Archive for the ‘Volunteers’ Category

YouthServe of Birmingham assists urban forestry project at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

YouthServe of Birmingham assists urban forestry project at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

On July 24, several Birmingham media outlets the YouthServe Urban Service Camp Worksite at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Campers participated in an important urban forestry project involving the care of young trees. Campers helped transfer viable trees into larger containers.  Gathered first as acorns from the oaks of George Ward Park, the trees, once mature, will be planted throughout the city, especially in the tornado-devastated areas of Smithfield and Pratt City. 

Learn more about YouthServe by visiting their website. All applications and sign-up opportunities are available at www.youthservebham.org.

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About YouthServe, Inc

YouthServe, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering youth leadership through community service.  Throughout the year, YouthServe programs include monthly service learning opportunities featuring community work days with the YWCA, Habitat for Humanity, Urban Ministries, Jones Valley Teaching Farm, and many others.   Youth leadership programs include the Youth Action Council, which allows young people to organize community work events and the Youth Philanthropy Council, which allows them to create and organize an actual grant program providing $20,000 to deserving local non- profits.  In the summer, the YouthServe Urban Service Camps offer several weeks of residential camping in partnership with the YWCA of Central Alabama.  Six hundred young people from eighty schools across the metro area participate with over five thousand service hours annually.  

About Birmingham Botanical Gardens

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is Alabama’s largest living museum, with more than 12,000 different plants in its living collection.  The Garden’s 67.5 acres contains more than 25 unique gardens and 30+ works of original outdoor sculpture and miles of serene paths.  The Gardens feature the largest public horticulture library in the U.S., conservatories, a wildflower garden, two rose gardens, the Southern Living Garden, and Japanese gardens with a traditionally crafted tea house.  Education programs run year-round and more than 10,000 school children enjoy free science-curriculum based field trips annually.  The Gardens is open daily offering free admission to more than 350,000 yearly visitors.

About YWCA

For over a century, the YWCA Central Alabama has been responding to the needs of women, children and families. The YW’s programs serve women, children and families by providing: affordable child care for low-income families; child care and after-school enrichment programs for homeless children; affordable housing for families and seniors and a full array of domestic violence services; and social justice programming.

Garden docents learn about plant families and taxonomy

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Garden docents learn about plant families and taxonomy

On Tuesday morning, garden docents participated in a presentation on plant families and taxonomy. Gardens of study were Dunn Formal Rose, McReynolds and Southern Living Gardens. Melanie Johns, Birmingham Botanical Gardens plant taxonomist, enlightened our docents about some of the changes in taxonomy regarding some species found in The Gardens.

Gardeners, horticulturists and plant nurseries are mainly affected by taxonomic name changes which occur as a result of advances in botanical knowledge leading to a reclassification of plants. The great majority of cases happen when a plant is transferred from one higher taxon to another, e.g. a species to another genus, due to the reassessment of its position in a particular classification.

The only thing consistent in the plant world is change. Today the majority of botanists and taxonomists are working towards an objectively argued classification system. Many existing classification schemes are somewhat artificial because they reflect the viewpoints of individual taxonomists, rather than attempting to show the patterns in the way plants actually have evloved or how they are related to one another.

The adoption of such an improved system would benefit not only the plant breeder, but also all those looking for plant products and sources of beneficial characteristics, which may be found in closely related species. Name changes will therefore be inevitable as taxonomist move in this direct. A consensus of views should be encourage in order to find which names would be most widely accepted by the botanical community.

Docent Appreciation Luncheon

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Docent Appreciation Luncheon

On Tuesday, May 21, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens hosted the annual Birmingham Botanical Gardens Education/Docent Appreciation luncheon to celebrate and acknowledge the great work and dedication of our Discovery Field Trip and Garden Docents. As part of the luncheon festivities, Mr. Jay Eubanks, Education Director of the Alabama Wildlife Center, and Kelly Breland were special guests and speakers discussing the topic of Alabama Native Snakes. Jay gave a PowerPoint Presentation on the various species of venomous and nonvenomous snakes found throughout Alabama; he brought live specimens as part of his interpretive program.
 
Over 33 docent volunteers, Birmingham Botanical Gardens staff and Alabama Cooperative Extension System staff attended the program and luncheon. Lunch was catered by Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe.

Students from Arlington School assist in the Bruno Vegetable Garden

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Arlington School students assist gardeners in the Bruno Vegetable Garden

Students from the Arlington School of Birmingham assisted gardeners  Amanda Clark and Jason Parrish with prepping and planting the Spring vegetable garden in the Bruno Demonstration garden on Thursday, May 2. Arlington School has been instrumental, volunteering with The Gardens on many large planting projects including potting plants for Spring Plant Sale and the Centennial Tree Planting Project that focuses on reforestation of the urban canopy. Part of their volunteer experience with The Gardens is to combine their work with hands-on science activities that support their curriculum at school. 

