Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center opens visitors’ eyes to the natural world

Tucked away in the hills of western Pennsylvania, about an hour outside of Pittsburgh, is the Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center. As groups around the world prepare to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, Crooked Creek is one of those places where the natural world is the focus of every program, from a Saturday seminar on […]

Restored private landscape of UNC botanist William C. Coker lives on

You know those landscapes that just exude a sense of place, that identify without much thought exactly where you are? They don’t happen by accident. For every school campus, public park or other expanse with memorable grounds, you can bet there’s a visionary person (or team) behind it. At the University of North Carolina at […]

Bren Haas: The Social Gardener

Lots of people read recipes and then go search through the supermarket for ingredients. But about a month ago, Bren Haas talked about a very different kind of search. “There’s a pepper that’s in a salsa that my son wants, and I’m hunting down that seed, just so we can make that salsa recipe,” she […]

From seedlings to butterflies, a biologist’s natural world unfolds on Plants Map

On Feb. 13, as winter weather reports swirled throughout much of the East Coast, Annkatrin Rose updated her Plants Map page with a sure sign of spring. “This year’s first seedling is working its way out of its dead coat on my windowsill,” she wrote next to a close-up photo showing an embryonic plant creeping […]

Conifer Kingdom demonstrate the value of digital plant information

When he started Markus Farms in Silverton, Ore., in 2007, Brent Markus was simply trying to build up his own supply of the trees he wanted in the landscapes he was designing in the Greater Chicago area—jobs he started taking on when he was still in high school. He’d experienced the frustration of not being […]

Grelen Nursery creates a unique destination experience

Grelen Nursery is a unique place to enjoy the beautiful Virginia countryside. The rolling hills and open spaces of Orange County are a landscape rooted in America’s history. Within this one central Virginia county, you can tour the estate of 4th U.S. President, James Madison, at Montpelier, see the ruins of a home Thomas Jefferson designed […]

Teachers use Plants Map to help a new generation connect with nature

On one of the first days of his mountain ecology science class at the Blue Ridge School, Cory Woods asked his students how many different trees they think they’d pass walking between two specific points on the campus of this private boys’ school near Charlottesville, Va. After students made guesses in the range of 12 […]

Newlin Grist Mill a refuge for connecting with nature, history

At the outer fringe of the Philadelphia suburbs, a 160-acre park manages to be a natural oasis, hands-on learning lab and preserver of early American ways of life, all under one umbrella. The Newlin Grist Mill, a 1704 mill surrounded by a park laced with trails, trout and frog ponds is run by the nonprofit […]

The Gardens at Heather Farm attracts visitors with online plant collection

In a small triangular garden at the Gardens at Heather Farm is a Japanese Black Pine that was propagated in 1942, decades before it was installed in the garden in 1989. “It’s a real treasure,” said Garden Manager Brian Larsen, and it’s now one of many unique plants that could introduce plant enthusiasts from all over […]

Professor uses Plants Map to raise awareness about tree programs

Cities and utility companies spend a lot of money maintaining the infrastructure that keeps cars moving, homes lit and water running through pipes and storm drains. But there’s good reason to put just as much energy into maintaining another key piece of urban infrastructure: trees. Trees in cities can help clean the air, manage storm […]