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…

the Earth Machine Composter for sale in Erie County

Buy compost bins, rain barrels during Erie County sale

You can buy compost bins and rain barrels at wholesale prices during a sale being held by Erie County in partnership with the Western New York Storm water Coalition, the City of Buffalo and the Town of Wheatfield. The deadline to order is Friday, May 3. You will pick up your order at one of two locations: the City of Buffalo Engineering Garage, 1120 Seneca St., Buffalo, or the Town of Wheatfield Town Hall, 2800 Church Rd., North Tonawanda. The…

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,…

lake effect snow fall leaves Amherst NY

Lake effect snow: What can you do? Volunteer to report it!

  by Connie Oswald Stofko As I write this, some of us can see the grass on our lawns while other folks in Western New York have had to shovel. That’s the wonder of lake effect snow. The bands of lake effect snow (or rain) can be very narrow, so one small area can get dumped on while folks nearby get nothing. And that’s why meterologists need your help. Weather reporting stations can be 15 miles apart, while a band…

Halloween bat

Bats are great for your landscape; poster will promote bat habitats

by Connie Oswald Stofko Don’t believe what you see portrayed in Halloween decorations. Bats aren’t scary– They’re amazing! To encourage people to welcome bats into their landscapes, “Habitats for Bats” will be the theme of the 5th Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Agriculture and Markets and Department of Education. Posters must be submitted by Dec. 21 to your local DEC regional office to allow time for judging and printing of the artwork. See…

composting poster 2018

Compost poster contest seeks entries by Nov. 5; prize is $500

The International Compost Awareness Week Committee is offering a prize of $500 to the winner of the poster contest promoting International Compost Awareness Week, which will be held May 5 -11, 2019. The theme for the poster will be “Cool the Climate – Compost!” The contest is open to anyone from ten years old to adult. There are three contest divisions: grades 3-7, grades 8-12, and college – adult. The best from each division will be entered into the final contest. The…