Holden Forests & Gardens - Fall 2022

Page 1

FALL 2022


©Holden Forests & Gardens

Forests & Gardens (ISSN 2474-6371) is a class and events magazine published quarterly by Holden Forests & Gardens, 9500 Sperry Road, Kirtland, Ohio 44094-5172.


Paul R. MichaelPaulJonathanTeraAndrewBarbaraVictoriaAbbeyU.BroerBrown,PhDG.ColemanN.ColemanE.DickE.DiCorletoW.Dingeldein, MD

Corporate sponsors and individual donors make an impact 20

INTRODUCING Q&A Get to know the botanical librarian 26

President and CEO Kathleen Heflin, Treasurer and CFO

MISSION: Holden Forests & Gardens connects people with the wonder, beauty, and value of trees and plants, to inspire action for healthy communities

HORTICULTURE A grant to explore the Rhododendron 22 EDUCATION

Thomas D. Anderson, Chairman

Holden Forests & Gardens 9500 Sperry Road Kirtland, Ohio 44094-5172

VISION: All communities transformed into vibrant places where trees, plants, and people thrive

Creative Director: Jackie Klisuric Vice President of Public Relations & Marketing: Margaret Thresher


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Periodicals postage paid at Mentor, Ohio and additional PleasePostmaster:offices.sendaddress changes to

The R Henry Norweb Jr Tree Allée is undergoing a redesign . . 6

THE ROLE OF PUBLIC GARDENS IN COMMUNITY FORESTRY Taking a leadership role in regional forest stewardship and arboriculture 16


Forests & Gardens is the member magazine for Holden Forests & Gardens, which includes the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland and the Cleveland Botanical Garden in Cleveland.

EXPLORING THE GARDENS Find out what you can see at Cleveland Botanical Garden . . . . . . 8


CLASSES EXPERIENCES 30 Jr. Joseph J. Mahovlic Michael C. Marino Roy D.


FALL 2022, V6/4


Lavita Ewing

Constance N. Abbey


Discover how to tap into your inner horticulturist 4

Sharing the importance of a public garden in the community 18

THE TRANSFORMATIONAL ROLE OF A PUBLIC GARDEN Jill Koski shares her conversation with other public garden leaders 10

Green Corp is growing futures and communities 24

Learn about the Arkansas bluestar 29


On the Cover: Photographer Andrew Cross captured fall color and early morning frost from the Kalberer Emergent Tower at the Holden Arboretum.

Jill Koski,

The Inspiration Garden at Cleveland Botanical Garden.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Robert R. Galloway, Secretary

For advertising information, callStephen216.377.3638J.Knerly,

Photography: Andrew Cross, Lisa DeJong, Ethan Johnson, Cherise Kent, Jackie Klisuric, Peter Larson, Dale McDonald, Bob Perkoski, Andrew Pratt, Ann Rzepka, Caroline Tait, Margaret Thresher

Kate JosephSarahLynn-AnnFaustGriesL.GriesP.Keithley


Forests & Gardens Magazine

Meet the palm warbler 28


DOCUMENTING PLANTS OF WILD ORIGIN Learning about plants helps connect them to the community 14

Public Gardens are Leading the Way

I recently facilitated a conversation with three of my colleagues who lead public gardens from across the country – Chicago, Denver and Fort Worth. We considered questions around the increasing relevance and changing role of public gardens and arboreta. I hope the discussion excerpt in this issue provides valuable insights into the ways that public gardens benefit the community as we work to ensure the long-term health of the planet we share.

A dedicated team of horticulturists, arborists and curatorial staff care for HF&G’s expansive living collections that range from forested gardens at the Arboretum campus to ornamental display gardens at the Garden campus.

Autumn brings a colorful show to mark the end of summer and signal the seasonal transition to cooler weather and shorter days. It is a season that compels one to pause a bit longer, take a breath and look with awe on the incredible beauty of the natural world.


It is also a reminder to me that as a public garden leader it is my job and commitment to share this beauty with all people and inspire even more advocates for the living world around us.

The reimagined Green Corps program for high school students continues to expand in both the number of participants and number of sessions, which now run in the spring, summer and fall. This summer teens from the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine, the Cleveland School of Arts, Rhodes High School and Shaw High School were exposed to multiple green industry career paths. In nonprofit, for-profit and public sectors, there is a wide gap between the number of individuals needed to fill jobs and the pipeline of people selecting green industry jobs. Green Corps is just one way HF&G is working to address this critical gap and support workforce development needs in Northeast Ohio.

Combined, the Cleveland Botanical Garden and The Holden Arboretum form one of the largest public gardens in the country. The responsibility that comes with being a leading public garden is significant, especially as the impacts of climate change become even more urgent and we consider heightened understanding of the physical and mental health needs that can benefit from communing with nature.

We are also delighted to introduce you to an exceptional volunteer who works tirelessly to advance the mission by caring for the plants and trees at the Garden. He describes the joy of discovering “the possible” every day at HF&G. Lastly, if you haven’t already discovered the libraries, our new Librarian looks forward to introducing you to the library collections at the Arboretum and Garden or welcoming you back to explore.

A dedicated team of horticulturists, arborists and curatorial staff care for HF&G’s expansive living collections that range from forested gardens at the Arboretum campus to ornamental display gardens at the Garden campus. Not only can you read and learn more about their work from a behind-the-scenes perspective, but we encourage you to visit both campuses this fall to see their work first-hand.

Please take some time to enjoy the beauty that the autumn season brings to Northeast Ohio. We would love to see you in Woodland Gardens at the Cleveland Botanical Garden or at the top of the Kalberer Emergent Tower at The Holden Arboretum.

FALL 2022 3

JILL PresidentKOSKIand CEO

Explore, Learn &

names!). You know, just like a great dinner party — the right balance of strong opinion, the freethinker, the inevitably late arrival, the creative type, the stalwart who’ll stay and help tidy up. All these characters are required in the garden borders and bring the dimension of interactivity that makes every border unique.



By Caroline Tait, Vice President of Horticulture and Collections

You can tap into your inner horticulturist by learning what’s going on inside your own yard.

HF&G’s horticulture teams also weave into their dreaming, assessment and design the story of Living Collections. Not simply enough to select from the long commercial nursery lists filled with eye-catching booty, but how to design and maintain gardens of which each and every one reflects the mission of this ‘‘living green museum’ botanical garden and arboretum — “…to connect people with trees and plants…”. The challenge is to strike beauty into the eye of the guest, to cause wonder, to define value… all done with plants.


(Lamium) which carpeted the un-pointed crazy-paved back postage-stamp takes me right back. I think I became a horticulturist when I stared mesmerized at the flowery faces of sumptuous and simple blooms. The deep satisfaction of growing each one strong, upright, well fed, blooming marvelous. From seeing them off to new homes with a snippet of advice hanging in the air — ‘do chop off the first flowers!’ (lupin), ‘only cut back by a third in winter!’ (penstemon), ‘watch those brittle roots!’ (corydalis). Then I began to see that plants looked even better together: an orange bloom sets off purples, add in greys and maybe a splash of white variegation in a leaf and the party has started! Get to know your plant palette like your best friends — lovable characters who all have their flaws. Who easily gets in a bad mood but you love them anyway (Clematis), who likes to sleep around (Aquilegia), who is the fuddy-duddy sulking in the corner who just needs a stiff drink to get them dancing (I couldn’t possibly name

magine, you’re in the garden — a smattering of deadheads to snip, a rake of weeds to hoe, an awkward patch to research something that might just thrive, a moment to lie back and dream of next year (isn’t it always last week or next week that friends should have seen the true bounty of your efforts?). When you’re doing this work do you ever think about what you might call yourself? Greenfingered, gardener, laborer, landscaper, eco-warrior, recycling queen, composter extraordinaire, farmer, no-dig convert…? Ever considered horticulturist (or, up for discussion, horticultural ist?). Nowadays a much more commonly used title in the public gardening world (and the moniker of HF&G’s senior hands-on gardening staff) horticulturist is gaining ground as we seek to elevate the skills and knowledge required to create responsive, flexible and creative garden spaces.

It starts at soil level. Know your soil. Soil is where it’s at. Did I mention soil??! Tomorrow, go out and dig a spit of soil in 4 different garden areas — what do you find? What might that tell you?