W.J. Christian School visits The Gardens

Friday, April 19th, 2013

W.J. Christian School visits the Bruno Vegetable Garden

Students from W.J. Christian School visited The Gardens recently, focusing on themes like family, determination and love. The students recently read Flutter by Erin Moulton, the story of three sisters and their effort to save their fourth after she is born.

Volunteer Coordinator Taylor Steele led these students on an educational walk through The Gardens.

Docent training for new middle school programs at The Gardens

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Volunteers prepare for middle school Discovery Field Trips

On Tuesday, April 16, docents began training for new educational programming that will be offered to middle school students in Birmingham this Fall. Over the last decade, Discovery Field Trips has provided a free, curriculum based science education to nearly 100,000 Birmingham elementary students, and now, the program will begin expanding to include appropriate material for an older group.

If you are interested in becoming a docent and guiding these groups, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Taylor Steele at 205.414.3962 or tsteele@bbgardens.org. If you would like to know more about Discovery Field Trips and how your class can participate, contact Education Program Coordinator Ellen Hardy at 205.414.3953 or ehardy@bbgardens.org.

Get Into The Gardens: Tomato Container Gardening

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Get Into The Gardens: Tomato Container Gardening

Master Gardener Su Reid-St. John and her daughter, Zoe, led visitors to The Gardens in a demonstration of tomato container gardening in Blount Plaza on Saturday, April 13. Volunteer Katelyn Stansberry also assisted with the event. The next demonstration taking place in the Get Into The Gardens series will take place on April 27 at 1 p.m. as part of Earth Day at The Gardens. Get Into The Gardens is a FREE series of educational weekend programming which includes demonstrations, Hikes for Tykes and The Sunday Scene.

Earth Day at The Gardens is also FREE and is Alabama’s longest-running Earth Day celebration. This year’s event will focus on community gardening and will include live music in the Formal Garden. The event will be held 11 – 4 p.m.

2013 Spring Plant Sale

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Photos from 2013 Spring Plant Sale

It was another successful year for Spring Plant Sale, held this year in the former J.C. Penney location at Century Plaza. Thousands took advantage of the wide selection and expertise offered at The Gardens’ largest plant sale of the year. Because of Birmingham’s support, the money raised by The Gardens at Spring Plant Sale allows it to achieve its educational mission, funding programs like Discovery Field Trips which has provided a free, curriculum-based science education to nearly 100,000 Birmingham area schoolchildren over the last decade. Check out some photos of the volunteers and people that made it great!

Get Into The Gardens!

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Get Into The Gardens!

Get Into The Gardens is a collection of free, educational weekend programming that includes demonstrations on Saturdays, bimonthly, at 1 p.m. Pictured are Su Reid – St. John and her daughter Zoe at the March 16 demonstration, “Easy Container Gardening: Planting a Strawberry Jar.”

Get Into The Gardens also includes Hikes for Tykes, a program offered in partnership with Fresh Air Family which encourages pre-school children and their families to explore The Gardens each Saturday at 10 a.m. The Sunday Scene will also return as part of this collection of programs on May 5 as visitors will explore the Fern Glade.

Check out the schedule of upcoming demonstrations at The Gardens and make plans to join us! To learn more, visit www.bbgardens.org/weekends.

Schedule:

• Saturday, March 16, 1 p.m.: Easy Container Gardening: Planting a Strawberry Jar
• Saturday, April 13, 1 p.m.: Easy Container Gardening: Planting Tomatoes
• Saturday, April 27, 1 p.m.: Easy Container Gardening: Planting Peppers
• Saturday, May 4, 1 p.m.: Easy Container Gardening: Creating a Mother’s Day Herb Garden
• Saturday, May 18, 1 p.m.: Easy Container Gardening: Building a Pollinators’ Paradise
• Saturday, June 8, 1 p.m.: Easy Container Gardening: Simple Watering Strategies

Students from Arlington School prepare for Spring Plant Sale

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Arlington School helps prepare for Spring Plant Sale

Students from Arlington School recently joined staff members and volunteers at Birmingham Botanical Gardens for a service day project which supports their environmental science and biology curriculum standards.

Over 30 students and teachers, and 12 Birmingham Botanical Gardens volunteers from the native woodies group assisted in planting more than 2,500 germinated tree seeds including: Northern Red Oak , Post Oak, Chestnut Oak, Black Jack Oak, Mockernut Hickory, White Oak, Dog Wood, Southern Red Oak, Scarlet Oak and Laurel Oak
 
The Arlington School will assist with Spring Plant Sale on Friday, April 5, and will continue to work with The Gardens with the Centennial Tree Planting project through next fall planting at George Ward Park, Pratt City and Northeast Jefferson County.
To learn more about Spring Plant Sale, which will be held at the former J.C. Penney location at Century Plaza, visit www.bbgardens.org/springplantsale. Join us for The Gardens’ largest plant sale of the year!