Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Community Tree & Shrub Planting Along the Sparkill Creek

Date: October 10th, 2015
Rain date: October 11th, 2015
Time: 9:00am-1pm
Planting Location:
Behind 564 Route 340,
Sparkill, NY (Orangetown
Parks Property) *limited parking

-Receive community service hours!
-Learn about native plants, flood
reduction methods, erosion control
and more

Contact Greg Mercurio, Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance to register: ; (845) 216- 8587

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

NY Pollinator Conference

Save the Date!

September 22, 2015 – Albany CCE Office, Voorheesville, NY

On September 22, 2015, the New York State IPM Program will host a full day conference on pollinators to increase practitioner knowledge on the state of pollinator health and to provide strategies for enhancing native and managed pollinating insects. The morning session will cover the current state of pollinators, including native and managed bees, and other insects. In the afternoon session speakers will cover topics on what can be done to conserve and enhance pollinators on farms, in backyards and in urban areas. Both morning and afternoon sessions will finish with open forums for discussion of topics.

This conference will be held at the Albany Cooperative Extension Office, 24 Martin Road, Voorheesville, NY 12186, from 8:30-4:30 and WILL include lunch and refreshments. The cost of attendance is to be determined, but is expected to be about $20.

Registration information will be mailed out soon, so mark your calendars!

For more information, contact Betsy Lamb 
607 254-8800 or

Friday, August 14, 2015

Conserve New York State's Ash: How to Collect Ash Seed

This webinar is open to all audiences.

Molly Marquand, Ash Program Manager, Mid Atlantic Regional Seed Bank

The workshop will focus on current threats to New York State ash species due to the emerald ash boer, and how seed collection can help save the genetic diversity of ash. Attend, learn how to collect your own ash seeds, and join the nationwide effort to save this important genus of trees.

Friday, September 11, 2015
12:00 pm - Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00 - 1 hr.

Hudsonia offering Conservation of Urban Biodiversity Workshop

Hudsonia is offering a Conservation of Urban Biodiversity work shop at Teatown Lake Reservation in Ossining, on Monday 24 August, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. A full  day with presentations, discussions, readings, other literature for viewing, and a short field trip on the reservation.
Flyer & Registration Form:
A workshop for consultants, biologists, students, university and high school teachers, environmental
professionals, NGO staff, regulators, policy-makers, preserve and park managers, restorationists, and others
involved with the study or conservation of urban biodiversity in the northeastern U.S.
The study of urban ecology and urban biodiversity is “coming of age” in the U.S. after many years of
European research. Nonetheless, the need for accurate scientific information and a broad-based approach to
conservation and management of species and habitats in cities has outstripped research in the discipline.
This workshop will integrate the background of urban ecology from American and European research with
new concepts of urban biodiversity developed in northeastern New Jersey, New York City, and other urban

Conservation, management, and restoration of biodiversity in urban (and industrial) areas are more than
trying to recreate environments of the countryside. Effective and sustainable practices must be based on
knowledge of the groups of organisms that do and do not persist or thrive in urban areas, and the role
that habitat quality, connectivity to non-urban areas, and the pool of available species play in the
phenomena of urban tolerance and urban sensitivity. Urban biotas respond to bedrock, soils, surface and
ground waters, microclimates, chemical pollutants, noise, built structures, and human activities. Cities lack
many sensitive species of plants, animals, and other organisms, but also are refuges or even high quality
environments for many common and rare species.

Participants in this workshop will:
 which species of organisms occur in cities, how to identify their habitats, and why surveys of
multiple groups of organisms are needed to inform management decisions.
 the results of studies of urban biodiversity in the Northeast.
 what works and doesn’t work in restoration of urban and industrial areas.
 in a short field trip to take a fresh view of urban habitats.

