spring masthead
Rhode Island Wild Plant Society
April eNews 2020
Important RIWPS Annual Meeting Message
Annual Meeting Cancelled
We have cancelled the Annual Meeting on 28 March.  We hope to feature our speaker, Dr. Susan Barton, at our fall meeting. We are communicating directly with RIWPS members about important business items including voting for members of the Board of Trustees.
The Annual Meeting is our yearly business meeting where in addition to voting for board members and officers, we present the annual budget, announce volunteer awards, and present the grant awards.  
In lieu of the meeting this year we will send out the Annual Report to all members, which includes the above information. There will be a mechanism to vote on the Nominating Committee report for the board members and officers. Please vote - ask if you have questions and we will respond - but please vote.
Annual Report Available on RIWPS.org
As Dick Fisher wrote in the President's Message to this year's Annual Report:
'Unprecedented' has become the global word for the year and we are no exception --- The Annual Meeting is an important component of our activities as it is the official membership meeting at which we elect board members, approve the budget for the coming year, announce the grant recipients, and celebrate the volunteer awards. So it is with much consternation that we made the 'unprecedented' decision to cancel the meeting for the health and safety of all during the Covid-19 pandemic. While we hope to reschedule our speaker for the Fall meeting, the other components of the meeting will be addressed via this Annual Report. Read the full report
2020 RIWPS Grant Recipients Announced
The Rhode Island Wild Plant Society offers an annual grant for the study of wild plants and their habitats. Recipients must be an educator, a member of a Rhode Island botanical or environmental association or a student in a field related to botany or environmental studies. In addition to the grant, winners receive a one year membership to RIWPS.
The projects supported must involve environmental activities or research in any area of study related to wild plants and/or their habitats, such as installation of gardens, invasive removal, or support for extracurricular activities with a community outreach component.
The 2020 winners are:
  • Design Under Sky Project / 10,000 Suns 2020 - Native plant garden
  • Emma Brown URI Student Project - Bearberry Research
  • US Fish & Wildlife - Plantings at Kettle Pond Visitor Center
  • Gentian Garden Club - Community Garden Project
  • Peggy Edwards Blackstone Blvd South Garden - Native plant garden
  • Friends of North Burial Ground - Native plant garden
  • Block Island Conservancy - Seed collection and Propagation
  • Tiverton Middle School - Native Plant Garden
  • Ben Winslow UMass Dartmouth/RI Beekeepers - Native Bee Research
Online Voting for Board of Trustees
Members will receive an email with a link to online voting for the proposed slate of 2020-21 Board of Trustees members. For more information, please review the Annual Report.
Please be on the lookout for the current issue of "WildfloraRI" for announcements about Lifetime Service and Volunteer of the Year awards.  
RIWPS News of Note
Early Native Plant Sale Cancelled
The May 9th early native plant sale has been cancelled.  Our seed starters groups are no longer meeting and for their protection and our customers protection we will not schedule an event while the virus continues to spread.
By May 1st a decision will be made on the June 6th native plant sale.  If held, the sale will be smaller than usual due to the limitations placed on us during this time. Learn more

We Get Calls
Periodically, other groups that share our interest in native plants contact us about job opportunities with their organization. Often these requests have minimal details so we encourage interested readers contact the group directly.
Recently  we heard from the Wild Seed Project, a Portland Maine based 501c3 nonprofit that is seeking a Program Manager to begin work summer of 2020. Please contact Heather McCargo, Executive Director at heather@wildseedproject.net. The Wild Seed Project website is https://wildseedproject.net/
RIWPS Book Discussion Events
New Book Discussion Leader Sought
Elaine Trench has headed up the book discussion for as long as it's been running. With her impending move to Maine, we are appealing to our bibliophiles to keep the tradition alive. If you have a book to suggest (we read non- fiction in the winter, although we have considered having a poetry year) or you are interesting in moderating, please contact Susan Marcus of Walks and Workshops marcus.susan@gmail.com 

Check Us Out on Instagram
Go to this newly corrected URL, https://www.instagram.com/rhodeislandwildplantsociety/ or use the icon link in the header banner of our website to see what is happening.
We welcome you to submit photos of RIWPS programs and events, or special moments in your journey to appreciate, protect and study our native plants and their habitats. Send your photos to riwpsphotos@gmail.com. Please include the date and place as well as other relevant details.
2020 Walks - Stay Tuned...
Walk with a group of people interested in learning and sharing their botanical knowledge of native plants and their habitats.
* For 2020, we offer three different botanizing walk series. Two are open to the public and one is for  RIWPS Members only as a benefit of membership.
* Specific details of each walk in all three series are posted about four to six weeks in advance.
* Walks are offered at no charge. A donation of $5.00 to $10.00 to support our programs would be appreciated.   Donate here
* There is no registration. Just come and enjoy as many of these experiences as you can!
* We walk in the rain and snow. We post the rare cancellation on the specific walk page and will try to notify you if you are on the mailing list for that walk series.

