[PCA] Native Plant News from New England Wild Flower Society

Debra Strick dstrick at newfs.org
Tue Jun 3 13:01:16 CDT 2008



New England Wild Flower Society 

Launches 3.8 Million Capital Campaign-$2.5 Million Already Raised


Whately,  Mass. -Wild Flower Society recently launched the "Growing
Connections" Campaign, initiated from Garden in the Woods headquarters
in Framingham.  Co-chairs Frances Clark and Lalor Burdick announced the
most ambitious fundraising effort ever undertaken by the 108-year old
conservation group. The Campaign aims to raise $3.8 million with $2.5
million already raised, to support two critical initiatives of the
Society for the future of native plant conservation and horticulture.
Groundbreaking takes place mid-June for the Society's  LEED-certified
Native Plant Center and multi-use agricultural building at its Nasami
Farm & Sanctuary in Whately, Massachusetts, located in the Pioneer
Valley, that already operates as the largest grower of native plants in
New England.  The Growing Connections Campaign will also endow the
perpetual revision of the Society's comprehensive online flora of New
England plants, to make accurate plant identification accessible for


Commenting on the campaign goals, Frances Clark, Campaign Co-Chair,
Trustee and Conservation Consultant noted, "Growing native plants at
Nasami Farm enables New England Wild Flower Society to promote native
plants throughout the whole of the region. Each time someone carries
away a plant, they spread the mission of the Society which is to
preserve the native plants and healthy ecosystems. For hundreds of years
the Pioneer Valley has maintained a farming legacy. The Society is
committed to extending that tradition into the future, and to bringing a
new form of environmentally-sensitive work with a whole new crop." 


The Native Plant Center will combine the Society's propagation and
ecological expertise to support the habitat restoration projects that
lie at the heart of its conservation mission, and plans to develop and
promote new eco-industries including green roofs, and ecological
landscaping. "As a venerable non-profit organization focusing on
sustainability, we ourselves must be sustainable from a business and
ecological point of view. We simultaneously increase demand for native
plants through outreach and education, while helping the public
understand the connection between native plants, healthy habitats, and
greener choices.. Nursery sales provided 40 percent of the Society's
earned income in 2007, representing 16 percent of the overall budget,"
continued Clark. 


"We are well on our way to developing the most significant native plant
nursery in the country," said Ruah Donnelly, Trustee, Chair of the
Nasami Farm Building Committee, and Author of The Adventurous Gardener.
"Collecting local seed, creating an ecologically-responsible source of
superb and beautiful native plants-this is our aim, and the future of
horticulture, and it does not yet fully exist anywhere else. A
sustainable and sensitive relationship to our home ground that uses and
combines plants  that are native -that's where we are all headed. It's
possible for the Society to undertake this enlightened program because
of the generosity of previous Nasami Farm owners Bob and Nancy August
who long envisioned a combined nursery and sanctuary as the future of
their land,"  continued Donnelly.


The Society is the regional representative for the Millennium Seed Bank,
a worldwide conservation effort led by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in
England, to conserve seed for 10% of the world's seed-bearing plant
species. Nasami Farm plays an important role in the effort to preserve
selected native plants of the Northeastern United States.  Nasami's new
agricultural building will include a state-of-the-art Seed Bank to aid
in native plant collection, propagation, and seed storage.


The Society's nursery at Nasami Farm is not only a leader in using
increasingly ecological methods in  producing native plants but its new
Native Plant Center is sustainably designed using "green" building
methods and sustainable materials. The Center will be a LEED-certified
building created by local builders using local materials, wherever
possible. The building's ecological sensibility conforms perfectly with
the town of Whately's commitment to local farms and the strong ethic in
the Pioneer Valley community to use and preserve fertile farmland. 


Designed by Architerra, a Boston  area green-focused architecture and
design firm, and to be built by Scapes, Builders and Landscapers LLC,
locally based in Conway, Massachusetts. Groundbreaking takes place June
19 with completion scheduled for early summer, 2009. 


Frances Clark shared details on the innovation of the online flora
project: "Through the Online New England Flora we can share botanical
expertise with both amateurs and plant specialists. We are developing
the keys-literally- to understanding the plant world of New England. By
making it easier to learn the names of native plants, everyone can
engage in the fun, interest, and excitement of the green world and
become advocates for native plants and our natural habitats. It all
starts with knowing the names. The Flora is designed especially for the
next generation of stewards of the land to learn and enjoy and therefore
protect the future of native plants and their habitats," Clark noted.
With support from the campaign the Online New England Flora, created by
renowned New England Wild Flower Society Botanist Arthur Haines, will be
endowed for perpetual updating, available to all. For more information,
contact Dianne Butt, New England Wild Flower Society Director of
Development at 508-877-7630 x 3104 or dbutt at newenglandwild.org, or visit
the website at www.newenglandwild.org <http://www.newenglandwild.org/> .












Debra Strick
Marketing and Public Relations Director
Curator of Visual Collections
New England Wild Flower Society
Garden in the Woods
180 Hemenway Road
Framingham, MA  01701
dstrick at newenglandWILD.org
508-877-7630 x 3501
Fax: 508-877-3658

New England Wild Flower Society proudly presents
David Rogers' BIG BUGS exhibit & Web-of-Life Extravaganza
Garden in the Woods
July 12-October 31, 2008

"See them the way they see us"  


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