Erik Kiviat, PhD, field biologist and conservation scientist, is a co-founder (1981) and the
Executive Director of Hudsonia. Erik began studying urban biodiversity in New York . Erik is
coauthor of the Biodiversity Assessment Handbook for New York City
and the Biodiversity Assessment Manual for the Hudson River Estuary Corridor,
as well as scientific papers and nontechnical articles on urban biota, rare species, environmental weeds, habitat management, and other topics.
Kristi MacDonald, PhD, will co-lead the workshop. Kristi conducted her PhD research on birds in
urban areas of northeastern New Jersey and has collaborated with Erik on broad-based biodiversity
research in the Meadowlands since 2000. Kristi grew up in Jersey City and went to graduate
school at Rutgers University after working in the Wildlife Conservation Society North America
program and Metropolitan Conservation Alliance. She has also conducted research on deer in the
Everglades and an endangered bird in the Seychelles Islands. Kristi and Erik are revising a book
manuscript on urban biodiversity and its conservation in the Meadowlands.
Participation is limited and by application only, to ensure that the workshop is offered to
conservationists, managers, regulators, policy-makers, and other professionals who can make the
best use of the information.

Fee: $30 per person, payable in advance (free for students – but application necessary!). Fee
includes lunch and course materials. Payment must be received by August 14th in order to hold
the place. This workshop is underwritten by an education grant from the Hudson River Improvement Fund.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Greetings Stream Volunteers and Others,

The NYS DEC Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) season started July 1st and runs through Sept. 30th!  Rockland County SWCD will be using this protocol for our annual stream biomonitoring citizen science program (previously used Hudson Basin River Watch guidelines).  

Those interested in assessing throughout the County should be trained in W.A.V.E. prior to sampling a stream.  The WAVE training is pretty simple and much less time consuming than the HBRW protocol you are all used to.

A half day training will be provided for those interested in monitoring this field season.  For those that complete the training, you will be W.A.V.E. Basic Trained which allows you to go out into the field and monitor for 5 years.  At least one W.A.V.E. Basic volunteer must be with each group (thus not all folks that plan to monitor need to get this training, only one from the group is necessary but all are welcome!).

Training Date is listed below along with materials that would be useful to bring to the training.  There might be a weekend training option added if many folks cannot attend a weekday event.  *This training is a great addition to a recent college graduates resume!*

Training Date:
Thursday, July 23 @ 9am-1pm
Kakiat Park, 668 Haverstraw Road, Montebello, NY Meet in parking lot, near park entrance

What to bring:
Waterproof Boots or closed toed water shoes (keens or tevas) Sunscreen
*Stream(s) and locations interested in assessing *List of names of people interested in assessing (if part of a group)

Training Overview:
Basic WAVE Training encompasses an overview of the new sampling protocol, benthic macro invertebrate identification, habitat assessment protocol and perception assessment protocol.  All of those attending will have the opportunity to enter the stream and help collect samples.

I look forward to meeting many of you at the training!


Nicole V. Laible
Environmental Management Assistant
Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources
50 Sanatorium Road, Building K
Pomona, NY 10970
Phone: 845-364-2669
Fax: 845-364-2671

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Reminders for our members and friends...

June 5, 2015 

Nighttime in the Animal Kingdom

   Suggested Donation: $5, Children ages 4-10 $2

     ** Per Animal Embassy, this program is NOT suitable for children under 4 **

Hedgehog © Animal Embassy

Speaker: Representatives of "Animal Embassy" with live animals.

Join Animal Embassy on this night-time journey through the fascinating night life of the animal kingdom! With the help of live animal ambassadors such as Red-eyed Tree Frogs, a Hedgehog, a Ball Python, a rabbit, a New Caledonian Giant Gecko and perhaps a Spectacled Owl, families will discover what these amazing creatures do while we are tucked tightly in our beds dreaming!

LOCATION: Community CenterCongers Lake Memorial Park, 6 Gilchrest Road, Congers, N.Y., 10920. There is plenty of parking near the building, and it is handicap accessible.

TIME:  Meet at 7:00 p.m. for refreshments and conversation, with a one-hour nature program beginning at 7:30 p.m.

All RAS programs are open to the public and donations are greatly appreciated to help cover costs. If you would like to contribute a sweet or savory treat for the refreshments table, please add your name to the sign-up sheet at the meeting! This program is made possible through generous donations from our members and friends! Thank you!

