Posts Tagged ‘Henry Hughes’

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.

The Gardens plants trees in North Smithfield

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

The Gardens plants trees in North Smithfield

On Veteran’s Day, The Gardens continued longterm reforestation efforts across Birmingham with a tree planting in North Smithfield. These efforts have largely focuses on areas devastated by the storms of April 27, 2011.

North Smithfield is an often overlooked, storm-damaged area because it is an unincorporated neighborhood. Because they are unincorporated it’s been hard for them to recover. They came together to rebuild their fire station and and now maintain a volunteer station. They also rebuilt their neighborhood park so that the kids would have somewhere to play. The restored park, which is where the community holds a majority of its events, didn’t have shade trees. So the neighborhood along with The Storm Water Management department of Jefferson county, Hana Burwinkle, approached Birmingham Botanical Gardens to donate trees to help rebuild and shade the park. The neighborhood consists of mostly military veterans so the trees were planted on Veteran’s Day. The park and the main road next to it are in the process of being changed to reflect the veterans of the neighborhood.

The Gardens donated 60 trees for the park, 100 trees for homeowners to plant in their yards and 1 ceremonial tree that was placed near their welcome sign. It was a collaboration between the Storm Water Management Department, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, The Alabama Forestry Commission, The North Smithfield neighborhood committee, Veterans who live in North Smithfield and the volunteer firefighters.

Arrington Plant Adventure Zone provides perfect venue for toasting The Gardens’ new community partner

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Left to Right: Leigh Hargrove CGC, Deanna Cummings CGC, Henry Hughes, education director Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Doug Shaddix CGC, Fred Spicer, executive director Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Ian Hazelhoff, Shades Valley Rotary Club Intern

Arrington Plant Adventure Zone provides perfect venue for toasting The Gardens’ new community partner

On Monday evening, staff from the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens Education Department along with board members from the Community Garden Coalition for Birmingham toasted the signing  of our partnership agreement.
The Community Garden Coalition for Birmingham’s mission is to support the community garden movement in Birmingham, Ala. As our new community partner, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens is thrilled to support this agreement with CGC that supports our mission to have a greater impact through educational programming in the Birmingham Metropolitan area. 
Monday’s signing of the Memorandum of Understanding gives us the ability to create educational opportunities that are mutually beneficial and leverage resources to meet both organization’s strategic goals and  missions.
 
If you are interested in learning more about the Community Garden Coalition for Birmingham, please check them out at  https://sites.google.com/site/cgcbham/

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.

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.

The Gardens Teaches Pratt City Children to Plant

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

(Director of Education Henry Hughes takes a moment to pose for a photograph with children from South Hampton Elementary School)

The Gardens Teaches Pratt City Children to Plant

On Thursday, May 3, Director of Eductaion Henry Hughes and Volunteer Coordinator Taylor Steele traveled to Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Pratt City to teach children how to plant, providing pots and plants to the group. The effort was part of a day in which Junior League of Birmingham and KABOOM built a new playground for children at the church. Rebuilding efforts continue in Pratt City, a Birmingham community devastated by the storms of April 27, 2011.

2011 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

Monday, December 12th, 2011

(L to R: Barbara Burton, Frances Blount, Shannon Blount)

2012 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

On Thursday, December 8, Birmingham Botanical Gardens hosted its annual Volunteer Appreciaton Luncheon, recognizing some of its most gracious individuals that have given time to The Gardens in the last year that has allowed prosperity. A crowd of nearly 150 gathered in the Ruth B. Strange Auditorium for a potluck luncheon. Entertainment was provided by The Crestwood Trio, featuring Melanie Rodgers, Chris Griffin and Niamh Clarke. Director of Education Henry Hughes presented Kathy Rostand with the Educator of the Year award. Special Events Coordinator Shelly McCarty presented Carol Beard with the Plantsperson of the Year award. Executive Director Fred Spicer presented the Herb Army with the Volunteer Partner of the Year award. Director of Library Services Hope Long presented Virginia McLean with the A. Brand Walton, Jr. Volunteer of the Year award, and Director of Development Olivia Alison presented Frances Blount with the Ida C. Burns Volunteer of the Year award. Blount served The Gardens as honorary chair for Antiques at The Gardens in 2011, raising over $390,000 to fund educational programs like Discovery Field Trips, the flagship program that has served over 85,000 students in the metro Birmingham area at no cost.

Educator of the Year: Kathy Rostand

Plantsperson of the Year: Carol Beard

Volunteer Partner of the Year: The Herb Army (L to R: Marian Van Voast, Donna Taylor, Chris Boles, Joyce Dean, Maria Kearny, Donna Musgrave, Ann Garrett, Mimi Boston, Robin George, Winyss Shepard, Suzanne Hovater)

A. Brand Walton, Jr. Volunteer of the Year: Virginia McLean

International Services Council of Alabama Recognizes The Gardens

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

International Services Council of Alabama Recognizes Birmingham Botanical Gardens as Cultural Partner

Pictured above, Education Director Henry Hughes accepts recognition from the International Services Council of Alabama as a Cultural Partner. The luncheon was held on Monday, December 5 at the Harbert Center in Birmingham. Standing with Henry is ISC Board President Rena Anderson. Below is a release from ISC, which offers more about the partnership with The Gardens and other cultural attractions also recognized.

 

Birmingham, Ala. – Diplomacy begins with a smile, a word or two, and a shared experience. Citizen diplomacy, one handshake at a time, has been practiced by the International Services Council of Alabama (ISC) for more than 40 years.

