Page 1

Native See

Adkins Arboretum, a 400-acre native garden and preserve, promotes the conservation and restoration of the Chesapeake region’s native landscapes. Volume 18, Number 1

Contents Letter from the Director. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 celebrating natives . . . . . 4 sweetbay magnolia— 2013 tree of the year. . . . . 5 from the bookshelves . . 6 Volunteer opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Underground railroad. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 new members. . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 volunteer of the year . . 9 native plant lore . . . . . . .10 magic in the meadow. . . . 11




Winter 2013


New gardens have taken shape at the Arboretum entrance, and a handicap-accessible parking lot has been constructed with a permeable paving area adjacent to the Visitor’s Center. The entrance bridge has been restored with new decking and railings. A new Arboretum entrance sign will be installed in early spring 2013.

north elevation

Program Listing Insert art exhibits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 events. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 art programs. . . . . . . . . . . . 3 flora & fauna. . . . . . . . . . 4–5 speaker series. . . . . . . . . . . . 6 stewardship. . . . . . . . . . . . 7–9 walks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10–11 bus trips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 youth programs. . . . . 12–14 calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15–16

EDiS, a Wilmington, Delaware-based construction management firm, has been selected to oversee the construction of the new W. Flaccus and Ruth B. Stifel Center at Adkins Arboretum. EDiS was awarded the construction management contract by the Arboretum Board of Trustees in October. The Arboretum’s Building Committee, chaired by Trustee Alan Visintainer, followed a rigorous vetting process, evaluating eight regional contractors before proposing EDiS for Arboretum Board approval. “We’re very pleased with the selection of EDiS as the construction manager for the new Arboretum Center,” said Visintainer. “EDiS

brings extensive experience in preconstruction evaluation and value engineering to our capital project. These strengths, coupled with their past construction management of significant cultural and environmentally sensitive building projects, is another big plus,” he noted. Among the construction projects previously managed by EDiS are the 14,000-square-foot DuPont Environment Center at the Russell W. Peterson Wildlife Urban Refuge on the Wilmington Riverfront; renovations and additions to Delaware Museum of History; a 40,000-square-foot renovation of the Mt. Cuba Visitor Center; and the construction of a 44,000-square-foot gallery at Winterthur Museum and Gardens. (continued on page 3)

Dear Members and Supporters,

scheduled in the Arboretum’s one-room schoolhouse, the Visitor’s Center. With only one room to house the Arboretum’s programs, the Visitor’s Center cannot accommodate additional growth. Growing things is the consummate work of an arboretum, and the time is ripe for Adkins Arboretum to grow. On page 1 there is an update for The Campaign to Build a Green Legacy, the plans for expanding the Visitor’s Center to house new programs and better serve our community. In October, the Wilmington, Delawarebased EdiS Company was awarded the contract for construction management of the expansion of the Visitor’s Center, which will be named for W. Flaccus and Ruth B. Stifel, parents of the Campaign’s Honorary Chair, Dr. Peter Stifel. These new green facilities will accommodate growth planned for the next decade, with an art gallery in addition to new classroom and meeting space for large and small groups.

It is the season for dormancy and hibernation, which is evident on the grounds of the Arboretum. Yet enter the Visitor’s Center, or open this newsletter, and you will quickly realize that the Arboretum is teeming with activity and growth. In this issue of Native Seed, Adult Program Coordinator Ginna Tiernan has arranged an array of programs that will heighten your awareness of nature’s bounty, give you basic skills to be a more confident steward of your property, entertain you, challenge your creative self, and enrich your life. The Arboretum’s popular preschool series continues on Tuesday mornings for 3- to 5-year-olds, with special seasonal programs planned by Youth Program Coordinator Jenny Houghton that always promise some time outdoors, a lesson, a craft, and a snack to pack enough energy in a little one to make the return trip home in good spirits.

