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Tue, Jan. 21

Highlands Center to host research botanist

At the end of this month the Highlands Center will welcome Wendy Hodgson, Curator of Herbarium and Research at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden.

Hodgson has been a field biologist with the DBG for 34 years and is the author of Food Plants of the Sonoran Desert which was a winner of the 2002 Klinger Book Award.

On Friday evening, Jan. 23, from 6:30 -8 p.m. Hodgson's talk is, Keeping Up with Wendy in the Canyon.

The Grand Canyon is known for its sweeping, awe-inspiring vistas, its geology and even strange squirrels, but few people are aware that the Canyon is home to an amazing number of diverse plants. Hodgson has spent the last two decades roaming around parts of the Grand Canyon, studying and documenting a part of the Canyon's flora.

Featured plants include the always- fun-to-study-and-collect succulent plants, including Grand Canyon yuccas, hesperoyuccas and agaves, the latter of which played prominently in our continuing study of pre-Columbian cultivation of selected agave species in the Southwest. This presentation is free to the public.

On Saturday, Jan. 24, from 9 a.m. - noon, Hodgson will teach a workshop entitled Hands On Plants, providing participants with the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of botanical terms, identification, of a few major plant families of Arizona.

Learn from one of the best on how to collect, press, mount and preserve plant specimens including the feisty cacti and agaves.

For budding botanists she will also discuss the exciting new Plant Atlas Project of Arizona, a program involving the trained volunteers who collect and document plants from important selected areas within the state.

Fiona Reid, the Education Director of the Center, is sure "...you will never look at a plant the same way following this workshop with Wendy!"

The class will be small, so register early. For tuition costs and more information call 776-9550.

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