LAWRENCE — The public is invited to the annual summer tour of the University of Kansas Native Medicinal Plant Research Garden at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 24.
The medicinal garden was developed through the KU Native Medicinal Plant Research Program by the botany lab of Kelly Kindscher, a senior scientist at the Kansas Biological Survey and a professor in KU’s Environmental Studies Program. The program is a collaboration between the Kindscher lab and the medicinal chemistry lab of Barbara Timmermann, University Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry.
Kindscher will lead Saturday’s tour of the research garden.
The garden serves as a gateway to the KU Field Station as it is the first of several KU Field Station sites on East 1600 Road in Douglas County north of Highway 40 (Map). KU students are involved in maintenance and research at the garden. Land for the garden site was made available by KU Endowment. Garden pathways are ADA-compliant, and the site is open to the public dawn to dusk.
Students in the fields of environmental studies, engineering, journalism, architecture, fine arts and geology all have taken part in projects at the garden. In addition, students, faculty and staff from many fields participate in the KU Student Farm at the same site.
Features of the garden include:
• Research plantings — This 50-by-260-foot space includes large beds of about 25 species of native plants each year, including wild tomatillo, echinacea, yarrow, various mints, white sage, milkweeds, stinging nettle and others.
• Demonstration/show garden—This 70-by-80-foot garden, just inside the gate at the research garden, includes seven different themed beds of medicinal plants.
• KU Student Farm—Conceived by KU students in 2010 through a class project, this community garden now has more than 60 individual plots maintained by KU students, faculty and staff, as well as a large community plot.
The KU Field Station’s core area north of Lawrence, which consists of 1,800 acres with five miles of public trails, is open to programs across the University as a teaching and research resource. Its best-known areas are the Fitch Natural History Reservation and the Rockefeller Native Prairie. The Field Station totals about 3,400 acres, devoted to scientific research, across 10 tracts in Douglas, Jefferson and Anderson counties. It is managed by the Kansas Biological Survey, which was established at KU in 1911.