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Botanical Essays from Kent

Some Botanical Features of a University Town in Ohio

Nature, Regional Interest

Foreword by Hope Taft | Afterword by David E. Boufford

The volume is … perfect for an afternoon in the shade of a beautiful tree in the summer breezes, and will be enjoyed by anyone interested in plants. The love of a lifetime of the study of plants shines through in these appealing vignettes.—Michael A. Vincent, Castanea, Journal of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society

DescriptionA leading Ohio botanist reflects on Kent’s remarkable flora

During the latter half of the twentieth century, the world witnessed the rise of the modern environmental movement. Chronicling this significant occurrence in Ohio, and specifically in Kent, a university town in the American Midwest, Botanical Essays from Kent is a collection of writings and photographs that capture the spirit and excitement of botanical fieldwork during the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s.

With personal narratives based on fifty years of experience, author Tom S. Cooperrider provides fascinating botanical tales on the study and conservation of Ohio flora, the Herrick Magnolia Garden, work of other local botanists, the protection of rare species and unique areas, such as Kent’s tamarack bog, the discovery of lost plants, the survival of a famous cultivated tree, and the invasiveness of alien plant species. Kent Bog, dedicated as a state nature preserve in 1987, is the book’s focal point.

Botanical Essays from Kent is a valuable addition to the understanding of local natural history and will be enjoyed by botanists, gardeners, and nature lovers alike.

“By turning the pages of this book and absorbing Tom’s knowledge from its beautifully written passages, you will not only discover local history and fascinating information about plants, but also be drawn into the world of a botanist and have its secrets revealed in language every gardener can understand.”—Hope Taft, from the Foreword

“A delightful paean not only to the natural history of Kent, ‘The Tree City,’ but also to small-town America as exemplified by this university town in northeastern Ohio.”—Rudolf Schmid, Taxon, International Journal of Taxonomy, Phylogeny and Evolution

“His stories entertain, but they also teach the reader about the plant life of Ohio and the Kent and Portage County area in particular. They tell us of the importance of botanical studies to the understanding of the world we inhabit.”—David Dix, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier

“The Botanical Essays from Kent will appeal to a wide audience—not only to those interested in plants, Kent State University, or the state of Ohio, but to anyone interested in the history of the late twentieth century when many changes were taking place, particularly in the study of plants and in America’s changing attitudes about conservation and the environment.”—from the Afterword by David E.Boufford

“Tom Cooperrider writes with the authority reflecting a lifetime devoted to the study of the world of Nature. He chooses his words carefully, inviting a closer look at wonders such as the Kent Bog, a living relic of the Ice Age that has somehow survived centuries of change in Northeast Ohio. His finely crafted portraits beckon readers to appreciate a bounty of marvels that they might otherwise overlook.” —Roger J. DiPaolo, editor, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier

AuthorsA native Ohioan, Tom S. Cooperrider is a botanist, an expert on Ohio flora, and a professor emeritus of biological sciences at Kent State University. He has authored and coauthored numerous research articles and five books in the field of botany, including Endangered and Threatened Plants of Ohio and Seventh Catalog of the Vascular Plants of Ohio. Cooprrider is a Fellow of AAAS, the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Hope Taft is the former First Lady of Ohio and founder of the Ohio Heritage Garden at the Governor’s residence.

David E. Boufford is senior scientist at the Harvard University Herbaria.

ReadingOn April 17, 2012, Tom Cooperrider and friends gathered at the Kent State University Library for a reading from Botanical Essays from Kent by Dianne Centa, Roger Di Paolo, and Donald “Mack” Hassler. Follow this link and scroll down to see the video.

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