Public Appearances, Spring 2024

Updated 2024-05-19. There’s onle ony engagement left on my calendar.

June

Saturday, June 1st

1-3pm: Pollinator Safari, East 4th Street Community Garden, Kensington, Brooklyn

We’ll survey the garden looking for “pollinators”, i.e.: insects and others visiting the flowers blooming all around the garden.


Following are the scheduled engagements I have this season. It’s a busy one! There’s something going on nearly every weekend.

April

Sunday, April 14th

Bush Terminal Piers Park, Brooklyn

11:00 am – 1:30 pm: Removing invasives, planting native plants.

THursday, April 18th – Monday, April 22nd

Attending the Northeast Natural History Conference in Albany, NY.

Thiursday, APril 25th, 5:50 – 7:00 pm

CANCELLED NYC Pollinator Working Group, Monthly Working Committee Meeting. This is a closed meeting for members of the Working Committee, only.

The meeting was cancelled, but if you are interested in joining and working with us, please fill out the Membership Application and let us know!

Friday, April 26th – Monday, April 29th

City Nature Challenge Observation Period!

Check out the CNC:NYC 2024 Event List. As a Brooklyn Borough Captain, I’ll be attending the following events in Brooklyn. Many of these events have limited space for participants, or require advance registration, so check the links if you’re interested.

Friday, April 26th

10-11am: NYC Parks Kids Week: Spring Scavenger Hunt, Herbert Von King Park

4-6:30pm: City Nature Challenge: Teen Bioblitz! at Brooklyn Brige Park.

Saturday, April 27th

10am-1pm: City Nature Challenge: Ecology Park Cleanup and Tour

4-6pm: Billion Oyster Project Sunset Park Field Station Experience, Bush Terminal Piers Park

Sunday, April 28th

11 am -12:30 pm: City Nature Challenge McGolrick Park Bio-Blitz

Tuesday, April 30th – Sunday, May 5th

City Nature Challenge Identification Period. Results will be announced on Monday, May 6th.

May

Saturday, May 4th

10 am – 4 pm: GreenThumb GrowTogether, Herbert Von King Park, Brooklyn.

Registration by noon May 3rd recommended, but walk-ins are accepted.

I’ll be co-presenting on creating habitat for pollinators (and others) in community gardens.

Saturday, May 11th

2 – 4:30 pm: The Great Flatbush Plant Swap, Flatbush Food Co-Op, 1415 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn (Q Train, Cortelyou Road stop).

I’ll be bringing native plants from my garden. And I’ll be on-hand to answer questions about gardening, native plants, and habitat gardening.

Sunday, May 19th

11 am – 1 pm: McGolrick Park Nature Walk – Gardening Ecology

Please Reserve Your Spot!

“Garden vitality and health are key to building a sustainable, nurturing environment for all living creatures. Please join us for a garden ecology session with Chris Kreussling (The Flatbush Gardener). We’ll study plants, insects, and animals and how they all work together to create a harmonious habitat.”

2024 NYRP Tree Giveaway

The annual New York Restoration Project Tree Giveaway begins distribution on Saturday, April 13th, a little less than 6 weeks away. It runs for four weeks, ending on Sunday, May 12th.

Advance registration is mandatory. You select your preferred species when you register. Note that each location will only have 6-8 species. Some locations, especially smaller sites, may be “sold out” of some species. So, check the locations you can get to, confirm you can do it on their giveaway dates, and select from the species available at those sites.

Consider the mature size, after 30 or more years of growth, of each species. There are two lists below: one for smaller-medium sized shrubs and trees that max out at no more than around 50′ high and 30′ wide; the other for the larger trees that will grow too large for most urban yards. These sizes do not take into consideration existing vegetation, outdoor structures, etc. Your conditions will vary!

Salix discolor, pussy willow

I’ve highlighted the 12 species that are NEW for 2024. The 6 species that aren’t available this year are crossed out.

Shrubs and Smaller Trees

Larger Trees

Brooklyn Locations

There are 8, two more than last year, Brooklyn pickup sites.

Related Content

2023-03-09: 2023 NYRP Tree Giveaway
2010-04-08: Put Down Roots: Million Trees NYC Tree Giveaway
2008-10-14: Tree Giveaway this Saturday in Sunset Park

Links

New York Restoration Project Tree Giveaway

2023 NYRP Tree Giveaway

The annual New York Restoration Project Tree Giveaway starts in a month. This year, they’re offering the largest variety of native tree, and some shrub, species I’ve seen yet.

Consider the mature size of each species. The larger trees will grow too large for most urban yards. I highlighted shrubs and smaller tree species that max out at no more than around 50′ high and wide, without considering existing vegetation, outdoor structures, etc. Your conditions will vary!

