North Tonawanda Botanical Garden shares tips on standing water & more

by Connie Oswald Stofko How can you deal with standing water in your yard? What can you plant to attract birds and butterflies? The North Tonawanda Botanical Garden Organization wants to share what they know about these topics and more. “Our ultimate focus is community education,” said Laura Pecoraro, secretary. The group, which became a nonprofit in July 2018, is in its fourth year of rehabilitating a long-neglected park. It’s located at 1825 Sweeney St., North Tonawanda, along the Tonawanda…

How to dispose of invasive or dangerous plants

by Connie Oswald Stofko In response to a previous article on lesser celandine, an invasive plant that can take over your yard, a reader left a comment with this question: What to do with the dug ups??? Same problem I have when removing poison ivy. Where can you put it that it doesn’t cause more problems? The best way to dispose of invasive plants or dangerous plants is to carefully place them in a plastic bag and set the bag…

lesser celandine in Amherst NY

Lesser celandine: Take steps now to get rid of it!

by Connie Oswald Stofko We have talked about lesser celandine for several years, yet I see more and more of it in my neighborhood. If you see this pretty little plant in your yard, get rid of it! And tell your neighbors to get rid of it, too. If you don’t get rid of when you have just a few plants, it can take over your yard. Plus, it can get into wild areas and create havoc there. Lesser celandine…

tri-colored bumble bee

Help scientists track native pollinators

You can contribute to the Empire State Native Pollinator Survey to help scientists see which native pollinators are common and which may be declining. Native pollinators play an important role in the pollination of flowering plants, including native plants, wildflowers, garden plants and cultivated crops. The survey is targeting native bees, flies, beetles and moths. The Participant Handbook describes different ways you can participate. One of the ways is as a photographer. You don’t need a fancy camera, and you don’t even have…

Seven-sons tree in Western New York

Choosing trees for your landscape

by Connie Oswald Stofko When we think of plants for our landscape, we often forget about trees. With Arbor Day coming up on Friday, April 26, we turn our attention to these huge plants that we sometimes don’t notice. How to choose a tree People need to know what they want out of a tree before they choose a tree for their landscape, said Tom Draves, president of Draves Arboretum, 1821 Sharrick Road, Darien. Draves said some of the things…

image for 2019 Pollinator House competition

Design & build a pollinator house, enter new competition

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Garden Walk Buffalo, the Buffalo Architecture Foundation has partnered with Gardens Buffalo Niagara to launch the 2019 Pollinator House Design-Build Competition. This unique design-build competition encourages participants to submit a functional, contemporary pollinator house. The houses will be displayed during Garden Walk Buffalo and then auctioned off to support the programs of both Gardens Buffalo Niagara and the Buffalo Architecture Foundation. The competition seeks to bring awareness to the wide array of pollinators in Western New…

monarch caterpillar

Help scientists through Caterpillars Count!

Due to climate change, the growing season in Western New York starts earlier than it did in the past. Are caterpillars and birds emerging earlier as well? Caterpillars Count!, a citizen science project, could use your help to find out if plants, insects and birds are all responding to ongoing changes in climate to the same degree. You can participate by counting arthropods such as caterpillars, beetles and spiders through Wild Spirit Education, located at 11511 Bixby Hill Rd., Delevan. You can also count…

maple leaves and seeds

State, counties selling tree & shrub seedlings; schools get free seedlings

You can place an order for tree and shrub seedlings in sales being held now by counties and by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC). In addition, tree seedlings are available to schools for free. New York State DEC The Spring Seedling Sale of the NYS DEC provides more than 40 native tree and shrub species for low prices. They offer various mixed species packets including streamside habitat builders and pollinator-popular flowering species. See details here.  The deadline…

trees on creek in autumn in Amherst NY

DEC awards grants for trees & more in Western New York

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has awarded grants for tree and other projects in Western New York. Urban forestry grants Urban forestry grants are part of DEC’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, which helps communities develop and implement comprehensive tree planting, management, maintenance, and education to create healthy forests while enhancing quality of life for residents. These programs promote clean air, clean water, energy savings and wildlife habitat creation. Find out more about the urban forestry…

monarch on butterfly weed

Monarchs making a comeback in WNY; see more in the POLLINATOR

by Connie Oswald Stofko The bad news is that the number of monarch butterflies has been decreasing in the past 20 years. Monarchs may be given protection under the Endangered Species Act in 2019. The good news is that the number of monarchs in Western New York appears to be on the upswing. You can find out more in the very first issue of the POLLINATOR, a new publication produced by the Pollinator Conservation Association. To subscribe to the POLLINATOR for free,…