I think I was a gardener from about 4 years old. The smell of creeping dead-nettle

Sand/clay, free draining/retentive, spongy or rock hard (that particular

Good coverage from Rosa 'Maid of Kent' in CBG's Sears Swetland Rose Garden

Identify myriad microclimates within your garden space. Where the sun sits in the day, the silvery full moon at night, who is in deep dark winter for longer then anyone else in the garden. Explore how weather patterns impact your microclimate — dig up the same spots after heavy rain and drying winds — how is the soil changed, what is going on with the soil?!

one indicates the level of nutrient rich and water absorbing organic matter)

died because of the management of soil, light, water and fertilizer, but also because plant husbandry techniques manipulated the plant’s growing habit.



Our climate is changing and the question is, can plants adapt to that change? As a practicing horticulturist I can speak to the adaptability of plants from a gardening perspective. Collected and moved all over the world, plants have lived, thrived (too well in some cases) and

Caroline Tait is the Vice President of Horticulture and Collections. Caroline began her career propagating perennials at Coton Manor Gardens in Northamptonshire, England, voted the UK’s favorite garden in 2019. Designing gardens for shows and clients took her all over the UK, until 2018 when she was selected from a global pool of candidates for the yearlong residential Fellows Leadership Program at Longwood Gardens in Philadelphia.

Snip the tip, lay down the growth, buds are stimulated, more flowers are produced

Stefanie Verish prunes Rosa 'Maid of Kent'

of a horticulturist comes through intimate knowledge of a plant’s response to manipulation.

Fan-trained Cornus mas

Plants are remarkably adaptable to this physical invasion of being pruned and trained, chopped and tipped. How could you treat your plants differently to gain even more flower, coverage, form, interest? Beauty. Wonder . Value. Just outside your door.


Manipulate your plants. Play with them. Bend them. Train them. Chop of their heads occasionally. What’s the result? More flowers? Fewer pests? A longer season of color? Death? Humm, ok that sometimes happens but hopefully not too often. And not with that rare wild-collected Oak! The skill

Upon reflecting on the gardens at the Arboretum over the last several years, it was obvious that nature played a greater hand in design than the gardeners had in some spaces. We have observed these changes throughout the Arboretum and notable redesigns have been focused in the mostly highly visited areas including Main Display, the Rhododendron Discovery Garden and Logsdon Pond. But behind the scenes, we have been planning a largescale redesign for the Tree Allee as well.

in repetition, five different trees were selected to add ecological diversity and horticultural perspective to the landscape. In the original design plan, one herbaceous species was selected for each type of tree and planted in an approximate 20-footby-20-foot section under each specimen. The perennial/ tree combinations were repeated all the way down the 370-footlong allee. But, as all gardeners know, sometimes conditions don’t always support the desired design. After more than five years interacting with the space, we decided it was time to start replacing the poor performing perennials and to reconsider the overall design of the space.

Annie Rzepka, Director of Arboretum Horticulture

Garden by Design

The R. Henry Norweb Jr. Tree Allee was established in 2013 and features the linear design of a traditional Allee, but with a twist. Rather than planting the same tree

ardens are works of art — a composition of textures, colors and forms designed to elicit emotion — the landscape a canvas and the plants media. They are transient spaces in time, by season and year to year — bowing to forces from their external environment both below and above the soil. Gardeners work to control these external forces to extend the life of the intended design. Without them, these natural forces begin to dictate composition and form within the space and the garden transitions from a nurtured work of art to a work of nature — not necessarily a composition less beautiful, but a composition less designed and, in the realm of horticulture, less intended.

New garden design and redesign both take considerable thought and planning with the latter requiring our horticulturists to creatively invent opportunities which incorporate, preserve and enhance the aesthetics of existing structural design features and woody plant collections. After multiple design renditions, we decided to focus on the removal of all the existing perennial plant material. This decision allows us to address underlying soil conditions and a pervasive and relentless horsetail infestation, as well as fulfill our desire to create a feeling of continuity and fluidity for guests experiencing the allee garden while maintaining the original design intent. The redesign will enclose the allee so guests feel like they are in a distinct and


The R. Henry Norweb Jr. Tree Allée is undergoing a redesign to create a distinct space.


FALL 2022 7


New garden design and redesign both take considerable thought and planning with the latter requiring our horticulturists to creatively invent opportunities which incorporate, preserve and enhance the aesthetics of existing structural design features and woody plant collections.

plan to add a pop of color late season and deliver on what has become a fan favorite.

confined space using a mixed shrub hedge border. Additionally, the redesign elongates the view by extending plantings of forbs in drifts, rather than blocks, incorporating plant repetition in time rather than space, through a matrix of grasses. The new combination of perennial grasses, forbs and shrubs will also help extend seasonal interest. The annual zinnia and cosmos plantings are also included in the redesign



by smothering are being hand treated one stem at a time with a water safe herbicide. We anticipate planting the remaining shrubs, grasses and perennial forbs this fall. Winter work will be focused on developing a comprehensive plan for the incorporation of bulbs with final touches occurring in spring 2023 depending on bulb availability and best planting practices as determined by each selected species.

Initial improvements to the Tree Allee began in 2020 and will continue into Spring of 2023. Three of the five species of shrubs were planted last fall. Remaining perennial forbs were removed in May, and our garden team used cardboard to smother existing weeds. The patches of horsetail that evaded death

Ann Rzepka is the Director of Arboretum Horticulture. She began her relationship with Holden Forests & Gardens as a volunteer in 1997 and was thrilled to be hired 10 years later as the horticulturist for the Myrtle S. Holden Wildflower Garden. Annie acted as the State Lead to collect seed and establish habitat for pollinators on behalf of the Pollinator Partnership and worked to help preserve rare and endangered plant species through her work with the Center for Plant Conservation.


Management Policy with each plant playing a valued role in story-telling. Be that conservation, or geographic, or pure beauty. For this she liaised closely with Tom Arbour, curator of Living Collections.



A Kaleidoscope of Colors in the Rose Garden

The Rose Garden, established in 1971 (two years after the Western Reserve Herb Garden), has always been a visitor favorite, but sometimes it presents a horticultural challenge.

Now, we are excited to announce a redesign of this classic garden space that will predominantly feature diseaseresistant floribunda roses, a classification of roses known for their perpetually blooming flowers and superb disease resistance, among other fine attributes. The redesign reflects the hard work of our Horticulture team and especially the skill and innate artistic talent of Rose Garden Horticulturist Stefanie Verish.

During its earliest days, this coveted refuge of beauty consisted primarily of highmaintenance hybrid tea roses peppered with a few grandifloras and floribundas, some of which were off-market cultivars being trialed at the time. In 1996, the garden received a facelift during which most hybrid teas were removed and replaced with less fussy floribunda and grandiflora roses. A second revision of the plant palette in 2007 incorporated hardy shrub and rugosa roses, showcasing roses suitable for challenging spaces.

As the second-oldest garden at Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Mary Ann Sears Swetland Rose Garden has welcomed generations of visitors who have walked its paths and admired the many varieties of roses flanking its octangular beds. Now, an exciting redesign will welcome guests with a kaleidoscopic swirl of colors.

Stefanie was tasked with gathering a wealth of information which would influence her design: historical details, soil composition, current accession status, hard-landscaping assessment, educational and event rental use to name just a few. Fundamental to all HF&G garden designs is that it reflects our Collections

Cleveland Botanical Garden brings new attractions to enhance its existing beauty.

~ Stefanie Verish, Rose Garden Horticulturist

“The updated Rose Garden will be a color wheel of floribunda roses, a ring of visual color gradation that moves you around the intimate confines of the garden space!”

Rose Garden Renovation spatial layout plan

By Andrew C. Pratt, Director of Gardens & Glasshouses

While “breaking the glass ceiling” may be desirable in a workplace context, it wouldn’t be a good thing in the Costa Rica Cloud Forest Biome in our Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse. That’s why over the summer several of our most mature neotropical trees received precision pruning

In addition to this important pruning work, we are excited to unveil new nectar pots for our butterflies. These pots will be peppered around the Costa Rica biome and filled with plants that will act as safe harbors and food sources for the hundreds of butterflies that call our biome home.