How is all of this accomplished? Volunteers! Supporting the Arboretum’s staff is a mighty force of volunteers that helps keep the doors open every day, the paths cleared, the goats tended, the gardens weeded, events arranged, and programs taught and led. One of these volunteers is Barbara Bryan, who creates the artwork for Native Seed. You will learn about Barbara on page 9. She is the Arboretum’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year. For almost a decade, Barbara’s work has graced these pages, helping to make Native Seed an award-winning publication.

The annual Art Competition will be on display during February and March. This show will highlight the works of numerous artists all inspired by the region’s landscapes, flora, and fauna. Your New Year’s resolution to put more vim and vigor in your life may inspire you to join runners on April 6 for the annual Arbor Day Run. Runners and walkers come in all sizes and shapes, some racing against their own times and others keeping a steady pace, just grateful to complete the 5K course any way they can. The Arboretum woodland paths are the region’s favorite jogging route. Please join us and help reach your New Year’s resolution goal. We’ll be cheering you on!

Which brings me to you, our members, friends, and supporters. Thank you for your participation and contributions. The staff and volunteers are here to serve you, but in doing so we are blessed with huge rewards, making it impossible to distinguish who is giving from who is receiving. We look forward to sharing another year with you. Happy New Year!

Running on the heels of the annual Arbor Day Run, the Native Plant Nursery’s 2013 season opens the weekend of April 13-14, with the Members’ Only Day on Friday, April 12. The sale will be held at the Nursery, which will be open to the public throughout the growing season, April through October. Adkins Arboretum offers special insights into the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway (UGRR) by teaching the impact upon and use of nature by freedom seekers. This spring, with grants from the Maryland Humanities Council and the Maryland Historical Trust, the Arboretum will launch a new audio tour about the UGRR as part of the 100-year commemoration of Tubman’s death. See page 8 for the full story.

My best,

Workshops, lectures, book club, art exhibits, preschool and homeschool programs, Soup ’n Walk, and more are all

Adkins Arboretum is operated by the not-for-profit Adkins Arboretum, Ltd. under a 50-year lease from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Adkins Arboretum, a 400-acre native garden and preserve, fosters the adoption of land stewardship practices for a healthier and more beautiful world. Native Seed is published three times a year and is distributed free to members. To become a member, visit 12610 Eveland Road, P.O. Box 100 Ridgely, MD 21660 410-634-2847, 410-634-2878 (fax)

Hours 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas Admission $5 for adults $2 for students ages 6–18 free to children 5 and under Admission is free for members. Board of Trustees Officers Ms. Sydney Doehler, President Mr. Lawrence Blount, Secretary Mr. Henry Brandt, Treasurer

Members Ms. Katherine Allen Ms. Vicki Arion Ms. Pat Bowell Mr. Blair Carmean Mr. William Cook Ms. Julie Destefano Ms. Carol Jelich Ms. Mary Jo Kubeluis Ms. Barbara McClinton Ms. Nancy Jane Reed Ms. Mary Ellen Valliant Mr. Alan Visintainer Ms. April Walter Mr. Greg Williams Trustees Emeriti Ms. Kathleen Carmean Dr. Peter Stifel


Ellie Altman Executive Director Staff Ellie Altman, Executive Director Robyn Affron, Visitor Services Coordinator Diana Beall, Assistant Receptionist Meg Gallagher, Advancement Assistant Joanne Healey, Nursery Manager Jenny Houghton, Youth Program Coordinator Kelli Magaw, Volunteer Maryland Coordinator Kate Rattie, Director of Advancement and Planning Michelle Smith, Bookkeeper Ginna Tiernan, Adult Program Coordinator Allison Yates, Facilities Maintenance Coordinator Jodie Littleton, Newsletter Editor Joanne Shipley, Graphic Designer Photos by Ann Rohlfing Illustrations by Barbara Bryan

(Campaign to Build continued from pg. 1)

south elevation New gardens have taken shape at the Arboretum entrance, and a handicap-accessible parking lot has been constructed with a permeable paving area adjacent to the Visitor’s Center. The entrance bridge has been restored with new decking and railings. A new Arboretum entrance sign will be installed in early spring 2013.