Upcoming Field Trips

Note: Please call the trip leader 24 hours ahead if you plan to join the group at the field trip site, rather than the designated meeting place! Please check for updates!

June 7 (SUN) – First Sunday Walk at Piermont Pier
Meet Ron Conzo at 8 a.m. at the parking lot by the ball field at the Piermont Pier entrance. 914-393-5053

June 14 (SUN) – Dragons & Damsels of Rockland (
Audubon in the Parks)
Meet Alan and Della Wells at 9 a.m. at the Commuter Parking Lot, Route 9W in Stony Point (just south of Hogan's Diner) for carpooling. 
PLEASE NOTE: Special parking permit required for Lily Pond so ALL attendees MUST meet at the Commuter Parking Lot for carpooling.Learn to identify common dragonflies and damselflies at Lily Pond in Harriman State Park (short drive followed by short hike). Wear long pants, and bring water, snack, binoculars (preferably close focus), and insect repellent. Camera optional. Call to confirm if rainy or overcast. 845-942-5751

Not a Member Yet?

Many of you who receive this reminder are not yet members! While we value your friendship, an Audubon membership helps support our chapter and entitles you to receive Audubon magazine as well as our RAS newsletter, The Observer! Please consider becoming a member. To join, send your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address with a check payable toNATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY for $20 (1-year introductory membership) to Della Wells, RAS Membership, 9 Dunderberg Rd, Tomkins Cove, NY 10986-1003. Please allow 4-6 weeks for the arrival of your first Audubon magazine, your National Audubon Society membership card, and The Observer! Thank you for supporting your Rockland County chapter of the National Audubon Society!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What is an invasive species?

Invasive species are non-native species that can cause harm to the environment, the economy or to human health.
 Invasives come from all around the world. As international trade increases, so does the rate of invasive species introductions.

Why are invasive species a threat?

Invasive species threaten nearly every aspect of our world and are one of the greatest threats to New York's biodiversity.
 They cause or contribute to:
  • Habitat degradation and loss
  • The loss of native fish, wildlife and tree species
  • The loss of recreational opportunities and income
  • Crop damage and diseases in humans and livestock

Invasive Species Regulation

 A regulation came into effect on Mar. 10, 2015 regulating the possession, transport, importation, sale, purchase and introduction of select invasive species.
Economic Impact: 
Recent estimates conclude that invasive species cost the U.S. at least $137 billion per year. In addition to reducing the diversity of native plants and animals, invasive plants have the potential to impact forest regeneration, agriculture, and recreation. 


Invasive Garlic Mustard                     Infestation of Garlic Mustard

Invasive Norway Maple                                               Infestation of Norway Maple


Invasive Japanese Barberry                                              Infestation of Japanese Barberry

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The New York Botanical Garden Orchid Show

Photos by Carol Luckhardt

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Mar. 6, 2015  

Forestscape © Donald "Doc" Bayne

Speaker: Donald "Doc" Bayne
What is living in the woods? How do you know what is there or what is not there? You just need to know what to look for! Learn the tell-tale signs of the forest so that next time you hike, you will know what lurks in the woods you are walking in. Donald “Doc” Bayne is a former environmental educator at Sterling Forest and leads many educational hikes in the Hudson Valley.

LOCATION: Community CenterCongers Lake Memorial Park, 6 Gilchrest Road, Congers, N.Y., 10920. There is plenty of parking near the building, and it is handicap accessible.

TIME:  Meet at 7:00 p.m. for refreshments and conversation, with a one-hour nature program beginning at 7:30 p.m.

