Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania


 

BSWP Meetings

Monday, March 13, 2017, 7:15 p.m.

BSWP member Allison Cusick will present “Why We Should Be Happy When Scientific Names Change.” Allison tells us that consistency and stability supposedly are the major virtues of having Latin as the language of botanical and zoological names. And yet, these Latin names seldom have remained constant since the beginning of formal nomenclature in the mid-18th century. In the past few decades there have been wholesale taxonomic revisions of plant and animal groups and major changes in nomenclature. Many Latin names of long standing have been swept away. This holds true for families as well as species. Why this upheaval?


BSWP Monthly Meeting Directions
The Society meets monthly from September through June.

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

Sunday, March 26, 2017, 1:00 p.m.

Little Sewickley Creek outside of Herminie. Westmoreland County

Leader: Loree Speedy; loreespeedy@gmail.com; cell: 724-518-6022

This is a favorite trip for early spring ephemerals and Snow Trillium (Trillium nivale). The walk is easy along an old railroad grade.

Directions: Take the PA Turnpike to Exit 67-Route 30/Irwin/Greensburg.  Take the Route 30 East/Greensburg ramp. At the first stoplight on Route 30, turn right onto Arona Road, then another right after 0.5 mile onto unmarked Wendel Road. Travel this road 3.7 miles to a T. Turn right at the T and continue 1 mile to Herminie to a 4-way stop (VFD on corner). Continue straight to the next stop sign and turn left. Proceed through 2 more stop signs, end at a T, and turn right. Continue past the Dairy Queen on your right and continue down a hill; we will meet just before the highway bridge. Park on the left side. 

These directions are difficult as roads are unmarked and state roads through Herminie sometimes look like alleys. An important landmark is the Dairy Queen; once you locate that, head west down the hill. GPS coordinates: 40.2605, -79.7270.

 

Saturday, April 1, 2017, 10:00 a.m.

Cedar Creek Gorge, Westmoreland County

Leader: Judy Stark, 412-363-0462 (home); 412-327-9537 (cell); starkj2@aol.com

Directions: From Pittsburgh, travel PA 51 south to its junction with PA 201 (just after Bill's and Willowbrook Plaza). Continuing on PA 51, travel 2 additional miles to the traffic light for Concord Lane (gas station and Burger King on left) and turn left (this traffic light at Concord Lane can also be reached by I-70 exit 46B and continuing north on PA 51 for a very short distance). Traveling on Concord Lane, bear right at fork and then turn right onto Municipal Drive. Continue about 0.6 mile past Timm’s Lane, and turn left into the main entrance to Cedar Creek Park. Follow this road downhill, cross the bike trail, and turn left to continue through a series of parking lots until you reach the farthest parking lot, near the Gorge Trail. GPS coordinates: 40.1783, -79.7783.

There will be early spring plants popping out along the stream, but wear sturdy shoes if you wish to make the climb to see Snow Trillium.


Sunday, April 9, 2017, 1:00 p.m.
Crouse Run (aka Grouse Run)
Hampton Township, Allegheny County

Leader: Adam Haritan; adam@learnyourland.com

Directions: From Pittsburgh, take PA 28 north to PA 8 North. Travel PA 8 for 6.6 miles to make a left onto Craighead Road (its southern intersection with PA 8). This left turn is about 0.7 miles after Harts Run Road. Travel Craighead Road a short distance and make a left onto Mount Royal Boulevard. After 0.4 mile, make a right onto Sample Road. Travel downhill 0.7 mile to a highway bridge and park on left just before Royal View Road. If you cross a second highway bridge you’ve gone too far. From points north, take I-76 PA Turnpike Exit 39/Butler Valley and travel 1.8 miles south on PA 8 to make a right onto Craighead Road (its northern intersection with PA8). Travel Craighead Road a short distance and make a right onto Mount Royal Boulevard. After 0.4 mile, make a right onto Sample Road. Travel downhill 0.7 mile to a highway bridge and park on left just before Royal View Road. If you cross a second highway bridge you've gone too far. GPS coordinates: 40.5791, -79.9686.

There may be two stream crossings without bridges.