There is something wonderfully alluring about a rose garden, whether it’s the intoxicating perfumes that permeate the air or their impeccable beauty representing nearly every possible hue of the color wheel. And roses can trigger olfactory responses or smell memories, in which a single redolent rose may elicit recollections that may remind you of your wedding day, a meritorious life achievement or other impressionable moments.

Jake climbing Cecropia in Costa Rica

Busy in the Biomes

FALL 2022 9

work performed by Jacob “Jake” Conrad, HF&G’s new Climbing Arborist.


Be sure to regularly visit the newly redesigned Sears Swetland Rose Garden at Cleveland Botanical Garden as design elements are installed, and make your own memories by stopping to smell the roses.

These new varieties will be in harmonious companionship with complementary herbaceous and woody plantings arranged in a true art form — the space will take on a perspective never seen before in its 51-year history! Breaking the traditional mold of the quintessential rose garden, a kaleidoscope swirl of rainbow colors will whirl you around the transformed space, where you’ll meet some of the highestrated roses by the American Rose Society, sourced from across North America.

Andrew C. Pratt is the Director of Gardens & Glasshouses at the Garden campus. He previously served as a Horticulture Intern at the Arboretum (2001) and Grounds Manager (2006-2012) of Cleveland Botanical Garden and was the Director of Fellows Riverside Gardens before assuming his current role. Andy has over 26 years of experience working with plants, animals, and people and holds a Bachelor’s of Horticulture from The Ohio State University, a Master’s of Biology from Miami University, and is a Certified Arborist.

The warm, moist conditions in the biome create optimal year-round growing conditions for plants that have a penchant for quickly reaching for light at the top of the biome. Maintenance of these specimens by our Arboricultural team and Glasshouse Horticulturist Sadie Smith is paramount to ensure they do not interfere with the mechanical systems of the biome and to ensure the plants below have ample light to grow.

Reviewing design iterations together with Caroline Tait, vp of horticulture & collections and myself, Stefanie landed on the design you will see implemented!

The Horticulture team at Cleveland Botanical Garden is thrilled to provide these enhanced experiences to our valued members and guests, and we look forward to seeing you very soon during your next visit!


Jean: There is a real shift happening now with great intention. We are meeting people where they are at. and putting them at the center of all we do so gardens and greenspace become more accessible. People are learning that caring for the natural world allows them to receive something powerful and positive in return. It is also important for us to recognize that our audience is becoming broader and continually changing. And that is important.

Our missions, no matter where we are in the country or what type of garden we are, are committed to advancing human awareness and connection to plants, trees, and the natural world.

FALL 2022 11

Patrick: Yes, we are working on our public garden as a place for people to belong and not just fit in – it is about being in relationship. In Fort Worth, our staff may have an idea of what an exhibit or experience might be like but when we work in partnership with the community, it may turn out to be quite different in a good way. You must build a relationship before you can collaborate and work with a community.

ohn Bartram established the first public garden almost 300 years ago in Philadelphia. Today, there are more than 600 public gardens across the United States. Holden Forests & Gardens is one of the largest, with urban and rural campuses together spanning more than 3,600 acres and home to more than 21,000 plant and tree species.

Jill: At the Cleveland Botanical Garden and the Holden Arboretum, we are engaging directly with new community partners and asking first what they need. For example, the pandemic brought new awareness and community interest in the powerful mental health benefits of being among trees and plants in the gardens and woodlands at our campuses. We are building on this interest by working alongside and with our communities to best share our resources for healthier communities.

reaction, they had an emotional reaction. People cried and told us this was their therapy. We want to increase these sacred moments that people experience that change spirits over time.



As Holden Forests & Gardens looks to the future and new ways to grow our mission impact in Northeast Ohio, we have been asking the question “what is the role of a public garden and how is it changing?” Recently, HF&G President and CEO Jill Koski had a conversation with three fellow public garden leaders from across the country to get their thoughts on this subject. Following is an excerpt from the panel discussion with Jean Franczyk, president and CEO of the Chicago Botanic Garden, Patrick Newman, president and CEO of Fort Worth Botanic Garden|BRIT and Brian Vogt, president and CEO of the Denver Botanic Garden.

The RoleTransformationalofaPublicGarden

Please share your thoughts on how public gardens are transforming their means of delivering this message beyond the traditional perception of public gardens.

Brian: It takes real effort to get people, children, to a place of exploration and engagement where they can have incredible moments of connection to the natural world. Public gardens give people miniature versions of the larger natural world…of the entire planet. In Denver, in the middle of winter, people can be in the tropics. In the summer they can be in the forest of Japan and then they can be wondering through the plains of Colorado. They can do all of this within 24 acres in more than 50 gardens. As the tableau shifts, consciousness shifts. We learned profoundly that when people came back after we were shut down for the pandemic, they had more than a pleasant

By Jill Koski, president and CEO

Jill: It is a pleasure to take a time out to have this important conversation about the role of public gardens and arboreta. It is a privilege to work in this field. Our missions are more relevant than ever, and public gardens are so much more than a pretty garden or walk in the woods. We are serving communities of people. We care for and preserve plants and trees. We are educating the next generation of nature champions and addressing issues of environmental equity. We are advancing the vital health and wellness benefits of being in nature. We are leaders in environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Patrick: We are a place, but we are also a promise. Lady Bird Johnson said, “the environment is where we all meet, where we all have a mutual interest.” It is not just a reflection of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become. Gardens can be places where communities can heal, can be built, and can grow. Yes, we are a place, yes, we are about plants, but we are also about this promise, and it is unique to each garden, and we need to own it and deliver it.

We are stewards of the natural world, and we need to create space to allow everything to grow and flourish.

Jean: Our innate human connection and desire to connect with Mother Earth, specifically with plants, is an evergreen tenant. You plant a seed when you are a little one, and you watch it grow. You do this over the seasons of a year. You might watch it over the scale of many years. This is powerful and life affirming. It never ceases to amaze, and that is an evergreen experience.

We are talking about the changing role and perceptions for public gardens, but what are the “evergreen” tenants that remain the foundations of our organizations?

It has never been more important to foster a strong connection between people, plants, and the natural world. Brian, Jean, and Patrick, thank you so much for taking time to share your thoughts and for your industry leadership. We look forward to watching your gardens grow!


Brian: Transformation. Somebody goes to a class and learns something new - to grow their own food. Someone visits in a sullen mood or is grieving a loss and visits and leaves feeling better. That is transformation. They recognize something in our interpretation, displays, or experiences that connects them to something (personal), they apply it to their own life, and that matters in moving the needle and protecting our planet.

Jill: At our core, we are museums with living collections of trees and plants. This has always required flexibility and change as we respond to changing conditions. We need to continually listen and learn and collaborate with our communities. We are stewards of the natural world, and we need to create space to allow everything to grow and flourish.

Stickwork Tilt-a-whirl


#holdenphotoshow!at Don’t


Since August of 2020, Arboretum vistors have loved Patrick Dougherty’s whimsical Stickwork Tilt-a-Whirl with its twisting mazes and towering castles all completely made from willow sticks and Thebranches.structure was intended to be on view for at least one year or until it started to naturally deterioriate. We’ve had two years of enjoyment and the time has come to say farewell. Visit soon and enjoy this natural work of art one more time. Don’t forget to share your photos miss your chance to experience Stickwork — now through October

By Tom Arbour, Curator of Living Collections

Documenting Plants of Wild Origin


Learning about plants helps connect them to each other and the community.

The Pennington Bed in the Myrtle S. Holden Wildflower Garden


These plants are certainly beautiful in their own way, but they each hold a deeper story. Pawpaw is the nation’s largest native fruit, increasingly appreciated for its potential as a food for people. Goldenrods and asters grow for the entire season, waiting to unfurl their flowers until fall, when the number of pollinators reach peak levels. And the witch hazel blooms when nothing else does. When we begin to learn more about these plants, to see how they fit into the ecosystems they evolved with, then we begin to learn their stories and how each connects with the community of people, plants and animals around them.

Tom Arbour is the Curator of Living Collections at Holden Forests and Gardens. He guides the acquisition and documentation of more than 20,000 plants and trees at Cleveland Botanical Garden and The Holden Arboretum. Tom has been working with rare plants and trees professionally for over 20 years while exploring Ohio’s highest quality natural areas.

