NY's Invasive Species Plan Announced

Chelidonium majus, Lesser Celandine, growing in my garden, June 2006.
Chelidonium majus, Lesser Celandine, Detail of flower

The plan will create the first-ever official lists of invasive species, both plant and animal, and create the legal authority to enforce controls as state regulations.

h/t @BuggedDoc

Press Release

Monday, June 28, 2010
Contact: Jessica Ziehm

Report Identifies New Process to Categorize Non-Native Invasive Species

The New York State Invasive Species Council today submitted its final report to Governor David A. Paterson and the State Legislature. The report, titled “A Regulatory System for Non-Native Species,” recommends giving the Council authority to develop regulations for a new process that will prevent the importation and/or release of non-native invasive species in New York’s waterways, forests and farmlands.

The report, prepared by the nine-agency Council and co-led by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation, introduces a new process for assessing each invasive species for its level of threat, its socioeconomic value, and for categorizing them into distinct lists for appropriate action.


BBG Celebrates Native Plants Throughout July

Native Rhododendrons blooming in BBG's Native Flora Garden, May, 2009
Native Flora Garden

Press Release

Celebrating Our Backyard: Brooklyn Botanic Garden Presents Native Plant Month, July 2010

Brooklyn, NY—June 29, 2010—This spring, the results of a 20-year study of the flora of the New York metropolitan region by Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) found many native species locally extinct or in precipitous decline. During the month of July, BBG will highlight the region’s native flora, displaying its beauty, explaining its importance, drawing attention to its plight, and providing simple ways to help in its restoration. BBG’s knowledgeable horticulturists and scientists will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the power of the native plant through field trips, workshops, and other insightful classes and lectures.

In 1911, the “Local Flora Section” was the first garden to open to the public at BBG. Since then, the Garden has maintained its commitment to the study and conservation of locally native plants, most recently through its multiyear New York Metropolitan Flora project (NYMF), in which nearly every species growing within a 50-mile radius of the city was cataloged and mapped. Many of the native plants in the study—which found a significant number of species in perilous decline—are propagated in the Native Flora Garden, as the Local Flora Section is known today, in an effort to conserve them.


June 16: Community Visioning Workshop for a new Communal Garden

The Parsonage at the Flatbush Reformed Church is the proposed site for a new communal garden.

This Wednesday, June 16 at 6pm

Are you a gardener, or have you always wanted to get your hands in the dirt?
Sustainable Flatbush is collaborating with the Flatbush Reformed Church to create a new community garden!

Join us in a creative brainstorming session to plan this new neighborhood green space!

WHAT: Community Garden Visioning Meeting
WHEN: Wednesday June 16th at 6pm
WHERE: Flatbush Reformed Church, 890 Flatbush Avenue (at Church Ave.)

Refreshments and childcare will be provided!

What to expect at the meeting:

* see the garden location!
* contribute your ideas for what the garden will be
* what we can grow (flowers? herbs? vegetables?)
* how we can best use the space we have
* how we will build and maintain the garden
* learn how you can get involved!

Sign up here to attend a Visioning Meeting and keep up-to-date on news related to the garden.

For more information: 718-208-0575 / info@sustainableflatbush.org


Recipe: Macerated Strawberries

I made this yesterday for dessert for the visit of a high school friend, whom I haven't see in some decades. Sorry I didn't take any pictures of this. Another time.

I got the original recipe from a Greenmarket flyer a couple of years ago. It's one of my favorite ways to prepare strawberries. It's a great cool dessert for hot summer days. It can also be prepared hours ahead of time, even the day before, then assembled just before serving.

Maceration is one of those cool, unusual words that sounds a little gross, but precisely describes what's going on. It refers to the period of letting the strawberries soak with the vinegar-sugar mixture, which blends the flavors.


Got Snails?

Garden Snail along the Shady Path, May 2010
Garden Snail

I was contacted on behalf of an urban nature educator who needs snails. She has a project this weekend on Governor's Island to create snailariums. Who knew?! She got some snails, but not enough.

We are a neighborhood with a surfeit of snails. With yesterday's rain, and more predicted today, it should be a good time to collect. If you're interested in participating, see the original request from Wild Gotham Fran on the Brownstoner Garden Forum:
I am teaching a workshop at the Figment Arts Festival (6/11-13) on Governor's Island on how to upcycle a shoebox into a posh house for a common garden snail. I am an urban nature educator and have a web show called Wild Gotham that focuses on everyday wildlife in NYC. If you have excess snails, I would love to come get them at your convenience or you could drop off at my house in Park Slope. Snails will be displayed at Figment and afterward released into my backyard where, along with all the others, they will devour my plants. Thank you in advance.- Fran
Tree Snail, Hattie Carthan Community Garden, Bed-Stuy, October 2008
Tree snail


Help Envision a New Garden: Sunday, June 6

Update: June 16: Community Visioning Workshop for a new Communal Garden

Update, 2010.06.04: Added information about the site.
Update, 2010.06.03: Added registration link.

The Parsonage, Flatbush Reformed Church, 2103 Kenmore Terrace, corner of East 21st Street, Flatbush, Brooklyn
Thus Sunday, June 6, from 4-6pm, we'll be holding the first of two Community Visioning Workshops for a new communal garden on the grounds of the landmarked Flatbush Reformed Church. One site is a small, fenced-off area. The other is the front lawn of the Parsonage. This landmarked historic building was built in 1853 - though portions of it may be even older - and moved to this site in 1913.

Front lawn, looking east from East 21st Street

The main area is the front lawn of the Parsonage. It's a large area, about 25-feet deep, from the fence along Kenmore Terrace to the porch of the house, and about 85-feet long, from East 21st Street to the Church parking lot. There are opportunities to further develop the buffer plantings, 3-1/2-feet between the fence and the sidewalk, that Church members have already established.

Buffer Plantings, looking from the entrance gate toward East 21st Street
Flatbush Reformed Church

The site is dominated by large, mature Oak trees lining the fence on Kenmore Terrace and East 21st Street. These cast dense shade, and working with this constraint will be one of the challenges for designing the garden and plantings. I have a lot of experience with urban shade gardens, and see the potential in this site.