UWBG Bioblitz 2013 at the Washington Park Arboretum

April 9th, 2013 by Arboretum Education Supervisor, Patrick Mulligan

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A bioblitz is a biological inventory that takes place over a short period of time (usually 24hrs) in a specified area (in this case the Washington Park Arboretum). The purpose of a bioblitz is to take a snap shot of biodiversity, which is a way to measure the health of an ecosystem. The more organisms found, the healthier the ecosystem. We value bioblitzes at the UWBG for a number of reasons: they’re a tool to help us manage our site as sustainably as possible; they’re a great way to engage with our community and raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity (even in urban environments); and since they are hands-on and fast-paced, they are also a lot of fun.

The way it works is there will be 2.5 hour shifts during which small groups of citizen scientists & UW students will go out with one of our field scientists in search of various taxa (birds, bats, bugs, fungi, plants, mammals, etc.). As a team, they try to ID and count what they find and record the location where they found it. In some cases (e.g. fungi, insects) specimens can be collected and identified later.

Space is limited, so click here to sign up for a shift today!

Don’t want to volunteer, but want to attend Paul Bannick’s presentation, The Life of Owls, on Friday evening? Non-volunteers can pay $8 to attend: click here to register

When: Friday, May 10th & Saturday May 11th

Friday:
4pm-6:30pm
6:30-8pm (dinner for volunteers & lecture from 7-8pm with wildlife photographer, Paul Bannick. Please register to attend the talk.)
8pm-10:30pm

Saturday:
7am-9:30am (early birders)
10am-12:30am
1pm-3:30pm
3:30-4pm (show & tell)

Where: Graham Visitors Center (2300 Arboretum Dr E Seattle WA)

mushroom sample

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bioblitz flyer

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Registration Open for 2013 Urban Forest Symposium

March 6th, 2013 by Jessica Farmer, Adult Education Supervisor

2013 Urban Forest Symposium: Trees & Views
Hosted by PlantAmnesty and the University of Washington Botanic Gardens

What:   5th Annual Urban Forest Symposium
When:  May 13, Monday from 9am to 4:30pm
Where:  University of Washington Botanic Gardens Center for Urban Horticulture
3501 NE 41st St, Seattle, WA 98105
Cost:      $75 per person. Update: As of 5/9/13, lunches are no longer available for pre-order. A limited number of box lunches will be available for $15 on the day of the event.
Contacturbhort@uw.edu or 206-685-8033.
Register: http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/news/urban-forest/

 

Expanded Program:

The issue of trees vs. views is a contentious one, pitting view seekers against tree lovers on hillsides facing mountains and water, up and down both coasts. This symposium is entirely devoted to an in-depth look at the issue and will be of interest to communities, HOAs, municipalities, arborists, lawyers and prosecutors, planners, developers, tree advocates, & individuals dealing with this complex issue.

Keynote address on The Aesthetics of Views: Kathleen Day, ASLA, LEED, AP BD &C, ISA certified. Kathleen Day has more than twenty years of experience combining the art and science of landscape architecture, arboriculture and horticulture.

Valuing Trees and Views: A series of speakers will describe how they value trees and views. Presenters include a real estate agent, tax assessor, tree appraiser, and forest assessment coordinator working with the I-tree program to assign ecological systems values to trees and greenbelts.

Policy and Views: A brief series of presentations on city view policies and dealing with conflicting interests on public and shared lands.

Trees, Views, and Slope Stability: Elliot Menashe, Natural resource manager & consultant, Greenbelt Consulting, on taking action to avert flooding, erosion, and landslides. Through enlightened view-management choices, drainage control, and vegetation management, you can stop creating tomorrow’s crisis today.

View and the Law – Covenants, Ordinances and Trespass to Trees: Randall S. Stamen, Attorney at Law and ISA Certified Arborist from Riverside, CA, will lead the discussion on evolving view covenants and ordinances. Other invited attorneys, including Barri Bonapart, owner of Bonapart & Associates, will discuss tree law, lessons learned, neighbor laws as they relate to illegal tree cutting for views, as well as case studies of mediation success.

The attorney presentations will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A session.

 

THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS:

City of Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment

West Seattle Garden Tour

 

and Our Supporters:        

The Davey Tree Expert Co.                 Thundering Oak Enterprises

Seattle Tree Preservation, Inc.           Windermere Ballard  

SvR Design Company                          Trees for Life

 

ISA Credits Available: 6; other professional credits pending.

 

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UW Botanic Gardens Spring Break and Summer Camps

February 19th, 2013 by Sarah Heller, Community Programs Coordinator & Fiddleheads Forest School Director

It’s that time of year again when we pull out our calendars and begin to think about summer plans. Consider signing your child up to play and learn outside all summer! We are offering seven weeks of outdoor, nature-based summer camps at the Washington Park Arboretum. New themes have been added like Wetland Rangers and Northwest Naturalists, and kept some of our favorites like Woodland Wonders and Art in the Park.

