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Which plants changed Minnesota forever?
Feb 06, 2012 | 965 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Did Honeycrisp apples change Minnesota forever?
Did Honeycrisp apples change Minnesota forever?
Which plants changed Minnesota and transformed how we live today? The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum wants to know and is encouraging the public to nominate specific plants for a state’s Top 10 list.

It’s all part of “10 Plants that Changed Minnesota: Growing Solutions to How the World Lives Today,” a new initiative to build awareness of the crucial role plants play in nourishing and sustaining life on Earth, according to an Arb press release.

The program is being spearheaded by Professor Mary Meyer, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota Department of Horticultural Science. She is the former interim director of the Arboretum.

“In asking for nominations, we hope to start conversations about plants, and their role in the historic and economic factors that changed the course of our state,” said Meyer, who seeks to engage students - from elementary level through university, as well as the general public.

“We hope to start discussions in classrooms around the state that will encourage students to look at plants in a whole new holistic approach to learning,” she continued. “We will continue and enliven the conversation online and through print media, as well as onsite visitor experiences at the Arboretum.”

On the university level, the initiative will include Arboretum-based freshman and public seminars on the topic of historically significant plants and plants of the future. These will be implemented as part of the university’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences curriculum during the 2012-13 academic year, along with other educational activities sponsored by the University of Minnesota Extension.

Indeed, plants truly did influence the way our ancestors lived – from the Native Americans, the Voyageurs, the early Scandinavian and German settlers to the railroad and land barons. Plants continue to have a significant impact on how Minnesotans live today – what you eat, the landscape, the economy, the weather, pop culture and more.

Nominations will be accepted through April 15 and may be entered via the Arboretum website at or in person at the Oswald Visitor Center. You can also enter by mail to: 10 Plants, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska, MN 55318. Kindergarten through eighth-grade schools or clubs who nominate plants will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift certificate redeemable for Arboretum educational programs. A VIP academic and community panel will determine the 10 most important plants from all the entries submitted.

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