Environmental Awareness

This time of year sees huge amounts of discarded packaging and wrappings and excess tons of wasted food. See Andover Garden Club’s member, Maria Bartlett’s, ideas that will make Mother Earth happy this holiday season. Click Great Green Holiday Ideas to see the document.

Above is a link to a webinar produced by the League of Women Voters in Massachusetts with the Union of Concerned Scientists.  It highlights a new book put out by UCS called Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living.  The webinar covers how homeowners can approach the task of reducing their carbon footprint with some very practical ideas.  

Starting right now, we, all us humans on the planet, have a short window of opportunity to solve global warming, keep global temperature rise below 3.6° F  (2°C), and avoid more and worse instances of the kind of extreme weather disasters that have recently pummeled every region of the US (and the world).

The BEE Protective campaign has been launched to support nationwide local action aimed at advancing organic practices to protect honey bees and other pollinators from pesticides

10 Steps to creating a sensible and organic lawn

Lawns are an American Icon. But the perfect Lawn we are encouraged to strive for is not perfect for the environment, your wallet or your family.

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. 

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.  

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

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.

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

Massachusetts Urban & Community Forestry Program

The Center for agriculture, food and the environment

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.

Veteran journalist Carey Gillam uncovers one of the most controversial stories in the history of food and agriculture, exposing new evidence of corporate influence. 

If you’re just as interested in saving money as you are in saving the planet, solar panels can help you do that. Their price has come down, their effectiveness has gone up. All of this means solar panels can now pay for themselves in as little as five years, depending where you live. But are they right for your particular home? Ask yourself these things before making a decision.


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. 

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.

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. 

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).

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.

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.

How To Build A Butterfly Garden

A butterfly garden is not only stunning to behold, but it also creates a natural habitat that provides butterflies with food and a place to breed and lay their eggs.

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.

Bring more birds to your home with native plants

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.

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

How composting works, the benefits, what and what not to compost, building and maintaining a compost pile, and worm composting

Massachusetts Master Gardeners Association

Massachusetts Master Gardeners are experienced and trained volunteers who provide horticultural information and education resources to the gardening public.

Gardens To Visit

An extensive listing of Massachusetts botanical gardens.

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.

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.

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. 

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

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

"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 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. 

A unique and interactive “hands-on” Garden area where children can use their imagination and enjoy nature. All children are welcome!The Garden area is a Memorial to Gwen Hedrick, former Chair of the Cemetery. Gwen was a 40 year Andover resident and founding owner of Cuddle Care Daycare, a daycare and education center for area children. Gwen’s dedication to both children and the cemetery are combined in this hands on learning garden of nature for children of all ages. The garden is a tribute to a truly charming and outstanding Andover citizen.

The AHS SGP is an interdisciplinary and interactive way to teach students about where their food comes from and how to grow food more sustainably.