All RAS programs are open to the public and donations are greatly appreciated to help cover costs. If you would like to contribute a sweet or savory treat for the refreshments table, please add your name to the sign-up sheet at the meeting! This program is made possible through generous donations from our members and friends! Thank you!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Lenteroos rood plant". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

Helleborus x hybrid, Lenten Rose

Our first horticultural love – who can forget? Quickened breath and fluttering heart on seeing our beloved. I remember clearly the sunny spring morning when I first saw my heart’s desire: Helleborus x hybrid, Lenten Rose. 
Pull up a chair, pour yourself some tea, let me tell you how we met. I was a newish gardener, having moved from the city to the suburbs. It was March, and crystal-cold sunshine filtered through the branches of an Eastern Red Cedar. An experienced gardener brushed some fallen leaves aside under the tree and showed me a treasure –pastel-rose flowers growing bravely in the cold, bobbing over leathery leaves that survived the winter. Nothing else was blooming yet except daffodils and Siberian Squill, drama queens drawing attention to themselves.
Hellebores bloom in the coldest times of the year. Helleborus niger ‘Josef Lemper’ starts blooming in December until February, giving them the common name “Christmas Rose”. On one of the coldest days of November, my ‘Josef Lemper’ is spangled with fat white buds. Helleborus orientalis and their hybrid crosses bloom in that space between winter and spring when you just can’t stand it anymore, you have to see something, anything, growing. Go on, you want to prune something, grab your shears and cut back the spent foliage and allow the blossoms to show. Flowers generally face downward and are pastel pink or cream and chartreuse, often freckled; the choice of colors is expanding: ‘Winter Dream Black’ is a rich, inky gray, and ‘Goldfinch’ is lemony yellow with red freckles. 
Helleborus foetidus, or Stinking Hellebore, does, indeed, smell pretty bad when bruised, ensuring that animals leave it alone. Its finely cut, palmate foliage (“Palmate” like the palm of your hand, fingers all stretched out) and clusters of chartreuse blooms (March-April, usually) makes a handsome show when planted with Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’ or Autumn Fern in a moist, humusy woodland setting.
Helleborus argutifolia, or Corsican Hellebore –I’m breathless now, forgive me – has spiny evergreen foliage and pastel green flowers, and blooms in March and April. It’s unusual but not impossible to find.
I tolerate almost no complaints about my beloved, but I hear these two constantly – they can reseed themselves with vigor. Seedlings can easily be potted up and moved or given away. The other complaint is that the flowers face downward. But in the last few years, the Hellebore Gold Collection, a hybrid of H. niger, has been introduced, and its flowers face upward.
Hellebores are gorgeous planted with other spring bloomers like Epimedium spp., or with ferns to provide textural contrast, or in a mass on their own next to a boulder. Plant them near your entrance, or along a path, so you are likely to see and enjoy them as you hurry in from the cold – stop just long enough to fall in love with hellebores all over again.
What you need to know:
Hardiness: Generally Zone 5-8, but varies with species.
Exposure: Partial shade (4-6 hours of sunlight, preferably morning sun)
Water needs: moist, well-drained soil
Height: varies by species, but 12”-15” flower stalks are typical. H. foetidus can reach 20” 
Maintenance requirements: low
Deer resistance: deer generally do not damage this plant
  • Easiest from seedlings.
  • Can be divided, with difficulty. Roots tend to be woody. Dig out entire plant with a garden fork, split plant carefully with a sharp blade. Plants will sulk after this and may not perform well for a number of growing seasons. Best done in late spring or early fall. Do not attempt with H. argutifolia or H. foetidus. 
  • Can be grown from seed. Allow seed pods to turn brown on plant before removing, about May or June. Sow seeds as soon as possible onto the surface of compost, in a seed tray or in small pots. Cover with coarse grit, keep moist. Seeds should begin to germinate by late summer, early fall. Can be potted up individually in mid-fall, October or November, after first true leaves have formed. Plant outside in spring. Takes about two years for flower formation.
  • Bodies of literature exist about how best to propagate, not all in agreement. Check with the Horticulture lab about best methods for your variety.
Pruning: Remove spent foliage in late winter, as soon as flower buds begin to emerge.
Varieties to look for: Helleborus Gold Collection ‘Cinnimon Snow’, cream and spicy pink. H. niger ‘Josef Lemper’, white, upward facing. H. x hybridus ‘Winter Dream Black’, ‘Goldfinch’, ‘Pine Knot Select’, ‘Painted Doubles’. Look for new double-flowered varieties. 
Additional notes: 

Hellebores are seldom bothered by pests; they are poisonous. The name “hellebore” comes from two Greek words, “elein” to injure and “bora” food. (
MGV Chris Shankar
 Landscaping for the Watershed 

