Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania


BSWP Monthly Meeting Directions

To Ford Mateer Classroom of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History:

The entrance to the parking lot, which is gated, is just past the Museum at the intersection of Forbes and Craig Street. The Ford-Mateer Classroom is reached through the Portal Entry in the rear parking lot area. Once inside the building, the room is located just beyond the Security desk on the left. In addition to the Museum parking lot, which costs $6, there are metered spaces on Forbes Avenue opposite the Museum and along Craig Street that are free after 6 p.m. From there you will cross the street and walk through the right side of the gates to the parking lot. Continue on the sidewalk to the rear of the building where you will see the sign for “Portal Entry” ahead. 

If you do not park in the Museum’s lot, from Forbes Avenue, walk along the right side of the parking toll gates to the parking lot. Continue on the sidewalk to the rear of the building where you will see the sign for "Portal Entry" ahead. 

Directions to the Carnegie Museum

June 13, 2016 Meeting at 7:15 p.m.

"Searching for Ferns in Zion National Park" will be presented by Steve McKee.

Steve served as director of the Gorman Nature Center and the Richland County Park District (Ohio) for 35 years, and is now semi-retired. He grew up in Mansfield, Ohio, graduated from Miami University with a master's degree in botany, ran an environmental education school in the mountains of Kentucky, is married and has two sons. He is enthusiastic about the natural history of north-central Ohio and southwest Utah, and is constantly working on surveys of local wild plants and birds.

What started out as a family trip to Zion National Park eleven years ago, has turned into an annual expedition by Steve to search for and document the ferns of Zion. In his program, Steve will show the highlights of this amazing national park, describe the flora of southwest Utah, and share some of his fern stories and adventures from18 trips to Zion. There will be something for everyone.

2016 Pennsylvania Botany Symposium

November 18 – 19, 2016
Penn Stater Conference Center
State College, Pennsylvania

A committee of botanists from across the state are working hard to organize the 3rd biennial symposium, rich with hands-on workshop opportunities, presenters who are leaders in the field, opportunities for students to engage with professionals and time to come together to share our work and celebrate our botanical heritage. 

The focus of the Pennsylvania Botany Symposium is to bring together a diverse audience from amateur to academic botanists, and those interested in the natural world in general. Invited speakers have been carefully selected to share their expertise on a variety of botanical topics including taxonomy, conservation, ecology, biology, history and floristics. Research results will be presented, but at a level appropriate for an audience of diverse backgrounds. All invited speakers are experts with reputations for being engaging and entertaining.

Keynote speaker will be Reed Noss, Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor, University of Central Florida, Department of Biology, who will give a talk titled "Competing Values of Modern Conservation: Can They Be Reconciled." Other speakers include:

  • Robin Kimmerer, Distinguished Teaching Professor, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY
  • James Bissell, Curator of Botany and Director of Natural Areas, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
  • Peggy Olwell, Plant Conservation Program Lead, Bureau of Land Management
  • Richard McCourt, Curator and Professor, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
  • Barre Hellquist, Professor of Biology Emeritus, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
  • Wes Knapp, Eastern Region Heritage Ecologist/Botanist, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage
  • Dwayne Estes, Associate Professor of Biology at Austin Peay State University

Three full-day and three half-day botany workshops will be offered this year on Friday. This year there is an exciting new element to the Pennsylvania Botany Symposium: a student poster session! This will take place during the Friday evening social event. This session is intended to provide the ‘next generation of botanists’ an opportunity to present their research and engage with professional botanists and botanical enthusiasts from around the region. The Friday evening event also provides attendees from all walks of life to interact, network and learn about new technologies, opportunities and services from our exhibitors.

Please check for more information and sponsorship opportunities.

BSWP Field Trips and Other Events

Saturday, May 14, 2016, 1:00 p.m.

Oil Creek State Park, Venango County

Leader: Robert Coxe; 814-775-0005;

Directions: Take I-79 north to Exit 116 to head east on I-80. Travel I-80 east to Exit 29 Barkeyville/PA 8. Travel PA 8 north about 16 miles to Franklin. In Franklin, turn left onto 13th Street to pick up US 322 West and PA 417. Travel PA 417 North 12 miles. Turn left onto PA 8 North in Cherrytree and continue about 6 ½ miles to Titusville. 

