Forestry and Gardening

Public Invited to the Pool Party
5:10 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Blue Ridge Swim Club Celebrates a Century

Credit Blue Ridge Swim Club

This weekend, Charlottesville celebrates a surprising birthday and is inviting the public to a party.

Even for residents of nearby Charlottesville, the Blue Ridge Swim Club may be a surprise – a one-of-a-kind place where cicadas, tree frogs and birds provide a natural soundtrack. 

At the end of an unpaved, single lane off Owensville Road in Ivy, you park in the grass and follow a winding path down a hill, through a forest of old growth trees to a fresh water pool the length of a football field.  

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Flora of Virginia
3:17 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Definitive State Plant Guide

The last time the state of Virginia had its own, definitive plant guide was 1762, with the book “Flora Virginica.” Now, after more than a decade in the making, the volume has finally been updated. 
 

Flora of Virginia offers a state-of-the art guide to nearly 32-hundred plant species in 200 families. The book features identification keys, cutting edge taxonomy, and detailed habitat information….with a pretty thorough description of each plant.

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Environment
12:47 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Making Hydrogen from Plants

Scientists in biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech have succeed in using xylose, a sugar found in plants to produce large quantities of hydrogen in an environmentally friendly way. 

Unlike current methods of making hydrogen gas, Associate Professor Percival Zhang’s process is done at low temperatures, uses no heavy metals and releases almost no green house gases.  His team designed an enzyme cocktail for splitting of the hydrogen.  The result is energy production at a rate of more than 100% efficiency; a level current methods do not reach.

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