Wild Seed Project seeds
Wild Seed Project: Returning native plants to the Maine landscape

Beyond Blades of Grass

June 16, 2017 • By Paul Bogard • The New York Times
Why do we consider a neatly trimmed lawn the pinnacle of what the ground should be?

 

How to Fight Plants with Plants

March 2, 2017 • By Nancy Lawson • The Humane Gardener
What’s to love about native plants that spread like crazy? Everything! Enlist these hardy troopers to help reclaim habitat from invasive species.

 

Tasty Teas from Trees: Black and Yellow Birch

By Russ Cohen
If you scratch and sniff a black or yellow birch twig, you’ll smell the aroma of oil of wintergreen. You can taste it too.

 

A ‘shrinking city’ may mean growing habitat for bumblebees

May 23, 2017 • By Sarah DeWeerdt • Anthropocene
To really understand the effects of cities on wild species, it isn’t enough to simply calculate the proportion of pavement—you have to consider an area’s human and socioeconomic history, too.

 

Understanding What Makes Plants Happy

April 30, 2017 • By Margaret Roach • The New York Times
Thomas Rainer’s work is a revelation: It turns out that plants are social, and have a body language that explains what they need.

 

Among their many impacts, roads are driving rapid evolutionary adaptation in adjacent populations

March 15, 2017 • By Mike Gaworecki • Mongabay
According to the authors of a paper published last month in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, even as evolutionary studies have come to the fore in many fields of conservation, “road ecology” is rarely examined from an evolutionary perspective — yet “neglecting evolutionary change in response to habitat modification prevents critical insights.”

 

Racing Extinction

2015 • By Louie Psihoyos/Mark Monroe • Film
A documentary that follows undercover activists trying to stave off a man-made mass extinction. Scientists predict we may lose half the species on the planet by the end of the century. They believe we have entered the sixth major extinction event in Earth’s history. Number five took out the dinosaurs. This era is called the Anthropocene, or ‘Age of Man’, because the evidence shows that humanity has sparked this catastrophic loss.

 

‘Forest cities’: the radical plan to save China from air pollution

February 17, 2017 • By Tom Phillips • The Guardian
Stefano Boeri, the architect famous for his plant-covered skyscrapers, has designs to create entire new green settlements in a nation plagued by dirty air

 

Seeds: little time capsules that could secure our future

January 13, 2017 • By Robbie Blackhall-Miles • The Guardian
Saving seeds of plant species, both rare and common, is one of our most important backup plans for the planet, argues Robbie Blackhall-Miles.

 

Buildings that Blend Nature and City

Video • By Jeanne Gang • Ted Talk
A skyscraper that channels the breeze . . . a building that creates community around a hearth . . . Jeanne Gang uses architecture to build relationships. In this engaging tour of her work, Gang invites us into buildings large and small, from a surprising local community center to a landmark Chicago skyscraper. “Through architecture, we can do much more than create buildings,” she says. “We can help steady this planet we all share.”

 

Growing Ramps from Seed

Winter 2016-2017 • By Heather McCargo • MOFGA
Ramps are a delicious wild edible food beloved by chefs and locavores. Also known as wild leeks (Allium tricoccum), they are a member of the onion family and are a perennial woodland wildflower native to the eastern deciduous forest from Canada to Georgia and west to the prairie states.

 

A Native Plants Reader

Book • Brooklyn Botanic Garden
A Native Plants Reader is a departure from the typical BBG handbook. Rather than offering a toolkit of growing tips and practical instructions, this book presents a collection of narratives extolling the virtues of natives, outlining their fundamental contributions to our natural ecosystems, detailing our connections with them, describing the perils they currently face, and advocating for their preservation in the garden and larger landscape.

 

How To Grow A Planet episode 1 – The Power of Flowers

Video • BBC
In this series Professor Iain Stewart tells a stunning story about our planet. He reveals how the greatest changes to the earth have been driven, above all, by plants.

 

Seaside Goldenrod, a Late Bloomer

November 23, 2016 • By Dave Taft • The New York Times
Where conditions are right, masses of the plant’s yellow flowers can be found well into late November.

 

Are Trees Sentient Beings? Certainly, Says German Forester

November 16, 2016 • By Richard Schiffman • Yale Environment 360
In his bestselling book, The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben argues that to save the world’s forests we must first recognize that trees are “wonderful beings” with innate adaptability, intelligence, and the capacity to communicate with — and heal — other trees.

