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Muhlenberg Botanic Club of Lancaster, PA

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All photographs copyright by Mike Slater unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 17 Muhlenberg Botanic Club Meeting: David McNaughton : " From Wastelands to Wetlands: The Strange and Dark Arts of Wetland Restoration"

When wetlands are disturbed, mitigation and restoration projects initiate and are meant to result in the protection and expansion of wetland habitat across the United States. These habitats are ecological hotspots significant for their pollution abatement (nature’s filters), fecundity (amphibian, fish, and other taxonomic breeding grounds), and beauty (the Everglades, the Pantanal, and Monet’s water lilies). The presentation will explore how organizations, firms, and individuals restore and rehabilitate these
ecological habitats and construct new habitat with examples from Fort Indiantown Gap and past commercial projects in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. We will discuss typical native plantings, design strategies, and function, and compare intensive and natural re-vegetation methods.

Dave received his B.S. in Environmental Studies from George Washington University (DC) in 2000. He
worked summers at a small wetlands consulting and restoration firm as a field and nursery assistant, and later as a wetland scientist and crew leader. Since 2004 Dave has worked at Fort Indiantown Gap for the Wildlife Office, where he is currently the Assistant Wildlife Program Manager. His fields of study include botany, herpetology, management and restoration ecology, military ecology, and rare species conservation (Allegheny woodrat, regal fritillary butterfly, striped gentian, etc.). He is the current Vice President of the National Military Fish and Wildlife Association, a national group of military lands managers and conservationists.

7:00pm at the North Museum in Lancaster PA

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Saturday Field Trip to Lock 12 on the Susquehanna River is Cancelled Due to Flooding

Hi Muhlenberg Members and Friends,
Due to the High Water and serious flooding we are cancelling the field trip on Saturday September 10, 2011. The plants we are interested in are underwater and the riverbank will not be a safe place to hike with the rocks being very wet. We will try to visit the area next year.

Muhlenberg Botanic Club Members Night and Plant Exchange

 September 15, 2011   7:00pm
Officer Elections, Members' Night and Plant Exchange

Bring pictures, slides, or a digital show to share; we will have a laptop and digital projector setup. (Also a traditional projector can be brought if someone wants to share film slides please tell mike so he can bring it!)
For the plant exchange, please bring well-potted plants you think other members might like to adopt. We focus on native plants, but others are perfectly fine, too. Members who don't have plants to share are welcome—actually encouraged—to take plants home. We always have a lot to share with everybody! We must continue to KEEP THE MEETING ROOM CLEAN, SO PLEASE BRING PLANTS IN FAIRLY CLEAN POTS AND MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO INSECTS ON THEM.  If you spill dirt/plants, etc., YOU are responsible for cleaning up the mess. We want to leave the Kinsey room as clean as or cleaner than we found it so we can continue these exchanges. Thank you.

The full Newsletter will be online Soon.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Muhlenberg August field trip Change! Aug 6th trip now to the Muhlenberg meadow instead of Laurel Hill St.Pk.

We have received a report on the Purple Fringeless Orchids at Laurel Hill State Park and it looks like they will be done blooming before our scheduled trip. So on August 6th we are going to have a walk to the Muhlenberg Meadow in Lancaster Central Park instead. We will be meeting by the Meadow sign along Golf Rd. at 10 am. This will be a joint walk with the Lancaster Entomological and Butterfly Club.
Muhlenberg Meadow, Lancaster County central Park
10 am  to (approx.) 12 noon
A walk for meadow flowers and butterflies (co-sponsored but the Lancaster Butterfly and Entomological Club)
Co-Leaders: Fred Habegger and Mike Slater
Started in 1991, this restoration project spearheaded by Tim Draude and the Muhlenberg Botanical Society has expanded to five acres.. In the last year some major work at removing invasive plants by our recording Secretary John Ambler with some help from other Muhlenberg volunteers.
Come and view the wide array of field flowers and what techniques worked and didn’t work in turning a cornfield into a dazzling native ecosystem.
From Lancaster, go south on Rte. 222/272 for about 0.5 miles past the point where the north and south lanes rejoin. Turn left onto Golf Rd. and go about 0.6 miles to the intersection with Exhibit Farm Rd The parking area is a few hundred feet past Exhibit Farm Rd. The sign for the meadow is up against the tree line and not easily visible from the road. Park on the grass in front of the sign.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BOSOC, Still time to register

There is still time to register for the BOSOC Meeting in Ithaca. (Deadline May 10, 2011) 
This is the annual Joint Field Meeting of the Botanical Society of America - Northeastern Section, Torrey Botanical Society, and Philadelphia Botanical Club. This year it is cosponsored by the Finger Lakes Native Plant Society and the New York Flora Association.  The meeting will be held June 19-23, 2011 (Sunday-Thursday) at Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York with many botanical field trips. See the link for the details.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Muhlenberg botanic Club Spring 2011 Field Trips


