The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has a lot of interesting programs and information for “citizen scientists” and everyday nature advocates. A recent entry that’s pretty impressive is The Gardener’s Guide to Global Warming. They do a really good job of tying together many of the issues facing gardeners as global climate change becomes a reality.
For example, on their website, you can view an interactive map that shows whether your state flower or tree will be affected by changing temperatures. (Rhode Island’s violets and red maples will not be affected. But sorry Pennsylvania, you’re going to be seeing less mountain laurels and eastern hemlocks; North Carolina, start worrying about your flowering dogwoods.)
The NWF website also includes information on the Arbor Day Foundation’s new growing zone map, which updates the 1990 USDA map since the USDA is taking so long to do it–probably just really busy over there and not politically motivated at all.
Also included is “America’s Most Not Wanted” plant species–invasive species that are expected to go nuts in the warmer temperatures that are brought about by global climate change. NWF’s singled out Japanese honeysuckle, English ivy, purple loosestrife, Oriental bittersweet, and porcelainberry as its top invasive offenders.
The NWF website is just a teaser to the full 40-page Gardener’s Guide to Global Warming, which you can download in pdf format. The guide summarizes the global climate change problem, discusses specific garden-related problems, and suggests solutions for gardeners that care. It’s great summer reading so be sure to check it out.