 


A Short film on Native Seeds

Video • By Film-Truth Productions
Polly Hill Arboretum Executive Director, Timothy Boland, Curator, Thomas Clark and Horticulturist/Arborist, Ian Jochems, explain the intricate relationship of Martha’s Vineyard’s ecosystems, the MV Wildtype nursery and the importance of supporting local wildlife and biodiversity by growing indigenous plants sown from wild seed collected on Martha’s Vineyard.

 

Can wild seeds save us from food apocalypse?

October 17, 2016 • By Eloise Gibson • BBC
Around the world, botanists are battling to find rare wild seed strains before they die out – helping ensure food supplies that can survive the perils of climate change.

 

Make Your Yard (or School Grounds or Office Building) a Wildlife Haven

October 13, 2016 • By Lisa Feldkamp • The Nature Conservancy
Turning your yard – or other small outdoor space – into a wildlife haven is easier than you think. Get started with Habitat Network, an online community of citizen scientists working together to build habitat to support wildlife.

 


Katahdin Alpine Plant Community Explorer

Guide • By Stahnke + Kitagawa Architects
Newly published by Wild Seed Project is the Katahdin Alpine Plant Community Explorer by Stahnke + Kitagawa Architects. This easy-to-carry, moisture-and tear-resistant guide is perfect to take along on your next hike. Learn to identify which plant community you’re in as you progress through Katahdin’s alpine elevation.

 


Garden Revolution: How Our Landscapes Can Be a Source of Environmental Change

Book • By Larry Weaner and Thomas Christopher
This lushly-photographed reference is an important moment in horticulture that will be embraced by anyone looking for a better, smarter way to garden. Larry Weaner is an icon in the world of ecological landscape design, and now his revolutionary approach is available to all gardeners. Garden Revolution shows how an ecological approach to planting can lead to beautiful gardens that buck much of conventional gardening’s counter-productive, time-consuming practices.

 

Help Fuel the Monarch Migration With These 6 Prairie Plants

August 29, 2016 • By Benjamin Vogt • Houzz
Come late August, the new generation of monarch butterflies in southern Canada and New England is starting to gather for migration south to central Mexico, which lasts into mid-October for the southern U.S. Along the way, the monarchs will make countless pit stops to recharge on a tiring journey.

 

Innovations in Urban Forestry

Summer 2016 • By Ian Leahy • American Forests
The idea of actively managing trees in cities and towns goes back to some of the world’s oldest civilizations; ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Chinese, Japanese and Romans all invested in green spaces within the expanses of their bustling cities. They created groves around their places of worship and planted trees around buildings, each in their own way recognizing the inherent value of engaging with nature, not just on great excursions but on a daily basis.

 

Sowing Native Seeds

August 2016 • By Heather McCargo • UMAINE: Maine Home Garden News
The seeds of wild plants have a different set of needs than those of common garden and vegetable species. Most gardeners think of spring as the time to sow seeds, but for most native plants in Maine fall to early winter is the best time.

 

Caterpillars, Food Webs and Doug Tallamy

July 23, 2016 • By Sarah O’Malley • The World Around Us
Ecosystems are like salad bars, you fill your plate with lots of leafy greens and then sprinkle lesser amounts of more concentrated food items on top (nuts, olives, bacon bits). Ecosystems have a similar food or trophic structure, at the bottom are the primary producers, the plants and other photosynthetic organisms, as you move up at each level there are fewer and fewer non plant individuals ( herbivores, omnivores and carnivores).

 

Vanishing Act: Why Insects Are Declining and Why It Matters

July 6, 2016 • By Christian Schwägerl • Yale Environment 360
Insect populations are declining dramatically in many parts of the world, recent studies show. Researchers say various factors, from monoculture farming to habitat loss, are to blame for the plight of insects, which are essential to agriculture and ecosystems.

 

Karner Blues Make a Comeback

June 27, 2016 • By Meghan McCarthy McPhaul • Northern Woodlands
The Karner blue, New Hampshire’s state butterfly, is a wisp of a thing, a tiny fluttering of silvery-blue wings. Unless you happen to be wandering through a pine barren or black-oak savannah, however, you’re unlikely to spot one. Even then, it would be a challenge, as the butterflies have been listed as federally endangered since 1992.

