Environmental Awareness

10 Steps to creating a sensible and organic lawn

Information provided in the above document was obtained from a variety of sources and field research conducted at the USDA NRCS Big Flats Plant Materials Center. Pollinator rating values were provided by the Xerces Society as well as past and current research. 

Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume 1. 2017

The National Climate Assessment, a congressionally-mandated review conducted every four years, was unveiled on November 3, 2017. The product of hundreds of scientists and other experts within the government and academia and peer-reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences, it is considered the United States’ most definitive statement on climate change science. Overseen by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and reviewed by 13 federal agencies, the report states beyond a doubt that humans are the dominant cause of global warming and it is progressing at an alarming rate.  

Science Daily

View all of the latest top news in the Environmental sciences.

Environmental Working Group Food Scores

We all want to eat healthier, but it's not always easy to know how. Pesticides, food additives, contaminants, and antibiotics matter too. Whole foods are healthiest, EWG helps point you to less processed options.

Ecological Landscape Alliance

Advocating for responsible stewardship of land and natural resources in landscaping and horticultural practices.

The Citizen Forrester Newsletter

Massachusetts Urban & Community Forestry Program

UMass Extension Services

The Center for agriculture, food and the environment

How to Stop Junk Mail and Save Trees 

There are two easy ways to opt out of much of the bulk mail you receive. Then, if you’re still not satisfied, there are several more steps you can take.

Floral Design

Flower & Foliage Glossary 

Welcome to the Flower and Foliage glossary, our visual reference page for many flowers and foliage. Due to the large number of pictures on this flower foliage glossary, it may take a few minutes to load. However, it is well worth the wait. Pictures include the name and color variations of each flower, as well as the seasons they are available.

Flower Glossary

A pictorial glossary of flowers provided by Phillip's Flowers. 

Flower Finder

Find the flower you’re looking for among a huge database with easy to use search options. There you’ll find loads of information and pictures, suggested substitutes, ratings, care and handling, seasonal details. And you can easily share these varieties by email, Facebook and by using our albums! Double click on any image to see its full size! Some pictures uploaded by our community are truly spectacular!

Floral Style - Illustrated Glossary of Flowers

The includes an illustrated glossary showing over 100 flowers (arranged alphabetically), and enumerates the important properties of each. 

The Flower Dictionary 

It is everything you want or need to know about flowers. You will find the common and scientific name of the flower, along with the flower meaning, the floral design features of the flower, the colors available, the blooming season, the cut flower availability, the availability as a wedding flower, the astrological sign attributed the flower, a picture of the flower, and other useful and interesting information associated with the flower.

Flower Glossary

Choosing the perfect plant can seem like a daunting task with such a myriad of choices available all year round. 

Gardening Information

With over 150 species of roses and thousands of hybrids, roses can be found in nearly every color and a variety of shapes. This compendium of popular garden roses containing over 100 different types of blooms. Though there is no single definitive way to categorize roses, most specialists divide them into three main categories: Wild Roses, Old Garden Roses, and Modern Garden Roses. 

Excerpted from “Native Plants for New England Gardens’’ by Mark Richardson and Dan Jaffe. Few things reflect the unique character of New England like its native plants. Native plants not only provide beauty and highlight the distinctiveness of a region, but they also help to support healthy ecosystems, providing habitat for local wildlife. 

UMass Amherst Soil & Nutrient Testing Lab

Why Test Soil? Here are five good reasons! Nutrient levels - Test results provide you with soil nutrient levels and fertilizer recommendations when needed. Soil Acidity - Soil pH and exchangeable acidity are measured for the determination of lime requirements. Environmental Protection - Test results identify areas with excess nutrients that can pollute local waterways. Economics - You buy soil amendments only when needed, avoiding unnecessary spending. Health - Soil testing can help protect you and your family by alerting you to elevated levels of lead or other toxic heavy metals.

UMassAmherst - Home Lawn & Garden 

Gardening and taking care of a home yard and lawn have long been important parts of life for families in Massachusetts and across the country. Many people have a tradition of coming to their Cooperative Extension when they have a pressing question to ask or need to find a service like soil testing. We hope that the resources you will find on this page will help with many of those needs. 

New England Vegetable Management Guide

2016-2017 New England Vegetable Management Guide is a comprehensive guide to current production and pest management techniques for commercial vegetable crops.

