Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Lunch and Learn: Trees and Shrubs

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Lunch and Learn: Trees and Shrubs

The free Lunch and Learn series returned on March 26, as Mike Rushing led participants in “Trees and Shrubs,” a look at how planting in the right place at the right time makes all the difference. The series will continue on April 9 as Cameron Strouss leads “Medicinal Gardening.” Each Lunch and Learn takes place from 11:30 – 12:30 p.m. at The Gardens, and participants are encouraged to bring a lunch to enjoy while the lecture is ongoing. Desserts and drinks are provided, and each session is free.

Plants: Inside Out! Docent Training

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Plants: Inside Out! Docent Training

On Thursday, Discovery Field Trips welcomed docents for Plants: Inside Out! its new middle school program. Thirteen volunteers participated, five of which were part of a partnership with UAB professor Dr. Julie Price, a member at Birmingham Botanical Gardens and a past Junior Board president. Dr. Price is teaching a semester long environmental science class, and part of their course requirement is to volunteer 20 hours with a local environmental organization. 

This Thursday, four of these volunteers will have their first outing with Arlington School of Birmingham.

Dr. George Washington Carver Garden at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Dr. George Washington Carver Garden at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Recently, at AL.com, we shared our George Washington Carver Garden, a unique space which has allowed Birmingham children to learn about the discoveries of one of Alabama’s most prolific native sons. Through Discovery Field Trips, Birmingham students have an opportunity to explore crops hands-on. Today at The Gardens Blog, we share more photos from the field trip.

Students from 1st – 6th grade are invited to take part in this Discovery Field Trip, which is offered from September until November from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Transportation is provided for Birmingham City Schools through the Junior League of Birmingham It’s provided for Bessemer City Schools through Vulcan Materials Foundation. Teachers can learn more about this and all Discovery Field Trips at The Gardens website, where they can also learn how to plan an educational opportunity for their own class.

2014 Urban Forestry Fair

Friday, February 21st, 2014

2014 Urban Forestry Fair

The Urban Forestry Fair was held this week at Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham. Staff and volunteers from Birmingham Botanical Gardens were on hand to teach students about the life cycle of trees, specifically oak trees. Two activities, “Tree Cookies” and “Freedom Oaks,” were led.

“Tree cookies” teaches students about determining the age of a fell or living tree by counting the annual rings. Each student received a small hardwood cookie to decorate as a name tag. The students then planted a germinated White Oak seedling collected in October from a local community. They discussed the life cycle of an oak tree.
The students participating were 4th and 5th grade students from Birmingham City Schools.

Fossils to Ferns to Flowers

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Fossils to Ferns to Flowers – and Everything in Between; the Story of Plant Evolution 

On Saturday February 22, Brian Axsmith, Ph.D. of the University of South Alabama leads “Fossils to Ferns to Flowers – and Everything in Between; the Story of Plant Evolution,” an elective in the Certificate in Native Plant Studies series. Any of you who took Brian’s previous class will understand why we were eager to invite him back! A noted paleobotanist, Brian possesses and in-depth knowledge of the evolution of plants and their fossil records.

Learn more and register online at www.bbgardens.org/plantstudies.

Fossils to Ferns to Flowers – and Everything in Between
The Story of Plant Evolution (elective)
Instructor: Brian Axsmith, Ph.D.
Saturday, February 22 | 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Location: Birmingham Botanical Garden
$40 Members | $45 Non-Members

When did plants first invade the land and what did they look like? Where were they found, and how did they evolve into what we see today? How do researchers determine relationships between groups of plants? This class will answer these questions between groups of plants? This class will answer these questions and offer access to fossils of the earliest known seed and leaf, fossil conifer cones and herbarium specimens – to help us understand how the fascinating world of plants evolved. Time will be spent in The Gardens to corroborate all these topics with live plants.

Wenonah High School students spend their day of service in the Kaul Wildflower Garden

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Wenonah High School students spend their day of service in the Kaul Wildflower Garden

A group of 35 Juniors from Wenonah High School spent time in the Kaul Wildflower Garden on Thursday. Today was their service day project. The focus of today was to learn more about one of the tourist venues in Birmingham.
They spent the morning spreading bark mulch along the Kaul Wildflower Garden trails, as well as learning about the plants, history and ecology that make this natural area for The Gardens.

