The Berry Prairie Blog

Native Biodiversity in a Rooftop Landscape


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May 2, 2012, 5:00 PM
We are going a little nuts for pollinators here at the Berry Center. Our native pollinators are absolutely critical to food production, ecosystem functioning, plant and therefore many other types of biodiversity, and they're also in decline (generally speaking). And did you know that June 18-24 is Pollinator Week?? Stay tuned for Berry Center activities during that week!
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Apr 26, 2012, 5:27 PM
The Berry Center welcomes anyone to come explore our green roof, which is better known as the Berry Prairie. In the spirit of Lumiere and Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast, this post is constructed to show you just how welcome you are!
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Apr 13, 2012, 6:11 PM
The sentinels of spring, the first set of flowers to bloom on the Berry Prairie, the indicators that, at the very least, not everything died on the green roof over the winter. There are three and a half species in bloom right now on the Berry Center's awakening green roof. Below is a pictorial guide to their happy existence, a Glamour Shots of sorts, with less hairspray and awkward clothing, and more natural beauty.
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Apr 11, 2012, 7:31 PM
Why are some grasses (like the lawn) greening up quickly, while others (like the prairie) are slower? You may have heard of warm season versus cool season grasses. Cool season grasses are greening quickly right now, while the warm season grasses wait for higher temperatures. Cool season grasses grow well when moisture is abundant in the early spring, even though the lower temperatures reduce the rate of metabolism (the process of turning CO2 and sunlight into energy)
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Mar 30, 2012, 7:38 PM
Draba is a large genus of mostly small plants. (These minuscule plants are only about the size of a quarter, and maybe an inch tall.) Most of the approximately 380 species of Draba in the world, 121 in North America, and 26 in Wyoming, are alpine or boreal, where they inhabit some very windy and harsh habitats. Many species have quite small habitat areas, some even restricted to single mountain ranges.
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Mar 26, 2012, 8:03 PM
The Berry Prairie’s first winter turned out to be relatively mild—at least so far. The snow melted off last month, and the “soil” has dried significantly since then. And, with temperatures soaring into the 60’s, and lots of sunshine, the ground has gotten warm enough to stimulate growth. The Prairie still looks mostly brown (and red) from above, but at ground level, there’s a lot to get excited about!
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Nov 3, 2011, 8:38 PM
Laramie's scene now involves snow and chilly breezes, and the Berry Prairie shows that well. Now under an inch of snow, the plants are hunkering down for winter. Following their cues, the Berry Prairie blog writers will take their senescence now too, until the new leaves pop up in spring.
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Oct 14, 2011, 9:20 PM
If you're in Laramie and are looking for a fun, family activity today and this weekend, check out the Berry Center's UW Biodiversity Scavenger Hunt! There are nine questions and clues that will lead you all over the main part of campus where you'll discover some surprising and fascinating biodiversity tidbits.
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Oct 11, 2011, 9:27 PM
October 7 marked Laramie's first day of winter. Not according to the calendar of course, but according to the weather. And while it was a surprise to wake up on Saturday morning to three inches of snow, I'm sure the plants in the Berry Prairie were even more confused. (Or maybe not... do they know more than we do? Could they sense the snow? Watch the next episode of the Twilight Zone to find out...)
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Oct 7, 2011, 5:10 PM
We’ve all heard the argument that scientific names are preferable to common names because they are unambiguous and understood all around the world, but clearly this is not always true.

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