When you visit the Myrtle S. Holden Wildflower Garden at the Arboretum this fall, you will see flashes of bright yellows and purples, courtesy of a range of goldenrod and aster species. The banana-like fruits of pawpaw will ripen and be welcomed by people and racoons alike. And as winter descends, when all other vegetation has turned brown, the Virginia witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) will open its yellow, star-like flowers.

But let’s travel back to the wildflower garden at the Arboretum. There’s something particularly special about the garden. The plants that grow there have been highly curated — carefully selected using a set of guidelines, which stipulates the plants not only must be species that grow in Ohio but the plants themselves must have originated from Ohio. Whether by seed or cutting, nearly all the plants are of what we call “documented wild origin.” They were carefully, legally and ethically collected in the wild, propagated in our nursery spaces, and then planted in our garden.

Across our campuses, we have 854 different species of plants that were collected directly from the wild, meaning that about one out of every 10 plants and trees that you see on our campuses serve a directly connected conservation purpose. As the horticulture and collections team works to build our collection of trees and plants, I will work diligently and strategically to increase the number of taxa in our gardens that serve as backups to wild populations. The next time you visit your favorite HF&G campus, I challenge you to take look at the gardens more deeply to find the wonder and the value in our forests and gardens.


P.S. – When you spot one of our inconspicuous metal records label on a tree or plant, look for a “CW” stamped in the bottom left corner, and you’ve found a plant that collected in the wild.

s a community of plant lovers, Holden Forests & Gardens works to connect people with the wonder, beauty and value of plants and trees. But what does that really mean and how to do we make that happen? During my first year here, I’ve thought a lot about our mission and how I can use it to help build an inspirational collection of plants. The beauty of our gardens may be the easiest quality of plants for our guests to behold as they walk through a woods, meadow or garden. But what about the wonder and the value?

But what about the value? What makes a plant valuable? While it’s difficult to see, plants are chemical reaction powerhouses that provide a myriad of ecosystem services. Clean air, clean water and oxygen production are three of the biggies. These services are so important that if we tried to replicate them economically the costs would be outrageous. That plants provide these amazing services for free AND do it in a package that is also beautiful is really quite amazing (and highly undervalued) when you think about it. Picture

when you last drove by a large chemical “plant.” I doubt beauty was the first thing that came to your mind.

Why are plants, specifically of documented wild origin, so important? Because they serve as a backup to wild populations if ever something was to happen to them. My second week here, I was working through a list of accessioned plants, and the species Bog Labrador Tea caught my eye. “Oh, that’s interesting,” I thought. After a quick text to my contacts at the ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, I learned that it had been extirpated from its only known Ohio location — a bog in Portage County. A check of our plant records database, BG-Base, led me to learn that our Bog Labrador Tea came from this wild population. Due to the foresight of botanists from the ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserve, and former staffers Tom Yates and Brian Parsons, there is hope for Ohio genotype Labrador tea to grow in the wild again in Ohio. This is why botanical gardens collect plants of documented wild origin and keep detailed careful records about each plant in its collection.


Across our campuses, we have 854 different species of plants that were collected directly from the wild.

Cleveland used to be named the “Forest City.” That has changed with Cleveland only having 18% canopy cover in 2020. The canopy cover is not equally distributed with neighborhoods such as Downtown having 4% canopy cover while others such as University Heights have 23%. Why such a disparity? Past redlining practices led to a financial disinvestment from banks, insurance companies and more in inner-city neighborhoods which had higher numbers of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC).

By Jessica Miller and Amanda Wood


How Holden Forests & Gardens took on a leadership role in regional forest stewardship and arboriculture.


Tree stewardship is not just a city issue. Northeast Ohio has very rich potential resources in its trees not only in urban areas, but in a different form in the more rural, forested acreage of our region. In Ohio, there is around 8 million acres of forested land, and 85% of that is held by private woodland owners. Although these forests

That lack of financial investment in BIPOC areas means that BIPOC communities are more likely to live in areas with fewer trees (Hoffman et al. 2020). This also means that these areas do not get the tree benefits those other areas get.

a beautiful, sunny day in late March, and the woods at Holden Arboretum are filling with bird song. On this day, the sound of birds, and a light breeze through the treetops, mixes with the crunch of leaves beneath our feet. We are walking through Bole Woods to one of Holden’s long-term research projects. When arriving at the site, you are greeted by many multicolored flags sticking out of the ground. This project is Holden’s woodland phenology project. Phenology is the study of the timing of annual phenomena in nature, including plant emergence, growth and especially flowering, and is an important way to understand how plants may be responding to a warmer world.

How can trees help such a complicated situation? Trees provide a multitude of benefits, including providing shade, mental health benefits, improving the economy and increased wildlife habitat. They have multiple solutions for a complicated situation where there is a plethora of problems and barriers. Gardens and arboreta are experts in plants and trees. They are the right resources to help rebuild urban tree canopy cover than an institution built on trees.

Public gardens and arboreta are places where people come for expertise in displays, exhibits and information from programs. We open our gates for those who want to connect with the beauty and wonder of plants but also want to learn how they can bring those connections to nature to their home. Public gardens and arboreta occupy a special niche in their capacity to impact communities beyond their gates and gardens. By connecting with people via community forestry programs, public institutions like HF&G can amplify their mission and vision beyond their grounds. We have taken this opportunity to leverage the benefits of our institution by focusing on areas and communities that need the resources we can provide but have historically not had much access to them.

We have experts throughout both campuses who can provide technical expertise to make sure communities properly care for their trees. At Holden, our Community Forestry department focuses on engaging communities throughout both urban and rural settings. While each area has its own challenges and barriers, the pressing need is ever growing.

Not only do gardens provide opportunities to beautify neighborhoods, there is also an opportunity to educate communities on why trees matter. To make sure that trees live it is vital that everyone understands why we are planting trees. The tree recipient can learn about the benefits of the trees along with long-term tree care, providing some buy in where they are more invested in the health and wellbeing of that tree. People can then share that tree benefit and care information with their friends, family and neighbors to expand the message. That helps to educate and empowers others to become leaders in their network for trees.

The Role of Public Gardens in Community Forestry


Trees provide a multitude of benefits, including providing shade, mental health benefits, improving the economy and increased wildlife habitat.

Holden Forests & Gardens connects people with the wonder, beauty, and value of trees and plants, to inspire action for healthy communities. Our mission is what community forestry is about, so it should be no surprise that we’ve become one of the leading organizations throughout Northeast Ohio for our forests.

Community Forestry Research Specialist, Jessica Miller teaches tree planting.

Hoffman JS, Shandas V, Pendleton N. 2020. The effects of historical housing policies on resident exposure to intra-urban heat: a study of 108 US urban areas. Climate8(1):12, 10.3390/cli8010012. Crossref, Google Scholar)

communities shows that we care for plants, as well as the people who those plants impact. By participating in the community, we show that we are present for the long-term care and support for their forests — whether urban or woodland–beyond just planting trees. It creates a working relationship with people so they also have a chance to provide feedback that they may have otherwise not had a chance to provide.

represent immense value economically and ecologically, private land has experienced “some of the highest percentages of forest cover loss in the state in recent decades,” and most landowners have no management plan for keeping their woods healthy or productive (Small Woodland Management Manual, 2022). For Northeast Ohio, this means that non-management or poor management of forests jeopardizes their value, ecology and all of the benefits they offer to communities — even far-reaching communities in urban centers that rely on watersheds that are kept healthy by a forested landscape. Holden Forests & Gardens, with the woodland “branch” of our Community Forestry programming, reaches out to woodland owners to provide technical expertise, demonstration and education on forest management. Our programs through the Working Woods demonstration forest show landowners how they can accomplish their goals while improving forest health.