Planting for Pollinators, Wildlife, & Streams Part 1 of a 3-part Series… 
Thursday, March 5th – 7:30PM-9:30PM 

United Water NJ Haworth Water Treatment Plant Auditorium 
Presentation by Evelyn Hadden, nationally-recognized book author 
of Beautiful No-Mow Yards: 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives. Learn how to grow lush alternative gardens that… 

* Help Create Habitat for Birds, Bees & Other Beneficial Wildlife * * Control Runoff & Snowmelt * Improve the Quality of our Local Waterways * * Build Soil & Reduce Erosion * Showcase Beautiful Native Plants * 
* See a Slide Presentation Sampling of Inspirational Yards * 
Intermission with Information Tables & Healthful Refreshments 

* Home-baked Goods * Tea & Local Honey * Fresh Cut Fruits * * Learn about Parts 2 & 3 - Hands-On Planting Workshops * 
Question & Answer Session with local naturalists, botanists, and watershed experts: 

* Ray Cywinski, Watershed Manager, United Water NJ 
* Bill Kolvek, Nurseryman, BK Perennials 
* Elaine Silverstein, Horticulturalist, Native Plant Society of NJ 
* Don Torino, Naturalist; President & Educator, Bergen County Audubon Society 

Sponsored by the Nature Program Cooperative of Northern NJ, Bergen SWAN, Native Plant Society/Bergen-Passaic Chapter, & United Water NJ – Underwritten by a Grant from PSE&G 

Botanical art by Barton Knight, Bergen SWAN. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Feb. 6, 2015  

Birds, Our Endangered Allies 

Native American Beliefs and Concerns About Our Relationship With Birds--Including Climate Change and Other Hazards

Speaker: Evan Pritchard
Evan Pritchard, author and academic of Mi'kmaq and Celtic descent, will speak on Native American beliefs and concerns about our relationship with birds. Once again highlighting Native American spiritual beliefs, Evan will share more first-hand stories from Native American elders about bird-human interactions. This sense of intimacy with our avian allies has led many First Americans to become especially concerned about hazards, such as climate change and cell tower radiation, on birds. The National Audubon Society's Sept. 9, 2014 report on the impact of climate change on bird life will be integrated into his presentation. Excellent for all ages

LOCATION: Community CenterCongers Lake Memorial Park, 6 Gilchrest Road, Congers, N.Y., 10920. There is plenty of parking near the building, and it is handicap accessible.

TIME:  Meet at 7:00 p.m. for refreshments and conversation, with a one-hour nature program beginning at 7:30 p.m.

All RAS programs are open to the public and donations are greatly appreciated to help cover costs. If you would like to contribute a sweet or savory treat for the refreshments table, please add your name to the sign-up sheet at the meeting! This program is made possible through generous donations from our members and friends! Thank you!

Monday, February 2, 2015

New York
Restricts Sale
& Transport of
Some Invasive
New York State Enacts
Much-Needed Support
for Invasive Species

