. The amazing ways bees make a living, from carpenters to masons to social parasite free-loaders will be examined along with their fantastic mutualistic dances with flowering plants. Learn about flowers that produce resins, oils and perfumes besides ordinary pollen and nectar floral rewards. See the world’s smallest bee (under 2mm) from the Sonoran desert. Stephen will also update us on the current situation plaguing honey bees, Colony Collapse Disorder, and steps the Pollinator Partnership ( is taking to alleviate it and help beekeepers. Declines in several U.S. bumble bee species will be examined. Its not all doom and gloom, as he suggests simple things to do, steps we can all take in our backyards, gardens and schools to help native bees and other pollinating animals. You can become a bee rancher, a pollinator landlord! Several of Dr. Buchmann’s books may be available for purchase and signing after his talk.
Susan K. Pell, Ph.D.
Corresponding Secretary and Program Chair
Torrey Botanical Society

Help the Hempstead Plains Grassland on November 13.

October 18, 2010

Join the Walk the Plains event.  Click on the image below for a larger size.

Winter Ecology Walks and Botany Lab at Hawthorne Valley Farm, Columbia County

October 5, 2010

“Winter Explorations”–back by popular demand! A series of winter ecology walks to various locations throughout Columbia County. The walks will be on Saturdays, 12:30-2:30pm (Nov. 6, Dec. 11, Jan. 15, Feb. 12, and March 12), locations to be announced. The outings are free, but please register with or call 672-7994 for information.

Botany Lab: Participants in the Natural History Survey Group will meet right after the “Winter Exploration” outings for botany lab sessions (3-5pm at the Creekhouse) to review some of the plant groups that are difficult to identify in the field. Limited space for new participants might be available. Contact us if you are interested in joining this in-depth botany study group.

The Northeast Natural History Conference Is Back!

October 2, 2010

Announcing the Northeast Natural History Conference 2011

and the Founding Meeting of the
Association of Northeastern Biologists

Join us for the 11th Northeast Natural History Conference (NENHC) and the historic first meeting of the Association of Northeastern Biologists (ANB). As with past years, this conference will be held at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany, NY. This conference promises to be the largest regional forum for researchers, natural resource managers, students, and naturalists to present current information on the varied aspects of applied field biology (freshwater, marine, and terrestrial) and natural history for the Northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. It will serve as a premier venue to identify research and management needs, foster friendships and collegial relationships, and encourage a greater region-wide interest in natural history by bringing people with diverse backgrounds together.

More information on their website: Click Here.

Environmental Education Expo in New York City October 6.

October 2, 2010

Talk on Native Plants at State Museum October 4th.

September 29, 2010

Fort Orange Garden Club

Albany, New York

Is  Pleased  to  Present

Dr. Douglas W. Tallamy

Author of: Bringing Nature Home

How you can sustain wildlife with native plants.

Monday, October 4, 2010 – 7 PM

New York State Museum, Hudson Auditorium

225 Madison Avenue, Albany, New York

Copies of Bringing Nature Home will be for sale

Admission:  $12.00 in advance; $15.00 at the door; seating is limited

Mail check, payable to FOGC, to Fort Orange Garden Club,

6 Carriage Hill Dr., Latham, New York 12110-4947

Free parking after 6 PM in lot adjacent to Museum and on the street.

Dr. Tallamy is a well known and highly respected scientist and is chair of the Department of Entomology at the University of Delaware. His book Bringing Nature Home won the Garden Writers Association of America Silver Medal in 2008 Doug argues that the choices we make as gardeners can profoundly impact the diversity of life in our yards, communities, and planet. All plants are not created equal in their ability to support wildlife, especially the birds and butterflies we so cherish in our yards.  In his book he gives a justification for the liberal use of native plants, shrubs, and trees in our landscape. He also gives us a new appreciation of the role of insects in his version of the Great Chain of Being.   He asks us to re-evaluate our centuries old love affair with alien ornamentals and to aggressively fight invasive aliens.  But above all, he argues for going native! His book gives a clear sense of the interrelationship of plants, insects, birds, butterflies, other wildlife, and humankind.  By favoring native plants over aliens, we as gardeners can do much to sustain the biodiversity that has been our country’s richest asset.  This diversity has been threatened by suburban sprawl, the paving of over 400 million linear miles of road, and our love affair with the perfect lawn.