Find the best dates for planting and harvesting vegetables, fruit, and herbs in your area! This free gardening calendar stretches from spring through fall and calculates the best dates for sowing seeds, transplanting to the garden, and harvesting. Enter your ZIP or Postal code below to get gardening information customized to your location (based on the nearest weather station).

Plants For Pollinators

This regional guide is just one in a series of plant selection tools designed to provide information on how individuals can influence pollinator populations through choices they make when they farm a plot of ground, manage large tracts of public land, or plant a garden.

North American Butterfly Association

Butterfly gardening brochures explainING the concepts and techniques of butterfly gardening applicable throughout the U.S. and southern Canada. These information-packed brochures provide the information needed to start and expand butterfly gardens.

Northeast Organic Farming Association

The Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. NOFA/Mass welcomes everyone who cares about food, where it comes from and how it’s grown.

Audubon Society

Bring more birds to your home with native plants

Grow Massachusetts

Whether you are new to gardening or a home growing pro we’ve got tips and tools to help you get out there and plant something.

Grow Native Massachusetts

We inspire people to action across the Commonwealth on behalf of native plants and the diversity of life they support.

Gardens To Visit

Mass Botanic Gardens

An extensive listing of Massachusetts botanical gardens. 

Tower Hill Botanic Garden 

Tower Hill features a year-round display of the finest plants for cultivation in New England. Carefully planned gardens and collections of ornamental, edible and native plants, plus trails that enhance the natural features of this beautiful 132-acre property and a robust program and event schedule make Tower Hill a year-round destination.

Gardenvisit.com - Garden Guide

America is strong in landscape architecture but not quite such a leader in garden design. Americans tend to be a garden-loving people who do not have a great love of gardening. The climate tends to be too hot or too cold for working in gardens to be as much of a pleasure as it is in the gardens of Northern Europe. America also has a lack of aristocratic garden estates and many of America’s public gardens are run as publicly-funded botanic gardens. But you'll find many good ones listed here!

Plant Identification

Welcome to the latest edition of the Native Plants Database where you can explore the wealth of native plants in North America. Use the options below to search for 9,070 native plants by scientific or common name or choose a particular family of plants.

Look up, view a photo and read about the over 7,500 plants which are growing or have been grown in the Kemper Center display gardens (plus selected additions) by scientific name, common name and/or selected plant characteristics.

Better Homes & Gardens Plant Encyclopedia

The Better Homes and Gardens Plant Encyclopedia is an invaluable resource for new and experienced gardeners everywhere. This plant-finder tool is easily searchable by plant type and characteristic, and provides helpful information on caring for everything from annuals to vines. In addition, the Plant Encyclopedia offers helpful design tips and uses for different types of plants, trees, shrubs, vines, roses, perennial flowers, annual plants, indoor plants, and more. 

USDA Plants Database

The 2016-2017 New England Vegetable Management Guide is a comprehensive guide to current production and pest management techniques for commercial vegetable crops.

Massachusetts Prohibited Plant List

The importation, sale, and trade of the listed plants is banned. This ban also covers the purchase and distribution of these plants and related activities, and includes all cultivars, varieties and hybrids of the listed plants. 

UCONN - Plant Database 

At the core of this site are plant information pages that contain text and photographs describing the important characteristics of each species. The plants contained in this resource are those that will grow in USDA hardiness zone 6 or colder.

PlantNative - Native Plant List CT, MA & RI

This is a "starter" list of native plants for Connecticut, Massacusetts, and Rhode Island. It is intended for residential or commercial landscapers who want to create attractive and varied native landscapes.

Brandeis - New England Wild Flowers

This site hopes to make it as easy as possible to identify your favorite wildflowers. It is possible for the user to navigate this website in three different ways. We too were recently in the process of identifying flowers and know that it can be very difficult . Therefore, we chose the three methods of identifying wildflowers that we found most useful. 

Wildflowers of the United States

"I hope you find the wildflower information and photos on this site useful in your quest to enjoy and identify wildflowers of the United States. There are 2083 photographs of 593 wildflower species on the detail pages, and additional photographs in the journal entries and photo albums." 

Youth Resources

Meadowscaping For Biodiversity

Meadowscaping for Biodiversity is a project-based STEAM-learning outdoor environmental education program offering two types of program, the Meadow Club as a specialty summer camp or afterschool program through select schools and camps for youth age 7 - 14, and the Youth Environmental Entrepreneurship Program, for teens age 15 - 17.