Good Oak News

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Gentian Safari Rescheduled for THIS SUNDAY, Sept. 12th at 9am!

The title of this message says it all: due to an unavoidable scheduling conflict, we've had to move the Gentian Safari wildflower walk forward a week to 9 am on Sunday, Sept. 12th.

Enjoy the brilliant blues of our wild gentians, and if we're lucky we'll find a few ladies tresses orchids in bloom too. Meet at the parking lot for the Grady Tract section of the UW Arboretum at the southeast corner of Seminole Highway and the Beltline frontage road.

Monday, September 6, 2010

"Can't miss!" keynote speaker at UW Arboretum conference next weekend!

Next Sunday, September 19th the UW Arboretum will be hosting its annual Native By Design native landscaping conference.  I'm extremely excited to hear that this year's keynote speaker will be Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home.  This is one of the most powerful and inspirational books I have ever read.  I place it up on the high mantel shelf along side the works of Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson and Edward Abbey.  This is a unique opportunity to hear Dr. Tallamy speak here in the midwest that should not be missed by anyone interested in natural areas management or landscaping with native plants.

The conference runs from 8:45 to 4:30 next Sunday.  In addition to Dr. Tallamy's keynote, there will be a tour of the Arboretum's own native plant garden and several other workshop sessions to choose from.  For more information, see the UW Arboretum's website.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Roadsalt: toxic to our streams

Here is an interesting article on Science Daily that follows up on my previous post quite nicely.  Essentially, we put so much salt on roads in the winter that the run off kills organisms in nearby streams.  So please, only salt your driveway and walkway when absolutely necessary.  Careful shoveling can remove most of the frozen wet stuff that turns into slick ice, snow blowers are less effective at scraping every bit off of the ground.  Also, if you have the opportunity to be involved in the planning stages of a building project, site the entrance on the south side where sunlight can melt most of the hazardous ice away.  Lastly, work with your city or township to encourage reduction in the use of salt on roads.  Often it is just plain wasted.  Other times there are less toxic alternatives like sand, beat juice and cinders.

Science Daily: Many Urban Streams Harmful to Aquatic Life Following Winter Pavement Deicing