FALL 2022 17

Holden Forests & Gardens becomes a leader in community forestry through actions. Our work throughout the surrounding

Jessica Miller and Amanda Wood are the Community Forester and Urban Community Forester at HF&G. Their work focuses on supporting healthy forests in Northeast Ohio across the gradient of rural to urban communities.

hen asked why he began volunteering at the Holden Arboretum, volunteer Patrick Biliter replied, “My mother-in-law made me do it.” A recent retiree after working 30 years as a geologist, Biliter was new to Cleveland and looking for suggestions on how to spend his new-found free time. Upon finding his way to the Arboretum website and learning about opportunities to volunteer among our wonderful living collections and rich natural areas — especially Little Mountain and Stebbins Gulch — he was hooked. Since then, Biliter has contributed over 20 years and nearly 2,000 hours in volunteering as a tour guide, a snowshoe guide, a school guide, natural areas guide — you get the idea — as well as assisting in everything from plant sale to collections maintenance to plant records and, most recently, serving on the Volunteer Handbook Review Task Force.

Biliter shares his thoughts on the role of public gardens from a volunteer perspective:



Public gardens come in a variety of flavors — zoos, arboreta, gardens, parks, green belts,

historic sites and botanical gardens — but they are not merely places for recreation. They also serve as cultural institutions with defined missions to provide benefits to their communities. At Holden Forests & Gardens, those benefits certainly include efforts in research, conservation, education and sustainability. Beyond this, our campuses offer secluded green vistas of tranquility in the midst of a large city, and acres of everchanging beauty that inspire the imagination and sooth the soul.

A Volunteer’s Perspective

By Tracee Patterson, Associate Director of Volunteer and Employee Engagement, with Patrick Biliter, Holden Forests & Gardens volunteer


accession tag on the tree — Franklinia alatamaha — evoked a flood of my teenage memories of float trips down the Canoochee, Ogeechee and Altamaha rivers through a vast swampy wilderness of southeastern Georgia. Interested only in trophy bass at the time, I had no idea that the place where I was casually trolling for dinner was once home to one of the rarest native trees in Northern America, not seen in the wild since 1803.

Writing as a homeowner who has struggled mightily with weeds, turf grass, unruly flower beds, sickly nursery transplant and mountains of smelly mulch, I’m tempted to say the most important benefit stemming from my connection with Holden Forests & Gardens is a chance to see the “art of the possible” to make good horticultural decisions on my land. Examples include the Wildflower Garden and the Butterfly Garden at the Arboretum, several marvelous outdoor and indoor plant collections at the Cleveland Botanical Garden and, on the occasion it is open for tours, the magnificent rhododendron displays at the David G. Leach Research Station in Madison. But this is too narrow a perspective (especially for an HF&G volunteer) and I’d like to share a broader view.

– Patrick Biliter, HF&G Volunteer

But decades later here I stood in front of three of them growing at the Arboretum. By reading a single metal tag, I was amazed, educated, awestruck – and perhaps, filled with the “art of the possible.” The possible created by institutions like HF&G through their work in plant preservation, ecology, sustainability and more. So, I believe that IS the role — and the power — of public gardens. To help us see the art of the possible.

Tracee Patterson is the Associate Director of Volunteer & Employee Engagement. Her prior work in volunteerism involved administrative and teaching positions at John Carroll University and Kent State University, where she coordinated and implemented service-learning programming and classes for students. Tracee was the 2020 recipient of the Volunteer Administrator of the Year Award by the Forum for Volunteer Administrators.

Patrick Biliter shares the importance of a public garden within our communities.

Sometimes the various benefits seem to merge. I was once asked by a palynologist (a scientist who specializes in pollen) whether I had “ever seen the Franklin trees at the Arboretum.” I hadn’t. But his excitement piqued my curiosity and, after a bit of searching, I finally located them in the display gardens. Words stamped into the

I think that is the role — and the power — of public gardens. To help us see the art of the possible.”

Visit the Garden Store at Cleveland Botanical Garden and the Treehouse Store at the Holden Arboretum.

Show your support!

If you love the People for Trees movement, wear it proudly! Shop our line of shirts, hats and mugs at the Garden Store and Treehouse Store.



Thank you to our Corporate Sponsors

Contact Samantha Lengel at 216-721-1600, ext. 125 or slengel@holdenfg.org to learn more and to develop a custom partnership opportunity to meet your needs.

Cherry ClearsteadTree


August 1, 2021 – July 30, 2022

Holden Forests & Gardens Twilight in the Amazing Woods summer benefit, July 2022.

Maloney + Novotny

Ashton Technology Solutions

CM Wealth Advisors


Corporate Partners like Key Private Bank and Fleet Response, Oak Sponsors of our Twilight in the A-Mazing Woods event, have allowed us to provide both formal and informal environmental education programming to children, teens and adults in Northeast Ohio and beyond. Just Add Ice, Major Sponsor of Orchids Forever, has helped us engage new audiences in the region and nationally by providing an expert presenter for our Ask the Orchid Doctor series, which was streamed live and posted to our YouTube page. All of our corporate sponsors enjoy custom partnership benefits that empower them to be stewards of our environment and our community.

Thanks to dedicated sponsors, HF&G is able to provide environmental education to residents in Northeast Ohio and beyond.

The Davey Tree Expert Company

orporate sponsorship provides critical support of HF&G’s horticulture and collections work on more than 3,600 acres of forests and gardens. Sponsoring our exhibits and events connects corporations with over 18,000 member households and 275,000 visitors at the Holden Arboretum campus on the East Side and the Cleveland Botanical Garden campus in University Circle. Their partnership enables us to care for our extensive collections, which feature more than 20,000 plants and plant groupings. These collections not only connect people to the wonder, beauty and value of nature, but they support our efforts in conservation and research.

Corporate Sponsors Make an Investment in Our Work


Many reading this will remember Eliot Paine. Eliot began his horticultural career at the Holden Arboretum in 1964, the seventh employee. He became director of the Garden Center (now known as Cleveland Botanical Garden) in 1970. After 13 years, he returned to the Holden Arboretum as director, following Henry Norweb, and was elected to the Board of Trustees after his retirement.

any of the gardens at the Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden are possible due to the generosity of our donors. You’ll note signs naming gardens, trees, benches or planters as part of our tribute program. These gifts support the operations of the organization, including the important work of our horticulture & collections teams, while enabling a donor to memorialize a loved one or recognize a special occasion, such as an anniversary. To learn more about our tribute program, contact Lynne Robie, annual fund manager, at 216-707-2852.


With Paul and Connie’s gift, we were able to graft new trees, prepare the ground and apply appropriate pest protection. The Tree Allée is undergoing a multi-year renovation (read more in Annie Rzepka’s article on pages 6 and 7). Their support will enable horticulture to appropriately schedule sourcing of the best material, plan thorough soil renovation work and purchase shrubs and materials needed for planting those shrubs. Connie adds, “Paul and I saw an opportunity to not only help fund an important Holden horticultural project but also to honor my father, R. Henry Norweb Jr., and the beautiful Allee that he always believed was needed to direct members and guests out further onto the property from the core areas.”

– Eliot Paine

“Curating a collection of living trees and shrubs from around the world is what distinguishes an arboretum from a park,” Eliot says. “I am happy to assist the effort.”

Eliot recently established a named endowment to support Horticulture at the Holden Arboretum.

Proceeds from the endowment support department costs such as the purchase of plants (annuals, perennials and

woodies), materials needed like leaf mold and soil amendments, small tools and equipment purchases and other staff expenses including wet weather gear. Fourteen horticulturists and gardeners comprise the Horticulture team at the Holden Arboretum, with three arborists and four seasonals in Collections Maintenance, caring for approximately 200 acres and 20,000 Living Collection accessions in gardens, natural areas, grass and meadows within the Core, plus outer meadows and plantings.


Generous donors will help HF&G thrive today and well into the future

While some donors choose to support our tribute program, others have made more significant gifts that directly impact horticulture & collections.

Linda and Eliot Paine in the Paine DiscoveryRhododendronGarden.

Curating worldlivingcollectionaoftreesandshrubsfromaroundtheiswhatdistinguishesanarboretumfromapark.

For Paul and Connie Abbey, current members of the board of directors, supporting the direct purchase of plants was of interest to them. Last year, they made a gift used to purchase newly grafted replacement crab apples for the research crab apple collection and woodies that are gradually forming the new hedging along the Tree Allée at the Holden Arboretum. The crab apple collection, along with over 200 trees at the Arboretum, had been damaged during the winter storm of 2020.

Philanthropy Supports Horticulture & Collections

Connie and Paul Abbey on the Norweb Tree Allée.

