NYC Wildflower Week

NYC Wildflower Week . . .

The native perennial, Yellow Wood Sorrel (Oxalis stricta), is just one of the many wildflowers that adds a glow to Manhattan during the month of May. (photo taken May 13, 2010)

The 2010 NYC Wildflower Week was celebrated between May 1 and 9.

The NYCWW sponsored numerous free events on various wildflower and gardening topics, including botanical walks and classes in the cultivation and cooking of native species. Several were hosted at Union Square with others spread across the five boroughs of the city.  The organizers supplemented the activities with an excellent website loaded with resources for those interested in both wildflowers and New York City gardens. The mission statement of the NYCWW, available also on the website, sums up their intentions well . . .

“NYC Wildflower Week presents a full week of free events to showcase the 53,000 acres of open space and 778 native plants in NYC’s 5 boroughs. The goal of the week is simple: to encourage New Yorkers to get to know the nature in their own back yard and to inspire them to protect this natural heritage for future generations.  In 2010 we are transforming the organization from an all-volunteer one-week annual event into a full-time, year round resource that empowers all New Yorkers to cultivate and preserve a landscape that is beautiful, sustainable and ecologically sound.”

More information and resources are archived on the NYCWW website. Here is the URL . . .

Meanwhile, The New York Times sponsored a call for photo submissions in conjunction with NYC Wildflower Week. The May 6 post of the City Room Blog — “Let’s Create a Magic Garden” — stated . . .

“And just as wild plants make this most built-up of cities a more habitable place, we are looking to florify City Room”

Like potted plants spaced outside of an office tower entrance, or flower boxes adorning the facade of a brownstone tenament, this blog post injected a wash of color into the online component of the newspaper once known as “The Gray Lady” . . .

“Let’s Create a Magic Garden”

I considered participating myself and, after some deliberation, decided to shelve my ego and submission plans. Wildflowers of the West Village is a forum best designed to report and comment on the intersection of Nature and New York City, and so I therefore recused myself and focused instead as a journalist in order to report on this good urban wildflower news.

The results of the submission call culminated in a May 13 post on the City Room Blog — “A City in Bloom” — that took the form of a slide show. The City Room Blog editors did bend their own rules and allow some domesticated flower photos. They claimed the season was still too early for a variety of wildflowers. Perhaps I should have directed them to Wildflowers of the West Village for some reference points. Such is the internal debate of a nature writer trying to write, promote the writing, while staying at the same time somewhat objective and out of the subject’s light.

I’ll sign off here and allow the featured photos themselves speak for the Wildflowers of the West Village, and for all five boroughs of New York.

“A City in Bloom”

— rPs 05 28 2010

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