Look closely near our raised beds at Albany High and you will see a line of 11 small ornamentals. Students in one of Larry Bizzarro’s earth science classes planted them last week in a modest observation of the 45th annual Earth Day. And we would like you to know that these plants are native to the Northeast. Indeed, you might say we organized this planting to start a conversation about native plants.
They ought to be easier to care for than plants that evolved in a different environment and different climate. Also, they should attract the native insects that native birds depend on. “Many bird species in North America have declined drastically in the past 40 years,” as more and more American land is developed without regard to where landscaping plants originate, says Douglas W. Tallamy, an entomologist and wildlife ecologist at the University of Delaware.
Perhaps we’ll build a tiny bit of ecosystem over time, full of the interdependency that is so fundamental studying living environments. That, in turn, might lead to additional hands-on learning opportunities.
Oh, and what did we plant?
Variegated zigzag goldenrod, Foxglove beard-tongue, New England aster, Emerald pink creeping phlox, Swamp milkweed pink milkweed, Little lanterns columbine, Wood geranium, Cup plant, Goldenbanner and a member of the Liatris family that we need to identify more specifically. Watch them grow with us.