By Annie Rzepka, Director of Arboretum Horticulture

olden Forests & Gardens commitment to rhododendron began in 1940 when Charles Dexter of Sandwich, Massachusetts, donated 250 rhododendrons to Holden Arboretum as a gift to Holden Arboretum’s first executive administrator Warren Corning. Over the last 80-plus years Holden has furthered this commitment to the genus Rhododendron by building our first Rhododendron Garden in 1963, accepting the donation of the David G. Leach Research station property and Rhododendron collection in 1987, and constructing the five-acre Paine Rhododendron Discovery Garden in 2013.

While HF&G has decades of rhododendron hybridization experience and a solid understanding of the cultivars that will persist in our region, in recent years we have noticed a decline in the health of our collection across our three core rhododendron gardens: Layer Garden, Leach Research Station and Rhododendron Discovery Garden.

While we have made guesses at potential problems, we have not gathered empirical data to support these assumptions until now. Thanks to funding from the ARS Endowment Grant we have started to assess the basic factors that impact the health of our rhododendrons, including soil characteristics, macro and micronutrient compositions, soil drainage and light level gradients in our gardens so we may better understand how to care for and maintain these living collections.


The American Rhododendron Society awards a grant to explore Rhododendron microhabitats.


Conditions vary greatly between the three garden areas and our rhododendron living collections exist in a diverse array of soil compositions and tree canopy light levels. We have long assumed that the soil traits in our garden beds, most notably drainage and

canopy cover, have been the driving abiotic factors that influence the overall health and vigor of our collection, but diagnosing plant health problems is not straight forward. Many factors have the potential to impact the health of our rhododendron collection, including the inherent conditions of the site, pest and disease pressure, planting depth and root problems associated with improper nursery practices.

Our Plant HealthProtecting

As a museum, extensive long-term data sets exist for our accessioned rhododendron specimens, including provenance, height and condition. Last summer, using these existing data sets, we selected 43 targeted sampling locations focusing on beds containing Ironclad rhododendrons (Rhododendron catawbiense

and Rhododendron subgenus Hymenanthes section Ponticum). These rhododendron and their cultivars were selected because 1.) they provide parentage for a large portion of our existing collection; 2.) are present at several locations across our multiple campuses and; 3.) have historically demonstrated success within our



our 43 sample locations and poor rhododendron condition seemed most highly correlated to a pH factor above 6.1. Elemental sulfur has been added to all the sample locations in the Rhododendron Discovery Garden. We are cautiously optimistic that this first step in the process will lead to improved health within the collection as lowered pH will allow for increased nitrogen and phosphate utilization as well as micronutrient uptake.

our sampling locations, we began collecting soil samples. Soil sampling was a relatively simple but rather timeconsuming process. Before each sample, mulch and leaf litter was removed. Using a soil probe, 10 samples were collected within each bed at a sample depth, which included the top 8 inches of soil. All 10 soil samples were combined into one bucket to get a composite soil sample for each bed tested. The combined samples were allowed to air dry on butcher paper at room temperature with no artificial heat. Once dried, the lumps were crushed to the size of wheat grains, mixed well and cleaned of roots and other large pieces of organic debris. Approximately one pint of the composite sample was placed into a soil sample bag associated with each collection site and mailed to Michigan State University’s Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory along with required soil submission forms.

Our Logsdon Horticulture Intern, Eliza Tobin, has been working throughout 2022 to collect additional data on soil drainage and light level gradients at the targeted sampling locations. To determine soil drainage rate, Eliza conducts a percolation test at each of sampling locations. To begin, she digs a hole 12 deep by 12 inches wide. Then she scuffs the edges of the hole, removes all the loose soil material and fills the hole with water. This is done to prepare the sample site for the soil drainage percolation test the following day. When Eliza returns, she refills the hole with water and then begins to measure drainage rate by laying a straight edge across the top of the hole and using a yardstick to measure the water level. She continues to measure the water level every hour until the hole is empty, noting the number of inches the water level drops per hour. Ideal drainage occurs at a rate of 2” per hour, with readings between 1”- 3” generally included. Poor drainage occurs at a rate of less than 1” per hour, while fast drainage results when water drains at a rate of more than 4” per hour. Not all 43 tests have been completed, but initial results have revealed poor drainage in several locations. Once testing is completed, we will be able to begin to amend the soils and improve drainage to help minimize soil- pathogens, like Phytophthora, that are favored by wet conditions.

Conditions vary greatly between the three garden areas and our rhododendron living collections exist in a diverse array of soil compositions and tree canopy light levels.

In late fall of 2021, we obtained a full report for each bed detailing macro and micronutrient composition, pH factor, soil texture, cation exchange capacity, base saturation and percent organic matter. Initial results revealed that the soil pH was too high in 22 of

This August, all the micro-site information will be correlated, and we will have a better understanding of how these abiotic factors impact our rhododendron collections. We will continue to share our struggles (and successes!) in rhododendron cultivation and our approach for addressing rhododendron health problems in our gardens.

The Green Corp’s mission includes teens from Northeast Ohio.

While learning about all their summer would entail, interns took a moment to enjoy the gardens and the Rachael Hayes exhibit at Cleveland Botanical Garden.


Outside, birds were chirping their morning songs. Inside the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the halls were still quiet. Yet, groggy high schoolers milled about as they prepared for their workday at Holden’s Long Science Center.

By Cherise Kent, Green Corps Coordinator

This group of teens came to us from the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine, the Cleveland School of Arts, Rhodes High School and Shaw High School. They opted to spend the summer enhancing their scientific thinking skills while working in Holden’s labs. Cariana T. calculated leaves’ gas exchange rates. Meanwhile, Christine N. worked with soil ecologists to identify mycorrhizal fungi on tree roots. At the same time, Victoria J. learned to extract DNA from specimens while with the Evolutionary Ecology lab, as six other interns record ephemerals’ phenological data in Working Woods. Their experiences during the summer 2022 program exemplified Green Corps’ reimagined mission — to grant teens a glimpse into career possibilities within green industries they didn’t even know to consider.

Growing Green Futures

When asked during interviews about the responsibilities undertaken by Holden’s staff, most Green Corps applicants proffer that employees spend time transplanting, weeding, watering and mulching plants. Through participation in Green Corps, interns become knowledgeable and involved in the scope of work that is accomplished throughout the organization, which also includes calculating, connecting, collecting, creating, designing, educating, ideating, inventorying, relating, researching, sustaining and welcoming. This paid work experience enables teens to expand


A New Day

Known for guiding teens in growing and selling tasty tomatoes, delicious greens and value-added products like zesty salsa, Green Corps has incited teens’ zeal for plants and the local food economy for 25 years. During that time, more than 1,000 youth workers increased their neighbors’ access to food by employing newly learned agricultural abilities and developing competency in 21st Century soft skills like collaboration, communication and critical thinking.

In 2019, Holden was presented with the opportunity to celebrate Green Corps’ accomplishments, in addition to evaluating the program’s structure and outcomes, when four of the six farms were closed. Ensuing conversations unveiled opportunities to further integrate youth into Holden; to facilitate additional career exploration activities; and to honor community partners’ desire for youth to gain work experience. Those objectives became the foundation for the summer 2022 program, which connected 17 high schoolers with 12 Holden departments for 90 hours of mentorship and skill development over five weeks. In addition to fostering work-based learning within Holden’s Horticulture department — as Green Corps has traditionally done — interns benefitted from experiential learning in Guests Services, Events, Animal Care, Development, Research, Academic Programs, Conservation and the Libraries. Green Corps now strives to connect youth to the range of career paths represented at Holden in green industries, nonprofit administration and the museum industry.

Green GrowingGrowingCorps:Futures,Communities

Encountering experienced practitioners gives Green Corps’ interns a glimpse into high demand careers, while demonstrating solutions to today’s pressing environmental concerns.

Their introduction to green jobs — and nature-based, climate resilient solutions — is timely. Several Cleveland neighborhoods are currently combatting climate related calamities, including flooding and urban heat island effect. Yet, as the demand grows for skilled technicians and conservation workers, the chasm between educated applicants and available green jobs continues to increase (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 2022.)


