Muhlenberg Botanical Society,
Muhlenberg Botanic Society
From Ruthann Richards
Greetings, Muhlenberg members!
As those of you who were at the April, May, and September meetings know, this has been a tough year for the Society, in part because of the death of our President and one of our long-time field trip leaders, Joan King. In addition, as Tim Draude indicated at the last few meetings, only a few people have been carrying the burden as officers for the last couple of decades. If we aren't able to recruit new people to take over these tasks, the organization may have to fold.
Both Tim and Mike Slater have suggested that we might combine with the Butterfly/Insect Club since our interests are similar. That is a possibility, but those who attended the September meeting seemed quite keen on finding a way out of this conundrum. I would like to suggest that we try to keep going, with the help of new people, through next spring and then reassess the situation.
Various people came up with new ideas at the Sept. meeting—ideas that we need to discuss in more detail. Therefore, I suggested that we use the October 20 meeting primarily as a springboard to gather ideas and figure out ways to make this a viable organization again, even though our membership may remain small.
In order to facilitate matters at the October meeting, I would like to request that members send me their ideas so we don't just waste time with a “free for all” discussion that doesn't achieve any concrete results.
These are the areas in which we need the most suggestions:
1. For officers—even if you will only serve as an interim officer;
2. For people who have contacts to potential speakers;
3. For people who will set up field trips.
Please send your suggestions to me at email@example.com or call (717-872-7574) as soon as possible so I can organize them. Even if you think an idea might not work, send it anyway: one never knows.
Whether or not you have any suggestions, please respond to two matters:
1. Do you want to see the organization continue? And
2. Would you be available to meet on a different day of the third week of the month? List which days (Monday through Thursday) you would be available in order of preference.
We agreed to have a seed exchange at the October meeting, so please save seeds from native plants (or others that are valuable as pollinator plants in your garden). Bring envelopes for others who might like some of your seeds (I use primarily old envelopes from all the solicitations that arrive in the mail). If the seeds need particular care over the winter, be ready to explain that as well.
The Muhlenberg Botanical Society is a group
of amateur botanists and native plant enthusiasts.
Our activities and our membership are centered in
the lower Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania.
Field Trips (Including Changes and Cancellations)
Plant Lists from past field trips
The Muhlenberg Meadow, Lancaster County Central Park
Coreopsis tripteris, Tall coreopsis
The Society was founded in 1932 by Lancaster area botanical enthusiasts “with the idea of stimulating an interest in botany and to aid in the conservation of wildflowers.” The large collections of two of the Club's founding members, William Auxer and Louise Tanger, were later donated to the F&M herbarium in the North Museum. Mr. Auxer's collection was donated at the time the North Museum was being built in 1952 and Mrs. Tanger's was donated by her son in 1967 and these are now incorporated into the Museum’s collection. The Muhlenberg Botanical Club was inactive in the 1950's and early sixties, but was revived in 1967 by Marcia Sutter as the Muhlenberg Botanical Society and it has been conducting regular field trips and holding its meetings at the North Museum ever since.
The primary missions of the Muhlenberg Botanical Society are:
-To help members and the general public learn about and appreciate native plants in South-central and South-eastern Pennsylvania, with emphasis on the identification and ecology of plants.
-To share knowledge of the phylogeny, biogeography and ecology of plants and flowers in both the Mid-Atlantic region. and around the world.
-To help preserve native plants through cultivation and habitat restoration.
Or as it was pledged in an old Muhlenberg Bulletin from the 1930's:
“To encourage the study of Botany and disseminate the results of such study; and secure by the cultivation of public sentiment the preservation of our natural scenery, forests and innocuous plants.”
The main activities of the Muhlenberg Society in recent years have been guided field trips, informational meetings with presentations by outside speakers or knowledgeable Society members and workshops on botanical subjects. The Society meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month in the Spring from February to May and in the Fall from September to November at the North Museum of Science and Natural History in Lancaster. Various field trips to expore interesting native plant habitats are scheduled from April to October. The Schedule of meetings and field trips is published in the newsletter and on the web site. A native plant exchange among the members is held twice a year. Membership is $10 per year.
One special project of the Society is the Muhlenberg Meadow at Lancaster County Central Park just off Golf Road. This native meadow planting contains some beautiful stands of native meadow flowers along the banks of Mill Creek. Tim Draude, a long time active member of the Society and a past President also, was the driving force behind the collecting of the seed from various areas of Lancaster County and coordinating of the volunteers who did the planting. The Muhlenberg Meadow reaches its peak period of bloom in late July and August and is lovely place to walk and admire native plants.