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The Healthy Plant Initiative was created by student Michal Weaver as part of her environmental studies capstone project. She got the idea for the program after she and Steve Smith, a classmate in an ecological entomology course, helped to treat plants in the Center for School Partnerships and Teacher Certification.
Weaver and Smith used non-toxic methods to diagnose and treat an infestation for plants housed in the office. They used small slices of potato to attract larvae and yellow sticky cards to capture insects in the plant, which they then studied. After finding that the plant had an infestation of fungus gnats, they used a biological control nematode to control the gnats and remove the problem.
Now, the students are prepared to diagnose and treat any plant on campus, through the Healthy Plant Initiative. They can visit offices for consultations, and may bring plants back to the greenhouse in Stowell Hall to treat and heal.
The initiative will use organic, non-toxic methods to help the College's indoor plants remain healthy and vibrant. Raymond Bowdish, the instructional specialist in the biology department, oversees the program. Bill Brown serves as Weaver's capstone advisor for the project.
To make a request for assistance from SUNY Potsdam's Healthy Plant Initiative, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.