All trips will be led by Joan King; if you intend to participate in any of the trips outside of Lancaster Co., please let her know (717-284-5239 or

Saturday, April 23: Little Cove, Franklin County
This is a rich limestone woodland where we should see Trillium cuneatum, Jeffersonia diphylla, Delphinium tricorne, and Dodecatheon amythestinum, among others.
Walk rating: moderate; an all day trip.
Meet at North Museum at 7:00 a.m.; we will carpool from there. Bring a bag lunch.
Saturday, May 14: Benton Hollow, Lancaster Co. PA
This is a rich river glen with trillium, mertensia, trout-lily, and violets.
Walk rating: moderate. Prepare for wet feet since we hop across a small stream.
Meet at the site at 10:00 a.m. Bring a bag lunch to take on the trail.
Directions: Take PA Rt. 272 from Lancaster through the Buck intersection with PA Rt. 372. Continue south on Rt. 272 for about three miles to Chestnut Level Road, where you will see the Valley View Restaurant. Turn right on Chestnut Level. Turn left at River Road and then take the first right, Slate Hill Road. Follow Slate Hill to Harmony Ridge Drive, where you turn right. Continue on Harmony Ridge Road where it intersects with Furniss Road. Turn left on Bald Eagle Road, which leads down a hill. The Ferncliff Preserve is at the bottom of the hill on the right at the sign.

Saturday, June 25: Webb's Mill Bog, Bill Smith's bog garden, Rare Find Nursery, Ocean        Co., NJ
Joint all-day trip with Delaware Valley Chapter of North American Rock Garden Society.
Meet at the North Museum at 7:00 a.m. for carpooling. Bring a bag lunch; prepare for wet feet.

Webb's Mill Bog: A boardwalk and trail lead to a Pine Barrens bog that supports a variety of plants, including rare curly grass ferns, sundews, and pitcher plants. The area is part of a cedar swamp that had been cleared and is regenerating. Beaver occasionally flood the area, so prepare for wet feet! The bog is located in the northern part of a 27,298-acre wildlife management area.

From Philadelphia: Go east from Cherry Hill on NJ Rt. 70 for about 20 miles after NJ 73 branches off. Turn right on NJ Rt. 72 (going southeast). Go about 14 miles to the intersection with county Rt. 539. Turn left (north) and go 6.2 miles. Park by the bridge that crosses Webb's Mill Branch (about 6 miles south of Whiting). The boardwalk is visible from this point.
 Or an alternate from the west: Take the PA turnpike east then, near Norristown, I-276 east, I-95 north, I-195 east; Garden State Parkway south; county Rt. 530 west (exit near Toms River) through Whiting; left (south) on state Rt. 539 about 7 miles to the bridge that crosses Webb's Mill Branch.

The boardwalk is on the opposite side of the road from the "Greenwood Wildlife Management Area" sign, a few yards toward State Rt. 72. Look carefully amid the vegetation at the roadside for the steps leading down into the swamp area.

Bill Smith's garden (about 25 miles north of the bog):
Bill is an employee of Rare Find Nursery and has built himself two large free-floating bog gardens. We will see his garden in the afternoon.

Information about the nursery:; 957 Patterson Road; Jackson, NJ 08527; 732-833-0613
From March 15 thru November 31, it is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 pm. Open by appointment other days. Call 732-833-0613.
Directions to the nursery from I-195 in NJ: take Exit 16-B (the exit for Great Adventure and Jackson Outlet Mall), and turn right at the end of the ramp, which will put you on Rt. 537 East. Stay on Rt. 537 for less than one mile. Bear right onto Wright-Debow Rd., and continue for 1.3 miles. Immediately after the bridge over I-195, make a sharp right onto Patterson Rd. You will see the nursery on your left. Follow Patterson Rd. to the nursery entrance at green iron gates.

Saturday, July 9: Rock Springs Serpentine Barrens, Fulton Township
This 176-acre preserve is home to serpentine aster, prairie dropseed, and other species adapted to the harsh soil. Walk rating: moderate. Bring a bag lunch to eat on the walk.
Meet at the preserve at 10:00 a.m.
Directions: Take PA Rt. 272 south from Lancaster City through the intersection with 372 (the Buck). Continue on 272 to Wakefield to the point where 272 and 222 diverge. Do NOT follow 272, which makes a sharp turn to the left, but go straight on Rt. 222 for approximately 4.5 miles. Turn right onto Mason-Dixon Road and go approximately .6 mile. Park in the small gravel lot on the right side of the road. The trailhead is by the Nature Conservancy sign.