Oxydendrum arboreum, Sourwood, Tree Giveaway, Compost for Brooklyn

Shrubs and Smaller Trees

Larger Trees

Advance registration is mandatory. You select your preferred species when you register. Note that each location will only have 6-8 species. Some locations, especially smaller sites, are already “sold out” of some species.

Here are this year’s Brooklyn sites and pick-up dates.

Related Content

2008-10-14: Tree Giveaway this Saturday in Sunset Park
2010-04-08: Put Down Roots: Million Trees NYC Tree Giveaway

Links

New York Restoration Project Tree Giveaway

City Nature Challenge 2022 – New York City

Botanizing along the Gowanus, May 2021

The annual City Nature Challenge (CNC) is this weekend, from Friday April 29 through Monday May 2. I put together a presentation on Slideshare with a brief overview of New York City’s participation in CNC.

I’m one of the Brooklyn Borough Captains for the NYC Battle of the Boroughs, a friendly inter-borough competition among the boroughs to promote CNC participation across NYC. Following is a list of all the planned events and participating greenspaces in Brooklyn. You can also find this list on the Brooklyn CNC 2022 iNaturalist Project Journal.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Calvert Vaux Park

CNC BioBlitz: Birds, Plants, and Pollinators!
Time: 12pm-2pm
Host: Torrey Botanical Society
Description: Calvert Vaux Park is an under-explored park in Brooklyn with several trails and a waterfront view of the Verrazano Bridge. The event will take place during low tide to take advantage of the exposed shoreline. Participants of all levels are welcome! Local naturalists with expertise in plants, birds, and insects will share their knowledge on the biodiversity of the park and how to make meaningful observations. The bioblitz will be led by Chris Kreussling, Jen Kepler, and other local urban naturalists.
Registration: Eventbrite
Starting Location: [Pollinator Place Garden](https://goo.gl/maps/sZL2cotYE5vJ7cXt9), Calvert Vaux Park, near the pedestrian bridge over Shore Pkwy

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Ridgewood Reservoir (Highland Park)

Birds and Insects Walking Tour
Time: 10a – 12p
Host: NYC H2O
Description: Let’s put Highland Park and Ridgewood Reservoir on the map! Our first walk will be led by Ken Chaya – a consultant for the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), perhaps best know for mapping the location of all 19,933 trees in Central Park to produce the prolifically illustrated “Central Park Entire” map.
RegistrationEventbrite
Starting Location:

Plants and Herbals Walking Tour
Time: 12p – 2p
Host: NYC H2O
Description: Let’s put Highland Park and Ridgewood Reservoir on the map! Our second walk will be led by Jocelyn Perez-Blanco – a local educator, conservationist, and Herbalists Without Borders (HWB) NYC Queens Chapter Coordinator.
Registration: Via Eventbrite
Starting Location:

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Green-Wood Cemetery
City Nature Challenge: Green-Wood BioBlitz
Time: 10am-12noon
Host: Green-Wood Historic Fund
Description: Join Sigrid Jakob and Potter Palmer, the project leads of Green-Wood’s Fungi Phenology Project, and Sara Evans, Green-Wood’s manager of horticulture operations, on a guided bioblitz.
Registration: https://www.green-wood.com/event/city-nature-challenge-green-wood-bioblitz/
Starting Location: inside the Main Entrance at Fifth Avenue and 25th Street

 
Fort Green Park

City Nature Challenge: Spring Blossoms
Time: 11a-12:30p
Host: Urban Park Rangers
Description: NYC Parks is participating in the City Nature Challenge and is recruiting you to help. Join the Rangers as we walk the park to observe and collect data for the City Nature Challenge, a friendly competition taking place April 29-May 1 between cities around the world to see which is most biodiverse. This program will focus on identifying spring blossoms. Participants are encouraged to download the iNaturalist app to collect data.
Registration: None needed. For more info, visit: https://www.nycgovparks.org/events/2022/05/01/city-nature-challenge-spring-blossoms
Starting Location: Fort Green Park Visitor Center

Monday, May 2, 2002

Prospect Park Nothing scheduled, but if you want to meet up for an informal CNC, let me know.

Parks and other Green Spaces

Other Brooklyn Parks and Green Spaces that are participating without any scheduled events:

Related Content

City Nature Challenge

iNaturalist 

NYC CNC iNaturalist Projects

City Nature Challenge

NYC CNC iNaturalist Projects- Past Years

Battle of the Boroughs – Past Years

Parks and Green Spaces

iNaturalist Workshops at GrowTogether, 4/22 & 4/23

Eristalis arbustorum (left) and and Syritta pipiens (right), thick-legged fly, on NOID Lamiaceae, 6&B Community Garden, East VIllage, Manhattan, July 2012

It’s a busy season for me this Spring! NEXT WEEK is New York City NYC’s GreenThumb community gardening program annual conference, known as GrowTogether:

Part 2 of the GreenThumb GrowTogether conference will be hosted in-person in community gardens in all five boroughs in celebration of Earth Week. Join us for workshops about growing food, healthy eating, native pollinators, flower arrangement, planting seeds, screen printing garden swag, volunteer projects, and more. All the activities are free and open to the public!

