Posts Tagged ‘Taylor Steele’

Birmingham City Schools hold science fair at The Gardens; students participate in Discovery Field Trips

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Birmingham City Schools hold science fair at The Gardens; students participate in Discovery Field Trips

 

On Tuesday, Birmingham schoolchildren participated in a science fair at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. While judges inspected their work, the students took part in some of the first Discovery Field Trips designed for middle school students.

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.

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.

Students from Arlingon School spend time in the Bruno Vegetable Garden

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Students from Arlingon School spend time in the Bruno Vegetable Garden

Gardener Amanda Clark taught Arlington School students about high density planting or companion planting today. The students helped planting in the Bruno Vegetable Garden.

Fall Gardening with Straw Bales: Innovative Way to Grow Your Fall Garden Plants

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Fall Gardening with Straw Bales: Innovative Way to Grow Your Fall Garden Plants

Last Saturday, Master Gardener Su Reid-St. John and her daughter Zoie demonstrated the fun and innovative way to grow your fall vegetables. Straw bale gardening is a fun and productive way to grow your greens that will have you the talk of the neighborhood (in good fashion of course).

Straw bale gardening has a number of benefits and a few restrictions. Straw bales provide a convenient method to raise the grade of your growing area and reduce the loss of plants to excessive water due to wet areas and/or poor soil. Straw bales also provide a near disease free growing media for your plants if you have difficulty with soil borne diseases. In addition, straw bales are also great for limited spaces in your landscape.

The downside to straw hay bale gardening is the constant need to monitor your plants for moisture content. If you plan a holiday more than a few days, you will need someone to water your plants. With such a large exposed surface area, straw bales will dry out quickly as weather warms and precipitation decreases. You will also need to anchor the bales well or stake
tall growing plants as they grow to prevent them from falling over.

Straw bale gardening is an interesting experiment and worth the investment for those who have difficulty growing in wet areas, poor soils or lack of natural space. However, proper preparation and routine watering is essential for success

Check out Su Ried’s video demonstration from Bonnie Plant http://bonnieplants.com/library/how-to-condition-and-plant-a-straw-bale/

Please join us on Saturday, November 9th for another Get into The Gardens Innovative Gardening demonstration. Check the website and follow us on Facebook for more information.

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.

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/

Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church visits Bruno Vegetable Garden

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church visits Bruno Vegetable Garden

Over 100 children from Camp Shiloh visited The Gardens on Friday to learn more about growing vegetables. Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in partnership with Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Christian Service Mission and Jefferson County Master Gardeners Association have constructed raised bed gardens at the church to grow vegetables as part of their community outreach program. As part of their summer mission, the kids from Camp Shiloh visited The Gardens to learn more about vegetables and how they grow by visiting the Bruno Vegetable garden. Birmingham Botanical Gardens volunteers and Jefferson County Master Gardeners Karen Mitchell, Natalie Lee and Volunteer Coordinator Taylor Steele hosted the campers for a hands-on lesson about growing vegetables and herbs. Campers also used our Meet The Gardens Treasure Map to investigate other gardens during their visit.

Birmingham’s Butterfly Education and Awareness Day

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Birmingham’s Butterfly Education and Awareness Day

This past Saturday, Birmingham Botanical Gardens hosted the inaugral Birmingham Butterfly Education and Awareness Day. Among the organizations participating in the event were the Birmingham Zoo, McWane Science Center, Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve and native landscape expert Arnie Rutkis. Over 200 people enjoyed the day learning about butterfly species native to Alabama, native host plants that are essential to butterflies, and the release of over 40 native butterflies to Alabama.
 
The Gardens plans on this unique partnership becoming an annual event; we hope to see you next June!