For years now, a small group of dedicated Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation volunteers have met nearly every Thursday, rain or shine, to work on a citizen science herbarium project. Throughout these years, they have created a bond of friendship through long walks, hours spent preserving their specimens, sharing their work with botanists, and many an afternoon tea break.
The Herbarium Project is a volunteer-driven project (with proper Alberta Parks permitting) that catalogues the various plants found within Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park. This includes (but is not limited to) forbs, grasses, grasslike species (e.g. sedges), shrubs, and trees. At this time, fungi are not included. Their purpose, as they see it, is to foster interest in the variety and abundance of plant life in the park, which is a relatively undisturbed fragment of the province. They hope that by sharing the abundance of species they document, they inspire and engage visitors to respect, appreciate, and protect what is growing around us.
Through this month’s Giving Tuesday Campaign, we hope to build a new Native Plant Garden outside the Visitor’s Center. We also hope to make the work of the Herbarium Group available to the public by creating an exhibit of their pressings inside the Visitor’ Center. A display would rotate dried specimen examples of each ‘plant’ present in the park. The display would feature a description of the plant anatomy and it’s growth habit, it’s historical significance (if applicable) to indigenous peoples and settlers, medicinal properties (if any), forage values (if any), scientific and/or common name meaning and significance (if any) and photograph in the field.
We are always being asked for information about the plants in this stunning provincial park, and we know that this display would be greatly used and appreciated by park visitors.
Source: Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park