The selection of a construction manager for the Arboretum Center is a significant first step in finalizing the preconstruction planning for the new addition and renovation of the current Visitor’s Center. The plan for the W. Flaccus and Ruth B. Stifel Center at Adkins Arboretum includes the following components:

Dr. Peter Stifel Named Honorary Campaign Chair

• A

large educational pavilion, the Caroline Pavilion, to host lectures, demonstrations, classes, and seasonal events

Peter B. Stifel, Ph.D. has joined the Campaign Leadership Committee as its Honorary Chair. A leading benefactor of The Campaign to Build a Green Legacy, Peter previously served as President of the Arboretum Board of Trustees. The new Arboretum Center will be named for his parents, W. Flaccus and Ruth B. Stifel.

• A

dedicated outdoor education space for the growing variety of children’s programs

• An

expanded and distinctive Marion Price Art Gallery and exhibition space

An enhanced Van Dyke Family Library and Resource Center

Conference room and meeting spaces

• Centrally


Peter is a retired University of Maryland geologist. He completed his doctoral studies at Cornell University. He owns and manages Hope House, a 300-acre historic farm on the shores of Leeds Creek in Talbot County. Peter is past president of the Geological Society of Washington, DC, and the Paleontological Society of Washington, DC. He previously served on the boards of the Academy Art Museum, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, the Cornell University Council, and Pickering Creek Audubon Society.

located restrooms and a kitchen to serve the entire

New decking and railings for the beloved wetland bridge!

At its September meeting, the Arboretum Board of Trustees endorsed a fundraising goal of $3.5 million to complete The Campaign to Build a Green Legacy. These remaining funds to be raised will enable the Arboretum to expand the existing Visitor’s Center with 8,000 square feet of education, meeting, and art exhibition space and complete the Native Garden Gateway.

Bowell Elected Campaign Chair

The Board and Capital Campaign Committee are working hard to secure the funds necessary to break ground as soon as possible. Construction of the Center is expected to take 12 months.

“These are transformational and exciting times at the Arboretum. We have accomplished much within the past six months. I look forward to sharing more good news and keeping all members and friends apprised of our progress,” said Pat Bowell, who was named chair of the Capital Campaign Leadership Committee in May 2012.

Completion of the Native Garden Gateway will include: • Removal

of asphalt in the current parking lot and installation of pervious parking pods

• An

events green for outdoor education events and celebrations

“I am so pleased to be a part of this important undertaking,” Bowell said. “There is much work to be done to make the new Arboretum Center a reality for our community. I invite all of our members, friends, and visitors to join with us in supporting this exciting undertaking.”

New meadow plantings and gardens

• A

demonstration stormwater management system that includes a rain garden and vegetated swales

(Campaign to Build continued on page 4)



(Campaign to Build continued from pg. 3)

Pat and her husband, Mike, moved from New York City to Queenstown, Maryland, following her retirement from Zurich Financial Services in 2001 as senior vice president of field operations. She completed her undergraduate studies at City University of New York and holds dual master’s degrees from the University of Georgia. She is a Master Gardener and serves as coordinator of the junior Master Gardener program for Queen Anne’s County. Pat has been an active Arboretum volunteer since 2004 and was elected to the Arboretum Board of Trustees in 2010.

A Celebration of Natives A Native Garden Tour of Caroline County, May 11, 2013

For information about The Campaign to Build a Green Legacy, or to support the Arboretum’s vision for its future, contact Kate Rattie, Director of Advancement and Planning, at 410-634-2847, ext. 33 or