We are also offering a spring break camp in conjunction with the Seattle Public Schools spring break week. What better way to spend a week in April than exploring our 230 acres of natural wonderland in the heart of Seattle? Spring break is supposed to be a *break* so we plan to play games, go on hikes and adventures through the nooks and crannies of the Arboretum, and tackle projects like building a fort, creating Andy Goldsworthy inspired art and exploring the uses of our native plants.

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Interested in working at our summer camp? Apply to be a Summer Garden Guide!

We also have volunteer opportunities for high school students! Check out our Junior Garden Guide position and application.

 

 

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Take a class this spring!

January 31st, 2013 by Jessica Farmer, Adult Education Supervisor

The UW Botanic Gardens offers a variety of education programs for everyone, drawing on research and technical expertise from the UW and beyond to include lectures, courses, demonstrations, symposia, and tours. New classes are listed frequently. Please check out our full schedule.

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Pollination with Orchard Mason Bees
Instructor: Missy Anderson, aka Queen Bee, King County Master Gardener
Tuesday, February 19, 7-8:30pm
Fee: $10

Growing Up WILD
Instructor: Julie Luthy, Naturalist and Environmental Educator
Saturday, March 2, 9am-12pm
Fee: $60

Perennials: Simple Division
Instructor: Carrie Becker, co-author of Perennials: The Gardener’s Reference
Wednesday, March 13, 7-9pm and Saturday, March 16, 1-4pm
Fee: $50

Introduction to Conifer Identification
Instructor: Patrick Mulligan, Education Supervisor at the Washington Park Arboretum
Saturday, March 23, 10am-12pm
Fee: $45

Woody Landscape Plants of Seattle
Instructor: Katie Murphy, former Collections Manager of the Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium
8-part series, March 27 – May 1
Fee: $180

Designing and Creating a Wildlife Habitat Garden
Instructor: Emily Bishton, Landscape Designer and Director of Magnuson Nature Programs
3-part series, April 4 – 11
Fee: $85

Creating a Child-Friendly Garden
Instructor: Emily Bishton, Landscape Designer and Director of Magnuson Nature Programs
3-part series, April 18 – 25
Fee: $85

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Training Dates Announced

January 16th, 2013 by Lisa Sanphillippo

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UWBG School Programs serve over 6,000 kids a year and we could not possibly do it without the help of our volunteers. We are hiring volunteer Garden Guides now and have two dates to get folks started on their journey to engage kids in the great outdoors.

Saturday February 9th from 11:00 – 3:00 pm and
Saturday February 16th from 11:00 – 3:00 pm

Guides need only attend one training, but are welcome to both. Both trainings will cover an introduction to the University of Washington Botanic Gardens as well as round table and in the field discussions about class management, interpretation techniques and age appropriate teaching.

2-way viewer for Paige

February 9th we will focus on our Plants 101 and 201 programs and February 16th we’ll focus on Wetlands 101 and 201. New guides will learn what the big ideas of each program are, how the student’s age affects the level and amount of information given and how to use the props and activities in the field.

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If you would like to fill nature with children and teach them about plant science, ecology and more, contact Lisa Sanphillippo at 206-543-8801 or lsanphil@uw.edu for more information.

We value our volunteers for their time, experience and dedication! We hold enrichments, training and other educational opportunities regularly. Call or email now to become a treasured part of our team.

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Leaves, Paint Swatches and Nature Connection: A Student Perspective

December 18th, 2012 by Sarah Heller, Community Programs Coordinator & Fiddleheads Forest School Director

Written by Mackenzie Urquhart, UW Service Learning Student

I had so much fun participating in the Fiddleheads Program these past couple of months. Through out the sessions we play games, explore, do arts and crafts, and teach the kids about their surroundings.  What is special about this program is the kids get to interact with the nature they are learning about directly instead of reading it from a textbook or in a classroom.

On our first walk through the Arboretum we taught the kids about fall and how the environment changes during that time period.  We explored how the leaves change colors and how the leaves eventually fall off the trees.  The kids were able to see the changes happening with their own eyes.  Through out the walk we gave them each a brown bag and they were to fill it with the leaves that fell off the trees.  At the end of the walk we reminded them why they fell off the trees and had them each do a leaf rubbing so they could take it home and have it be a reminder of what happens during fall.  All through out the walk the kids were asking questions, interacting with nature, feeling the leaves, and touching the trees.

One of my favorite games we played with the kids was called the color game.  Sarah and I each gave the kids a paint swatch and they were to find a plant, animal or anything in nature that was the same color.  This was a unique and fun way to get the kids to explore nature.  The kids were running all around and would show us what they found that matched their paint swatch.  If they didn’t know what the species or plant was we would tell them and have them share it with the other kids so they could all learn about each others.

Another game the kids loved was called the matching game.  Sarah and I laid out a bunch of leaves two of each kind and had the kids play a matching game and at the end we would have them guess what the name of the leaf was.  Then we would circle as a group and talk about each leaf and point out what the tree looked like that the leaf came from. In that kind of setting the kids are able to learn about the environment in a fun and stress free environment.  They retain the information better and see how humans and other species directly impact the environment.   Each session has an overall theme so the kids are constantly learning about different issues and topics related to nature.

