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By David P. Greisman and David P. Greisman,Special to The Sun | April 22, 2007
Francesca Borrelli Johnson had a passion for the environment, for cleaning streams in Baltimore County and working to help the world around her. Her death in 2004 kept the 35-year-old from fulfilling her ambitions, but her dream of protecting the environment will live on when the Francesca Borrelli Johnson Wetlands Classroom opens next Sunday at the Hashawha Environmental Center near Westminster. A building that was once used for storage will host students, who will examine the plants and animals that live in the center's streams and ponds.
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Tim Wheeler | April 1, 2014
A record expansion of Maryland's "wildlands" passed the General Assembly Tuesday, as the House of Delegates gave final approval to an O'Malley administration priority to designate nealry 22,000 acres of sensitive state-owned lands as legally protected wilderness areas. The measure, previously passed by the Senate, creates nine new wildlands and expands 14 existing ones in nine counties across the state.  The largest tracts are in rural western Maryland and on the Eastern Shore. But there's even one in the heavily developed Baltimore area - an addition to Soldiers Delight, an ecologically rich swath of rocky soil and grassy savanna in Owings Mills that naturalists say is the largest ecosystem of its type on the East Coast.
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NEWS
By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | December 14, 2000
WASHINGTON - For the first time, scientists have deciphered the complete genetic code of a plant, providing new tools to produce sturdier, more nourishing plants and to protect them better from pests and disease. Researchers say the DNA of a common weed known as arabidopsis - or thale-cress - will be a valuable supplement to the still-unfinished human genome project. "Scientists now have a genetic road map to use in developing higher quality foods, new fibers, medicines and energy sources that will be needed in this new century," said Mary Clutter, assistant director of the National Science Foundation, which financed much of the work.
NEWS
By Tom Pelton and Tom Pelton,Sun reporter | July 13, 2008
The hunters were stalking their prey on a wooded path in Patapsco Valley State Park south of Baltimore, peering closely into the underbrush. But they weren't looking for animals. The group of amateur naturalists was on a search-and-destroy mission for exotic plants that have invaded Maryland and are killing off native life. The problem of invasive species is drawing increased attention as globalization has brought more international trade, which has led to more seed-hopping from continent to continent.
NEWS
September 28, 2005
Rancher and congressman Richard W. Pombo has made no secret of his contempt for the Endangered Species Act. The California Republican believes the 1973 ground-breaking environmental law intended to preserve rare plants and animals imposes too great a burden on property owners for too little return. He's been itching to repeal it ever since he arrived in Congress in 1993. Now, while most lawmakers' attention is heavily focused on the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Mr. Pombo is making his move.
NEWS
October 10, 2001
EXPLORER BEWARE Discover the beauty and danger of Poisonous Plants and Animals at http: / / library.thinkquest.org / C007974 / . This site will help you recognize different kinds of poisonous species. It also explains how to avoid poisonous plants and fatal bites. Read about numerous plants such as hemlock, the plant that is famous for killing Socrates. Or learn about the Mexican cactus, which was once worshiped by Indian tribes. Next move on to poisonous animals like the deadly tarantula or the colorful poison dart frog, which releases poison through glands in its skin.
NEWS
April 5, 2000
Visit these Web sites to find the answers, then go to www.4Kids.org/ detectives/ * What plants grow in the sub-alpine region? * What Learning Planet game features Mr. Elephant? * How old are most bear cubs when they leave their mothers? BEAR WITH IT The wilds of Alaska are home to some of the most beautiful plants and animals in the world, including the awe-inspiring grizzly bear. At Showdown at Grizzly River, you'll enjoy the adventures of a bear cub and his elders living at the majestic McNeil River Falls.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | January 8, 2004
A team of international scientists says global warming could drive to extinction more than a third of the wildlife in the world's most ecologically sensitive areas by 2050 - and have similar, if less devastating effects on plants and animals worldwide. The researchers' study says rising temperatures will make it impossible for many plants and animals to fight for shrinking habitats in the Amazon, Australia, Africa and Mexico. "It's a wakeup call for conservationists and biologists that climate change is potentially having a dramatic effect on wildlife, especially when you consider the loss of habitat worldwide," said Lee Hannah, a co-author of the study and researcher with Conservation International in Washington.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,SUN STAFF | January 25, 2005
As wildflowers go, Torrey's mountain-mint isn't that striking. The short-stalked plant sports white blooms in late summer, but otherwise would be hard to pick out in a leafy lineup. "You have to really be on a search to find it," says botanist Cris Fleming of Chevy Chase, who recalls spying some several years ago in a rocky outcrop on a Baltimore County farm. Even when they're looking for it, though, scientists have a tough time finding Pycnanthemum torrei these days. It's rare - recorded in fewer than 20 places in the world - and likely to get rarer still, as homes, shopping centers, roads and parking lots gobble up more land in Baltimore's sprawling suburbs.