In May, when the vibrant blue false indigo and subtle pinxter azaleas are in bloom, Adkins Arboretum will host its first Native Garden Tour featuring seven gardens in Caroline County. “A Celebration of Natives” not only will highlight the beauty of these gardens but will emphasize the importance of their role in a bio-diverse landscape. Barbara McClinton, co-chair of the Native Garden Tour Committee, landscape architect, and Arboretum Trustee, comments on the project’s origin and goals, “Visitors often ask how to use native plants or create a native garden. This tour is designed to let you see for yourself how some gardeners have ‘gone native.’ Our gardens range from ‘newly native’ (homeowners who began adding native plants just last year) to ‘long-time native’ (20+ years), and from small properties in town to multi-acre properties that began as farm fields to wooded properties with native enhancements.” This self-guided driving tour features seven gardens plus the Arboretum. Each garden is unique and has its own flair and commitment in its use of natives. “There is something for every gardener on every level on this tour,” says Joanne Healey, co-chair of the garden tour and Arboretum Nursery Manager. “Each one is unique. The tour shows that the use of native plants in any garden plays a major role in our local ecology. These gardens feed wildlife, attract pollinators, provide habitat for animals, and at the same time are an ornamental asset to our outdoor living space. ”

GIFTS ARBORETUM DEBUTS SWEET BAY GIFTS The Arboretum gift shop has a new moniker, a new look, and new selections of nature-inspired books and gifts. At Sweet Bay Gifts, you’ll find plenty of books on gardening, including new releases and Adkins Arboretum Book Club titles. The shop stocks the latest line of Winding River jackets, as well as a variety of Brazos walking sticks, made from native trees and crafted in the USA. Check out Paul Aspell’s signature Adkins Arboretum mugs, as well as a brand new selection of Moleskine Passion Journals. As always, Sweet Bay Gifts carries a broad selection of Folkmanis puppets, children’s books, and many unique items that link children with nature. Beautiful gift cards are also available for your favorite gardener. Stop by!

The Native Garden Tour is Saturday, May 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets will be available for sale beginning

January 1. The cost is $15 per person in advance and $25 on the day of the tour. A list of local restaurants will be available for lunch. The Arboretum’s Native Plant Nursery also will be open until 4 p.m. on the day of the tour. For more information, visit The garden tour is another facet of the Arboretum’s mission of reaching out to the public through such different channels as the Native Plant Nursery, a generous offering of native trees, shrubs, and perennials, the twice-yearly garden design classes featuring landscape architects (including Barbara McClinton) and other professional designers who offer their expertise in bringing native plants into home gardens, and numerous classes and speakers throughout the year to help those interested in understanding the importance of native plants in the Chesapeake landscape. 4

Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) Adkins Arboretum’s 2013 Native Tree of the Year

By Joanne Healey, Nursery Manager bloom, small size, and tolerance of wet conditions but because it is deer resistant. Additionally, tiger swallowtails (Papilio glaucus) use Magnolia virginiana as a host plant for their caterpillars.

The sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana), chosen as the Adkins Arboretum 2013 Native Tree of the Year, is a tree from a family with an ancient history going back over 100 million years—back to the time when the Arctic Circle was filled with trees and before bees evolved to pollinate flowering plants. After many geologic periods and the expansion of the ice caps, the magnolias were wiped from the European continent by glaciers. Asia and the Americas were spared, resulting in 219 species in seven genera. The range of the sweetbay magnolia is western Massachusetts, Long Island, and Pennsylvania to Florida and west to Texas. A small, deciduous tree, the sweetbay can grow to 50 feet tall, but 15–30 feet is more the norm. It is a Coastal Plain native and loves the water—wet woods and edges of swamps. It is usually a multi-stemmed plant with a medium to fast rate of growth. The flowers—large, white, and slightly lemon-scented—bloom in May and June, giving way to seedpods with bright red seeds in fall. Magnolias hold little in the way of commercial value. The wood has been used for furniture, broom handles, and utensils. In a horticultural context, the sweetbay is popular not only for its


The bark and fruit of the sweetbay magnolia have been brewed to make teas for a number of conditions. Soaking the bark in brandy to create a cough medicine was widely practiced. Magnolia bark has also been used as a substitute for quinine in the treatment of malaria. Years ago, the stems and roots were used as a mild diaphoretic to promote sweating, as a laxative, a tonic (an old-time term for “mild stimulant”), and to treat rheumatism and swelling. Many sweetbay magnolias are found on the Arboretum grounds, and you will find all of them near water. The most easily identifiable are the ones in the Visitor’s Center wetland. The sweetbay is a great example of a coastal native, and the Arboretum staff is excited to highlight it in the year to come. In June, artist and painter Lee D’Zmura will hold a series of painting classes focusing on the magnolia flower. Magnolia virginiana will also be highlighted in the eight gardens featured in the Arboretum’s Native Garden Tour on May 11.


