Mark posts with this category that are designated as news.

Native Plants Attract Birds, Bees and Curious Neighbors

Anne Raver, RIWPS Board Member with over 30 years of experience writing about landscapes and the environment, describes her experiences with her now three-year-old native garden.

RIWPS Annual Grant to support 3 different projects

Thanks to membership dues and other donations the RIWPS Annual Grant Committee was able to award $4,000 in grants this year.  The money will support a project to collect and document plants in Rhode Island and two public school projects to encourage budding young naturalists and botanists through onsite native plant gardens.

2018 – RIWPS grant awarded

  1. Tim Whitfeld – Brown University Herbarium – $2,000
    • Project to begin systematic, town by town herbarium collecting effort across Rhode Island.
  1. Fran Topping – Charlestown Elementary School – $1,500
    • The main portion would be obtaining native plants from RIWPS and local nurseries & through donations; preparing educational materials for teacher use in curriculum involving native plants, and signage to inform parents, teachers and children about the plants used. Improving the soil is also needed even though hardy natives are planned for, it is a very sandy area.
  1. Jane O’Connell – Gilbert Stuart Middle School – $500
    • Project to to plant Rhody native pollinator perennials in our outdoor classroom on our campus.

 

RIWPS Annual Volunteer Awards Go To ……..

With great pleasure, RIWPS announced the recipients of the Annual Volunteer Awards at the March 25 Annual Meeting which took place in the Pharmacy Building at the University of Rhode Island.

Native Plants for New England Gardens

Are you interested in growing native plants in your garden?  Mark Richardson and Dan Jaffee’s new book, Native Plants for New England Gardens, is reviewed by EcoRI News.

Annual Appeal

Help us continue our work.

Welcome to the Native Jungle, Where Local Birds and Bees Thrive

In her recent article in EcoRI, Welcome to the Native Jungle, Where Local Birds and Bees Thrive, RIWPS member Anne Raver, writes about why she chooses to plant natives.  Anne, a Warren, R.I., resident and longtime gardener, has written about landscape and the environment for more than 30 years.

May 26

When you stop thinking about plants as pretty outdoor furniture on a green rug, and see them as complex organisms that feed thousands of beneficial insects, birds and mammals, your garden becomes another universe.

My husband and I moved up from an old farm property in Maryland to a sunny corner lot in the middle of Warren, R.I., a few years ago, and decided to devote most of the space to a large kitchen garden, surrounded by plants that would feed and shelter wildlife.

We kept some of the old plants that were here: a gnarled cedar tree, purple lilacs, a magnolia, and two purple smoke trees that edged the yard, as well as the horse chestnut and craggy catalpa near the house.

But we took out almost everything else: a couple of Japanese maples and peonies, German irises, hybrid tea roses, burning bushes, and a severely clipped row of yews alongside the house.

We dug up a good part of the lawn for our vegetable garden, another swath for prairie flowers such as Joe Pye-weed, ironweed and rudbeckias, and another for what must look like a collection of weeds — goldenrods, little bluestem, river oats, milkweed — and sticks — native viburnums, birch, beach plum, staghorn fern, high bush blueberry — to our neighbors, because they are still too young to look like anything else.

They can’t see what we see in our mind’s eye: these plants as they develop and fill in over the years, providing a lush and beautiful habitat for insects, birds and animals.

It’s easy to get inured to the grim statistics: 95 percent of the wilderness that once lay across the continental United States is now covered with cities and suburbs, 30 million acres of lawn, highways and malls, industrial parks, landfills, and many forms of agriculture.

That leaves just 5 percent for wildlife. No wonder half the bird species of 40 years ago have disappeared. Or that more than one-third of North American birds, 432 species, are at risk of extinction.    Read more….