Posts Tagged ‘Fred Spicer’

Japanese Garden Tour

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Japanese Gardens Tour

On May 16, donors at Birmingham Botanical Gardens were led on a tour of the Japanese Gardens by Executive Director Fred Spicer.

[L to R: Gene Boles, Kathryn Jones, Ellie Jones, Chris Boles]

[L to R: Mayor Lawrence Terry Oden, Barbara "Bobbie" Glaze and Dr. Robert P. "Bob" Glaze]

[L to R: Deborah "Debbie" Strauss, Leo Kayser and Sandra Oden]

[L to R: Constance "Connie" O'Brien, Ellen Crowley]

Mayor William A. Bell, Sr. plants Coretta Scott King rose at The Gardens

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Coretta Scott King rose planted at The Gardens by Mayor William A. Bell, Sr.

On Friday, Mayor William A. Bell, Sr. joined Dr. Michael Wesley, Sr. and Executive Director Fred Spicer in the Dunn Formal Rose Garden for a ceremonial planting of the Coretta Scott King rose. The rose is a new variety that was created by Weeks Roses in Wasco, California in honor of King and planted in honor of both Mother’s Day and as part of the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement.

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!

Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens staff members tour Conservatory renovation project

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens staff members tour Conservatory renovation project

On Friday, Executive Director Fred Spicer took Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens staff members on a hard hat tour of the Conservatory renovation project. The $1.4 million project has begun in earnest with hopes of reopening the Birmingham landmark to the public by Fall. The Conservatory will serve as another site for educational programming, including Discovery Field Trips, The Gardens’ flagship program which has provided a free, curriculum-based science education to nearly 100,000 Birmingham students over the last decade. Check out photos from the tour!

Sculptor Jesus Moroles visits Granite Garden

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Granite Garden repairs overseen by sculptor Jesus Moroles

Sculptor Jesus Moroles, who created Granite Garden in 1988, was back in town to consult with The Gardens on maintenance and repairs. A severe freeze last winter, coupled with a power failure that knocked out a heater, resulted in a few broken pipes and small cracks in the granite. People may have noticed that water in several of the uprights had not been flowing. With in-kind assistance from City of Birmingham plumbers and Birmingham Botanical Gardens staff, several of the large base stones were removed and several broken pipes were repaired. Moroles is putting together a plan for continued maintenance, and specifications for fixing the cracks, replacing all the copper piping with freeze-resistant polyethylene pipe, and re-setting some of the base stones.

The Gardens houses more than 30 unique works of original outdoor sculpture.

(Funding for Granite Garden was provided by Arnold and Rose Steiner and the National Endowment for the Arts. The consultation is being funded by The Friends.)

 

Conservatory Renovation Project

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Conservatory at Birmingham Botanical Gardens to undergo $1.4 million renovation project

In 2013, one of Birmingham’s most iconic sights will undergo a $1.4 million renovation project, allowing the Conservatory at Birmingham Botanical Gardens to open to the public for the first time since April of 2011. Originally opened in December of 1963 and designed by the now defunct Lord & Burnham firm, the building has become a rare piece of architecture as many similar structures across the nation have since been razed. Though safety concerns about the building’s glass ceiling forced its closure, the structure remains sturdy and especially worthy of preservation as one of the last of its kind.

This project, Phase I of a series envisioned in The Gardens’ master plan, will begin in earnest in May, after the season’s final frost. This phase will include stripping the old glass and cleaning the structure, upgrading base electrical distribution and automating ventilation sashes, repairing interior partition walls and replacing doors, remediating asbestos and lead, re-glazing with safety glass, restoring the original entrance appearance and installing an internal mylar shade blanket and insulation system. Its completion will allow the Conservatory to open for public use for the first time in two years. September is the targeted date for completion, in time for the new school year’s return of Discovery Field Trips, The Gardens’ award-winning, curriculum-based educational programs which have provided a free science education to nearly 100,000 Birmingham children over the last decade. Phase I does not include new exhibits, and some old exhibits have been removed from the Conservatory in order to facilitate the project.

The Pennington Group, Inc. has been awarded the project. Based in Birmingham, The Pennington Group, Inc. is a commercial contractor offering a full range of construction services, registered and licensed in the state of Alabama. The Pennington Group, Inc. has developed a firm foundation for commercial construction and is often selected as the contractor for interior renovation, rebuilding, demolition and build-out projects. The City of Birmingham funded $115,000 for the design and engineering performed by Montgomery Smith, Inc. in 2012; principle Jim Smith has been retained for construction administration Phase I. The City also supplied in-kind services to shepherd this project through the design and bidding process.

The $1.4 million Conservatory Improvement Project, Phase I, was made possible through the generous donations of: The Lucille S. Beeson Charitable Trust, The Brooke Family Foundation, City of Birmingham, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, Lyndra and Bill Daniel, The Daniel Foundation of Alabama, Lorol Roden Bowron Rediker Rucker Foundation and two anonymous donors. Additional funding was provided by The Butrus Family Advised Fund at Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and The Holly Oak Garden Club.