Check out the Fiddlehead Forest School website for more information and to register for classes.

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What the Cluck?!

December 11th, 2012 by Jessica Farmer, Adult Education Supervisor

Making Sense of Keeping Chickens in the Home Garden
Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 7-9pm 
Instructor: Jessica Bloom, NW EcoLogical Landscapes

Free Range Chicken Gardens by Jessica Bloom

Photo courtesy of Jessica Bloom

If you have ever thought about keeping chickens or you have chickens but are baffled by common problems, this class is for you. Jessica Bloom, award-winning garden designer and author of Free Range Chicken Gardens, will teach
you how to integrate chickens into your life and backyard. Believe it or not, chickens can be trained like other pets!

Learn how to share your garden with your feathered egg-producing friends, how to design habitat, and about the
“Top 10″ must-have plants that you and your chicken will love. Chicken raising myth-busters and breeds will also be covered.

NHS Hall, Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st St, Seattle, WA 98105
Early registration $35; $40 after January 23
Register online, or call 206.685.8033

Copies of Free Range Chicken Gardens will be available for purchase from the instructor at the class. See Bloom’s website for more ideas!

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Master Pruner Series

November 2nd, 2012 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin

Master Pruner Series with Plant Amnesty

This series is designed for those who work in maintenance of residential and public landscapes.   Each lecture will provide information on techniques for quality pruning with better long term results and customer satisfaction.  Common plant types and landscape situations, as well as specialized pruning for roses, fruit trees, and vines will be covered. Print flyer.

Full class list and descriptions

Online registration

All classes held at the Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle.

COST:

Each 2-hour lecture

$30 General
$23 PlantAmnesty Member

All 12 lectures

$300 General
$234 PlantAmnesty Member

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Fall Flight: Migratory Birds – Family Ecology Tour 11/3 cancelled

October 24th, 2012 by Sarah Heller, Community Programs Coordinator & Fiddleheads Forest School Director

Where are all the birds going? Birds spend the summer here and fly south for the winter. Others use our urban oasis as a stopping place on their way south. We’ll discover which birds are here to stay and which are on their way out or on their way through. Why do birds fly so far every year? What is their journey like? Together we’ll explore and discover the wonders of these winged adventurers.

Fall Flight – Migratory Birds for 6-12 year olds, 10am-12pm on November 3rd – Cancelled

All Family Ecology Tours include hands-on activities, games, and exploration for families with kids ages 6-12. Cost is $8/person, pre-register online or by phone, (206) 221-6427. Meet at the Graham Visitor Center and dress for the weather, we’ll be out rain or shine!

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Fieldtrips in Fall…

October 12th, 2012 by Lisa Sanphillippo

are going like gangbusters! Between the months of September and November, we have over 1300 kids signed up for fieldtrips.

Our guides have been loving the mild weather and teaching and learning from these budding naturalists. The Arboretum is such an amazing place to explore; all of the senses can be engaged, well, except for taste! Those of us in the field are so fortunate to be able to teach a variety of topics to kids based on what they are learning in class. Here’s a sampling of what we’ve done so far:

Plant Parts - kids act out each part and then work together to show how a tree’s parts function together to form a whole organism

Seed Dispersal - we go on a seed hunt, look at all of the seeds with magnifiers, then categorize each seed into methods of dispersal such as eaten by an animal, wind, water, propulsion, hitchhikers and fire

Native Plant Identification - we learn how to identify native plants and use artifacts made by Ethnobotanist, Heidi Bohan, to demonstrate how those plants can be used to help people thrive and survive

Producers, Consumers and Decomposers - kids learn that life can be grouped into these three main categories by playing a running game and observing, recording and organizing the organisms they find on a hike

Aquatic Dip – kids get to take a look at the aquatic macro-invertebrates that live in our very own Lake Washington and think about how these small creatures contribute to the overall health of a wetland ecosystem

Here are some of the things students have been saying about their time here at the Arboretum:

“I love it here at the Auditorium.”

[I overheard two kids talking to each other on our walk]

“I wish we could come every week.” “I wish we could come here everyday!”

[At the end of the field trip, we ask the students what they liked or learned, here's a few quotes]

“I like when you gave us 2 minutes of free style!”

“I liked looking at spiders.”

“I liked looking at all of the trees.”

Here are some quotes from a packet of thank you letters from Seattle Country Day School:

“I learned Arboretum means tree place. I think it was really fun when we made a tree out of our bodies!”

“It was fun being the bark and chanting we are bark please keep out.”

“Thank you for showing us around the Arboretum. My favorite part was when we planted a seed. I learned that you need the perfect temperature to grow a plant.”

“I learned that plants help us breathe.”

You know, you don’t have to be a student on a field trip to get out into the Arboretum! Take off your adult worries and slip into a more comfortable and comforting environment. Re-engage your sense of wonder by smelling some soil or hugging a tree. You might just see us with a group of students doing the exact same thing.

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