At the traffic light just before the Oil Creek bridge, turn right onto Bloss Street toward Drake Well Museum. Go a mile or so to the Bicycle Trail parking lot on the right, before the other bridge over Oil Creek. Meet at the parking lot.

Old railroad grades are noted for a diversity of wildflowers, and the Oil Creek Bike Trail is exceptionally diverse.

The Western Mountains Chapter of the Maryland Native Plant Society and New Germany State Park and are co-sponsoring this FREE event:

Saturday May 14 • 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Mountain Maryland Native Plant Festival
New Germany State Park, Garrett County, MD

Directions: From I-68 East in Maryland take exit 22 and follow signs for New Germany State Park. Turn left into the park onto McAndrews Hill Road. Signs will direct you to parking for this special event.

Discover the important connection between native plants, people and wildlife! A large variety of ethically sourced plants and seeds native to the mid-Atlantic will be available for sale (cash or check only) from these regional native plant nurseries. Advance orders are appreciated!        

  • Enchanter’s Garden Native Plant Nursery
    Hinton, West Virginia
  • Go Native Tree Farm
    Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Mount Savage Farm and Nursery
    Mount Savage, Maryland

Scheduled walks, programs, and activities will highlight native plants and biodiversity. Featured speakers & general topics include:

  • Sunshine Brosi, Professor, Biology Department, Frostburg State University — edible native plants
  • Ian Caton, Owner, Enchanter’s Garden Native Plant Nursery — natives plants in the landscape
  • Candy DeBerry, Professor of Biology, Washington & Jefferson College — pollinators and natives plants
  • Sara Via, Professor, Departments of Biology & Entomology, University of Maryland — climate change and native plants

Experts from local organizations will answer questions on native plants and other conservation topics.
Your support of participating native plant nurseries through your plant purchases is deeply appreciated! Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase but feel free to bring your own picnic lunch. For more information visit or

Saturday, May 21, 2016, 10:00 a.m.

Moraine State Park, 528 Trailhead
Prospect Exit, Butler County

Leaders: Joe and Bonnie Isaac
Cell: 724-944-7160; IsaacB@CarnegieMNH.Org

Directions: From Pittsburgh, take I-79 North to Exit 99 (US 422/Butler/New Castle). Drive east on US 422 roughly 5.8 miles to the Prospect Exit, and turn left (north) onto PA 528. Travel PA 528 for 2.5 miles to the highway bridge over Lake Arthur. Continue on PA 528 for 1.7 miles to a parking lot for the North Country Trail on the left-hand side of the road. If you reach Lindey Road on the left, you have gone too far.

Explore the path less traveled in search of wildflowers. We may see trillium, jack-in-the-pulpit, violets, and more. This hike follows a portion of the Glacier Ridge Trail, also part of the North Country National Scenic Trail. Out and back will be less than 3 miles, but includes going up and down hills left in the glacial moraine. Dress for the weather and rough terrain, bring your own pack lunch, snacks, and water. Meet at the North Country/Glacial Ridge Trailhead on 528, across from upper 528 launch (no facilities).

Sunday, June 26, 2016 • 10:00 a.m.

Pittsburgh Botanic Garden
Allegheny County

Directions: From Pittsburgh, travel I-376 west (Parkway West) to Exit 62 / Campbell Run Road. Turn left onto Campbell’s Run Road. Take an immediate left onto Boyce Road. Follow Boyce up the hill (don’t return to the highway).

At the first intersection go straight – Boyce Road becomes Cowan Road. In 0.2 mile there is a fork. Bear right staying on Cowan Road (road sign is hard to see). Follow Cowan Road 1.1 miles to stop sign at “T”. Turn right onto Baldwin Road. Follow Baldwin Road 0.7 miles, and make a right onto Pinkerton Run Road.

The Bayer Welcome Center is a ½ mile on the left. Parking lot entrance is on right.  

Join us for a special tour of the Garden for all members of the Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Attend to receive a free annual membership to the Botanic Garden (or use your new membership received at last year’s trip!).  We thank member Bill Lawrence for this unique fundraising strategy benefiting both the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden and the Botanical Society.

To learn more about the garden, visit

Mark your calendars for More BSWP Field Trips. More trip details to follow!