A U.S. State Department affiliate, ISC sponsored its Annual Citizen Diplomacy Luncheon on Monday, December 5, 2011, at the Harbert Center, 2019 Fourth Avenue North.

The keynote speaker was Sherry Mueller, Ph.D., President Emerita of the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV) which operates under the auspices of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. Before coming to NCIV, she worked for eighteen years for the Institute of International Education (IIE), first as a program officer and then as Director of the Professional Exchange Programs staff. Prior to joining IIE, Dr. Mueller served as an Experiment Leader to the former Soviet Union, an English Language Officer for the U.S. Department of State, and a lecturer at the University of Rhode Island.

The luncheon’s Honorary Chair was Terry Oden, Mayor of Mountain Brook and former U.S. Attaché to France. He is also a former Secret Service Agent who guarded the Kennedy and Johnson families. Mayor Oden presented to the audience a proclamation from the Jefferson County City Council and Mayor William Bell declaring December 5 as Citizen Diplomacy Day in Birmingham.

The luncheon program included the recognition of Alabamians who have dedicated themselves as citizen diplomats while promoting international understanding. The honorees include Rena Anderson, Attorney Orrin Ford, Imam Abdul-Hakeen Nabeeh Um’Rani, Alston Fitts, Paul Daymond of the FBI, H. Pennington Whiteside of UAB, Carolyn Foster of the Alabama Faith Council, Richie Jean Sherrod Jackson, Cindy Dawson of Global Women, Rev. Wanda Gail Campbell, Honorable Oscar L. Crawley, Sr., Betty Morrison, Verna Gates, Henry Hughes of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Hampton Inn East Chase, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Rosa Parks Museum, National Voting Rights Museum & Institute, Alabama State University Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture, Birmingham International Center, CATCH Coalition, The Friendship Force of Montgomery, and Southern Poverty Law Center.

ISC is proud to be an active participant in the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), which brings leaders from around the globe to the U.S. to broaden their professional horizons through contact with American professionals. Through this program, Alabamians engage in citizen diplomacy, “the concept that every citizen has the right, even the responsibility, to help shape U.S. foreign policy one handshake at a time.” Jacquelyn Shipe is the Executive Director of ISC. 

Planting at George Ward Park

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Executive Director, Fred Spicer, Director of Education, Henry Hughes, and Kaul Wildflower Garden curator John Manion recently made their annual trip to George Ward Park off Greensprings Avenue to plant trees.  Each year, The Gardens makes an effort to help plant, an effort that is being taken to another level this year as we are currently growing new trees to help replant areas affected by April’s tornado damage.

Do you Have Nature at Home with you?

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Do you Have Nature at Home with you?

KWG Curator, John Manion

I’d like to bring to your attention something about which I am very excited, have worked very hard on and that is near-and-dear to my heart. It’s Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Central South Native Plant Conference on Friday and Saturday, November 4 and 5. This year for the first time, we have as our co-sponsors Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, Jefferson County Master Gardeners, Shelby County Master Gardeners, Alabama Wildflower Society and the Blanche Dean Chapter of the Alabama Wildflower Society. Members of all these organizations receive our member discount on registration.

About a year ago, I was invited to be program director for this event which is only held every three years. Because it is an infrequent event, and because it was my first whack at developing programs, my goal was to make the event so wonderful that participants would eagerly await the next conference.

I wanted to lay the foundation for the conference by selecting a heavy hitter for our keynote speaker. That was an easy decision for me, and if you are attending the conference, you will see why. This individual’s work and writings are so influential, that once I was able to engage him as a presenter, I chose to develop the entire conference theme around his philosophies.

Doug Tallamy, with his very influential book Bringing Nature Home, has prompted a significant paradigm shift in the way people view and understand our world of nature. If there were ever a book that I thought should be required (not just recommended) for anyone interested in nature, this book would be my top choice. I divide my own years of being involved with plants into “pre-Tallamy” and “post-Tallamy” stages.  Some of the comments I receive from people who have read his book are amusing, with an almost religious fervor about them…comments such as “he changed my life!” or “I’ll never see the world the same again!” Anyone that has read the book will completely understand these sentiments.

An example of my pre-and post-Tallamy stages: before reading Doug’s book, if I found something munching some of my plants, my knee-jerk reaction would have been to quickly figure out how to halt the process. Now, when I see this process in motion, I celebrate, realizing that it is a sign that “the system is intact.”

The overarching theme of the two-day event is: Native Plants: The Bigger Picture – How Native Plants Complete the Puzzle.” In addition to discussing many native plants and their related topics, this conference will focus on the numerous important roles they play in our ecosystems and how we can help keep those systems intact. We will address the interrelationships of native plants to the myriad of life forms…birds, bees, butterflies, bugs – and humans!

In addition to Tallamy, we will have 26(!) other presenters ranging from speakers to workshop and field trip leaders. We are excited that Gil Nelson, noted author of the recently published Best Native Plants for Southern Gardens will also speak, as will Rick Lewandowski, the director of one of the pre-eminent native plant gardens worldwide, the stunning Mt. Cuba Center in Delaware. Two other plenary speakers will be our own director of education, Henry Hughes, who will speak about the legacy of native trees in public parks, and Dan Long, the very popular nurseryman who studies, speaks about, grows and sells vines, numerous among them, native species.

To read the full line-up of lectures, break-out sessions, workshops and field trips, see: http://bbgardens.org/central-south.php. Four of our speakers who have authored popular books will have them for sale and will be available for signings.

Please forward this announcement to any individuals or groups you think might be interested.