Saturday, August 6: Laurel Hill State Park, Somerset Co. PA
Since we have not seen this site in many years, we have no idea what we will find; we hope to see Platanthera  peramoena and purple fringless orchis.
Walk rating: moderate, prepare for wet feet. Bring a bag lunch.
Meet at the North Museum at 7 a.m. or at Laurel Hill Visitor Center at 10:30 a.m.
Directions: From I-76, Exit 110 (Somerset), drive west on PA 31 from Somerset for eight miles; turn left onto Trent Road and follow the directional signs to Laurel Hill State Park. The park may also be reached from I-76, Exit 91 (Donegal) by turning left (east) on PA 31 and traveling 14 miles. Follow the directional signs to the right turn onto Trent Road, and, from there, to the park.

Saturday, September 10: Lock 12, York Co. PA
One of our favorite sites to explore, this is a unique scour zone community with plants from the north and south. Also growing there are coastal plain species and prairie remnants. We should see asters, goldenrods, and purple gerardia, and many other species.
Walk rating: difficult (climbing over rocks). Bring a lunch to take along on the hike.
Meet at10:00 a.m. at Lock 12.
From Lancaster: Take PA Rt. 272 south to the Buck, then turn right (west) onto Rt. 372. Follow 372 for about 7 miles. After you cross the Norman Wood Bridge, take the first right turn, McCalls Ferry Rd. The entrance to the parking lot is immediately on your right. Meet in the lower lot.
From York: Take Rt. 74 south. Turn left onto Rt. 372 and go about two miles. Turn left onto McCalls Ferry Rd. just before crossing the Susquehanna River. The entrance to the parking lot is immediately on your right. Meet in the lower lot.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Muhlenberg Botanic Newsletter is up

The February 2011 Newsletter is up on line. Including the meeting schedule and field trips.

Photo: Coreopsis tripteris in the Muhlenberg Meadow at Lancaster County Central Park by Mike Slater

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Muhlenberg botanic Club Spring 2011 Meeting Schedule

All meetings are now held from 7:00 to 9:00pm on the 3rd Thursday of the month at the North Museum on the F & M Campus.

If there is a prediction of bad weather meetings will be canceled 48 hours in advance per our agreement with the North Museum as our meeting location host. Please check this web site or call one of the club officers if you have a question about whether or not a meeting is canceled.

February 17, 2011 Meeting - 7:00 pm
Dr. Tatyana Livshultz,  Assistant Curator of Botany, Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences
"Evolution of Pollination Mechanisms in the Milkweed Family (Apocynaceae)" and also information on her current research project on comparing historical and present pollination frequency of Common Milkweed flowers.

Dr. Livshultz received a Ph.D. Cornell University 2003. Now at the Academy her focus is on the Apocynaceae, the milkweed and dogbane family, a group of ca. 4000 species of flowering plants. The milkweed flower is among the most complex, comparable only to that of the orchid in the modification of its form and the precision of its pollination mechanism. Flowers of dogbanes are simpler, although there are also species with flowers of intermediate complexity. I'm using methods including evolutionary tree reconstruction and comparative development to understand how the complex milkweed flower evolved from the simpler flower of a dogbane-like ancestor.

March 17, 2011  Meeting - 7:00 pm

    Link Davis "Wildflowers of Southeastern Pennsylvania"

    Link Davis is a lifelong resident of Montgomery County, PA.  He received a BS in Biology form Millersville
University in 1969 and an MA in Physical Science from West Chester University in 1979.  He taught Physical Science and Chemistry in the Norristown Area School District for thirty years.  After retiring he drove a school bus for seven years and volunteered at Habitat for Humanity and his local SPCA.  Insects and wildflowers have long peeked his curiosity.  He presents lessons on insects and shares his collection with schools to enhance what their curricula cannot provide.  His interest in wildflowers began about twenty years ago when he started attending botany walks sponsored by the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy.  Only in the last five years has he dedicated himself to seriously imaging the wildflowers of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

April 21, 2011 Meeting - 7:00 pm

Dr. James Thorne, "Disappearance of Grassland and Forest Interior Habitats in SE PA and Their Restoration"

Dr. Thorne does conservation planning, implementation, and research for the Natural Lands Trust. He spends most of his time coordinating a public-private partnership effort known as the Hopewell Big Woods Project. Before joining the Natural Lands Trust in 2001, Dr. Thorne worked for eight years for the PA chapter of The Nature Conservancy and for 10 years for the University of PA.

May 19, 2011 Meeting - 7:00 pm

    Member's Night and Member's Plant Exchange

Bring a show and tell item, a few  digital pictures (on a thumb drive or slides to share (if you are bringing old style 35mm slides please advise mike Slater in advance) enough to take about 10 minutes of the meeting. If possible please let Mike Slater know in advance if you are bringing something to share

For the plant exchange please bring some well potted plants that you think other members might like to adopt. We focus on native plants but some others are perfectly fine too. Members who don't have any plants to share are welcome to take home plants too. We always have a lot to share with everybody! We have to continue to KEEP THE MEETING ROOM CLEAN, SO PLEASE TRY TO BRING PLANTS IN FAIRLY CLEAN POTS AND MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO INSECTS ON THEM. We want to leave the Kinsey room as clean or cleaner than we found it. Thanks you