TRAVEL
By Kristin Jackson and Kristin Jackson,SEATTLE TIMES | November 11, 2001
Close your eyes and think of Hawaii. Visions of white sand and warm, blue ocean probably dance through your head. But there's a lot to Hawaii beyond its beaches. The islands are melting pots of cultural and natural history, and an easy way to learn about them is by visiting the lush lands of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. The nonprofit organization's three sprawling gardens on the island of Kauai and one garden on Maui are peaceful, parklike preserves on stretches of Hawaii's most scenic coastline.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert and Scott Calvert,Sun foreign reporter | November 30, 2007
CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- High in the Silvermine nature reserve, proteas here and there unfurl skyward like floral fireworks in soft pink and yellow. Guy Midgley's eye is drawn elsewhere, though, to ugly brown lesions on the otherwise green landscape - dead protea plants. "Nobody's quite sure what's going on," says Midgley, a plant scientist, scanning the bushy vegetation. But he suspects global warming is behind the recent protea "die-back," in which one-third of the plants have shriveled up in some parts of the Western Cape region.
NEWS
By Jennifer Choi and Jennifer Choi,Sun reporter | September 15, 2007
A plant wilted after being touched, but seemed to spring back to life a few minutes later. Hundreds of tiny insects scurried inside petri dishes. Herman, the panther chameleon, caught crickets by swiftly unraveling his tongue. For years, Lisa Nowakowski has spread the word of environmental awareness in schoolrooms. Yesterday, she took her message -- and some plants and animals-- to Towson's Bykota Senior Center. As part of her "Survival Show," which focuses on nature's adaptive abilities, she discussed the pitcher plant's ability to lure insects into its deep, tube-like leaves with its sweet nectar.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali and David Clement | September 8, 2007
I need to replace plants I lost to drought this summer. Is there some way to improve survival odds? Drought-proofing? Organic matter in soil acts like a sponge, holding water for plants to use. It also loosens the soil, so rainfall and oxygen can get into the soil and down to roots. Working a composted product into the whole planting bed is better than just adding it to the planting hole. Don't go overboard with the organics, though. Five percent organic matter is considered a good soil.
NEWS
By David P. Greisman and David P. Greisman,Special to The Sun | April 22, 2007
Francesca Borrelli Johnson had a passion for the environment, for cleaning streams in Baltimore County and working to help the world around her. Her death in 2004 kept the 35-year-old from fulfilling her ambitions, but her dream of protecting the environment will live on when the Francesca Borrelli Johnson Wetlands Classroom opens next Sunday at the Hashawha Environmental Center near Westminster. A building that was once used for storage will host students, who will examine the plants and animals that subsist in the center's streams and ponds.
NEWS
By TOM PELTON and TOM PELTON,SUN REPORTER | October 20, 2005
Porcelain-white swans with gracefully sloping necks paddle among swaying reeds on Kent Island. But Jonathan McKnight doesn't see fairy-tale beauty; he sees an invasive species more menacing than snakeheads. McKnight, Maryland's top expert on exotic species, said the threat posed by the Asian "frankenfish" has been exaggerated. The snakeheads don't walk (contrary to some reports), are not equipped to invade the salty Chesapeake Bay and are less toothy than the common bluefish. But because the snakehead has an image problem, it is a useful illustration of a more subtle but very real threat to biological diversity posed by a growing number of non-native species, such as mute swans.
NEWS
September 28, 2005
Rancher and congressman Richard W. Pombo has made no secret of his contempt for the Endangered Species Act. The California Republican believes the 1973 ground-breaking environmental law intended to preserve rare plants and animals imposes too great a burden on property owners for too little return. He's been itching to repeal it ever since he arrived in Congress in 1993. Now, while most lawmakers' attention is heavily focused on the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Mr. Pombo is making his move.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,SUN STAFF | January 25, 2005
As wildflowers go, Torrey's mountain-mint isn't that striking. The short-stalked plant sports white blooms in late summer, but otherwise would be hard to pick out in a leafy lineup. "You have to really be on a search to find it," says botanist Cris Fleming of Chevy Chase, who recalls spying some several years ago in a rocky outcrop on a Baltimore County farm. Even when they're looking for it, though, scientists have a tough time finding Pycnanthemum torrei these days. It's rare - recorded in fewer than 20 places in the world - and likely to get rarer still, as homes, shopping centers, roads and parking lots gobble up more land in Baltimore's sprawling suburbs.
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