Botanist's Lens

'And into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul" ~ John Muir

Conservation and preservation are crucial for all landscapes. John Muir, who is considered the archetypal preservationist, saved several national parks. Muir is almost a synonym for the woodlands, as he created the Sequoia and the Mt. Rainier national parks, amongst many others. He also started the Sierra Club and is the reason National Parks Service was established.

Eagle Scout and Midshipmen group helping in restoring Spring Walk

Natives, invasives, exotics, all are but plants. When a plant finds a right habitat, it will try to establish as best as it can via vegetative methods or reproductive. It will try everything it can to survive and thrive. Add minimum competition, less aggressive neighboring species, low disturbance and you could have a huge invasive problem!

Bamboo, for example, belongs to the grass family. In fact, some of the giant bamboo are considered the largest growing members of the grass family. When bamboo gets planted in an area where its habit of growing vigorously via rhizomes gets in the way of other plants, then it is a nightmare of an invasive problem!

In the past few days, in spite of gusty winds and low temperatures, a couple of the horticulture staff members: Dylan Bacon and Ben Lammers were able to clear out a large area taken over by bamboo. Ivy, honeysuckle and even some viburnum species are examples of species we are trying to eradicate to preserve the woodlands gardens.

However, for non-profits, in addition to having staff help, volunteer help is very crucial to survive. Stewardship is critical for any type of preservation.

Dylan Bacon (Landscape manager) and Ben Lammers (Horticulture Assistant) working on the Bamboo project.

All cleaned up! Look at that view!

We are currently filing up spots for service days and scout group projects in the horticulture department. Scout projects are individually picked between February-November and environmental service days includes a volunteer group helping out for couple of hours on a Saturday.

Eagle Scout helping with invasive removal by the Davidsonville Ruritan Garden Pavilion

Along with hands-on restoration work, the scouts get to experience restoring a landscape and preserving a vision. Preservation and conservation have deep roots in the Scout origin, as is in the writings of John Muir who also was the main inspiration for the formation of the Scouts’ clubs.

What better way to immerse these young minds into nature, than giving them a hands-on experience in preserving woodlands? If you are interested in finding out more information about having a Scouts group join us for an individual project or come in for a service day, please read more info on environmental service days: and connect with me for filling up scout projects or environmental service days.

Sharing with you today, pictures of 2019 Scout projects (and spring blooming Camellias!)

Spring blooming Camellia japonica 'White Empress' by the Azalea glade (already peeking out!)

Spring blooming Camellia japonica

#johnmuir #bamboo #conservation #preservation #nationalparks

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