From the Bookshelves

By Arboretum Librarian and Maryland Master Naturalist Carol Jelich Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from NatureDeficit Disorder. By Richard Louv. Workman Publishing Company, 2005; updated and expanded 2008. 390 pages.

Take that first step with the children in your life. Step outside—or, if the weather is temporarily uninviting, engage them with nature through books such as The Curious Garden, reviewed here by Jenny Houghton, Arboretum Youth Program Coordinator.

“I like to play indoors better ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are.” This quote from a fourthgrader in San Diego introduces this book, providing a shock for the reader who understands the importance of outside play. For any reader who does not, noted author and journalist Richard Louv offers the research to show how playing, working, and being in the natural environment provides psychological as well as social and physical human benefits. With this book, Louv coined the term “naturedeficit disorder” to underscore the “generational break from nature” that has evolved from a time when children played and explored freely in nature, to now, when their outdoor recreational activities are highly scripted and many prefer to remain inside with electronic games.

“There once was a city without gardens or trees or greenery of any kind.” So begins Peter Brown’s magical children’s book, The Curious Garden, in which a city is transformed by a boy who “loved to be outside” in a city where most people spent their time indoors. Inspired by a lonely patch of wildflowers struggling to survive among the tracks of an abandoned railway, Liam begins the greening of his city. Little by little, under Liam’s care, plants creep farther along the railway. As seasons pass, the railway inspires other gardeners, until “Many years later, the entire city had blossomed.”

The expanded edition of this book includes “Notes from the Field: How a Movement is Forming and How You Can Get Involved.” This section provides resources for families and professionals, including books for children and practical activities to engage children with nature. A discussion guide for book clubs is also included.

Brimming with bright, detailed illustrations, The Curious Garden invites children to return to its pages again and again. The simple, clear text has a fairytale-like quality, conveying a timeless message of hope for a greener world.

Last Child in the Woods is both pessimistic and hopeful. It demonstrates how, to its detriment, our culture has led children to become disconnected from the natural world. However, the reader is offered ideas for reversing this process, to reconnect children with the wonders and benefits of nature.

The French writer and philosopher Voltaire wrote that “One must cultivate his own garden.” The Curious Garden reminds readers that nature is the real gardener, and the garden is as limitless as a child’s imagination.


Teach, interpret, plant, enjoy! Volunteer Opportunities

Maryland Coordinator is not only to facilitate and manage the Arboretum’s volunteers in these activities but also to put a real effort into developing the existing volunteer program to make it as effective as possible. I can guarantee we’ll have a lot of fun in the process! So far, things are off to a great start. I was able to attend my first Soup ’n Walk in October. The event was one of my first opportunities to experience a completely volunteer-run program at the Arboretum. To say the least, it was a wonderful success. From start to finish, it was a highly enjoyable day. In October the Arboretum also welcomed two new volunteers: Judge Anthony, a Maryland Licensed Tree Expert and Master Arborist, of Chestertown, Maryland, and Jordan McNeal, from Hillsboro, Maryland, a student at North Caroline High School working to complete his service learning hours. The staff is happy to have them join the volunteer team and bring their skills and talents to the Arboretum.

Kelli Magaw Joins Arboretum as Volunteer Maryland Coordinator

I am very much looking forward to the coming year at the Arboretum and meeting many new volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, or have any questions or comments about the current volunteer program, do not hesitate to contact me at 410-634-2847, ext. 29 or

Hi, my name is Kelli Magaw. Many of you have met me at some point during the past six months while I have been working as the Arboretum’s seasonal intern. As the Arboretum’s intern, I’ve had the privileged opportunity to work with many volunteers and have gained valuable experience in the many aspects of environmental nonprofit work.

