Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Learn about BIOCHAR

When: Saturday, November 10, 2012
Time: 10 am to noon      
Where: Room C220 at FLCC (directions below)

Kathleen Draper will present an overview of the history and current research related to biochar. Biochar, also known as ‘terra preta’ is an ancient soil management technique, which safely stores carbon for hundreds and possibly thousands of years. Biochar is produced from local waste biomass such as fruit pits and wood chips.

Kathleen Draper recently completed a Masters in Sustainability at Marlboro College where her thesis focused on the creation of a small scale, replicable biochar model.

She has launched Finger Lakes Biochar http:/ which is producing biochar from local waste biomass and is researching the potential of biochar’s use in vineyards as well as whether it can help reduce phosphorous and nitrogen leaching into ground water.

Finding FLCC, Room C220

The FLCC Canandaigua Campus is located on the northeast side of Canandaigua Lake.

The Canandaigua Botanical Society generally holds indoor meetings at Finger Lakes Community College - Room C 220.

Room C 220 is located in building 8 on the map above. It is easiest to get to Room C220 by entering from loading dock entrance C on the map. You can park in the southeast corner of lot A and walk up Laker Lane to get to the building. Parking may also be available closer to the building in loading dock C for those with handicap permits.

How to find C 220:
** Turn onto Marvin Sands Drive and take the second left onto Laker Lane.
** Follow Laker Lane around to the first stop sign. (Take a right at the stop sign into the parking lot and proceed by foot…)
** Continue along Laker Lane to the second Emergency blue light east of building C
** The entrance to building C is on the left closest to Laker Lane.
** Room C 220 will be inside, straight ahead, and to the left.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Thanks to Stephen Lewandowski for this:


Strong odor rises
from our footsteps
as we tramp through
a small, wooded glen
set in farmland
but never worked.

What's that smell?
Pure strand of
soft-stemmed plant
holds out clusters
of white flowers and
heart-shaped leaves.
 Alliaria officinalis
or garlic mustard
has been used by
generations of
ordinary folks.

Though the authorities put
a price on your head-
alien, invasive, exotic-
my ancestors who
had no other seasoning
used you as

Friday, October 12, 2012

Rochester Academy of Science Herbarium Workshops

Saturday, October 20, 10 am - 2 pm – Life Sciences section will hold a workshop at the RAS Herbarium, located in the basement of the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC).  No experience needed! Plan to come and help with this valuable collection – and see some interesting plants! Lunch is served in the RMSC Cafe until 2 pm, or you can bring your lunch. At RMSC, go to the front desk and ask staff person there to call ext. 368, the phone in the Herbarium. If you plan to attend, please send an RSVP to Elizabeth Pixley, herbarium curator, 334-0977 or

Wednesday, November 14, 1 pm - 4 pm – Life Sciences section will hold a workshop at the RAS Herbarium, located in the basement of the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC).  No experience needed! Plan to come and help with this valuable collection – and see some interesting plants! (Lunch is served in the RMSC Cafe until 2 pm) If you plan to attend, please send an RSVP to Elizabeth Pixley. Then, at RMSC, go to the front desk and ask staff person there to call ext. 368, the phone in the Herbarium. For more information, contact Elizabeth Pixley, herbarium curator (334-0977 or

Sunday, September 16, 2012

From the Finger Lakes Community College newsletter:

Allan Armitage, Ph.D., professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia, will visit Canandaigua later this month to present gardening seminars at Sonnenberg Gardens and Finger Lakes Community College.

Dr. Armitage is author of "Herbaceous Perennial Plants," considered the bible of perennial reference books.

He will give an all-day gardening seminar in Sonnenberg's Carriage House on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Here is the agenda:

  • 10 a.m.: "Tales from the Garden"
  • 11:20 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.: Start discussion on perennials
  • 12:15 to 2 p.m.: Lunch with book signing from 1:30 to 2 p.m.
  • 2 to 3 p.m.: Finish perennial discussion, followed by annuals
  • 3:15 to 4:15 p.m.: "Crazy Plants for Crazy Gardeners"
Advance registration is required for the seminar. The cost is $60 per person or $50 for Sonnenberg members and includes a box lunch. Call (585) 394-4922 to make a reservation.