Sunday, April 23, 2017, 1:00 p.m.
Great Gorge Trail

Ohiopyle State Park, Fayette County

Leader: Mark Bowers; 4beagles@verizon.net; cell: (724) 454-4012

Directions: From Pittsburgh, take the PA Turnpike to Exit 91/Donegal. Turn left onto PA 31 East and travel 2.1 miles. Turn right at a traffic light onto PA 711/ PA 381 South and continue 10 miles to a T in Normalville. Turn left onto PA 381 and continue 11 miles to Ohiopyle. Drive through the town and make a right onto SR 2019/Kentuck Road. Travel less than a half mile and turn right into the parking lot for Cucumber Falls. GPS coordinates: 39.8629, -79.5027.


Saturday, April 29, 2017, 1:00 p.m.
Erie Bluffs State Park, Erie County

Leader: Andrew Sipple; andrew.sipple@yahoo.com; cell: 814‑795-9900.  

Directions: From Pittsburgh, follow I-79 north to the Edinboro/Albion exit, US Route 6N (Exit 166). Take a left and follow this road for about 2.5 miles miles until you reach PA Route 98. Make a right at this intersection and follow it for a little more than 12 miles until you reach PA Route 5. Make a left here and follow this road for about 5.5 miles until you see signs for the Elk Creek access area on your right. Take a right here and follow the driveway down to the parking lot by the creek. GPS coordinates for right hand turn off Route 5: 42.0161, -80.3718.

This field trip will involve climbing some steep hills so be sure to bring good footwear. We will explore a variety of habitats at this unique coastal property. The floodplain forest along Elk Creek produces outstanding carpets of spring ephemerals every year. We will likely see White Trout-Lily, Yellow Trout-Lily, Red Trillium, White Trillium, Virginia Bluebells, Marsh Marigold, and Spring-Beauty. The forested tops of the bluffs overlooking Lake Erie offer outstanding scenic views, and a habitat that supports such flowers as Early Saxifrage, Jack-in-the Pulpit, and Smooth Rock Cress. If time and interest permit, we may also explore an ancient sand dune ecosystem, a relic of past geological events.

Sunday, April 30, 2017, All Day!
Enlow Fork Natural Area (EFNA), Greene County

Main Events: Early Bird/Flower Walk 8:00 a.m.  Wildflower Walk 10 a.m.

Sponsor: Wheeling Creek Watershed Conservancy.Associated Organizations: Ralph K. Bell Bird Club, Botanical Society of Western PA, Brooks Bird Club, Three Rivers Birding Club, Westmoreland Bird and Nature Club and Audubon Society of Western PA. Leaders for the main events are from the associated organizations.

Directions: There are many ways to get to the EFNA; if you have never been there use the GPS coordinates 39.961076, -80.462700 with Google maps ahead of time! EFNA is located at the end of Smokey Row Rd. in PA State Game Lands 302.  Signs will be posted close to the event location.

In between the main walks there will be tents set up with information on birding, wildflowers, nature, and watersheds. Food will be available for sale. Bring a chair and enjoy the day.

Contact Larry Helgerman, bobolink1989@gmail.com, to help, or for more information.

Check out this fascinating article about the efforts to conserve this area. http://www.observer-reporter.com/20170302/saving_enlow_valley


Saturday, May 6, 2017, 10:00 a.m.
Hells Hollow Trail, McConnells Mill State Park

Lawrence County

Leaders: Joe and Bonnie Isaac; IsaacB@CarnegieMNH.org; 724-944-8770 (cell)

Directions: From Pittsburgh, take I-79 north to Exit 96/Portersville. Turn left to travel PA 488 about 4 miles to Heinz Camp Road. Turn right onto Heinz Camp Road and continue about 2 miles to a T. Turn right and cross the Armstrong Bridge. Continue up the hill about 2 1/2 miles and make a right onto Shaffer Road. The Hell’s Hollow Trailhead parking lot is on the right about 100 yards after the turn, just before a one-lane bridge. GPS coordinates: 40.9314, -80.2402.

Experience the beauty of McConnells Mill with a walk in the lovely Hell's Hollow valley. Despite the name, it is one of the most charming places to experience wildflowers in the park. This walk follows the trail to the falls, branching off the North Country National Scenic Trail. This stroll is on an easy trail, less than a mile, and starts at the Hell's Hollow parking lot. On the trail are several pairs of steps, three benches, occasional slick rocks, and an optional staircase to view the falls at the end. We may see trillium, jack-in-the-pulpit, violets, and more. Allow 15 minutes to get to Hell's Hollow (no facilities) if coming from the old mill. Dress for the weather and bring a snack & water for the trail if desired.

