Archive for the ‘Plant Organizations’ category

The Adirondack Botanical Society Meets

December 8, 2012

The fall meeting of the Adirondack Botanical Society met on December first at the APA office in Ray Brook.  Fourteen people attended and discussed the future plans of the society, especially the field trips for the upcoming field season as well as some ID workshops that could be done in the winter.  Go to their website,, for more information when it is posted.  You can also join their Google Group by  sending an email to  adkbotsoc+subscribe(at) Write Join in the subject line. You can state why you would like to join in the body of the email. After the meeting the group walked to a nearby bog where they could still see the state rare pod grass, Scheuchzeria palustris, poking its fruits up through the snow.  We can’t wait for next year’s field trips!

 The group meeting in Ray Brook.  Pardon the focus.

The group meeting in Ray Brook. Pardon the focus.

Participants explore the bog looking for pod grass.

Participants explore the bog looking for pod grass.



Stay Abreast of Friday Field Group Trips

June 2, 2012

The Capital District Friday Field Group has been going on some nice field trips since April.  You can see their plant lists HERE and photos they took HERE.  Every week we hear the common phrase of 2012, “This is blooming already!”

The group walking out to see a view of the Petersburg Valley from the Taconic Crest Trail June 1.

Adirondack Botanical Society Gets a New Logo

April 8, 2012

The Adirondack Botanical Society is proud to announce their new logo. Many thanks go to Sheri Amsel of Adirondack Illustrator for donating the use of her drawings and to a number of ABS members who provided thoughts and feedback to help develop the logo.

To join the Google discussion group for the Adirondack Botanical Society send an email to Write Join in the subject line. You can state why you would like to join in the body of the email.

Their next meeting and field trip will be April 21st at Coon Mountain near Westport. More field trips are being planned (June 16 to Mount Skylight and July 28 to Whiteface Mountain among others) and a new native plant garden is in the design phase for the Paul Smith’s Visitor Center.

Learn New York’s Trees, Shrubs, and Vines at Landis Arboretum’s New Native Plant Collection

March 23, 2012

Landis Arboretum, high on a hilltop above the Village of Esperance in Schoharie County, is the best place to see New York’s native trees, shrubs, and vines thanks to the hard work of Ed Miller, volunteer curator of the native plant collection.  At last count, Ed had planted well over 200 species, omitting noxious, alpine, and rare and endangered plants as well as many from the coastal plain that wouldn’t grow well there. Even so, there are species like tupelo, red bud, cucumber magnolia, and persimmon that seem to be doing well and the warming climate doesn’t hurt either. Some northern species like bog birch and balsam popular are doing well too.  Not all species thrive the first time and some have had to be replanted like the sweet birches and witch hobble.

The garden's Willow Pond Trail leads to Ed's Native Plant Collection. This visit took place in early December 2011.

Following a lead from Kew Gardens in England, they planted each species with its family members.  This makes it possible for serious students to easily compare the details of closely related plants. For instance, all 12 species of native oaks are in one area, all six species of maple in another, and all five birches in still another. Other families are similarly grouped.

This area is where all the members of the sumac family can be found.

Since not all plants of the same family like the same conditions, there are areas that feature plants that like the same habitat, like sun, shade and wetlands. Many of the planting areas have mailboxes that contain a laminated map showing where each species is planted.  The other side of the map tells something about the family or the local habitat.

Ed pulls a map from one of the discovery mailboxes in the open sunny habitat.

One of the most popular sites along the the native plant trail is the Bog Garden. It provides a home for trees and shrubs of northern acid bogs and its log structure can be seen from the Landis barn as you approach from the main entrance.  Its a great chance to see these plants up close from a habitat that is often difficult to access.

From the barn, head east to the wooden bog garden. You may find Ed there to greet you!

Now is a great time to visit the garden to see the early flowers of many of the woodies, especially the overlooked wind-pollinated trees. The native plant trail is an excellent teaching tool and an invaluable resource for learning the woody plants of New York. Come visit soon!

In this area you will find the native dogwoods grouped together.

Another good time to visit will be the spring book and plant sale on May 19th, 10am to 4pm.  See their website calendar for details.

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.

Orchid Information is Endless

April 5, 2011

Orchids are one of the most popular plant groups in the world and New York  is  no exception.  There are many websites, blogs and Facebook pages on the subject. For New York you can start with an article by Chuck Sheviak and myself on the orchids that appeared last June in the Conservationist.

On Facebook there is the Native Orchid Conservation Page which has a lot of information and links.

Below are some other interesting websites:

Central NY Orchid Society’s Native Orchids of New York

Northeastern New York Orchid Society, Albany, NY

The Florida Native Orchid Blog

Native Orchid Conservation Inc.