Volunteer Opportunities The Arboretum’s volunteers are a committed, energetic, and talented group involved in all aspects of the Arboretum—from maintenance to program development, from propagation to fundraising. They generously donate their skills, knowledge, and experience and are essential to the Arboretum’s smooth operation.

For those of you I haven’t yet had the chance to meet, let me share a little bit about myself. I am a graduate of East Carolina University, where I received a bachelor’s of science degree in biology with a concentration in ecology and environmental biology. I have lived in Maryland all my life and am passionate about conservation.

As a young not-for-profit organization with a small, staff, the Arboretum could not offer its current programs, events, and activities without volunteers. Their contributions make an important and significant difference.

As my seasonal position was coming to an end last summer, I was looking for a position that would allow me to continue being part of the great work going on at Adkins Arboretum, and I found just that. Recently, I started an exciting new position at the Arboretum as the Volunteer Maryland Coordinator sponsored by the Chesapeake Conservation Corps. For the next 11 months, I will be part of an Americorps program through Volunteer Maryland in which 29 individuals, including myself, are trained across the state to work with various nonprofit organizations to develop their volunteer programs.

For more information about volunteer opportunities, contact Kelli Magaw, Volunteer Maryland Coordinator, at 410-634-2847, ext. 29 or

Calling all volunteers! Are you interested in sharing your love of nature with visitors? The Arboretum is seeking volunteers to help with the Visitor’s Center front desk. Introduce visitors to all the Arboretum has to offer! Contact Robyn Affron, Visitor Services Coordinator, at

The Arboretum depends on its group of volunteers to lead visitor programs and interpretative tours, work in the native gardens and greenhouses, as well as staff events and help with fundraising events. My goal as the Volunteer



The Arboretum welcomes and gratefully acknowledges its new members. Mr. and Mrs. Terry August Mr. and Mrs. John Banghart Ms. Nancy Barto Mr. James Beck and Ms. Linda Sherry Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. Boone Jr. Mr. Joe Brown Ms. Marge Carlson Ms. Terry Cartollini Mr. Thomas Chambers Ms. Sue E. Cherry and Mr. Richard O. Smith Ms. Mary Dempster and Mr. Richard Lord Mrs. Jessica Denny Mr. and Mrs. Wick Dudley Mr. James Wood and Ms. Joanne Fairchild Mrs. Susan Feldhuhn Ms. Lucia Foster Ms. Kathy Garcia Mr. Gary Goldstein Mr. Ken Guido and Ms. Sharon Schroer Ms. Ann Harding Ms. Patricia Hargrove and Mr. Richard Schiming Mr. and Mrs. Earle Sugar Ms. Glenna Helkathorn Ms. Sarah S. Henderson Mr. Bob Hinkel Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hodgetts Ms. Rebecca Hutchison Ms. Joanne Joyner Mr. and Mrs. Brendan M. Keegan Mr. and Mrs. Doug Keeton Mr. and Mrs. Hank Krueger Mrs. Meghan Lahman Mr. and Mrs. Roger Lawson Ms. Mary Lynn Lewis Mr. Timothy Madden Ms. Susan Maher Mr. Dwight W. Martin Ms. Judith McGuire Ms. MaryAnn McGunigle Mrs. Susan Minor Ms. Jennifer Mobley Ms. Kristin Newnam Ms. Emily Porter Ms. Gail Renborg Mr. Jason Sanderson Mr. Matthew Sheets and Ms. Sarah Vargas Mr. and Mrs. Jim Shifrin Mr. William Starr Mr. and Mrs. Tom Steeger Mr. and Mrs. M. Robert Swafford Ms. Leslie Tiffany Ms. Doreen E. Vogel Ms. Terry Waldspurger and Mr. George Bartholomew Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Walker Mr. and Mrs. Michael Walter Ms. Kathryn Warren Mr. and Mrs. David H. Whaley Mrs. Maynard White Mr. John A. Wood Ms. Etta Zajic