 

The first hints of the Anthropocene appeared far earlier than you think

June 21, 2016 • By Sarah DeWeerdt • Conservation Magazine
A massive cross-disciplinary analysis suggests that altering the planet is something very close to fundamental to the human condition.

 

Studying the Tiger Swallowtail, a Familiar Sight Flitting in the City

June 10, 2016 • By Dave Taft • The New York Times
These butterflies are not shy, and with a little practice, observers can learn the basics of how they communicate.

 

How Rising CO2 Levels May Contribute to Die-Off of Bees

May 10, 2016 • By Lisa Palmer • Yale Environment 360
As they investigate the factors behind the decline of bee populations, scientists are now eyeing a new culprit — soaring levels of carbon dioxide, which alter plant physiology and significantly reduce protein in important sources of pollen.

 

The nation’s best water parks are not what you think

March 30, 2016 • The Trust for Public Land
Super-slides and wave pools? Try bioswales and rain gardens. Across the country, city parks are doing double-duty to help control stormwater—and infrastructure’s rarely looked so good.

 

The Four Biggest Hazards Facing Monarch Butterflies, and How You Can Help

April 5, 2016 • By Christine Peterson • Cool Green Science
Monarch butterflies are in the media a lot lately, and it’s not good news. What’s really going on? Are the butterflies facing extinction? Our blogger breaks down the issue, including how you can make a difference.

 


Wildflowers of New England: Timber Press Field Guide

Book • By Ted Elliman and The New England Wild Flower Society
Wildflowers of New England is for hikers, naturalists, gardeners, and anyone wishing to learn more about the region’s diverse wildflowers, or just wanting to know the answer to “What’s that plant?” Ted Elliman, a plant ecologist for the New England Wild Flower Society, describes and illustrates more than 1,000 species commonly encountered in the region, including perennials, annuals, and biennials, both native and naturalized.

 

Imagining a Forest of the Future

March 24, 2016 • By Nicholas St. Fleur • The New York Times
A digital simulator helps visualize how a variety of factors, including carbon dioxide levels and drought, may affect tree ecosystems over 1,000 years.

 

The Global Solution to Extinction

March 12, 2016 • By Edward O. Wilson • The New York Times
It is not too late to halt the alarming loss of species and biodiversity threatening the planet.

 

Why a milder winter might delay spring leaf-out

PDF • Spring 2015 • PopClock
When most of us think about spring phenology, our image is of warm spring days, encouraging leaves to expand and flowers to open. What might be surprising to learn is how important winter (and even autumn) temperatures are to the timing of these springtime events.

 

Madrid Is Covering Itself In Plants To Help Fight Rising Temperatures

Feb. 3, 2016 • by Adele Peters • Fast Company
Vacant lots, city squares, a former highway, and even regular city streets are going to be filled up with trees and plants—everywhere you look.

 

How to Make Your Yard Bird-Friendly

September 2015 • Audubon
Grow a beautiful garden that provides a safe haven for birds in the face of climate change.

 

The Etymology of Parking

PDF • 2015 • By Michele Richmond • arnoldia
I’ve always wondered why we use the word parking to describe a place to leave a car. For me the word evokes images of my neighborhood park, playgrounds, or New York’s Central Park: lush green spaces, not places easily reconciled with a patch of asphalt.

 

More trees on your street means fewer health problems, says study

July 2015 • By Monica Tan • The Gaurdian
Having on average 10 more trees in a city block improved how someone rated their health by a level comparable to an increase in annual income of $10,000.

 

The Nature of Cities

Video • 2010 • By Charles Davis
“The Nature Of Cities” follows the journey of Professor Timothy Beatley as he explores urban projects around the world, representing the new green movement that hopes to move our urban environments beyond sustainability to a regenerative way of living.

 

A Fragrant Shrub That Smells Like Winter

Dec. 11, 2015 • By Dave Taft • The New York Times
The northern bayberry, a large shrub growing in coastal woodlands from Nova Scotia to North Carolina, has a peppery scent that must be experienced up close.

 

Humanity’s Coming Of Age On Planet Earth

Dec. 8, 2015 • By Adam Frank • NPR.org
Some of the five mass extinctions Earth experienced in the past were driven by climate changes. Future Earth will be just fine. It’s us humans we need to worry about, says astrophysicist Adam Frank.