The Orchid Conservation Coalition

That’s enough for now.  Explore the web for many more. Fun fact: New York has more orchid species than Hawaii. – Steve Young

Orange Fringed Orchid about to bloom on Long Island. Photo Steve Young.

Cornell Plantation Announces Second Natural Areas Academy

March 2, 2011

ITHACA, NY (February 21, 2011) — Do you love spending time in the forests, meadows and other natural areas of the Finger Lakes region?  Do you care about preserving the integrity of the natural world and do you want to share this love with others?  If so, consider joining Plantations’ Natural Areas Academy.

The year-long Natural Areas Academy (NAA) consists of dozens of expert-led workshops, field trips, and directed stewardship opportunities designed to provide participants with the knowledge, tools, and skills needed to support efforts in preserving our treasured natural resources. Utilizing Plantations’ Natural Areas as outdoor classrooms, the NAA aims to foster the conservation of natural areas and rare and declining species and their habitats by demonstrating essential stewardship methods, cultivating environmental literacy, and encouraging interactive experience with the natural world.

“With their newly gained expertise, the Natural Areas Academy participants will also help to mentor the next generation of scientists, teachers, environmental stewards, and leaders, thereby fulfilling a vital role in the long-term preservation of our natural heritage, our world, and ultimately, our place in it,” stated Todd Bittner, director of the Cornell Plantations Natural Areas,

Participants in the NAA are expected to work towards the program’s goals over the course of a year.  After the completion of at least eight of the workshops and field trips, plus 40 hours of participation in directed stewardship activities, academy members will receive their Natural Areas Mentor certification and may continue to participate in the NAA as a mentor for no cost. The first NAA workshop will be for a mandatory orientation, and will be held on Saturday, March 12, beginning at 9:30 AM.

Participation in the NAA requires a non-refundable $100 application fee.  To learn more or to enroll online, please visit us at  Enrollment closes at midnight on March 11, 2011.

Cornell Plantations is the botanical gardens, arboretum, and natural areas of Cornell University, and is a member of Ithaca’s Discovery Trail partnership. Plantations is open to the public year-round, free of charge, during daylight hours. The Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11am to 4pm.  For more information call 607-255-2400, visit, and find us on Facebook at

The Art of Plant Mounting – Three Examples

February 4, 2011

The following three videos show the techniques used at different herbaria for mounting plants. Many herbaria in this country and in New York use the same techniques but some of them may glue the specimens and some may use herbarium tape or stitching.  Some may include a separate envelope and some may not. There are also slightly different sizes of herbarium mounting paper but they should all fit in a standard size herbarium cabinet.  A lot of work goes into each specimen so handle them carefully.  They will last over 100 years if preserved properly. Probably the biggest difference in the presentations is the accent of the presenters!

Newsletter and Programs From the Friends of the Hempstead Plains

January 5, 2011

Meadowlark Newsletter Articles Winter 2010

Editor’s Message – Where Did the Year Go?

Review of the November Grassland and Meadows Preserves Meeting

Heartful Thanks to the Boy and Girl Scouts

Girl Scout Gold Award Project

Eagle Scout Project at the Hempstead Plains

Review of the Annual Fall Hempstead Plains Poetry Writing and Painting Workshop

“Walk the Plains” Event Hosted by Friends of Hempstead Plains and Nassau County

Information on Biotrays, Biodegradable Trays Filled with Clean Soil and Appropriate Seeds

Upcoming Programs

Afternoon Walks Fridays at 3:30 PM: April 29, May 13, May 20, June 3, June 17, July 8

Weekend Volunteer Community Workdays Saturdays 9 to 12: April 30, May 14, May 21, June 4, June 18, July 9

For more information and to join the Friends go to their website. CLICK HERE.

Rensselaer Plateau Forest Legacy Area Approved

December 31, 2010

From the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance:

Happy New Year!

Our long awaited news has arrived. The Rensselaer Plateau Forest Legacy Area has been approved by the US Forest Service.

The RPA is extremely pleased with the decision to designate the Rensselaer Plateau a forest legacy site, for it recognizes the unique and special character of this region. The Forest Legacy Program will add an important tool and resources for conservation in the region. The program provides opportunity to permanently conserve forest lands with conservation easements that maintain the traditional uses of the land while conserving it forever. The programs reliance upon private landowner rights and willing sellers, and respect for home rule make this a great addition to conservation tools available to landowners and towns in the region. We applaud the approval and appreciate the support of local people, towns and state government to support the designation, for it is the grassroots support for such programs that achieved this result.

View the DEC Press Release..

Thank you to all who helped us show local grassroots support for the Forest Legacy Area last spring. Without your support this may not have happened.

Thank you again and Happy New Year from all of us at the RPA.                 Rensselaer Plateau Alliance Website.