A new website titled “Botany Newfoundland and Labrador” was launched recently, hosted by Sir Wilfred Grenfell College.
The site, developed by environmental science professors Henry Mann and Ed Andrews, is located at www.swgc.mun.ca/botany
, and contains a variety of provincial flora topics intended for the information of the general public and for visitors to the province.
“This site is dedicated to the appreciation of the plants that surround us in field, forest, bog, barrens, gardens, roadsides, and in our many wetlands and waters,” said Prof. Mann. “Not only do these plants provide us with much beauty, pleasure and recreation, they form the backbone of much of our economy in the tourism, forestry, horticulture, agriculture and wildlife hunting sectors.”
Plants from various locations and habitats will be featured, the first being the Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve and the community of Raleigh. Photographic profiles of the species, their surroundings, and the local community are presented along with a series of related links. The next community to be featured will be Ramea Island on the south coast.
The site also contains the “Rare Newfoundland Wildflowers” series, originally developed for the Humber Natural History Society, and a complete PDF file of the manual “Introductory Guide to the Collection and Preservation of Plant Specimens,” developed by Henry Mann.
This is a long-term project which will be updated, improved upon, and added to on an ongoing basis. Photos will be added and those of poor quality replaced as better ones become available. There is also a call to naturalists for contributions which will be credited to those individuals.
The site was developed with web design support from two environmental science students, Randy Skinner and Jotham Bessey.
“This project is intended to provide students who are botanically and technologically inclined with experience and training in website development and maintenance,” said Prof. Andrews. “Also hopes are that it will help raise public awareness about one of our key natural resources – plants – and that it will add to the development of our tourism industry.”