… The theme of this year’s GrowTogether is “Deeply Rooted: Growing Community Connections.” Community gardeners from across New York City have been gathering at the GrowTogether conference each spring since 1984 to celebrate the start of the garden season with a day of learning, networking, and reconnecting with friends. – Ibid.

38th Annual GreenThumb GrowTogether Conference Part 2 Conference Guide

As noted above, all GrowTogether workshops are open to the public. Please register, as some workshops have limited capacity.

This is my first time participating in GrowTogether. I’ll be giving two different workshops on how to use iNaturalist, Friday in Brooklyn, and Saturday on Staten Island.

Using iNaturalist for Community Gardens and Gardeners

Friday, April 22
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
(Rain Date: Saturday, April 23, same time)
Location: Vernon Cases Community Garden, 42 Vernon Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
Description:

iNaturalist is a community/citizen science platform where anyone can record their observations – photos or audio recordings – of any living thing anywhere in the world. Community gardeners and visitors can use iNaturalist to document and keep records about their gardens, such as flowering and fruiting times; identify and keep track of common weeds; and identify insect visitors, whether pests, predators, or pollinators.

In this workshop, we will use iNaturalist “in the field” to make observations of plants and insects and upload them to iNaturalist, creating a record of the biodiversity in a community garden. If you have access to a smartphone, please download the iNaturalist app in advance and bring it to the workshop!

Meet and Greet New York City’s Native Pollinators

Saturday, April 23
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
(Rain Date: Sunday, April 24, same time)
Location: Hill Street Community Garden, Staten Island
Description:

New York City is home to hundreds of species of pollinating insects. While butterflies and bumblebees are easily-spotted inhabitants of our community gardens, meet a few of New York City’s lesser known pollinators—including wasps, flower flies, and specialist bees— during this workshop with Sarah Ward from National Wildlife Federation and Chris Keussling (aka Flatbush Gardener). During a walk through the garden, participants will learn tips and tricks for observing pollinators and welcoming them into our gardens. Participants will also learn how to use the community science app iNaturalist to identify pollinators and contribute valuable data about pollinators in New York City.

Related Content

Torrey Lecture, Wednesday March 30, 2022-03-17

Links

For more information, or to register, for either/both workshop:

38th Annual GreenThumb GrowTogether Conference Part 2 Conference Guide, Greenthumb News

GreenThumb

NYC Regional Native Plant Sales, Spring-Summer 2021

2021-06-09: Added Tufts Pollinator Initiative Native Plant Sale
2021-03-27: Initial listing. I will continue to update this throughout the season as I learn of more events.

This season’s native plant sales in and around New York City. Events are listed by date. For year-round sources of native plants, see Sources for Native Plants.

Native Plant Acquisitions, Gowanus Canal Conservancy Plant Sale, April 2018

Tufts Pollinator Initiative – Native Plant Sale

  • Date: Sunday, June 20th (start of Pollinator Week) – Rain Date Sunday, June 27th
  • Time: 9am – 4pm
  • Address: 574 Boston Avenue, Medford, Massachusetts

Past Events

Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College

DEADLINE FOR ORDERING: March 31
  • Pre-order only
  • Minimum order $200
  • They will schedule your pickup for mid-May

NJ Pinelands Preservation Alliance Online Native Plant Sale

https://pinelandsalliance.org/explore-the-pinelands/pinelands-events-and-programs/spring-native-plant-sales/

  • Virtual Native Plant Sale from April 22nd to April 28th
  • Plant sales managed by Pinelands Direct
  • Curbside pickups at Pinelands Direct
  • Smaller items can be directly shipped

Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Brooklyn

  • Saturday, April 24th, 10:30am – 1:30pm
  • Saturday, May 8th, 10:30am – 1:30pm
  • Saturday, May 22nd, 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Related Content

Links

Correspondence, April 2020

I received an unexpected, and much-welcomed, message from a colleague, asking how I was doing. My response ran a little long, so I thought I would reproduce it here. Annotated with links, where applicable.


Double-flowering bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, blooming in my backyard, April 2020

We are doing well, as well as can be expected. My husband and I have both been (lucky enough to be) working from home. It’s 5 weeks for me this week.

I’ve been writing a weeks-long thread on Twitter.

