WVU Core Arboretum News and Notes
Pawpaw Parties at WVU Core Arboretum!
Come to WVU Core Arboretum to taste pawpaws! The pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is the largest fruit native to West Virginia. Pawpaws have a luscious, tropical flavor that some describe as a combination of banana, mango, and pineapple and a smooth, creamy texture. Pawpaws ripen in Fall, and the Arboretum’s trees are starting to produce enough ripe fruit to gather. Pawpaw Parties will be on Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 7:00, or while supplies last!
A table will be set up in the lawn area at the Arboretum, and all are welcome to stop by and try a pawpaw. Literature about pawpaws and how to grow the pawpaw seeds that will be left after trying the fruit will also be available. Depending on how long the pawpaw season lasts, we will try to host several Pawpaw Parties. Pay attention to the Calendar of Events section of this webpage for more details. Pawpaw Parties are free and open to all.
by Zach Fowler
Announcing: WVU Core Arboretum Work Day Wednesdays!
The WVU Core Arboretum is starting a volunteer work program—Work Day Wednesdays. Volunteers help keep the Arboretum beautiful, and you can be a part of the crew each Wednesday, starting on August 31, from 4-7 pm! We will work on trails, do invasive species removal, clean drainage channels, maintain lawn areas, etc. The program is open to all. It is hard work, but good exercise, and it is much appreciated by the Arboretum’s many users. Interested volunteers should email Zach Fowler (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule a time slot, and register on IServe. There is a limit on the number of volunteers that we can accommodate each day, but the program will be ongoing. Volunteers will meet near the Arboretum parking lot. Volunteers should wear closed toe shoes, long pants, and clothes that are okay to get dirty. The event will be cancelled if the weather is dangerous.
by Zach Fowler
Graduate Student Research at WVU Core ArboretumAugust 10, 2016
How does wildlife adapt to
urban areas? This is one of the major questions for my dissertation research at
West Virginia University. The secretive and elusive Cooper’s hawk was once only
seen in dense forested areas but is a now a common visitor in our backyards and
city parks. This makes this bird an ideal candidate for understanding how
species are adapting to urban environments. For my research, I have been taking
genetic samples from Cooper’s hawks all across the country to compare those
that nest in urban areas to those that nest in more traditional forested areas.
The Arboretum has been home to a few different species of birds of prey
including red-tailed hawks, barred owls, and Cooper’s hawks. In at least the
last two summers, a breeding pair of Cooper’s hawks have chosen the Arboretum
as the best place to raise their young, and I was lucky enough to catch these
birds to collect genetic samples for my research (the birds were released
unharmed back to their nest). Using these samples, I hope to get a better
understanding of how the genes of wildlife change as a result of living in
close proximity to humans. The Arboretum is home to dozens of species of
wildlife, including the Cooper’s hawk, which makes this place an important safe
haven in an urban jungle.
by Meghan Jensen
Meghan Jensen is a Ph.D. candidate in the Wildlife and Fisheries Program of the WVU Division of Forestry and Natural Resources.
WVU Core Arboretum Magicicada Festival Successful
Thanks to all who visited the WVU Core Arboretum for the Magicicada Festival on Saturday, May 28, and thanks, especially, to the volunteers that made it happen (including the chefs)! More than 70 people came to the morning events, and well over 300 people came to the afternoon events! It was wonderful to see so many members of the community come out to an educational event and actively engage with science and the University. Participants learned about cicada biology and ecology, watched talks on current cicada research, did cicada-related arts and crafts activities, and ate cicadas prepared by great local chefs! People also got to see plenty of cicadas and learn how to tell the different species apart. It was a celebration of 17 year periodical cicadas! If you have not gotten to see or hear the cicadas yet, there are still plenty of them at the Arboretum, and there will be for a few more weeks! They are even chorusing in the bushes around the parking lot today.
WVU Core Arboretum Spring Nature Walk Report
The WVU Department of Biology Spring Ephemeral Wildflower Walks and Mountaineer Audubon Spring Bird Walks at the WVU Core Arboretum were a success this year! In the course of three wildflower walks and four bird walks, over 45 species of plants were seen in bloom and over 70 bird species were seen and/or heard. We had great participation from community members and students, also! It seemed like everyone really enjoyed themselves, including the guides, and hopefully everyone learned something new. Most of the spring flowers are gone now, but the summer flowers are just getting started, and many of the birds will be here and singing for most of the summer. Come visit!
WVU Core Arboretum/WVU Herbarium 2016 Newsletters
WVU Core Arboretum Calendar of Events
October 5: Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
October 6: Pawpaw Party (5:30 pm - 7:00 pm)
October 12: Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
WVU Core Arboretum Trail Map
Directions to WVU Core Arboretum
The WVU Core Arboretum is located adjacent to the WVU Coliseum and directly across Monongahela Blvd. from the WVU Creative Arts Center.