Growing Green Communities

Cherise Kent is the Green Corps Coordinator at Holden Forests & Gardens. She introduces middle and high schoolers to conservation careers. She also enjoys engaging those learners in activities that reveal tree’s ecoservices. Cherise earned a B.A. in Sociology and History from Case Western Reserve before completing her Masters of Middle Childhood Education at John Carroll University. Those experiences prepared her to coordinate educational enrichment for KinderEducation and to manage a seventh grade science classroom in the East Cleveland City Schools district.


As interns navigate novel professional settings and skills, Green Corps challenges the young adults to ground their experience in the ecological benefits that both campuses yield to their communities. Meandering through the collections, one can easily be entranced by the vibrant colors, calming wildlife sounds and luxurious fragrances of the gardens. Green Corps also strives to develop deep appreciation for plants’ ability to retain stormwater, sequester carbon, filter pollutants, support biodiversity and enhance energy efficiency. To this end, interns conduct their own environmental science investigations, in addition to talking with those in green industries who keep Cleveland’s trees and urban ecosystems healthy.

Green Corps isn’t only beholden to Holden’s ecologists, plant physiologists, arborists and gardeners. The teens also serve alongside other local organizations that are striving to conserve natural resources, to address food insecurity and to beautify under-resourced neighborhoods. In just the past year, interns have learned from partners at the Cleveland Department of Air Quality, the Doan Brook Watershed Partnership, Revolutionary Love Garden, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Lettuce Tree Farms and more. They have gained access to the roles and tools of air quality experts, watershed coordinators, farmers, urban planners and environmental scientists.

After tromping through Working Woods, measuring trees’ diameter at breast height and extracting worms with Katie S. and Emma D., Clark, an intern in his second session with Green Corp, perused the landscape and smiled. “Experiences like this change how I see the world and the details I notice,” he said. Change, indeed! Having just graduated from the Cleveland School of Arts, with a specialty in creative writing, Clark recently decided to major in one of his burgeoning interests at Cleveland State University this fall — environmental science.

their conception on work accomplished in public gardens and conservation- focused organizations, while highlighting those institutions’ impact on their communities.

Murphy, K. (2021, September 26). Can urban reforestation help lower rising temperatures? PBS News Weekend . broadcast, Cleveland, Ohio; PBS. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, April 18). Conservation scientists and foresters : Occupational outlook handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved July 8, 2022, from physical-and-social-science/conservation-scientists.htmhttps://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-

Victoria J., who was mentored by Na Wei, learned about evolutionary ecology while bleaching and dyeing leaves.

Clark H. and Zac B. examined tree roots with the guidance of Vice President of Science & Conservation, David Burke as they learned about mycorrhizal fungi.

Marisha Sullivan with visitors Charity D’amato and her son Maxwell in the topiary garden at Cleveland Botanical Garden.

I tend to like trees you can climb (I’m partial to female ginkgo) and plants you can eat (especially forage plants like ramps and berries), but there’s a special place in my heart for spring ephemerals. Trillium, spring beauty and trout lilies most of all. My mother and I send pictures back and forth of these flowers in the spring, seeing who gets them first and tracking when things bloom. Though my favorite plant is probably jewelweed — it’s extremely useful and the flowers are perfectly sized for bumblebees.



This is a fun question because I’m launching a book club for the public coming up this fall! And we’re reading some of my favorites right away. First up, In Defense of Plants by Matt Candeias, who creates the “In Defense of Plants” podcast (great podcast, btw). This title is a personal exploration of the gradual process of starting to really see the plants around you. A lot of us walk around not really seeing the plants that are right in front of our noses. Sure the world is green, but do you ever stop to look at the dappled shade of a beech-maple forest? Or the amazing survival of tiny blue harebell sticking out of a chunk of windswept rock? This book helps you learn to see the beauty and wonder of plants in a new way.

What are some of your favorite books and/or films about nature?

How does a library stoke interest and learning about plants and trees?

Learning never stops. As a librarian, I firmly believe in life-long learning — you CAN teach an old dog new tricks and there’s a new thing to be discovered and explored with every step you take. Whether that’s at your local public library, our libraries at HF&G, or out in the world at large, there is beauty and joy and so many fascinating things to learn by looking more deeply and listening to your neighbors. And ask questions! Especially to your librarians. We love questions more than anything else in the world (including books AND plants).

What is one of your first memories experiencing wonder with a plant or a tree?

What are some of your favorite plants and trees and why?


I don’t really have a ton of these memories — I spent so much of my childhood in wild places that it seems odd to me that people don’t have a favorite lichen (star-tipped reindeer lichen, Cladonia stellaris)! But one of my earliest is probably laying on my stomach as a small child in a patch of white clover in the park and watching the bumblebees go from flower to flower, taking apart a flower of my own, and trying to understand how it all worked. How do the bees take flowers and make honey? Do the flowers like the bees? What’s so special about the clover that the bees love it so much? I’ve always been the child who asks questions and wonders why and I love to encourage that inner child in people of all ages.

Libraries are all about connecting people to resources, no matter what those resources are. A lot of times, that means books (and we’ve got some great ones!) to help you learn about the world around you, but that can be any number of things. Sometimes it’s a plant ID app like Seek, the website to help you find a consulting arborist, or a class to help you learn how to attract native pollinators. Libraries are great spaces for collaboration, relaxation, and education — so stop by one of ours (or your local public library) today!

Marisha Sullivan is the Librarian for Holden Forests & Gardens. She has spent her career advocating for empathetic policies that improve accessibility and inclusivity. While mostly known for her librarianship, she has also worked with NASA Glenn as a curriculum consultant and as a creative writing and theatre instructor. Her passion for nature comes from a long family line of women who believe that happiness is best found by weeding the garden and drinking tea.

And anything else you would like to share?


Enjoy an Autumn day at the Arboretum as Made Cleveland and The Holden Arboretum partner to present Artisans at the Arboretum — an outdoor marketplace. Discover amazing artisans, listen to local musicians and dine on delicious food at this open-air market.


Come dressed to impress! Participate in our outdoor Dance Party. Travel along through our Trick-or-Treat Trail. Get in on some Garden Games and craft away at our Creation Station. at

AT THE Sunday,Saturday,ARBORETUMHOLDENOct.1andOct.2,9a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 and Sunday, Oct. 9, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy family hikes, spooky storytelling, wagon rides, Hedge Collection Harvest Display presented by the horticulture department, crafts, scavenger hunt, music, food trucks, and much more! Check out the selfie stations for humans and pups too!

Mark your calendar for these fall events SAVE THE DATE

AT THE ARBORETUMHOLDENSaturday,Nov.5andSunday,Nov.6,10a.m.-4 p.m.

Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Holiday Show Nov. 19 through Dec. 31

Fall Forest Fest





slightly above the ground in drier evergreen forests. Females build a fourinch, cup-shaped nest with plant fibers, shredded bark and dried grasses. They line the inside of the nest with more delicate grasses and feathers.


BEST LOCATION TO VIEW: Arboretum: Corning Lake; Garden: Woodland Garden Edge

both fall and spring, palm warblers are common migrants across the east. They spend most of their time in shrubs or on the ground, bobbing their tails up and down. They are found in weedy fields, forest edges and areas with scattered trees and shrubs. They often forage on the ground in a group with other birds, including juncos, yellow-rumped warblers and sparrows.

WINGSPAN: 8 inches

SONG: 4-16 buzzy trill slightly ascends in pitch

SIZE: 4.5-5.5 inches

RANGE: Winters: the Caribbean, along with the southeastern United States and occasionally along the West Coast; Breeding: Canada’s Boreal Forest

the sky at night can disorient migrating birds and draw them into buildings. Palm warblers are the most frequently killed species from illuminated buildings and towers across the United States. For the past 25 years, one TV tower in Florida has been responsible for the death of more than 1,800 palm warblers. Turning off lights at night on skyscrapers and towers will help reduce casualties. Like many other states, Ohio is working toward preventing these unnecessary bird collisions by having lights-out at night programs.

Rebecca Thompson is the Education Manager at Holden Forests & Gardens and has dedicated her career (1999 – present) to schoolaged children and life-long learners. Her enthusiasm for the natural world has kindled a sense of exploration, discovery and a deeper appreciation for the environment. Her passion for bird watching drove her to become a self-taught local bird expert. She has served as President on local boards, including Blackbrook Audubon Society and Cleveland Regional Council of Science Teachers.