 

Tallest American Chestnut Tree Found In Maine

Dec. 3, 2015 • By Susan Sharon • MPBN News
A century ago American chestnut trees dominated the eastern woodlands from Georgia to Maine. Growing straight and tall they were prized for timber.

 

Living on a Shrinking Planet: Challenges and Opportunities for a Sustainable Future

Podcast • October 26, 2015 • Dr. Jonathan Foley• KQED Radio
The world is growing smaller in more ways than one—while the global population increases, covering more and more of the planet, the amount of livable, arable land diminishes in the face of a changing climate. How can we meet the needs of nine billion people while protecting the natural resources necessary for growth and prosperity? We will focus on this delicate balance and discuss ways to ensure a sustainable future, starting with our own backyard, in California.

 

Rethinking Extinction: Toward a less gloomy environmentalism

PDF • November 2015 • By James K. Boyce • Harper’s Magazine
A little more than a hundred years ago, a bird named Martha, the last surviving passenger pigeon, died in the Cincinnati Zoo. Her death was remarkable in the annals of extinction not only because we know its precise date — September 1, 1914 — but also because only decades earlier the passenger pigeon had been the most abundant bird on earth.

 

Weed Whackers: Monsanto, glyphosate, and the war on invasive species

PDF • September 2015 • By Andrew Cockburn • Harper’s Magazine
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer.

 

Poison Ivy in Autumn in New York

Oct. 2, 2015 • By Dave Taft • The New York Times
If there is ever a time to admire poison ivy, it is in the fall, when the plant turns brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow.

 

Woods Whys: Acorns and Weather

Summer 2015 • By Michael Snyder • Northern Woodlands
Last fall when acorns were falling out of the oak trees by the thousands, a neighbor said we could expect a hard winter. Presumably the deer needed lots of acorns.

 

Ferns in the Garden

[PDF, page 12] • Summer 2013 • By William Cullina • The Blazing Star
In the late 1990’s, a 200-million-year-old fossil fern was discovered in Antarctica that is nearly identical to the interrupted fern (Osmunda claytoniana) growing in my front yard.

 

Of Ants and Men

Video • Sept. 30, 2015 • By E. O. Wilson • PBS.org
An exploration of the remarkable life and groundbreaking ideas of biologist E.O Wilson, founder of the discipline of sociobiology.

 

Plant This, Not That!

May/June 2015 • By Nancy Lawson • The Humane Society of the United States
More thoughtful plant choices can sustain wildlife and entire life cycles of biodiversity.

 

Threat to Tiny Golden-Cheeked Warbler Is Disputed in Texas

July 31, 2015 • By David Montgomery • The New York Times
A showdown over a songbird’s status is part of a continuing national dialogue about the Endangered Species Act.

 

Brooklyn Bridge Park Opening New Vistas

July 26, 2015 • By Lisa W. Foderaro • The New York Times
Two new sections of the park are set to open in August, one a floral meadow on Pier 6, the other a reminder of the area’s industrial past.

 

In These Urban Forest Neighborhoods, The Houses Are Disguised As Trees

June 30, 2015 • By Adele Peters • Co.Exist
If one Dutch architect gets his way, we might soon be living in car-free urban forests where the buildings look like trees. “Imagine living with nothing but green around you,” says architect Raimond de Hullu. “Imagine growing flowers or tomatoes on your façade.”

 

Climate change causing bumblebee habitat loss, say scientists

July 9, 2015 • By Adam Vaughan • The Guardian
Scientists shocked at bees’ failure to relocate north to cooler areas as southern climes in Europe and North America become too hot for the species to survive

 

Oslo builds world’s first bumblebee highway

May 22, 2015  • The Local
The Norwegian capital has inaugurated the world’s first ‘bumble bee highway’, a corridor through the city pollen stations every 250 meters.

 

Seoul’s Skygarden: the High Line of South Korea?

May 15, 2015 • By Francesca Perry • The Guardian
Taking a look at plans for an elevated park in the South Korean capital, the issue of heritage preservation in Calcutta and the death-defying leaps of urban explorers on the rooftops of Paris.

 

From the White House to Minnesota gardens, an effort to make more room for pollinators

May 29, 2015 • By Catherine Winter • PRI’s The World
Honey bees and other pollinators are in big trouble. President Barack Obama wants to help save them with a new protected bee habitat corridor along I-35 spanning the US from Laredo, Texas to Duluth Minnesota. Catherine Winter, who lives in Duluth and keeps bees herself, tracked down some other bee enthusiasts to talk about the president’s plan and their own efforts to protect the pollinators that help feed us all.