Winter 2015 Many of us know the problems invasive
plants cause in our forests and along hiking
trails—shrubs like barberry crowding in on
the path, vines like oriental bittersweet
helping to pull down trees, invasive plants
smothering an area that used to have wonderful
spring wildflowers.
The Trail Conference’s Invasives Strike
Force has been working to combat invasive
plants along our trails since 2011. We,
along with many other park managers and
natural resource professionals across the
country, work tirelessly to protect our
native biodiversity in parks and natural
areas, but we often feel unsupported by
many facets of society. We go to nurseries
and see the very plants we have been
removing being sold to unsuspecting
homeowners. We go to pet stores and see
the invasive aquatic organisms that are decimating
our native aquatic habitats being
sold for aquariums. We see lists of recommended
street trees promoted by the
regional shade tree organization that
include species that are popping up as invasive
in our forests. We watch garden
programs that enthuse over ornamental
plants that we know have become invasive
in nearby states.
This past September, New York State
gave invasives fighters some much-needed
legal support for our efforts. The NYS
Dept. of Environmental Conservation
(DEC) issued regulations defining a list of
98 prohibited invasive species (NYCRR
Part 575) that, starting March 10, 2015,
will be illegal to sell, introduce, purchase,
import, or transport. This means that, as of
this spring, many of the invasive plants we
see in our forests will no longer be able to
be sold in New York.
Many of the most common invasive
species found along our hiking trails will be
prohibited—including barberry (prohibited
starting Sept. 10, 2015), oriental
bittersweet, Japanese stiltgrass, Japanese
honeysuckle, garlic mustard, and
knotweed. Yellow iris, water chestnut, and
mosquito fish—commonly sold for water
gardens and ponds—will also be prohibited,
as will border privet, one of the shrubs
frequently used for hedges. Two species of
bamboo were also placed on the list due to
the problems they cause when they spread
between neighboring yards.
You will still be allowed to transport prohibited
species for the purpose of
identification or disposal. For example, if
you catch a strange fish in the stream, you
are allowed to transport it to an expert to
have it identified without fear of having
violated the regulations. If you are involved
in an invasive plant removal effort, you are
allowed to transport and dispose of the
removed plants in the trash. In addition, a
permit process will be in place to allow use
of prohibited species for educational and
research purposes.
Some species were deemed too important
economically to prohibit outright.
These species have been placed on the regulated
list. A regulated species may still be
sold, but must be accompanied by labeling
identifying it as invasive and providing
information on how to prevent the species
from becoming introduced into a free-living
state in our natural areas. These
regulated species include some well-known
landscaping plants, such as Norway maple,
burning bush, and Chinese silver grass
(Miscanthus sinensis), and popular aquatic
pets such as red-eared slider (a turtle) and
To see the complete regulations along
with a full list of prohibited and regulated
species, go to
Now that New York has passed these regulations,
we hope that it will inspire similar
efforts in New Jersey. Now that there is legislation
backing our efforts, we hope to see
a big difference in the invasive species control
work in New York.
Linda Rohleder is Trail Conference Director
of Land Stewardship and Coordinator of the
Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional
Invasive Species Management (PRISM).
The Trail Conference is contracted by the
state of New York to lead the Lower Hudson
PRISM, which brings together individuals,
organizations and agencies working on
invasive species to coordinate efforts and
strategies in the Lower Hudson Valley. See for more information.

By Linda Rohleder

Linda Rohleder is Trail Conference Director
of Land Stewardship and Coordinator of the
Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional
Invasive Species Management (PRISM).
The Trail Conference is contracted by the
state of New York to lead the Lower Hudson
PRISM, which brings together individuals,
organizations and agencies working on
invasive species to coordinate efforts and
strategies in the Lower Hudson Valley. See for more information

Duke Farms Foundation
Creating Meadows: 

The Story of Landscape Meadows
Discovering Meadows for Professionals"Creating Meadows", is a practical, how-to workshop designed to explore the development of a meadow from site preparation through post-planting maintenance.

On February 6, 2015, three top experts in meadow establishment and landscape restoration will talk about their successes and why meadows are a critical component of healthy landscapes. 

Agenda for February 6, 2015:
8:45 - 9:30 AM - Registration, light continental breakfast

9:30 - 9:45 AM - Welcome Michael Catania, Executive Director Duke Farms

9:45 - 10:30 AM - Thom Almendinger, Duke Farms, "Great Lawn to Great Meadow: The Evolution of Landscapes at Duke Farms"

10:30 - 12 AM - Neil DiBoll, Prairie Nursery, "Five Steps to Successful Meadow Establishment"   

12 - 1 PM - Lunch

1 - 2 PM - Dr. Jeffrey Keller, Habitat By Design, "Scales of Meadow Creation:  If You Build it, Who Will Come?"

2:15 - 3:15 PM  - Breakout session- working groups

3:15 PM - Final Q & A of all speakers.

Presenter Bios:
Thom Almendinger is the Director of Natural Resources and Agroecology for Duke Farms. He has developed and to continues direct a large-scale landscape restoration program on the 2,740-acre property that includes a range of habitats fostering nearly 30 species of wildlife, listed as threatened and endangered in New Jersey.   Additionally, Thom has directed the transformation of over 200 acres of manicured lawns to vibrant meadows across the property. 