If you would be interested in being involved in any aspect of planning or shepherding educational programs contact Susan Marcus through office@riwps.org
April 2 | Lincoln, RI
May 7 | Exeter, RI
Our April and May First Thursday Botanizing walks have been cancelled and we will evaluate our other walks and programs as the time for each approaches. Future walks are still under consideration. Please monitor our website for updates. Learn more
Being in nature can be both physically and mentally restorative.  We hope you will find yourself in the outdoors, and on the trails.  Check out our self guided walks or Partner Page for links to organizations with conservation lands where you can walk. (It is imperative to only walk in areas where you can maintain your social distance.) Please note that Rhode Island state and town recreation areas may be closed at this time.
RIWPS.org Features New Resource Page
Information on Organizations That Share and Support our Mission
Learn about other organizations and the information they can provide as we seek to advocate for our native plants. Visit the page
One example is Grow Native Massachusetts excellent explanation for why an ecosystems approach to gardening is essential along with how to create one.
Beechwood Lectures
Future Beechwood Lecture Topics
More information in future eNews as details are available 
  • 5/20/20 Ecosystem Gardening with Native Plants: Karen Asher, RI Wild Plant Society
  • 7/15/20 Capturing the Native Garden in Art: Frances Topping, Artist and Illustrator
  • 9/16/20 Narragansett Food Sovereignty Initiative & Sustainable Agriculture: Cassius & Dawn Spears
  • 11/18/20 Detecting & Treating Plant Pathogens: Heather Faubert, University of Rhode Island
There is a new online service that allows us to:
  • Find new places to walk and enjoy nature. Places that match your interests and abilities.
  • Keep track of your walks - where and when you walk - what you see on a trail
  • Rate a trail, write a review and post photos - what did you see on the trail? Your trail reviews help others.
  • Set a goal for fun or health. Challenge yourself and track your progress
  • Share your walking activity with your health care provider or a close friend.
Check it out!
Native meadows, filled with perennial wildflower mosaics and waving grasses, are growing in pop ularity with property owners and designers because they provide benefits to people, pollinators, and wildlife while demonstrating sustainability values. These meadowscapes offer economic and ecolog ical advantages over intensively managed horticultural landscapes.  
T his guide highlights the advantages of meadows and provides a framework for successfully implementing meadow projects. Learn more
"Fantastic Fungi" is a vivid journey into the mysterious subterranean world of mycelium and its fruit- the mushroom. A story that begins 3.5 billion years ago, fungi make the soil that supports life, connecting vast systems of roots from plants and trees all over the planet, like an underground Internet.
While "Fantastic Fungi Day" has already passed, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center receives a cut of the revenue if the film is rented or purchased through this link: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/ladybirdjohnson
Rhode Island's forests and trees may seem like a green backdrop to our state landscape, but they are in fact hard at work generating a wide range of services and values. We depend on forests for the clean air we breathe and the wood we use.
Forests are a place where humans and native wildlife can live and thrive by providing habitats for animals and livelihoods for humans. They also offer watershed protection, prevent soil erosion and mitigate climate change. Forest conservation brings economic benefits to Rhode Island cities and towns. The forest and wood products sector generated nearly 2,500 jobs with $408 million in gross sales in 2016, while forest-based outdoor recreation contributes over $720 million annually to Rhode Island's economy. Learn more and read the full report
Spotted Lanternfly: Be on the Lookout
The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is an invasive planthopper currently spreading through the Mid-Atlantic and Eastern US. Although the spotted lanternfly is not currently found in Rhode Island, potential spread of this insect threatens our region's grape, tree fruit, hardwood, and green industries. Learn more
Editor's Note:
Opportunities previously listed in this space are subject to postponement, cancellation or rescheduling due to COVID-19 impact. Please check directly with event organizers for more details.  We will suspend Opportunities announcements until in-person gatherings are permitted again. While some events are being moved online, such scheduling may be unpredictable so, to avoid confusion, we will not include them here.  
We will include a list of some of groups whose opportunities are often included here. Please check their websites for updates on their activities.
Thank you for your understanding.
Native Plant Trust

What Plant is That?
Among Rhode Island Wildflowers: April
Click on this Francis Underwood image of April's Mystery Flower for more information.
The mystery plant for April, 2020 is an annual which is rarely reported in Rhode Island but has been noted at two sites in our state. The Go Botany website lists it as not growing in Rhode Island but these sightings indicate that statement is not correct.
This plant grows to 12-18" tall. It is an unbranched annual that sets seeds readily. The stem leaves are untoothed, narrow and lanceolate. The flowers are small and green and surrounded by narrow bracts attached to the stem. This plant has no petals but it does have four green sepals. It blooms for a period of 1 -2 months or longer.
The observed RI population is growing in heavy shade, but the plant grows in sunny areas as well. The flowers can have separate male and female flowers but a single flower may contain
both male and female parts. The flowers produce a single seed. It is also reported that the flowers attract the Red Admiral butterfly.
 Rhode Island Wild Plant Society is a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of Rhode Island's native plants and their habitats.