 

New England’s plants face significant threat, report says

March 26, 2015 • By David Abel • The Boston Globe
Nearly a quarter of all native plant species in New England are now either extinct, rare, or in a state of decline, while about a third of all the region’s plants are from elsewhere and an increasing number are considered invasive, according to a landmark report released Thursday by the New England Wild Flower Society.

 

‘The Triumph of Seeds,’ by Thor Hanson

April 17, 2015 • By Mark Kurlansky • The New York Times
“Oh, no!” I thought as I gazed at Thor Hanson’s book with pictures of seeds all lined up on the jacket in boring, well-spaced symmetry. If “The Triumph of Seeds” had really been about how the little acorn makes the mighty oak, I might have screamed. But the genius of Hanson’s fascinating, inspiring and entertaining book stems from the fact that it is not about how all kinds of things grow from seeds; it is about the seeds themselves.

 

The Chickadee’s Guide to Gardening

March 11, 2015 • By Douglas W. Tallamy • The New York Times
I grew up thinking little of plants. I was interested in snakes and turtles, then insects and, eventually, birds. Now I like plants. But I still like the life they create even more.

 

How Citizen Scientists Are Using The Web to Track the Natural World

Yale Environment 360
By making the recording and sharing of environmental data easier than ever, web-based technology has fostered the rapid growth of so-called citizen scientists — volunteers who collaborate with scientists to collect and interpret data.

 

GLOBAL CHANGE IS NOW. Ecology can help.

May 6, 2014 • By Liza Lester • Ecological Society of America
Our planet is already changing. Current climate trends are bringing great disruption to ecosystems and the many species that share this planet—including people, because this is our environment, our home, our life support system. The economic costs of wildfire, drought, storms, fishery losses to ocean acidity, and the inundation of our coastal cities by sea level rise are clear.

 

Do urban green corridors “work”?

October 5, 2014  • The Nature of Cities
It depends on what we want them to do. What ecological and/or social functions can we realistically expect green corridors to perform in cities? What attributes define them, from a design and performance perspective?

 

Bee boulevard: An urban corridor becomes a haven for native pollinators

September 19, 2012 • by Claire Thompson • Grist
Sarah Bergmann does not see herself as a political artist. Promoting social causes, raising awareness — that stuff doesn’t appeal to her. But she likes asking questions. Doing so, she says, “allows me to learn about the world and respond to it, and do something physical based on what I learn.”

 

Urban Nature: How to Foster Biodiversity in World’s Cities

January 6, 2014 • by Richard Conniff • Yale Environment 360
As the world becomes more urbanized, researchers and city managers from Baltimore to Britain are recognizing the importance of providing urban habitat that can support biodiversity. It just may be the start of an urban wildlife movement.

 

Revealed: How Seed Market is Controlled by Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow & DuPont

October 7, 2014 • by Tom Levitt • Ecologist
How just five biotech giants have increased their control of the global seed market, promoting monoculture farming and making it harder for farmers to find alternative sources of seeds.

 

How to Mend the Conservation Guide

October 31, 2014 • by Emma Marris and Greg Aplet • The New York Times
A SCHISM has recently divided those who love nature.

“New conservationists” have been shaking up the field, proposing new approaches that break old taboos — moving species to new ranges in advance of climate change, intervening in designated wilderness areas, using nonnative species as functional stand-ins for those that have become extinct, and embracing novel ecosystems that spring up in humanized landscapes.

 

If you plant different trees in the forest, is it still the same forest?

October 19, 2014 • by Bill Lascher • The Guardian
As the Nature Conservancy works to help Minnesota’s North Woods adapt to climate change, other environmentalists worry “assisted migration” may end up changing the forest’s very nature.

 

Bombs for Butterflies

July 23, 2014 • by Jason Bittel • On Earth
If the key to saving monarchs is growing more milkweed, why aren’t we walking around with pockets full of seed?

I’m here to tell you about a weapon that could change the world. It’s small, inexpensive, and easy to conceal. Discharging it in public wouldn’t harm any living creature; it wouldn’t even land you in jail. What it would do, believe it or not, is save millions of lives.