Annual Meeting, 2013
Saturday, November 16
The Connecticut Forest and Park Association
16 Meriden Road (Route 66)
Wild Orchids in the City. Really.
Finding an orchid in the wild is always a wonderful experience, whether growing in deep pine woods, rich swampland, sandy outwash plain or other prime orchid habitat, they are rarely abundant. But even veteran naturalists are surprised to stumble upon an occasional orchid growing in a New York City parkland or even abandoned lots. Though rare, orchids are actually surprisingly durable survivors in our local temperate environs. Mr. Taft's interest in these plants has translated into many trips into beautifully preserved habitat, but also outlandish, disturbed, and sometimes simply ridiculous "wild spaces" in and around New York City. Orchids can be remarkably persistent, and finding them growing under an abandoned shopping cart, or a city tree pit is both motivating and educational. Join Mr. Taft in this refreshing presentation about what makes an orchid an orchid, the "orchid mystique," and why we should care about the persistence of plants and wild spaces in and near our cities.
Mr. Taft is a supervisor with the National Park Service in New York City, managing the Brooklyn and Queens units of Gateway National Recreation Area. Born and raised in Brooklyn (Canarsie and Gravesend), he developed an early interest in local nature and its incredible persistence within New York City's five boroughs.
9:30 AM — Refreshments and Natural History Used Book Sale (book donations welcome)
10:15 AM — Brief Business Meeting
11 AM — Guest Speaker
12 PM — Potluck Lunch; Bring your favorite dish to share.
Directions: The Connecticut Forest and Park Association building is on the north side of Route 66, 2.8 miles west of the Route 9 intersection in Middletown and 4 miles east of the I-91 intersection in Meriden. Detailed directions.
Save the date!
Spring 2014 Meeting
March 22, 2014
Richard Primack will give a talk, "Walden Warming: The impact of climate change on the
wildflowers and birds of Thoreau's Concord"
Thoreau was a climate change scientist! For the past 10 years, Professor Richard Primack (Boston University) and his colleagues have been using Thoreau's records and other data sources to document the dramatically earlier flowering and leafing out times of plants, the earlier ice out at Walden Pond, and the more variable response of migratory birds. And most noteworthy, plants in Concord are also changing in abundance due to a warming climate. While primarily a scientific study, Primack's talk will be supported by beautiful photos and numerous quotes from Thoreau.
This work has received exceptionally wide attention in the popular media (http://people.bu.edu/primack/news.html), most recently in the New York Times, and demonstrates the relevance of Thoreau's legacy to contemporary issues.
Richard Primack is a Professor of Biology at Boston University and past President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation.
He is the Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Biological Conservation and author of two widely used textbooks, Essentials of Conservation
Biology and A Primer of Conservation Biology; 28 foreign language editions have been produced with local co-authors adding in examples from their own countries.
He is also co-author of the book Tropical Rain Forests: An Ecological and Biogeographical Comparison. For the past 12 years,
Prof. Primack has been investigating the effects of a warming climate on the plants and birds of Massachusetts, with an emphasis on continuing the
observations made 160 years ago by Henry David Thoreau in Concord.
Bark of Populus deltoides (cottonwood). Photographed by Janet Novak at Bull's Bridge, Connecticut, May 2003.