O’Fallon Perennial Walk Mapping Project
Prior to this internship I had spent the better part of a year being consumed by all things public gardens and plant collections. And because of this, I knew that for my internship I just had to have a placement that would expose me to the world of plant records and collections 24/7. My three main goals for my internship were to travel, experience new plants and ecologies, and to work in a plant records department. When I found this internship, I realized it had everything I was hoping to achieve as well as being at a top-tier botanic garden. From the amazing field trips to the alternate garden experiences and friendly staff, this internship was more than I had hoped for. My day-to-day involved updating the database using BG-BASE™ as well as mapping plants using a combination of BG-Map and AutoCAD. In addition, I got to learn how to document phenology (photograph flowers) and make label requests.
My project this past summer was quite the undertaking. The Gardens had just recently renovated the O’Fallon Perennial Walk, and I was tasked with mapping every plant in this garden—over 300 different plants total! Because this project was a large one it gave me the opportunity to try out different techniques for hand mapping as well as becoming more familiar with the plant material in the various sections. I started by mapping the east side of the perennial walk where I quickly learned that instead of printing three map fragments to cover this whole side, it would actually be more beneficial to print off each section as an individual map (eight for the east and seven for the west). When I moved to the west side of the walk, the next technique I tried was drawing out hatch marks on the paper maps to show where certain measurement markers were along the walkway (i.e., halfway, the next 10-foot marker...) to improve accuracy and readability.
Overall, I found this internship to be very enriching and it provided me with many opportunities to further my knowledge of the world of plant records and collections.
Leslie Hockley was the 2022 Plant Records, Curation and Mapping Intern.
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