Fun facts

Shinrin-yoku or forest therapy, has inspired a new industry in Edmonton

Journalist Madeleine Cummings tries to find out what distinguishes forest therapy from a walk in the woods. The article also explores what researchers have found out about the positive health effects such as improved self-regulation or lower blood pressure: http://www.edmontonexaminer.com/2017/11/22/a-japanese-health-movement

For the Love of Plants (Part 1)

One plant group I love the most are Lichens. Lichens are technically NOT a plant, as they are only occurring thru a photosynthetic partnership between fungi and algae or cyanobacteria. Lichens don’t have a vascular system, and typically spread through spores or fragmentation. Lichens don’t have any organized leaf, root or stem structures; they are only equipped with hyphae and mycelium (which are the vegetative part of the fungus). Lichens grow in 6 different forms, including crusts, scales, leaves, clubs, shrubs, and hairs.

There are over 500 lichens species in Alberta’s forests, but my favourites are Cladina mitis (reindeer lichen) and Cladina stellaris (Northern reindeer lichen). They are very similar to each other, with key distinguishing features being their colour and shape. Reindeer lichen is pale yellowish green, and forms mats on ground, whereas Northern reindeer lichen is yellowish white, grows upright & reminds me of cauliflower.

We will continue with our love of plants posts all month long!

What Are Green Roofs?

Green roofs are a means of utilizing, typically, unused space by growing vegetation on building rooftops. Green roofs are a collection of materials, including vegetation, growing medium, drainage filter, etc. These can be extensive by retrofitting them on existing building roofs or intensive through practices of incorporating them into the design of new buildings. They have a range of applications including capturing excess stormwater, aesthetics, insulation, wildlife habitat, and local food production. Check out the City of Edmonton website for more information and where green roofs are already established in the city.

https://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/environmental_stewardship/green-roof.aspx