State of New England’s Native Plants: Challenges and Opportunities for Conserving the Rich Flora of Northeastern North America


Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - 7:00pm to Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 6:45pm




Unitarian Church Annex, Buffalo St Entrance, Ithaca


Elizabeth Farnsworth, Senior Research Ecologist with the New England Wild Flower Society


Elizabeth Farnsworth is delighted to return to Ithaca, NY, where she was Director of Cornell’s Experimental College from 1987-8. She now reports on New England Wild Flower Society’s recently released comprehensive, peer-reviewed report called “The State of the Plants.” For the first time, the report gathers together the most up-to-date data on the status of plants on the New England landscape. But it is also relevant for the Finger Lakes region, since we share many plant species. From these data, we can discern increases and declines in both rare and common species across all six states. We will discuss the report findings and the importance of plants and habitats in supporting other organisms and in providing ecosystem services for humans. We identify hotspots of rare plant diversity, and discuss factors that foster this diversity. We document the primary ecological and man-made threats to both rare and common species. We discuss activities and initiatives by New England Wild Flower Society and many organizations in the northeast to conserve and manage rare plants and habitats throughout the region. This talk will also focus on educational initiatives such as the award-winning Go Botany website, which can help anyone identify and appreciate plants