Birmingham City Schools hold science fair at The Gardens; students participate in Discovery Field Trips

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Birmingham City Schools hold science fair at The Gardens; students participate in Discovery Field Trips

 

On Tuesday, Birmingham schoolchildren participated in a science fair at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. While judges inspected their work, the students took part in some of the first Discovery Field Trips designed for middle school students.

Plants: Inside Out will get into full swing this spring. Docents are needed, and teachers are invited to begin signing up their classes now free of transportation costs. For more information on scheduling your class for a field trip, contact Education Coordinator Ellen Hardy at 205.414.3953 or ehardy@bbgardens.org. For more information on volunteering for the program, contact Volunteer Coordinator Taylor Steele at 205.414.3962 or tsteele@bbgardens.org.

2013 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

Friday, December 6th, 2013

2013 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

On Thursday, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens launched a yearlong celebration of its 50th Anniversary at its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. Honored at the luncheon were (L to R):

A. Brand Walton, Jr. Unsung Hero Volunteer of the Year: Natalie Lee

Ida C. Burns Volunteer of the Year: Mike Rushing

Plantspeople of the Year: Alicia and Ken Hall

Educator of the Year: Carol Hagood

Our Volunteer Partner of the Year was awarded to the Native Plant Group, pictured below (L to R): Ann Katholi, Janice Williams, Sally Price, Peggy Thompson, Mary Phillips, Gail Snyder, Jan Holliday, Linda Nolan and Anne Parrish.

Executive Director & CEO Fred Spicer, Former Mayor Bernard Kincaid, Councilor Kim Rafferty, Administrative Assistant to the Mayor Charles Long and former Gardens Director Gary Gerlach

Mary Alice and Bill Thurman

Linda and Archie Blackmon

Verna Gates and Carol Ogle

Peggy Thompson and Mary Phillips

Amanda Clark and Margaret Bish

Membership Assistant Rona Walters, Education Activities Specialist Dawn Coleman, Education Coordinator Ellen Hardy

Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator John Manion and Mike Rushing

Conservatory cake created by Pastry Arts

Entertainment provided by Sue Nuckols

Discovery Field Trips launches first program for middle school students

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Discovery Field Trips launches first program for middle school students

In November, Birmingham Botanical Gardens welcomed Highlands School sixth graders and students from Bessemer’s gifted program to become the first middle schools to participate in the first Discovery Field Trip designed for middle school students. Over the last decade, Discovery Field Trips have offered free, science-based programming for almost 100,000 kindergarten-sixth grade students. 

Plants: Inside Out paves a pathway for students to discover photosynthesis through three hands-on science labs. Labs include making slides from leaves to view stomata with field microscopes, using technology to measure carbon dioxide, and discovering why leaves change color. Post field trip, they can use their new discoveries to design their own ideas for renewable energy, similar to scientists in the real world. 

A student from Highlands said, “Out of all my experiences, I’ve learned the most in this field trip. I really had a great time.” Highlands Science Teacher Sam Kindervater said, “Great intro or wrap-up for a plant unit.” The “hands-on components and outside activities” were what they enjoyed most. Bessemer Gifted Teacher Daphne Shade stated, “The labs were very informational and interesting. The students really enjoyed the experience.” 

Plants: Inside Out will get into full swing this spring. Docents are needed, and teachers are invited to begin signing up their classes now free of transportation costs. For more information on scheduling your class for a field trip, contact Education Coordinator Ellen Hardy at 205.414.3953 or ehardy@bbgardens.org. For more information on volunteering for the program, contact Volunteer Coordinator Taylor Steele at 205.414.3962 or tsteele@bbgardens.org.

Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens takes its first look at Conservatory renovations

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Executive Director & CEO Fred Spicer leads Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Conservatory tour

As the Conservatory renovations near completion at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Executive Director & CEO Fred Spicer led staff members on their first tour of the Birmingham landmark since renovations began earlier this year. The interior looked much different on Friday than it did earlier in 2013, and we captured a few photos to share until it is opened to the public.