Neil Diboll will present the keynote, "Five Steps to Successful Meadow Establishment". Neil is the President of Prairie Nursery and is recognized internationally as an expert in native community ecology. A proponent of the early prairie movement, Neil's goal goes beyond growing native plants to preserve a diverse gene pool and the genetic integrity reflected in the variability and adaptability of Nature itself. His knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm for native plants are at the root of Prairie Nursery's mission and have sustained the nursery through the decades.

Dr. Jeffrey Keller is principal for Habitat by Design and has 25 years of experience in restoration ecology including landscape design to control nuisance species, stream channel restoration design and the design of created wetlands to filter stormwater runoff. His diverse list of clients includes Walt Disney Company, T. Rowe Price, Johnson & Johnson, the City of Philadelphia and the Trump Organization.

Five Minutes to Moonflower 


Planting a Clock That Tracks Hours by Flowers

The idea of a garden that blooms like clockwork has been around for centuries. But how well does it work?

Follow the link for the New York Times article:

Monday, December 15, 2014


Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD), threatens the viability of every blueberry and fall raspberry grower in the state. Growers of fall raspberries, mid-late season blueberries, and day-neutral strawberries can learn how to manage SWD at three regional workshops offered by the NYS Berry Growers Association.  The Central NY workshop will be held on December 17th in Syracuse; register by December 10th to attend. Eastern NY and Western NY workshops will follow.  NYSBGA President, Dale Ila Riggs advises, “THIS is the place to learn current SWD information, the most recent research results, and management practices. The 2015 Producers’ Expo will focus on other topics of importance to berry growers.”

Presentations by Cornell researchers, Extension, and the NYS Berry Growers Association will address SWD biology, early warning signs and symptoms of infestation, field management strategies, and decision-making resources.  Attendees will participate in hands-on activities, and receive a take-home reference binder and supplies.  7 Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) credits will be offered, and 5.5 DEC credits are available in categories 1A, 10, 22, 23 & 24.

Workshop registration is $25 per person for NYSBGA Members, and $50 per person for Non-Members, which includes lunch and take-home materials.  Participants can save on workshop registration by joining the NYS Berry Growers Association; 2015 Membership is $125 and applies to two individuals per farm.  Associate Membership is $75 for non-profit agricultural professionals. 

Regional dates (all workshops 8:30AM-4:00 PM) and locations:
December 17, 2014         Ramada Inn, 1305 Buckley Rd., Syracuse, NY                        Register by Dec. 10
January 14, 2015               CCE Albany Co., 24 Martin Rd., Voorheesville, NY              Register by Jan. 7 
March 4, 2015                    Clarion Hotel, 8250 Park Rd., Batavia, NY                                Register by Feb. 25

The workshops are sponsored by the NYS Berry Growers Association, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the NYS IPM Program, with funding support from the NYS Legislature and NY Farm Viability Institute.

For SWD workshop details and registration, visit: or contact: Penny Heritage, NYS Berry Growers Association, (518) 424-8028,

Monday, December 8, 2014

Registration is now open for the online course Permaculture Design: Ecosystem Mimicry, offered January 5 to February 19, 2015 through the Horticulture’s distance learning program

Space is limited to 25 participants. Registration closes when limit is reached. Registration fee is $600 and to be paid via credit card at registration. See registration link at course  info website.

The course is 6.5 weeks long and provides an opportunity for you to build your knowledge about permaculture and ecological design. Participants will explore the content through videos, readings, and activities and complete portions of a design for a site of their choosing.

While the course is online, the format is designed for consistent interaction between instructors and students through forums and live video conferences. Readings and presentations will be directly applied through hands-on activities students will engage with at home.

View the full syllabus for the course and find registration information at the course info website.

Horticulture’s distance learning program offers two other online permaculture design 

Permaculture Design: Design Practicum (March 2 to April 9, 2015) fee: $300 and prerequisite is one or both of previous courses