Apparently Massachusetts residents have been receiving unsolicited packages of seeds, possibly of invasive species, from a foreign country. And the state's Department of Agricultural Resources would like those who have received these seeds to report them. According to a press release, the exact types of seeds in the packages are unknown and, "...are not believed to be harmful to humans or pets but could pose a significant risk to agriculture or the environment." The state would like Massachusetts residents who received the unsolicited seed packages of seed to not plant them and immediately complete a form on MDAR’s website, "...to provide important information to state plant regulatory officials." The press release didn't state what country the seeds originate from, but said that people should keep the packaging and the mailing label.
The city's continuing its 18-month planning process to create a master plan for Franklin Park, and would like your help during upcoming online public meetings. The city has earmarked $28 million to update Franklin Park, and is creating a master plan. The plan is looking at a long list of elements to Franklin Park, including accessibility, arboriculture, ecology, equity, implementation strategy, inclusion, master plan document, soil science, urban planning, wayfinding, and more. There will be two online workshops on July 14, 12 pm and 6:30 pm. The Franklin Park Coalition also released a mini-poll seeking people's opinions on the poll.
Steven Salido Fisher is doing sacred work simply by listening to people as they share the stories in their hearts. The Harvard Divinity School (HDS) student is building on a mission to give people in the local Hispanic community an elevated voice about the natural environment. His project, “Gathering Historias” is documenting, in their native language, their experiences with nature including the historic green space of The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. “Many people I have talked to really see their time outdoors, in the natural environment, as a time of restoration, in a place of sanctuary, and even talk about people they love through times shared outdoors” Fisher, a former student chaplain at Massachusetts General Hospital, said. “‘Gathering Historias’ shares those narratives about the changing social and cultural meaning of an outdoor experience within an increasingly-diverse Boston area.”
Fisher has bicultural roots helping him understand social resilience and belonging.
This year’s dramatically fluctuating temperature cycles from seasonably cold days to atypically warm stretches and back again has affected the life cycles of many species, including plants. At the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, two scientists are examining how maple trees (Acer) are responding to climate stress and what that means for the future of the genus. Jake Grossman and Al Kovaleski, Putnam Research Fellows at the Arboretum, are modeling the evolution of the maples located in the Arboretum’s living collections, examining their 60 million-year journey from their origins in East Asia to current global distribution. By learning how the trees withstand low temperature stress in their tissues and respond to warm spells when they are dormant—called “cold hardiness”—they can help predict outcomes of climate change for maples, and other trees in Northern Hemisphere forests, and potentially even crops and agriculture. We asked the researchers what they are learning about how plants adapt and evolve to climate change and what it means for New England and beyond. Gazette: Does the rate of climate change impact a species’ ability to evolve and adapt to weather conditions?
Across the nation, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the closure of many parks, botanical gardens, and other outdoor facilities. But the Arnold Arboretum remains open. Its director, William “Ned” Friedman, the Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, believes that except where impractical, public green spaces should stay open to give people relief from the stress of the health crisis. The Harvard Gazette recently spoke with Friedman about the public health benefits of shared outdoor places and how to stay safe when visiting them. GAZETTE: Closing public parks and gardens might seem a reasonable public health step in the midst of a pandemic.