On Sunday, Sept. 30, Dr. Armitage will give a free one-hour presentation on "Crazy Plants for Crazy Gardeners" from 1 to 2 p.m. and sign copies of his book from 2 to 3 p.m. in Stage 14 on the second floor of the FLCC Student Center.

For more about Dr. Armitage and his visit to Canandaigua, click here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Restoring Canandaigua's Lagoon Park

I wasn't able to attend the Lagoon Park walk on Saturday but thanks to Julie Sherwood of the Messenger Post we have this to report:

By Julie Sherwood, staff writer
Posted Sep 10, 2012 @ 01:37 PM
Canandaigua, N.Y. — 

Canandaigua City Council this summer stamped its approval on restoring the city’s Lagoon Park and the Canandaigua Botanical Society is taking the lead in getting the job done.

A wildlife preserve of 34 acres of wetlands, the park entered from Lakeshore Drive across from Steamboat Landing has walking paths, bridges, fishing platforms and other attractions. But in recent years, it has fallen victim to invasive plant species, extensive beaver activity and related troubles.

“I saw the potential to restore this park,” said Jim Engel, owner of White Oak Nursery in Geneva. Engel, who took Botanical Society members on a park tour Saturday, approached the city a few years ago about restoring the park by removing invasive growth, planting desirable native species and installing beaver protections and other measures. With the economic downturn and concerns about how the project would be paid for, though, it wasn’t until this year that the plan got the official go-ahead.

Engel said he is ready to begin removing the invasive plants this fall, which include European Buckthorn and other undesirables, and plant next spring attractive trees, shrubs and wildflowers native to the Finger Lakes region such Spicebush, Nannyberry and Arrowwood Viburnum.

The total project is projected to cost $7,300, raised entirely through private donations, with volunteer help to install plants and beaver fences.

It’s a project well worth doing, said John Hyde and others who walked the park with Engel on Saturday. “It is important to restore the native plants that are being crowded out,” Hyde said. Engel said restoring the park will enhance a larger area as well, as the park circles around to Wegmans and can be seen from Routes 5 and 20. Bross said he also sees the restoration filling an educational need. Preserving and improving the park shows we recognize “the value of nature and how we fit in,” Bross said.

To donate or for more information, contact Engel at (315) 789-3509. Or email him at
 Jim Engel (far right) with members of the Canandaigua Botanical Society who toured Lagoon Park in Canandaigua on Sept. 8. (from left) John Hyde, Bill Bross and Peggy Kane.

 Jim Engel points out red twig, one of the desirable plants in Lagoon Park in the city of Canandaigua

John Hyde (left) and Jim Engel point out one of the invasive plants, European Buck Thorn, which has overtaken Lagoon Park in the city of Canandaigua.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Saturday, September 8, 2012      10 am to noon.
The Lagoon Park is on Lakeshore Drive in Canandaigua across from the Steamboat Landing Restaurant and circles around to Wegmans. (Meet at the Steamboat Landing parking lot by the road.)

The Lagoon Park was constructed by the City of Canandaigua in 2008 to be a forever-wild area with walking paths, bridges, fishing platforms. Since its inception, beaver, people who wander off the paths, lower water levels, and trees that have fallen and block the natural movement of the water have done much damage. In addition, many invasive plant species have taken over much of the habitat.

We will look at how we can restore the Park to a wider diversity of native flora in the park as well as seeing how to clear waterways and improve the pathways.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Waymarking at the FLCC Arboretum

On the beautiful morning of Saturday, August 18, 2012 the Canandaigua Botanical Society gathered to learn about Waymarking and tree identification at the Finger Lakes Community College Arboretum.

Members attending: Bill Bross, John Hyde, Peggy Kane, Leona Lauster, Jeffery and Laura Ouimette

Under the Arboretum sign Laura gave this brief history of GPS Waymarking:  On May 2, 2000 President Bush announced that the United States would stop the intentional degradation feature (Selective Availability) of the Global Positioning System (GPS) signals. This action enabled civilian users of GPS units to be able to pinpoint locations up to ten times more accurately than in the past. GPS is a dual-use, satellite-based system that provides accurate location and timing data to users worldwide.  On May 3, 2000 a computer consultant named Dave Ulmer wanted to test the accuracy by hiding a navigational target in the woods. He called the idea the "Great American GPS Stash Hunt" and posted it in an internet GPS users' group. The idea was simple: Hide a container out in the woods and note the coordinates with a GPS unit.  Geocaching was born as well as Waymarking which uses GPS without the cache.  You can go to for listings of locations including our FLCC Arboretum under the category of arboretums!