I’ve been writing about the experience on my blog. I started on the Solstice, when I’d already been working from home for weeks. Later posts borrow from my Twitter thread, and past blog posts. I’m sure I’ll be writing more in the days and weeks and months ahead:
https://flatbushgardener.blogspot.com/2020/03/grief-and-gardening-dissetling-spring.html
https://flatbushgardener.blogspot.com/2020/03/drumbeat.html
https://flatbushgardener.blogspot.com/2020/04/grief-and-gardening-feast-of-losses.html

I even got a short piece published in McSweeney’s. And that got picked up to be re-published by YES Magazine. Nothing online yet.

I had multiple engagements planned for this Spring, and into the Summer: speaking on a panel about pollinators in NYC, a neighborhood plant swap, workshops with community gardens. All cancelled. On paper, I’m still going to Eiseman’s leaf-miner course in Vermont in August, but I expect that to be cancelled, as well.

NYC has just started to turn the corner of the immediate crisis the past few days. Recovery – economic, psychological, sociological, political – will be ongoing over generations. There will be an immediate need for trauma and grief support and recovery for emergency, health care, and other front-line workers.

Every night at 7pm, everyone goes outside, into the street, onto their porches, or leaning out their windows, and makes noise for all those working through this, from ER docs to grocery clerks to delivery drivers.

Before everything went whack, I bought a big birding lens. I’ve been out 3 times during this period to Prospect Park. The lens weighs a ton, but it makes all the difference. Adding all my photos as Observations to iNaturalist, of course!

The garden is a salve. I ordered seeds and plants, neither of which I’d been planning to do. I’m giving away plants from my garden to my neighbors to make room for my new acquisitions.

I’ve got a new bee species record for my garden! Just awaiting confirmation from a second identifier.

I’ve vacation coming up, for Earth Day and City Nature Challenge. Planned before all this began. I extended it to make it a solid week. We’re not supposed to be taking public transit for non-essential activities, but I have a car and can get around to most places. Gardens are closed, but public parks are still open, for now. I’m looking forward to some intense observartin’. Both “abroad” and in the garden.

Related Content

https://flatbushgardener.blogspot.com/2020/03/grief-and-gardening-dissetling-spring.html
https://flatbushgardener.blogspot.com/2020/03/drumbeat.html
https://flatbushgardener.blogspot.com/2020/04/grief-and-gardening-feast-of-losses.html

Links

Grief and Gardening: A Feast of Losses

It’s been barely a month since the first handful of COVID-19/SARS-CoV2 cases were reported in New York State. On March 4, there were 6 confirmed cases.

As I write this:

  • There are nearly 5,000 dead in New York.
  • Nearly 3,500 have died in New York City alone. If NYC was a country, it would be 6th in the world in deaths.

It’s not over. We face the worst in the days ahead. But an end – for New York, at least – is in sight.

Projected COVID-19 Deaths per Day for NY as of 2020-04-04

It is a strange hybrid collective trauma we are working our way through. So much has changed so quickly. It’s not quite four weeks since I started working from home. My husband started working from home three weeks ago. A week after that, all NYC restaurants and bars were forced to stop admitting guests. On the equinox, I first wrote about living through an epidemic for the second time in my life.

We’ve had the advantage of being able to make (some) preparations for it. Yet we have months of loss and grieving to come.

There is no clear roadmap for how we should react, respond, and recover. Those of us who have survived past epidemics can draw on our experiences, but none of us have ever lived through anything quite like this.


Here’s an excerpt from “The Layers” by Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006), from which I borrowed for the title of this blog post:

When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.

Related Content

Links

City Nature Challenge 2018

Viola sororia, common blue violet, in the front yard, April 2018
The “weedy” remnants of my front lawn, where Viola sororia, common blue violet, has taken charge. Easily overlooked, it seeds itself readily without any help from me (or any other gardener). Yet this species is native to New York City. It’s one of my iNaturalist observations from my garden for this year’s City Nature Challenge.


Today, Sunday, April 29th, is day 3 of the global City Nature Challenge, which continues into tomorrow. Building on the explosive popularity of iNaturalist as a platform for observations, this gamified bioblitz pits cities against each other, to see which can identify more taxa of living species in a 96-hour period.

NYC is currently is 6th place globally, and 4th nationally. There are still plenty of opportunities to join special events organized for New York City, with events in 4 of our 5 boroughs today, and more tomorrow.

I wasn’t able to take part in yesterday’s festivities. This weekend, I have to get my garden ready for this season’s garden tours. Armed with only my phone, I kept an eye out for anything I might see, uncover, or unearth. I was rewarded.

I came up with 16 observations yesterday. In addition to Viola sororia introduced at the top of the post, I observed:

And not a vertebrate among them. There were plenty of birds, and the occasional squirrel, in the garden. I wouldn’t have been able to get close enough with my phone to any of them to get a decent photo.

Related Content

Links