The Elizabeth Farnsworth Native Fern Garden and Fern Cobble were unveiled and dedicated at the Hitchcock Center on August 8, 2019 by a cohort of Elizabeth’s long-time friends and colleagues.
The garden and cobble nearly 30 of the 58 native ferns species in New England, tucked along the shady northern edge of the Center’s pathway to the Den Play area and trails beyond. Fern species are labeled to allow for learning the nuances between the species or a visitor can take a guide to the garden and test their knowledge.
Elizabeth J. Farnsworth (1962-2017) was a gifted field naturalist, educator, researcher, author and illustrator. She was an exceptional person whose passion for the natural world ignited in all of us a deeper commitment to protecting it. As a long-time board member, volunteer and instructor for the Hitchcock Center, Elizabeth taught us to observe the world more closely and to respect the abundant natural treasures that surround us.
Among those treasures most dear to Elizabeth were ferns. She co-authored the Peterson Field Guide to Ferns (2005), a resource used by many. This native fern garden has been created in Elizabeth’s honor as a place for beauty, reflection and education for all to enjoy.
Elizabeth was a mentor to many in learning about the diversity of plants in our region. She helped make ferns and their vocabulary of identification accessible and fun. She shared her knowledge so willingly and so supportively. Through the Fern Garden and Cobble, we hope to continue Elizabeth’s legacy in teaching others about these beautiful plants.
Ferns comprise part of Hitchcock’s mission of helping others understand the amazing diversity and incredible adaptations of plants on this wonderful planet. They offer us a way into caring more deeply about the planet and finding ways to help preserve the wonders that remain.
A special thanks to all our volunteers including:
We trust that Elizabeth would have found peace and enjoyment here. We hope you will as well.Click here to return to full list of blog entries. Or chose a specific Blog category below.