Jeffery had preprogrammed the GPS units that we borrowed from Wood Library with several GPS coordinates made into a route for the group to follow.  Armed with GPS units we stopped at the programmed locations to be sure Laura had accurately identified the trees.  We also spoke about several other trees between each recorded GPS location.

GPS location                                        Description

N 42’ 52.248` W 077’ 14.604`           Arboretum sign

N 42’ 52.237` W 077’ 14.610`           Betulapapyrifera, Paper Birch, also known as American White Birch. Bill Bross teased that the college students maintain the white bark by paining it on a regular basis. 

Yet to be marked                                 walking from the Paper Birch tree to the next Waymark we identified the Beech and Large Leafed Magnolia (which Laura mistakenly thought might be a Pawpaw tree with its large leaves and fruit looking buds).

N 42’ 52.240` W 077’ 14.630`           Cedar near gazebo – at first John Hyde thought it looked like a juniper, but by it’s soft touch he agreed it is a Western Red Cedar, Thuja plicata, a cypress of the Pacific northwest.

N 42’ 52.263` W 077’ 14.649`           This Waymark we called the Square of pines and noted several trees including a Japanese Yew, Juniper (sharp to the touch), Austrian pine and Norway Spruce

N 42’ 52.248` W 077’ 14.660`           Laura was intrigued by this flat soft needled pine tree which she thought was a bald Cyprus.  John Hyde identified it as a Metasequoia glyptostroboides this short variety of deciduous redwood comes from China.

N 42’ 52.225` W 077’ 14.643`           This was one of the first trees we Waymarked in March 2012 when it was in full bloom with large white blossoms – a saucer magnolia or cucumber tree.

Before reaching our next Waymark we admired this small Japanese Umbrella Pine (Sciadopitys verticillata)

and John told us about the sick Lombardy poplar to the left of our next Waymark…

N 42’ 52.227` W077’ 14.669`            Weeping Norway Spruce (Picea abies ‘Pendula’)

N 42’ 52.215` W 077’ 14.671`           Not a tree…but to be sure you’re Waymark is accurate: Struggle rock sculpture by Robert Fladd 1985

N 42’ 52.259`  W 077’ 14.685`           We didn’t actually locate this Waymark…but it was marked in June when it looked like this:  probably a Blue Ash - Fraxinus quadrangulata or perhaps Tree of Heaven - Ailanthus?
From here we passed the new labyrinth and headed into the woods/marsh area to the south of the arboretum. Heading to our next Waymark John shared a wealth of information regarding the poplar / aspen / cottonwood tree as we passed several of them.  Peggy noted that they root out by runners and we found evidence of that here.

N 42’ 52.181` W 077’ 14.181`           Corkscrew willow (Salix matsudana) Many of us remembered this tree from our 2009 outing with Bruce Gilman. 
and into the woods...

N 42’ 52.122` W 077’ 14.731`           This Waymark brings you to a spot on the trail to notice a nearby oak tree with a split trunk and one of many Shagbark Hickory trees in the woods. 

N 42’ 52.081` W 077’ 14.739`           This Waymark brings you to the north end of the boardwalk.  We were curious to know what was growing where there is usually water.

N 42’ 52.067` W 077’ 14.751`           Once at this Waymark look up to find a birdhouse in a large Oak tree.

N 42’ 52.063` W 077’ 14.697`           Twin White Oak (look up beyond the maple leaves).  This is a photo from June when we had help from twins to record our Waymarks.

From here we backtracked and headed north along the wide wood-chipped trail to the next Waymark.  Jeffery posed for this photo between an Ash and an Oak tree – allowing a nice comparison for the bark differences Bill was learning about from John.

