Arboretum needs volunteers & mill stone, plus more news and tips

magnolia in Amherst NY by Lois ShriverArboretum in Amherst needs volunteers, mill stone

Volunteers are needed to help maintain the Arboretum at Amherst State Park where woody plants are cultivated for educational and ornamental purposes. The arboretum is located at 400 Mill St., Williamsville, between Main and Sheridan at the site of the former St. Mary’s Convent.

Work sessions are scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from May 11 through Oct. 26. In case of rain, the work day will be moved to Sunday. If you want to volunteer, make sure you sign up so you can be notified of any schedule changes. For more information or to sign up, contact Lois Shriver, chairman of the Arboretum Committee and chairman of the Amherst Conservation Advisory Council, at

The committee is also looking for a large mill stone, about four feet in diameter, to serve as a focal point in the mill stone garden that they want to develop to help preserve the historical significance of the economy in the area. There were saw mills and grain mills all up and down Ellicott Creek, and those mills are what helped develop the economy of Amherst, Shriver explained. Contact her at the email above if you know where they can find a mill stone.

Shriver shared her photo of a snowflake magnolia tree that is just beginning to bloom. This photo of the first blossom was taken Friday, April 26. You can see another photo she took of naturalized daffodils in the park on the Your Photos page.

You can share your nature and garden photos with our readers, too. Email the photos to me at Please include your name, town and a little bit of information about what we see in the photo so I can write a caption.

Bonus tip: The cherry blossoms are blooming in the Japanese Garden in Delaware Park behind the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, Elmwood Avenue and Nottingham Terrace, Buffalo.  I’d love to post your photos of that beautiful spot!

__________dome at Botanical Gardens in Buffalo NY

$1 admission, free mini-tours to mark National Public Gardens Day at Botanical Gardens

Adult admission will be just $1 and free mini-tours will be available all day to mark National Public Gardens Day on Friday, May 10 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. The Botanical Gardens are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

National Public Gardens Day raises awareness of America’s public gardens and their important role in environmental stewardship and awareness, plant and water conservation, and education in communities nationwide.

Admission for Botanical Gardens members and children under 3 is always free. Call 827-1584, ext. 291 for more information.


bungee cord in tree Buffalo NYBungee cords rein in branches

Here’s another tip from Jennifer Guercio of Buffalo, who shared “4 big tips for creating a garden with year-round interest.”

She has an urban backyard that’s on the small side, and tree branches can stray out into pathways. To restrain the branches in a smaller space, use bungee cords. They’re easy to place and to remove as needed.

Using the bungee cord, attach the branch you’d like to restrain to another sturdy branch. This can pull the offending branch in just a little to keep it out of the way.


WNY Land Conservancy wins $40,000 grants

The Western New York Land Conservancy has won two Conservation Partnership Program grants worth $40,000.

In total, the DEC awarded Conservation Partnership Program grants worth $1.4 million to 57 nonprofit land trusts across the state.  The grants, funded through the state’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), will be matched by $1.3 million in private and local funding.

“These funds will help us become one of the few nationally accredited land trusts in Central and Western New York,” said Nancy Smith, executive director of the Western New York Land Conservancy. “With the funds, we will also be able to improve our website and social media tools, making it easier for us to garner public support for protecting our important natural areas.”

The Western New York Land Conservancy is a regional, not-for-profit land trust that permanently protects land with significant conservation value in Western New York  for the benefit of future generations.

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