N° 41 — February 16, 2021
This Black History Month, we're taking time to honor, celebrate, and reflect on the Black horticulturalists, botanists, and agriculturalists who shaped our world.

Please enjoy our regular updates and insights from FONA, the U.S. National Arboretum, and our award-winning Washington Youth Garden.
Dr. Marie Clark Taylor's yearbook photo from 1941, the year she became the first woman to receive a PhD from Fordham University. Dr. Taylor studied photomorphogenesis, the influence of light on plant growth. Photo from: Fordham University
Black Legacies: Dr. Marie Clark Taylor
Dr. Marie Clark Taylor was a botanist and teacher whose innovative teaching methods continue to shape our classrooms.

Taylor became the first woman to receive a PhD from Fordham University in 1941. After serving in the Army Red Cross in New Guinea during World War II, she joined Howard University's Botany Department, where she served as department chair for 29 years.

Dr. Taylor created summer programs to show high school teachers how to incorporate her scientific methods, such as using botanical materials and light microscopes, into their classrooms. President Lyndon B. Johnson noticed her work and expanded her programs to reach classrooms around the country and world.

Looking for creative ways to engage kids in learning about BIPOC history-making scientists?

The Queens Botanical Garden is hosting hosting workshops every day this week highlighting the legacies of historic Black botanists and scientists. They even include suggested activities inspired by these botanists' work so families can follow along and learn at home!

These free, downloadable coloring pages from ColorMePhD highlight scientists like Dr. Marie Clark Taylor, George Washington Carver, and many others whose often-overlooked legacies continue to impact our world. They're even releasing new pages throughout the whole month of February!

Dr. Marie Clark Taylor's coloring page created by ColorMePhD.
The Arboretum bald eagle nest Tuesday morning. Photo from: American Eagle Foundation
Eagle Updates
This spring's bald eagle mating season at the National Arboretum is turning into a season of The Bachelor. A new female eagle is making a play for the nest!

The new female eagle has been visiting the nest the past two days. Although the resident female has dive-bombed and tried chasing the visitor away, the new female keeps returning. The resident male has remained at the nest with the new female.

Since the resident pair have not produced an egg together for the past two years, it is not unusual for pairs to part ways and find new partners. The next few days will determine which female wins the male's "rose" and claims the nest.

Virtual Showcases
The New York Botanical Garden's virtual Black History Month exhibit highlights the countless critical contributions Black people have made to botany, horticulture, ecology, and our general understanding of the natural world.

Explore the exhibit's creative children's programs, captivating dances, important historical narratives, and fascinating plant stories between now and February 28th.

Arvolyn Hill, NYBG's Coordinator of Family Programs, teaches kids how to make a leaf rubbing using the colors of the Pan-African Flag, an important symbol for many Black people around the world. Photo from: New York Botanical Gardens
Photo from: Anacostia Riverkeeper
From our Friends: Anacostia Riverkeepers
Anacostia Riverkeeper extends their thanks to the 125 volunteers who participated in their January Clean Waterways Cleanup. Working in socially-distant groups of 25, folks removed over 4,600 pounds of trash from the Anacostia River watershed!

Mark your calendars for their next cleanup on March 27th from 9 AM to 12 PM.

The Arboretum is open every day from 8 AM - 5 PM except December 25th. Some buildings and collections remain closed to ensure visitor and staff safety.