This project is just Phase I of a lengthy plan to maximize the potential of The Gardens’ Conservatory. While it will conclude with the facility being open for Discovery Field Trips, long-term plans envision an even brighter future:

Phase II: addition of indoor exhibits

Phase III: addition of horticulture office and maintenance building

Phase IV: addition of conservatory buildings, concert stage and conservatory terraces

Phase V: addition of new potting shed and production greenhouses

Phase VI: addition of activities building and public restrooms, Persian Garden, expanded Bruno Vegetable Garden, Herb Terrace and Carver crops

We’re eager to see one of the Magic City’s landmarks evolve over the coming years! Come see us grow at Birmingham Botanical Gardens!

48th Annual Member Celebration

Friday, January 25th, 2013

(Emily Bowron, Bill Bowron, Frieda Murfee, Frances Wheelock, George Wheelock)

48th Annual Member Celebration

On Thursday, January 24, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens held its 48th Annual Member Celebration at the Garden Center. More than 150 members and staff gathered in Strange Auditorium for drinks and hors d’oeuvres catered by Savoie Catering. The festivities moved to the Linn-Henley Lecture Hall for the evening’s featured speaker, Kerry Smith. Smith, the State Master Gardener Coordinator for Alabama Cooperative Extension System (A.C.E.S.) led a talk titled “Your A.C.E.S. in the Hole,” a discussion about the unique relationship between Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Alabama Cooperative Extension System, which houses a satellite office at the Garden Center. 

Martha Espy, Fred Spicer, Peggy Bonfield, Orrin Ford, Valerie Abbott

Annette Drummonds, Pat Cosgrove, Bethany O’Rear, Joann Wissinger

Tricia Noble, Alleen Cater, Chris Boles

Orrin Ford, Peggy Bonfield

Coquette Barnes, Tommy Amason, Yates Amason, Bill Barnes

Alpha Goings, Betsy Gresham, Louise Walton

Fletcher Harvey, Roger Clarke, Susan Jackson, Kerry Smith

Nina Miranda, Anita Dark, Bonnie McDonald

Mary Williamson, Lex Williamson

Jeanie Sherlock, Scott Walton, Kelley Walton

Katy Eldridge, Jamey Eldridge

Janet Taylor, Jerry Taylor

Spencer Lecture: Andrea Wulf

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Spencer Lecture – Andrea Wulf: Chasing Venus: The Race to Measure the Heavens – Thursday, March 7 | 10:30 a.m.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens is delighted to welcome Andrea Wulf for the second year, offering a second lecture in the Spencer Lecture Series to complement Ben Page’s talk. This summer an extremely rare celestial event took place – the transit of Venus. In the eighteenth century the transit held the answer for one of the most pressing questions of the age: the size of the solar system. This would require triangulated data to be compiled from various exact points dotted all around the four corners of the globe – all taken simultaneously during the short period of the actual transit. Hundreds of astronomers from European countries and the North American colonies were dispatched across the world to observe the rare celestial encounter. At a time when war was tearing Europe and much of the rest of the world apart, they overcame political, geographical and intellectual boundaries. CHASING VENUS is rich with tales of obsession, featuring Catherine the Great and Captain Cook as well as Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, Benjamin Franklin and American astronomer David Rittenhouse. In CHASING VENUS, New York Times Best Selling and award-winning author Andrea Wulf tells the extraordinary story of the first global scientific collaboration set amid warring armies, hurricanes, scientific endeavour and personal tragedy. It’s a story bursting with action, wonderful detail and scientific excitement, revealing the spirit of the Enlightenment and man’s quest to understand the world.

To reserve your seat online, visit www.bbgardens.org/spencerlecture.

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))

“Forever Wild” – What You Need to Know About Amendment 1

Monday, November 5th, 2012

A message from Executive Director Fred Spicer 

My employer, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, is not a political organization. However, with a mission to educate people about plants, gardens and the environment, we feel an obligation to urge you to support Alabama’s Forever Wild program by voting “yes” on ballot Amendment 1 on November 6. As an organization that places high value on the native plants that sustain the extraordinarily high biodiversity of our state, fifth highest in the nation, we hope that you will support this important program that is doing exactly that. At the same time, it is securing the future of Alabama’s wildest places for future generations of Alabama residents and visitors, making these places accessible to the public, and doing so in a wonderfully economical and sustainable manner. Personally, I think when groups as diverse as the National Rifle Association and the Sierra Club (among dozens of others) are on the same side of an issue, we all ought to take notice. Rarely do we have such a chance to seize this special piece of common ground for the benefit of so many both now and in the future. 

To get all the facts on this important issue, to learn how Forever Wild uses no tax dollars and how the land must be purchased only from willing sellers at market prices, go to www.alabamaforforeverwild.org. Your vote will help secure Alabama’s beautiful and unique natural heritage.