In addition to foraging on the ground or low vegetation, palm warblers grab insects midair from low shrubs or trees. They primarily eat insects, including beetles, flies and caterpillars. They also eat seeds and berries during the winter, including bayberry, sea grape and hawthorn.

DESCRIPTION: Fall and Winter: dull brown olive with yellow eyebrows, under the tail and throat; Chestnut brown cap. Breeding: Brighter colors

Palm warblers place their nests at the base of a small tree or shrub on the ground in peat moss. They occasionally nest on or

Palm warbler populations seem stable throughout their breeding territory. However, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey, palm warblers may have experienced a decline between 1966 and 2015. Like most species of songbirds, palm warblers migrate at night. Illuminated skyscrapers or lights aimed at



By Rebecca Thompson, Education Manager

Setophaga palmarum

Palm warblers are one of the northernmost breeding warblers. Ninetyeight percent breed in Canada’s boreal forest in bogs with scattered evergreen trees and thick ground cover. As soon as males arrive on breeding grounds, they sing from high perches to establish their territory. From late April until early May, breeding birds pair up in the male’s territory. Pairs stay together only during the breeding season.

Female palm warblers lay one set of four to five white or creamy-white brownish-red speckled eggs. Females incubate the eggs for 12 days. Both parents feed the young. Fledglings leave the nest 11 to 12 days after hatching. Young cannot fly several days after leaving the nest and remain with their parents until they are 20 days old.

VOICE CALL: Multiple chips

Flowers appear rather sparsely on young plants, increasing in profusion with age. Bloom at Holden Arboretum usually starts by the second to third week of May and lasts into the first or second week of June. The pale blue, ½ inch, star-like flowers are borne in loose terminal panicles up to 5

rkansas bluestar is a beautiful foliage plant whose native habitat is well-drained creek banks, fields, and rocky outcrops. The leaves are very narrow, adorning the plants in wonderful, feathery bright green attire. In the landscape it has a softening effect especially when used en masse in borders, along walkways and by stonework. The bright yellow to golden fall foliage can last for a few weeks, typically peaking in October at Holden Arboretum, but starting as late as November at Cleveland Botanical Garden.

SOIL TYPE: Moist, well-drained acid to neutral soil pH




Arkansas bluestar is not susceptible to browsers, insects or disease. This tidy perennial can be relied upon to remain in its place in your garden although I have welcomed and transplanted seedlings at home in Willoughby. All it requires is a sunny location and reasonably good soil drainage. When grown in rich soil or in too much shade, plants become open and floppy. Routine maintenance for properly sited plants includes cutting back stems to the woody base in late fall. After flowering, shearing 4-6 inches off the top, cutting the outer stems more to round off a plant’s form keeps it from becoming too open or relaxed in formal garden settings.

Arkansas bluestar may be found at the Arboretum south of the Corning Visitor Center in the bed adjacent to the small amphitheater, in the Layer Rhododendron Garden west of Sherwin Pond, and at the Botanical Garden in the circle bed in the Campsey-Stauffer Gateway Entry Garden, in the C.K. Patrick Perennial Border, and northeast of the library near East Boulevard.

Ethan Johnson is the Plant Records Curator. He learned to keep records while working for the Arnold Arboretum (1985-89) and Holden Arboretum (1981-82, 1989-present) while volunteering for the International Dendrological Research Institute, Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association Plant Selection Committee and the American Conifer Society. He was the point person when the American Association of Museums accredited Holden Arboretum as the sixth public garden in the U.S. as a museum, has labeled and inventoried Holden Arboretum’s plant collection and has been keeping plant records at Cleveland Botanical Garden since 2015.

Arkansas bluestar Amsonia hubrichtii

MATURE SIZE: 3 to 4 feet tall and wide

inches long and 3 inches wide. Butterflies, hummingbird moths, bumblebees and carpenter bees serve as pollinators.

Native to the Ouachita Mountains of central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma, this species was named in honor of Leslie Hubricht who discovered it in 1942. In Northeast Ohio gardens, it was very uncommon until the past quarter century. The plant has no serious insect or disease problems. A word of warning, some people are highly sensitive to the milky sap produced by all species of bluestar, which can cause itching or burning upon contact. Perhaps this is a reason why groundhogs, rabbits and deer tend not to browse the bluestars!


Arkansas amsonia generally prefers evenly moist soil but tolerates some dry and relatively short wet spells. Full sun is best. Transplanting of established plants can be performed in late spring, in early spring before growth starts, or in fall. Potted plants are best planted from early spring to late summer so they can be rooted in before winter and not “heaved” out of the ground by frost.

LIGHT: Full sun to part shade

SOURCE: Local garden centers

By Ethan Johnson, Plant Records Curator

HOW TO: Be sure to check for narrow leaves between 1/16th and 1/8th of an inch in width as nurseries may also offer hybrids with other bluestars that have wider leaves.

Time: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Price: $10 per member, $25 per nonmember


Time: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Little Mountain at the Holden Arboretum.

Instructor: Rebecah Troutman, Natural Areas Biologist

Dates: Wednesdays, September 28, October 19, November 16, December 14

Dates: Tuesdays, October 4 through November 8 (6-part series)

Instructor: Marisha Sullivan, Librarian

Location: Holden Arboretum

Time: 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Limited copies are available in our libraries at the Garden and Arboretum, but if we are out, please consider supporting your local public library by checking out their ebook, audiobook or physical copies.

Instructor: Susan Gray Be

Location: Holden Arboretum

Price: $135 per member, $175 per nonmember


Price: $ 70 per member, $ 85 per nonmember


Price: Free for members, cost of admission for nonmember

Go to holdenfg.org or scan the QR code on your smartphone for andeventadditionaldescriptionsdetails.

Date: Saturday, October 1

Instructor: Dana Lettl, Family and Youth Engagement Educator

Instructor: Dan Best, guide

Location: Eleanor Squire Library or Warren H. Corning Library

Instructor: Jen Graham, Adult Program Coordinator

Time: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Our upcoming titles include:

Time: Noon – 4:30 p.m.

Price: $10 per member, $20 per nonmember


• This is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan (November 16, Cleveland Botanical Garden/ December 14, Holden Arboretum)


Date: Saturday, October 22


Location: Working Woods at Holden Arboretum


Time: Noon – 2 p.m.


Instructor: Andrew “Andy” Pratt, Director of Gardens and Glasshouses



Time: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Location: Cleveland Botanical Garden

Price: $20 per member, $35 per nonmember



Location: Holden Arboretum

Location: Cleveland Botanical Garden

Price: $10 per member, $20 per nonmember

Price: $10 per member, $20 per nonmember

Time: 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Price: $10 per member, $20 per nonmember

Date: Saturday, October 8

Date: Saturday, October 29

Instructor: Jen Graham, Adult Program Coordinator

Location: Cleveland Botanical Garden

Date: Saturday, November 12

• In Defense of Plants by Matt Candeias (Sept 28, Cleveland Botanical Garden/Oct 19, Holden Arboretum)

9500 Sperry Road Kirtland, Ohio 44094 holdenfg.org Forests & Gardens is the member magazine for Holden Forests & Gardens, which includes the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland and the Cleveland Botanical Garden in Cleveland. MISSION: Holden Forests & Gardens connects people with the wonder, beauty, and value of trees and plants, to inspire action for healthy communitiesVISION:Allcommunities transformed into vibrant places where trees, plants, and people thrive ©Holden Forests & Gardens “Holden Forests & Gardens” and the related logo is a trademark owned by The Holden Arboretum. @holden_arb@clegarden Newsletter@holdenarboretum@cbgarden holdenfg.org@holdenarb@cbgarden 9550 SPERRY ROAD, KIRTLAND, OHIO 44094 HOLDENFG.ORG 440.946.4400 HOURS




updates, visit holdenfg.org Cleveland Botanical Garden’s holiday show will delight the senses and transport visitors into a wonderland filled with the colorful plants and towering trees that bring the most festive time of year to life.



* holdenfg.org holiday show

For updates, visit holdenfg.org 11030 EAST BLVD, CLEVELAND, OHIO 44106 HOLDENFG.ORG 216.721.1600 HOURS*




Save the Botanical Garden Holiday Show

Date Cleveland

Saturday, November 19th –Saturday, December 31st





Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.