Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania


 

BSWP Meetings

The Society meets monthly from September through June on every second Monday of the month at 7:15 p.m. See directions below.

February 11, 2019 • 7:15 p.m.

Speaker: Professor Richard Primack.

“Climate change research at an international botanical garden network: New insights on leaf out, fruiting, and leaf senescence times.” 

For the past 10 years an international network of eight botanical gardens has been monitoring plant phenology to gain new insights into plant responses to climate change. Over 1500 species have been observed for timing of leafing out, fruiting, and leaf senescence, resulting in novel evolutionary and ecological insights which will be presented at this talk. This network is about to be expanded to include perennial wildflowers.

Richard Primack is a Professor of Biology with a specialization in plant ecology, conservation biology, tropical rain forest ecology, and climate change biology. He is the author of two widely used conservation biology textbooks; local co-authors have helped to produce 36 translations of these books with local examples. For nine years, he was the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Biological Conservation, and served as the President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. His research has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, National Geographic, and other publications, and he is often interviewed on National Public Radio. Primack also frequently gives talks and writes for the general public on issues of climate change and ecology, most recently the popular book Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau’s Woods.

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 
http://www.carnegiemuseums.org/interior.php?pageID=36

BSWP Field Trips

Registration for Botanical Society field trips is not required. Everyone is welcome, including non-members. Trips last 3 to 4 hours but one can leave at any time. For questions, call the field trip leader or Loree Speedy at 724-872-5232/home; 724-518-6022/cell or loreespeedy@gmail.com.

All members are invited to provide their e-mail addresses to receive information and periodic updates of additional field trips scheduled throughout the year. Please send an e-mail to botsocwpa@gmail.com if you are not on the list.

Saturday, February 16, 2019, 10:00 a.m.

Tree hike at the Otto and Magdalene Ackermann Nature Preserve

North Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County

Leader: Mark Bowers

monarda55@gmail.com; cell: (724) 454-4012

Come celebrate Valentine’s Day on a land of love. Otto and Magdalene Ackermann met on a hike in Germany, married, immigrated to the U.S., and bought a forest along Brush Creek in 1937. Otto and Magdalene have allowed nature lovers to enjoy the woods, trails and creek that the family has loved for four generations. Their granddaughter was married along the creek in 1976. In 2009, the Ackermann heirs placed the land in the care of the Westmoreland Land Trust so that it would remain as a natural area for the public to enjoy in perpetuity.

We will hike a new trail, and measure and age the trees using a handy Audubon guide.

Directions: To reach the reserve from points west (Pittsburgh/Allegheny County), travel to the intersection of PA 48 and US 30. Continue east on US 30 for ½ mile to make a left onto Leger Road (Sheetz on the right-hand corner). Turn left onto Leger Road and travel through the countryside for 2 miles. (Ignore the closed road signs as they are referring to a bridge near Brush Creek). At an intersection at the base of the hill, Leger Road turns to the right. Continue straight onto Ardara Road. After 1000 feet, look for the brown Ackermann Nature Preserve sign on the left and park at the end of the grassy strip between two homes.
To reach the reserve from the Irwin interchange of PA Turnpike: Travel US 30 west through Irwin and North Huntingdon. Two miles from the light at Robbins Station Road (after several Kenny Ross car dealerships), continue 2 miles on US 30 west to Leger Road (Sheetz is on the left-hand intersection). Turn right onto Leger Road and travel through the countryside for 2 miles. (Ignore the closed road signs as they are referring to the bridge near Brush Creek). At an intersection at the base of the hill, Leger Road turns to the right. Continue straight onto Ardara Road. After 1000 feet, look for the brown Ackermann Nature Preserve sign on the left and park at the end of the grassy strip between two homes.

GPS coordinates of the Preserve’s parking area are 40.36105, -79.74410 WGS84. Remember that the bridge from Ardara/PA 993 is currently not in use, so the Preserve must be reached from US 30.


Other Special Events

Making The Most Of Your Piece Of Nature:
A Sustainable Backyard Workshop
by PA Bureau of Forestry, in three different locations

These events are all free at all locations, but preregistration is required. Spend a morning learning how you can care for your "Piece of Nature."  With the increased prevalence of development and urban sprawl, learn how you can transform your property into a refuge for native birds, pollinators, and wildlife. Experts will be on hand to inform and answer questions along with an assortment of vendors that can help you to bring your vision to life. Feel free to contact 724-238-1200 or cecolbert@pa.gov with any questions.

Saturday, February 23, 2019 • 8:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Butler County Community College, Succop Theater
107 College Drive, Butler, PA  16002
Register online here.

Saturday, March 9, 2019 • 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
McLane Church, 12511 Edinboro Road
Edinboro, PA  16412
Register by calling 814-723-0262.

Saturday, March 16, 2019 • 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Franklin Regional Sr. High School
3200 School Road, Murrysville, PA  15668
The event is free, but please be sure to register here.

The Pennsylvania Plant Conservation Network
First Public/Stakeholder Meeting
(formerly the PA Plant Conservation Alliance)
Friday, April 26, 2019 • 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Shavers Creek Environmental Center
in conjunction with the 2019 Forum (see below)

Attend a collaborative discussion about the goals of the organization and stewardship of rare plants. There will also be opportunities for hiking and botanizing in the vicinity of Shaver's Creek after the PPCN meeting, in the tradition of the pre-Rare Plant Forum field trip. Please see this letter from Kristi Allen, Network Coordinator, for more information.


The Pennsylvania Rare Plant Forum
Saturday, April 27, 2019 • 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Shavers Creek Environmental Center

This annual Forum serves as an opportunity for concerned citizens and plant enthusiasts to discuss changes to the regulatory status of PA Plant species. These discussions are used by DCNR, along with data from the PA Heritage Program and the recommendations of PA Vascular Plant Technical Committee, to inform decisions on plant classifications.

Lodging is probably easiest to find in State College (about 20 minutes from Shavers Creek), but also in Huntingdon (about 30 minutes from Shavers Creek).

More information will be available soon at www.pabotany.org​.