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Biological Survey devoted to nature studies in Kansas

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Article published in the Lawrence Journal-World  Full story

In the early morning hours, after the thrashers, warblers and wrens have sent out a cascade of calls, Kim Scherman ventures out to Kansas University’s Native Medicinal Plant Research Garden. Scherman, a recent KU graduate, spends a chunk of her morning tending the garden and the student farm — watering, weeding, mulching.

Scherman helped start the KU student farm two years ago. For a capstone project, she planted tomatoes, eggplant and cantaloupe in a small plot. It was the only plot, but by the second year, there were 25 plots, harvested and maintained by students.

Located near the Lawrence Municipal Airport, it’s called the KU student farm but it’s not restricted to just students. For $30, anyone can secure a plot, and, so far, it’s proved a popular pursuit. This year, there were 50 plots.

The student farm and the Kansas Native Medicinal Plant Research Garden are the newest and smallest parts of the KU Field Station, which is only one component of the Kansas Biological Survey.

“The field station is not the Biological Survey, but is just a part of it,”said Kirsten Bosnak, project coordinator for the medicinal plant research program.

The Kansas Biological Survey is a large KU research site dedicated to biological and environmental studies. It is composed of different research centers, each with its own focus.

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