Underground Railroad Audio Tour to be Completed in 2013 With its forests, thickets, marshes, rivers, and creeks, the Eastern Shore’s natural landscape provided a passageway to freedom along the Underground Railroad for hundreds, and possibly thousands, of slaves, including abolitionists Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. Designated as a “Place to Visit” on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, Adkins Arboretum reflects the conditions through which slaves traveled en route to freedom, and serves as a dramatic vista to experience the littleknown relationship between nature and the Underground Railroad. With grant support from Maryland Humanities Council and Maryland Heritage Area Authority, the Arboretum will produce an educational and thought-provoking interpretive project that explores the role of nature for those in pursuit of freedom via the Underground Railroad. The two awards, totaling $28,000, will expand the Arboretum’s capacity to tell the story and experience of the Underground Railroad and make a significant contribution to the development of the Underground Railroad Scenic Byway. The project will include a self-guided audio tour, developed in concert with historians Anthony Cohen and Dr. Kate Clifford Larson, that will enhance participants’ understanding of the Underground Railroad and demonstrate how nature provided both obstacles and opportunities for freedom seekers. Arboretum docents and volunteers will be trained to interpret nature’s role with the Underground Railroad via guided walks. Participants will be engaged in a blog-based dialogue of the unique connection between the Underground Railroad and nature. Arboretum staff Ginna Tiernan and Robyn Affron and Docent Roger Tilden currently make up the project committee and recently attended a National Association for Interpreters National Conference Workshop on “Stories That Must Be Told: Interpreting African American & Native American History & Culture” to help support the development of the program. Few artifacts and buildings of the Underground Railroad remain. The Eastern Shore landscape fills this historical gap because it is the artifact that remains to evoke this history and provide an important historical context to understand what it meant to travel on the Underground Railroad. Participants will learn about the connection between preserved Chesapeake Bay landscapes and historic conditions and events, as well as the importance of preserving natural landscapes to provide a context for history. The project will be completed by summer 2013. For more information, or to become involved with the project, contact Ginna Tiernan at 410-634-2847, ext. 27 or


volunteer of the year

Barbara Bryan

Named 2012

“Her art has helped to transform Native Seed into an award-winning publication.” ellie altman


something that I had always wanted to do, since first grade. I’m delighted that it falls together, and while I love creating art for the newsletter and other publications, I also am gratified that others enjoy it as well.” She relates a story of a complete stranger calling her at home to let her know that she enjoys the drawings she sees in each issue of Native Seed.

he issue of Native Seed in your hands would not be possible without Barbara Bryan. Sure, the newsletter would still be in your hands. The articles would be the same. The design and photography would still be beautiful. But it would be missing the subtle yet stunning artwork that brings its content to life and truly makes the Arboretum’s newsletter special. When an issue becomes dated, it is hard to put it in the recycling bin. For the past decade, Barbara’s drawings have helped to elevate Native Seed from a mere newsletter to a treasure that members look forward to receiving in their mailboxes. For her incomparable contributions to the Arboretum and its mission, Barbara was named Volunteer of the Year for 2012.

While Barbara is grateful for the opportunity to share her work, the Arboretum is likewise indebted to her for her vision and talent. Her stunning sketches of a fox or a mouse in a mitten bring to life a series of preschool programs, while a drawing of a tulip poplar flower conveys a magnitude of beauty that words cannot capture.

Always fascinated by the natural world, Barbara began creating artwork in first grade. “I had a teacher who came to class one day with wildflowers, and she had all the students pin a flower to their paper and draw it. That’s where it all started for me,” she says. With no formal training, she has pursued her love of art ever since, from painting portraits to drawing plants and animals. “I have always loved the outdoors,” she relates. “And I love to draw from nature. It gives me great pleasure to draw what I see.”

“When Barbara says her volunteer job of painting nature for the Arboretum is her dream job, I am awed that the Arboretum is so blessed by her talents,” says Altman. “Her art has helped to transform Native Seed into an award-winning publication.”

Originally from Canada, Barbara moved to the United States as a teenager and became a naturalized citizen. After receiving a degree in education from the University of Virginia, she met her husband, David, in Washington, DC, and they ended up on the Eastern Shore, living first in Centreville and eventually settling in Easton, where Barbara taught first grade at The Country School. Her longtime relationship with the Arboretum has included serving on both the Art Committee and the Board of Trustees, and she expresses appreciation to Executive Director Ellie Altman for providing an outlet for her to use her talent.

