SBP gave away numerous native plants during the third “Native Plant Giveaway” this summer between September 25 -October 3, 2021. Many gardeners picked up lowland/moist area shrubs like Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), Silky dogwood (Cornus amomum) and Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis). Other outdoor plants included blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium), Virgina iris (Iris virginica), narrow-leaved cattails (Typha angustifolia), and Gooseberry (Ribes sp.). Indoor plants that were given away included Shiso (Perilla frutescens), Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus), Indian curry leaf (Murraya koenigii) and horehound (Marrubium vulgare).
This plant giveaway will enable more gardens to be friendlier to animals, especially birds and insects, while improving the landscape and providing enjoyment and food (berries) for humans. SBP also thanks the gardeners who donated money to SBP to further its work on Biodiversity Preservation.
Fall update from MERAKOM tierra:
The Yungas Sultana suppliers, are the new partners of this project. Andrea Velarde MAVACOFEE @mavacoffee (Instagram), will collect dry Sultana from a group of producers from the provinces of Caranavi, Irupana, and Apollo. In the second stage, the grinding and packing process will be carried out with the company Andean Valley http://www.andeanvalley.com/. They will provide the support of the logistics process.The Nutrasem company http://www.nutrasem.com/ located in Argentina is one of the partners for the export of the Sultana. It is experienced in the international markets including North America, Asia and Europe. This process includes the sourcing to obtain the dried sultana and converting it to the final product, ground sultana (sultana flour). Initially, a first stage of local marketing of the Sultana will be carried out, and in parallel a part of the necessary requirements will be worked on to be able to export it in the best way. Mavacoffee plans to export the harvest between the months of July, August and September 2022. Thanks to the SBP funding a first payment is being made for 1 sultana tonne that will be marketed nationally in Bolivia.
SBP gave away numerous native plants during the second “Native Plant Giveaway” this summer between August 14 -20, 2021. Many gardeners picked up lowland/moist area shrubs like Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), Silky dogwood (Cornus amomum) and Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), wetland/emergent plants like Virgina iris (Iris virginica) and narrow-leaved cattails, and upland shrubs like Gooseberry (Ribes sp.) and Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) . Non-native Dragon Fruit Cacti (Selenicereus sp. & Hylocereus sp.) also proved to be very popular. This plant giveaway will enable more gardens to be friendlier to animals, especially birds and insects, while improving the landscape and providing enjoyment and food (berries) for humans. SBP also thanks the gardeners who donated money to SBP to further its work on Biodiversity Preservation.
SBP gives a grant to MERAKOM tierra, an organization based in La Paz, towards the protection of cultivation fields in coffee production in Bolivia. In May 2021 SBP gave a grant to MERAKOM tierra, an organization based in La Paz, towards the protection of cultivation fields in coffee production in Bolivia. Poor management of coffee pulp (or Sultana) that comes from the coffee production fields leads to contamination of the fields when the Sultana decomposes, affecting the ecosystems of this area. Currently, the municipality of Caranavi in La Paz is the main coffee producer in the country. More than 90 percent is produced in the department of La Paz and a small amount in the tropics of Cochabamba. The SBP grant funds the following activities:
- Collection of Sultana in Caranavi and other areas of Los Yungas: A cargo truck will be rented to pick up the sultana of each producer around Caranavi, perhaps up to 20 km away.
- Preparation of sultana flour for edible products and use of sultana for cosmetic products (exfoliator).
- Marketing the products and searching for strategic alliances
This project is expected to lead to more sustainable coffee production in Bolivia while finding practical applications for the coffee pulp waste.
SBP gave away numerous native plants during the “Native Plant Giveaway” between June 20 and June 26, 2021. Many gardeners picked up Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) , Silky dogwood (Cornus amomum), and Gooseberry (Ribes sp.). Non-native plants like Red currants (Ribes rubrum), Lavender and Dragon Fruit Cacti (Selenicereus sp. & Hylocereus sp.) also proved popular. This giveaway will enable more gardens to be friendlier to animals, especially birds and insects, while improving the landscape and providing enjoyment and food (berries) for humans. SBP also thanks the gardeners who donated money to SBP to further its work on Biodiversity Preservation.