 

Saturday, May 20, 2017, 10:00 a.m.
Ferncliff Peninsula, Ohiopyle State Park

Fayette County

Cosponsored by the Maryland Native Plant Society and BSWP.

Trip information: Loree Speedy; loreespeedy@gmail.com; 724-518-6022)

Directions: From Pittsburgh, take the PA Turnpike  to Exit 91/Donegal. Turn east (left) on PA 31. Travel about 2 miles and turn south (right) on PA 381. Travel ten miles to Normalville to a stop sign. Turn left onto PA 381 south and continue 11 miles to Ohiopyle. As PA 381 enters Ohiopyle, it crosses railroad tracks. Turn right just before the bridge over the Yough to enter the Ferncliff parking lot, where we will meet. GPS coordinates: 39.8715, -79.4931.

We will join Joe Metzger and the Maryland Native Plant Society. From the Ohiopyle Park brochure and map: "Recognized for its botanical diversity for over a century, the 100-acre peninsula was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1973."

More Field Trip Plans in Progress – Watch your e-mail for notifications!


Saturday, May 27, 2017, 10:30 a.m.
Presque Isle State Park, Erie County

Leader: Andrew Sipple; andrew.sipple@yahoo.com; cell: 814‑795-9900.  

Directions: From the Pittsburgh area, take I-79 north. When you arrive in the Erie area, take Exit 183B, then follow westbound PA Route 5, W. 12th Street. After a little over a mile, turn right at the intersection of PA Route 832, Peninsula Drive. Follow this road until you reach the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC). This destination is on the right, directly across from Waldameer Amusement Park. GPS coordinates: 42.1079, -80.1533.

After meeting in front of the main doors into the center, we will carpool to our destination within the park. Participants are encouraged to bring a sack lunch.


May 21-25, 2017 Joint Field Meeting

(Sunday to Thursday)
The Limestone Region Of Northern New Jersey

Each year the Botanical Society of America, The Torrey Botanical Society, and The Philadelphia Botanical Club sponsor a field meeting in different areas of the Northeast United States. The 2017 field meeting will be held in Northern New Jersey in and around the historic town of Johnsonburg.

The field meeting will include three full days of field trips, evening programs, all meals, and four nights lodging at the Johnsonburg Presbyterian Center, Johnsonburg, New Jersey. This includes visits to Kittatiny Valley State Park, Johnsonburg Swamp Preserve, White Lake Natural Resource Area, and several other sites.

The Limestone habits in New Jersey are well known, and many of the best have been protected for decades by the Nature Conservancy and various other government and private organization. The first evening programs will describe the geology of this region.

Registration for meals, field trips, and evening programs only will be available.

Many of the details are still in the planning stage.For additional information and registration forms contact David Austin, davidaustin@verizon.net.



Allegany Nature Pilgrimage

Friday–Sunday, June 2–4, 2017

Allegany State Park
Salamanca, New York 14779

The 59th Allegany Nature Pilgrimage is sponsored by the Audubon Societies of Jamestown, Buffalo, Rochester and Erie. There are over 50 different walks, talks and programs, including birding, botany, astronomy, geology, family and adult nature walks, bird banding, and fun activities for the young and old alike. Online registration opens soon at http://www.alleganynaturepilgrimage.com.

RESERVE YOUR CABINS NOW at www.reserveamerica.com Allegany State Park Red House Area.

Each year the Botanical Society of America, The Torrey Botanical Society, and The Philadelphia Botanical Club sponsor a field meeting in different areas of the Northeast United States.  The 2017 field meeting will be held in Northern New Jersey in and around the historic town of Johnsonburg.

The field meeting will include three full days of field trips, evening programs, all meals, and four nights lodging at the Johnsonburg Presbyterian Center, Johnsonburg, New Jersey.  This includes visits to Kittatiny Valley State Park, Johnsonburg Swamp Preserve, White Lake Natural Resource Area, and several other sites.

The Limestone habits in New Jersey are well known, and many of the best have been protected for decades by the Nature Conservancy and various other government and private organization. The first evening programs will describe the geology of this region.

Many of the details are still in the planning stage. Registration for meals, field trips, and evening programs only will be available.

For additional information and registration forms contact David Austin, davidaustin@verizon.net.


BSWP Outings. We'll be posting spring field trips soon! 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.