We also learned about the Lindera benzoin (Spicebush)appreciating the wealth of knowledge John had to share. 

There are several other tree species in the woods just south of the arboretum including black walnuts.

John was a true horticulture professor armed with his very own Michael Dirr encyclopedia of trees.

N 42’ 52.148` W 077’ 14.626`           This Waymark brings you to the bridge adjacent to Marvin Sands Drive. 

John asked about the paper Bark Maple that Bruce told us about back in 2009.  We were pleased to find it still located where it was…but much closer now to the newly structured roadway.

N 42’ 52.097` W 077’ 14.610`           Paper Bark Maple (Acer griseum) with cinnamon colored bark

Our plan is to continue Waymarking several more trees in the Arboretum.  If you’re interested in obtaining updated lists – or you have Waymarked coordinates to add to our current list, please let us know at  GPS units can be borrowed from Wood Library in Canandaigua. 
*some species still to be Waymarked at the FLCC Arboretum: Little Leaf Linden / Basswood, White Mulberry, Norway Maple, Red Maple, London Planetree, Sugar Maple, Pin Oak, Black Oak, Coranga Hedge, Native White Cedar, Thuja, Red Beech, Purple Beech, Hackberry tree, Tulip tree, Ginko, Scarlet Pimpernel, Colorodo Blue Spruce, European Larch tree.

Find the FLCC Arboretum listed at

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pairing Technology and Nature - Waymarking at the FLCC Arboretum

Saturday, August 18, 2012    Time: 10 am

Where: Finger Lakes Community College Arboretum on Marvin Sands Drive off Lakeshore Drive south of Routes 5&20. Meet at the parking lot across from the Arboretum.

Armed with a GPS for Geocaching and a curiosity about tree varieties, Laura and Jeffery Ouimette have discovered “Waymarking” as a means of identifying the locations of several trees at the FLCC Arboretum. Please join us as we enjoy a leisure walk in and around the FLCC Arboretum to identify specific trees using hand held GPS units. (We plan to have several GPS units on loan from Wood Library). Please bring along your tree and wildflower guides.

In Geocaching, it’s all about the hunt and the treasure at the end. With Waymarking, the location itself is the treasure. The primary difference is that no physical object is placed when creating a Waymark. The focus is on what can be gained from the location itself. provides tools for you to catalog, mark, and visit interesting and useful locations around the world.

Friday, July 6, 2012


On Saturdays, July 21 and 28 at 10 am the Canandaigua Botanical Society will be meeting at the Hansen Nature Center in Tinker Nature Park on Calkins Road in Henrietta.  Please join us and bring a friend or two!

On July 21st Diane Henderson, past Director of the Rochester Birding Association, will present a seminar on hummingbirds with optional hiking along nature trails.  Bring your lunch and sit on picnic benches or inside the Hansen Nature Center.

On July 28th Lucretia Grosshans, past President of the Rochester Butterfly Club and Rochester Birding Association, will tell us about butterflies in our area, why we need more of them, and how to attract them to your yard. Feel free to again enjoy the hiking trails and bring your lunch.
** Please call the Tinker Homestead at 359-7044 if you plan to attend this free event! **

Please meet at 9:25 if you wish to carpool from the Ontario County Courthouse parking lot

Laura will be delivering mail both days and would GREATLY APPRECIATE anyone who might share notes and photos to post here on the website.  THANKS!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


 Ginko tree

fan-shaped leaves of the Ginko tree

Peggy and Bil in front of large black willow
Black Willow branch
Black Willow tree
easier to identify when gone to seed this Virgin's Bower
Solomon's Seal past flowering
Bill Bross was our guide
Narrow-leaved Cattails: the upper and lower parts of the spike are usually separated by a distinct gap
Nymphaea orderata is called Fragrant Water-lily (Peterson's Guide) and Sweet-scented Water-lily (Newcomb's)
Mailbox for Fishing Derby results
Don't go looking for translucent frogs! (Visitors are told to canoe out into the pond to see translucent frogs and then the fountain was turned on.  Guests got soaked and everyone laughs.)
Bedstraw and Evening Primrose
Sycamore tree
beautiful bark of the Sycamore tree
Taylor Pond - very deep
Ox-eye Daisy