In Summer 2020, SBP awarded DC Natives a grant to install pollinator habitats in Southeast DC. Their “Block-By-Block” program aims to increase biodiversity across the District through low maintenance and drought resistant gardens of different sizes scattered throughout the District. Weaving these microhabitats into a natural corridor will help in the survival of pollinator species even as open green spaces in DC’s urban built environment rapidly diminish. The program will also provide environmental education to participants from different neighborhoods and backgrounds, promote a deeper understanding of the importance of pollinators, grow local knowledge and commitment to broaden these habitats and foster community spirit. This grant will help DC Natives provide guidance, site preparation, planting materials and environmental education to participants. Block Captains will be responsible for planting, watering, maintenance, and general oversight of the gardens.
2020 Fall update from DC Natives: During September-October 2020 we planted the first round of gardens in Ward 7, Northeast Washington, DC. We completely planted five gardens and prepped two. During the spring 2021 season, we plan on planting gardens at six more sites and also complete planting in the two gardens we didn’t finish earlier. We planted milkweed (Asclepias sp.) in every garden. We also included blazing star (Liatris sp.), black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia sp.), evening primrose (Oenothera sp.), tickseed (Coreopsis sp.), Beardtongue (Penstemon sp.), moss phlox, etc. Luckily the pollinators seem to find whatever we can plant! We had great community support and productive days of gardening this Fall and have some people already signed up for the spring season. Even with Covid-related constraints, DC Natives was able to plant 16 of the 22 pollinator gardens funded under the SBP grant. We look forward to seeing them in bloom next summer.
In Spring 2020, SBP awarded a grant to the Audubon Naturalist Society (oldest conservation organization serving the DC area) to promote its app called “Creek Critters” which enables citizen scientists to monitor the health of their local streams. The free user-friendly app walks the users through the finding and identifying of freshwater benthic macroinvertebrates that serve as indicators of stream health, and then generates stream health reports based on their findings. SBP grant will help ANS conduct community engagement events to teach citizens about conducting biological surveys, to train them in the use of the Creek Critters app, and to recruit volunteers for other community science programs. Data collected on stream health will be displayed on ANS website as well as on Izaak Walton League of America’s Clean Water Hub.
SBP has been active in Spring 2019, partnering with public schools in the DC area to promote biodiversity projects on school grounds. SBP funded two birdfeeder projects – one at KIPP KEY Academy in Southeast DC and another at Benjamin Banneker High School in Northwest DC. The feeding stations which include a variety of feeders and bird feed, and birdbaths are designed to attract and nourish multiple species of birds, particularly during the spring and fall migration. Since these phenological events occur during the academic calendar when schools are in session, students would be available to participate in the project, learn, and enjoy watching birds as they head North/South along the Atlantic Flyway.
The installations in both schools have already started attracting birds! The ultimate goal is for students to participate in citizen science projects such as Cornell University’s Project Feederwatch where they observe the birds, collect and contribute data to scientific research, and thus influence policymaking.
SBP also funded remote wifi-enabled outdoor weather stations installed outside the classrooms so that students can learn about real-time ambient weather (air temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, wind speed and direction, precipitation amount) right at their desks.
KIPP KEY Academy, SE Washington, DC
Additionally, we are also helping Benjamin Banneker High School install a Native Plant Garden in the school courtyard. This raised bed garden now boasts multiple forbs, grasses, native trees and shrubs which in time will provide plums, elderberries, chokeberries, pawpaw fruits, and hazelnuts for all species to enjoy.
Benjamin Banneker High School, NW Washington, DC:
We are planning to expand these projects to include additional feeding stations, nest/roost boxes, water fountains, container gardens of native plants, etc. These installations could serve as Outdoor Living Labs in which students learn about biodiversity and become well-informed stewards of our environment as they progress through life.
2019 Spring update from Saint Peter’s University’s Project Lead Prof. Katherine Wydner: “Our bird diversity was up significantly this season, and it HAS to be because of your grant!! See the attached poster that I made for our Academic Symposium this year. The students are very excited about the results and are looking forward to working in the native plant garden again.”
The very first project that we funded is well underway! Saint Peter’s University in NJ was awarded a grant in the summer of 2018 to restore a natural habitat and promote biodiversity by creating a “Native Plant Garden for Birds and Pollinators” on campus grounds. SBP will continue to provide assistance for this project as well as for the University’s ongoing Citizen Science projects. Saint Peter’s University – Restoration of Habitat
If your organization is interested in participating in SBP-sponsored biodiversity projects, apply for an SBP grant here: https://preservebio.org/