Reflecting on her longtime association with the Arboretum, Barbara is delighted that the natural landscape she cherishes is being preserved. “I’ve seen how things have grown and how the Arboretum is aspiring to be better all the time while taking preference to natural things and honoring nature as it is to make it enjoyable for everybody. It’s been wonderful for me to be able to see the growth and change working for good and to see how the Arboretum’s programs and events are keyed to its core purpose. In every aspect, it has been rewarding and very positive. The staff is a great group of people.”

“I just want to use what I have,” says Barbara. “That’s essentially the key. Ellie has given me the opportunity to do

Barbara will be honored in January at the Arboretum’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. 9


Native Plant Lore

Winter Reveal of the Inner Forest Architecture

By Michelle Dolan Lawrence, Arboretum Docent and Maryland Master Naturalist

When I was a kid, one of the neighborhoods I grew up in was still in the build out phase. One of the pastimes my friends and I enjoyed was exploring the framework of the future houses, which at that moment were only 2x4s and plywood—the walls and windows and siding would come later, closing in the house. Walking through the winter forest, I am often reminded of those explorations; the leaves have dropped, revealing the trunks of trees previously hidden, and I can see farther into the woods than when all the summer trappings block the view. That winter reveal is something I look forward to every year. I feel like I am getting a glimpse of something special. The spaces that could, for all intents and purposes, be called rooms, walled by shrubs and tree trunks, are revealed, some of those rooms created by tree fall, others by deer browsing and bedding (they often remodel to fit their desire). Space that didn’t seem to exist during the summer now stretches beyond view; we can see how close some of the Arboretum paths are to each other. Along the paths, some of the plants seem to pop into view, mainly because they are still green. The green seems to glow to the eye weary of the blanket of leaves in monochromatic shades of browns—Euonymous americana, the strawberry bush, has green stems and, if the weather is warm

enough, can slowly accomplish a little bit of photosynthesis. Of course, the loblolly and Virginia pines and the cedars retain their green (“evergreen” is a fitting name for a reason). The pine needles and cedar scales are covered in a waxy coating that helps slow desiccation, shed snow, and resist the damaging effects of freeze cycles. Trying to protect themselves from water loss and cold, the waxy leaves on the magnolia and mountain laurel roll into cigar shapes. The golden leaves of young beech trees are a particular visual treat, though not green in nature. Hanging on through the buffeting winter winds, they glow when the sun hits them just right—the fluttering golden drops can make you stop in your tracks. With each successive snow or rainstorm, the last leaves have been encouraged to fall, the ones on the ground advancing their return to join the soil layer once again. As a reminder that the evergreen loblolly does shed older needles, a dogwood or another mid-forest layer tree will have those needles caught along its branches, appearing for all the world to be decorated in brown tinsel. All of this helps even more with the revealing process, which by March, just before the spring budbursts, seems to lay the different forest layers bare: the newly enriched soil, the green rosettes of the overwintering herbaceous layer, the spider webbing of thin branches of midlayer shrubs and trees, and the high arching tree branches of the canopy trees. Take a walk along the Arboretum paths this winter, feel the winter sun through the branches of a canopy tree, look past the trunks and branches laid bare—can you see the ‘rooms’? Know that same sunlight is working on the spring ephemerals (that will start popping out of the ground very soon) that are taking advantage of the lack of leaf cover, working to create a carpet of wildflowers before the 2x4s and plywood are sheathed in the green roof and walls that make the summer forest a cool retreat. References Winter, An Ecological Handbook by J. Halfpenny and RD Ozanne


Mark your calendar! for the sixth annual Magic in the Meadow on Saturday, September 28, 2013!

More than 220 guests enjoyed amazing local fare, live jazz, a stunning harvest moon, and lively auctions featuring once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunities at the 2012 Magic in the Meadow gala.

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Native Seed - Winter 2013  
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