Archive for the ‘Volunteers’ Category

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!

Native Plants Group celebrates Larry Michalove’s birthday

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Native Plants Group celebrates Larry Michalove’s birthday

On February 13, the Native Plants Group celebrated the 80th birthday of one of their long-time members. Larry Michalove is a dedicated volunteer whose cheerful nature and optimistic outlook make him a joy to have as part of the group. Native Plants group leader Betsy Fleenor said, “Larry is one of those people who always makes you feel good. He’s ready with a hug or a corny joke that makes you groan, and is willing to help in any way.” Larry is pictured with his wife, Sybil, who dropped by for the party. 
Larry took a few moments to tell about his life, including the circumstances that resulted in his popular children’s book, “The Four Little Children.” The imaginative stories were originally mailed home as bedtime stories for Larry’s children while he served in the Viet Nam War. From the book jacket, “Larry didn’t write about the war or the 114 combat missions he flew, earning him the Distinguished Flying Cross and 8 air medals. Instead, he wrote tales about Martians and moon people and mermaids and the sea.”
Thanks to Larry for his service to America, his creative writing and humor, dedication to family and his years of service to The Birmingham Botanical Gardens. True to form, he refused to take home his left-over cake, instead leaving it for the gardening staff to enjoy.

Bush Hills Academy visits The Gardens

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Bush Hills Academy visits The Gardens

Recently, 2nd grade students from Bush Hills Academy in Birmingham visited The Gardens to take part in the Garden Gates Discovery Field Trip and Treasure Map activity outdoors. Docent Alana Maxey of Junior League of Birmingham’s “Can You Dig It?” led the students, along with Education Program Coordinator Ellen Hardy.

Urban Forestry and Conservation Fair

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens joins Urban Forestry and Conservation Fair at Boutwell Auditorium

On Wednesday, February 13, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens staff members and volunteers joined the Urban Forestry and Conservation Fair at Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham, Ala. to help educate Birmingham schoolchildren about how the urban environments they are familiar with connect to the environments they often hear about – rain forests, state and national parks, the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve and more. The day long fair showed children they can grow up to work in an environmental arena in any setting.

Volunteers from Arlington School, UAB and Master Gardeners ready for Spring Plant Sale

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

 Volunteers Spring into Action for our upcoming BBG Spring Plant Sale!
 
The Gardens held a volunteer seeding and potting workday last Saturday. Over 50 volunteers helped us gear up for the Birmingham Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale in April. Our volunteer group consisted of Jefferson County Master Gardeners, students from Arlington School and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The tasks for the day included planting over 3800 tomato seeds into cellpacks and potting up more than 600 hosta varieties into one gallon trade pots. If you are interested in helping The Gardens bring spring back sooner, please let us know!
 
If you are interested in helping us another Saturday before the April sale, or would like to volunteer for our spring plant sale, contact Taylor Steele, Volunteer  Coordiantor, 205.414.6962, or tsteele@bbgardens.org
 
Thanks again to all who participated in our workday, we hope to see you back for the sale!

Rite of Spring

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Rite of Spring

By: Betsy Fleenor, volunteer 

It happens every spring. The new year dawns, and the new seeds are sown. Always with this goal: grow plants that will be large enough and interesting enough to catch your eye at the spring plant sale. No tender seedlings will do come April. We are looking for robust, healthy plants with a good root system, lots of leaves and we wouldn’t argue about a flower bud or two.

For the volunteers who work with the volunteer propagation groups at The Gardens, work goes on year round preparing the plants for your buying pleasure. But things really start to heat up once the new year arrives. For those growing native plants, it’s time to delve into the rich storehouse of seeds collected from the Kaul Wildflower Garden and pre-treated in various ways. Some are sprinkled, others carefully placed in their soil-filled trays topped with a thin layer of granite chicken grit to improve their chances.

Weeks spent on the mist tables located in the plant sale greenhouse eventually provide the perfect environment for the green miracle. The lifeless, brown seeds are touched with the vital moisture, warmth and light that cause them to germinate.

 At first the specks of green are nearly microscopic. Was that a dot of green I saw or not? Soon eyes adjust to the microenvironment and indeed, that dot was just one of hundreds of barely perceptible green dots. They’re off and running!

As the weeks wear on, first leaves give way to true leaves, and roots start to explore the soil. Soon it’s time to rudely tease them from their seed trays into their first individual pots. Volunteers carefully prick out the most tender, pull apart the more robust, and take them to the next step on their journey from seed to sale.

Volunteers honored at annual Birmingham Botanical Gardens luncheon

Monday, December 17th, 2012

 

(L to R: Director of Library Services Hope Long, Cathy Adams, Volunteer Coordinator Taylor Steele)

Volunteers honored at annual Birmingham Botanical Gardens luncheon

On Thursday, December 13, Birmingham Botanical Gardens held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, recognizing the time donated by those that assist in the achievement of The Gardens’ educational mission. Cathy Adams was presented the Ida C. Burns Volunteer of the Year award for her continual service in many areas of the organization and her significant impact on The Gardens. Ann Katholi was awarded the A. Brand Walton, Jr. Unsung Hero of the Year for her independent and “behind the scenes” contributions. Birmingham Audubon Society was recognized as the Birmingham Botanical Gardens Partner of the Year for helping The Gardens to multiply its effort and achieve its mission. Betsy Fleenor was awarded the Birmingham Botanical Gardens Plantperson of the Year for sharing her plant knowledge and skills with other individuals who volunteer. Sallie Lee was awarded Educator of the Year for her educational efforts promoting public knowledge and appreciation of plants, gardens and the environment.

The potluck luncheon was held in Strange Auditorium from 11:30 – 1 p.m. Music was provided by the Crestwood Trio.

(L to R: Betsy Fleenor, Ann Katholi, Sallie Lee, Ty Keith, Helena Uber-Wamble (Keith and Uber-Wamble are with Birmingham Audubon Society))

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Joins Reforestation Effort at George Ward Park

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Joins Reforestation Effort at George Ward Park

On Saturday, October 27, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens staff members joined the Glen Iris Neighborhood Association and volunteers from Impact Alabama in an effort to replant George Ward Park. Over time, many of the trees in the park have vanished due to mowing. With the support of Little Garden Club and Red Mountain Garden Club, this five-year project continued on Saturday.