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.

May 13, 2019 • 7:15 p.m. TalkTitle: 
The Pennsylvania Plant Conservation Network:
A Framework for Collaborative Conservation in our State

The Pennsylvania Plant Conservation Network (PPCN), is a new program spearheaded by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Backed by DCNR and Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program (PNHP) data, the PPCN will leverage statewide partnerships to coordinate on-the-ground stewardship, outreach, and education efforts. Our goal is to cultivate collaborative projects across the state in ways that build partnerships to meaningfully advance plant conservation in Pennsylvania. Join us in building towards a future where Pennsylvania’s native plants are thriving, abundant, and cared for by a vibrant and inclusive community of conservation advocates! Join Kristi Allen, PPCN Program Coordinator, for a presentation on the framework for this new, collaborative venture.

Kristi Allen is the Program Coordinator for the newly formed, Pennsylvania Plant Conservation Network. She holds a Master’s Degree in environmental social work from the University of Denver, with a Masters Certificate in Animal Assisted Social Work. Her research focused primarily on social impacts of forest carbon markets such as UN-REDD+, and the therapeutic benefits of nature (otherwise known as “Green Care”). Prior to joining the PPCN, she co-founded and ran a community garden in Baltimore, Maryland and managed grants for the Baltimore City Health Department. Within her environmental work, Kristi is consistently viewing issues through a lens of social justice and advocacy. Kristi has extensive experience with community organizing and program administration. In her free time, Kristi can usually be found out hiking on one of the many trails that Pennsylvania has to offer.

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

Other Special Events

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​.

Joint Field Meeting • Adams County, Ohio

August 11-15, 2019

Adams County is noted for its fertile farmland, forests, wildlife, prairies and limestone deposits.

Maximum 50 participants. Deadline June 1. Get registration form here.

Natural Areas Conference • October 8-10, 2019
Pittsburgh, PA

Proposals are being accepted until April 15 for the 2019 Natural Areas Conference. This event offers natural areas professionals access to new research, valuable training and important connections with other professionals in conservation-related fields.

Topics for proposals include native plant conservation and material development and use, natural areas program development, natural areas restoration and restoration genetics, natural resources inventory, and pollinator and invertebrate conservation and habitat management. Find out more at

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

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 if you are not on the list.

Sunday, April 14, 2019, 2:00 PM
Core Arboretum, Morgantown, West Virginia

Leaders: Core Arboretum staff and volunteers.
Pittsburghers can reach Core Arboretum in 1 hour and 15 minutes, so there is no reason not to get a jump on spring by heading south to a mostly old-growth forest on a steep hillside and level floodplain of the Monongahela River.

Join arboretum staff for a free guided tour. Visit for more scheduled trips and information if you cannot attend this one.
Directions: From Pittsburgh, take I-79 South to Exit 155 towards WV-7 / West Virginia University. Turn left onto Chaplin Road. Chaplin Road turns slightly right at the Sheetz and becomes US-19 S / Monongahela Boulevard. Travel US 19 S for 1.6 miles to the parking lot for Core Arboretum on the right. We will meet at the parking lot.
GPS coordinates: 39.64690, -79.97740.

Saturday, April 20, 2019, 1:00 PM
Sideling Hill Creek, Allegany County, MD

Leader: Allison Cusick;; 412-443-9399
We will walk Cliff Road to visit steep, forested, shale cliffs above Sideling Hill Creek and a rich floodplain before the creek enters the Potomac River in western Maryland.
Directions: I-68 can be reached via I-70 south of the Turnpike’s Breezewood Exit or US 220 south from the Turnpike’s Bedford Exit. From US 220 and I-68, head east on I-68 for 24 miles to Exit 72-High Germany Road. Turn right at the ramp to US 40, and immediately look for the gas station on US 40. Meet here at the Oak Barrel Café/Deli. From I-70 and I-68, take Exit 1A for I-68 W toward Cumberland. Continue west for 8.7 miles to Exit 72-High Germany Road. Turn left at the ramp to US 40, and immediately look for the gas station on US 40. Meet here at the Oak Barrel Café/Deli.

GPS coordinates and address for the café/deli meeting place: 39.70488, -78.32839; 35206 National Pike NE, Little Orleans, MD.

Upcoming Spring Trips – Details to follow

Friday, April 26, 2019,
10 AM • Butler Freeport Trail, Monroe Road Section, with Dianne Machesney

Saturday, April 27, 2019,
10 AM • Indian Creek Gorge, Fayette County, with Wissahickon Nature Club.

Sunday, April 28, 2019, All Day!

Enlow Fork Natural Area, Greene County