Posts Tagged ‘Fred Spicer’
Avondale School visits The Gardens
On May 6, 3rd grade students at Avondale School visited The Gardens to take part in Discovery Field Trips. Mr. and Mrs. William “Bill” Barnes provided a picnic lunch for the group. Mr. and Mrs. Barnes have adopted classes at Avondale School, and each year, they welcome their students, teachers and parents for a complimentary lunch at The Gardens following their visit for Discovery Field Trips.
[Red Mountain Park Commission Chair Stephen A. Jones, Birmingham Botanical Gardens Executive Director & CEO Fred Spicer, former NFL player and Pro Start Academy founder Gary Burley, Birmingham Mayor William A. Bell, Red Mountain Park Executive Director David Dionne]
“Freedom Oaks” planting at Red Mountain Park
On Saturday, March 22, Executive Director & CEO Fred Spicer joined Red Mountain Park Commission Chair Stephen A. Jones, former NFL player and Pro Start Academy founder Gary Burley, Birmingham Mayor William A. Bell and Red Mountain Park Executive Director David Dionne at Red Mountain Park for a tree planting. In honor of The Gardens 50th anniversary celebration, The Gardens donated 50 “Freedom Oaks” for the project, which has been ongoing in Birmingham since 2009. To learn more about the project, check out a recent post at AL.com.
2014 Cherry Blossom Festival
On Saturday, March 22, visitors to The Gardens enjoyed the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, presented by Japan-America Society of Alabama in the Japanese Gardens. The event began with a presentation by the Briarwood Church Japanese Children’s Group and continued throughout the afternoon with the announcement of a haiku contest winner from Birmingham Public Library and martial arts demonstrations. To learn more about Japan-America Society of Alabama, visit them on the web at www.jasaweb.org.
(David Price, Murray Spencer South, Nancy Spencer Smith, Executive Director & CEO Fred Spicer)
David Price headlines 2014 Spencer Lecture
The 2014 Spencer Lecture was held in the Linn-Henley Lecture Hall at Birmingham Botanical Gardens on March 6. President of the Bok Tower Gardens Foundation David Price spoke at 6:30 p.m. about his role and his work, “Bok Tower Gardens: America’s Taj Majal.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as part of a community-wide day of service, a volunteer workday was held at The Gardens on January 20. Participants engaged in a variety of tasks in a couple areas of The Gardens. Over 55 volunteers, adults and teens, came out from organizations like BBVA Compass, Youth Serve of Birmingham and Hands on Birmingham.
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
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.
Executive Director Fred Spicer and Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator John Manion lead native plant preview
On Wednesday, Executive Director Fred Spicer and Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator John Manion led plant enthusiasts on a native plant preview through the lath houses at The Gardens. Fall Plant Sale customers were treated to an opportunity to see many of the things that will be available for purchase at this weekend’s sale.
Fall Plant Sale is the second largest plant sale of the year at The Gardens. This Saturday and Sunday, Blount Plaza will host an array of natives, annuals, perrienials, vegetables, trees, shrubs, herbs, irises, daylilies, ferns, camellias and more. Saturday, the sale will open to the public from 9 – 5 p.m. and on Sunday, from noon – 4 p.m. Admission is free.
Proceeds from plant sales at The Gardens benefit its educational programs including the flagship, Discovery Field Trips. Over the last decade, Discovery Field Trips has provided a free, curriculum-based science education to nearly 100,000 Birmingham schoolchildren.
For more information about Fall Plant Sale, including a partial list of inventory available, visit www.bbgardens.org/fallplantsale.
Bibb County Glades
guest post by intern Ian Hazelhoff
On June 1, I was fortunate to attend the annual Bibb County Glades field trip for the Certificate in Native Plant Studies program. Fred Spicer and John Manion led the charge on a spectacularly overcast day prime for botanizing. Several other enthusiastic individuals, ranging from Master Gardeners to The Gardens’ Director of Library Services, Hope Long, filled in the ranks of our troop. Insect repellant was applied, wide-brimmed hats adjusted, and introductions were shared. In total, the fieldtrip itinerary listed three glade sites and concluded with a tour of the Cahaba River’s largest lily site. Ambitious and driven by a unanimous desire to see some of the nation’s rarest plant species in habitats as unique as separate planets, we entered the glades.
To comprehend fully how this beautiful suite of rare plants can exist in such obscurity takes an understanding of this unique landscape. The Bibb County Glades sit perched on small veins of a rock named Ketona dolomite, which possess higher concentrations of magnesium than more regionally common formations of limestone. Species that thrive in magnesium rich soils are prevalent. The glades are also an “ecotone” region, where full forest environments gradually transition to more open, grassy areas. Nestled within this gradient are species specialized to thrive with exposure to more light and wind. Without a complete tree canopy, the glades represent an assemblage of highly specialized succession species existing in near total isolation.
In areas with Ketona dolomite based substrate, magnesium and often aluminum levels are so high as to be toxic to many more common species found in the region. As a historical note, Fred Spicer pointed out that seams of Ketona dolomite were once found scattered throughout Jefferson County, AL, however, these were the first to be mined during Birmingham’s steel boom. Dolomitic limestone is a precursor material for steel production, and to think that it also supports the livelihood of some of the rarest plants on Earth! With visions of steel furnaces and open pit mines at the helm, I quickly became aware of the true importance and special nature of the Bibb County Glades.
As the fieldtrip came to a close, I found myself traveling the winding waterside road to see one of my home state’s secret treasures: Cahaba lilies blooming in their prime. Pockets of lilies, with proud green stalks and exuberant white flowers, dotted the river’s center. John Manion was quick to point out that the heaviness of the lily’s seed allows it to sink and become lodged between rocks on the river’s bed. Cool water, sand, and fields of aquatic botanical wonder – not bad for a day at the office.
To learn more about the Certificate in Native Plant Studies series, and to register for any of its core classes, electives or field trips online, visit www.bbgardens.org/plantstudies.
Photos: Beth Maynor Young