Roger Williams Botanical Center

Loss of Pollinator Habitats Threatens Food Security

These honey bees are pollinating 'Walker's Low' (Nepeta racemosa) at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center.  (SDG 2010).

Pollinator species populations, such as the vital Honey Bee, are declining at alarming rates.

Why you should care:

  • Pollinators are vital to agriculture.  Nearly all fruit, vegetable, and seed crops used to produce fuel, medicine, and food require animal pollinators (such as birds, bees, and butterflies.)
  • Intensification of agriculture, pollinator habitat fragmentation and habitat loss are all factors which have negatively impacted native pollinator populations.
  • If populations continue to decline,  crop production could decline with it - causing a spike in food prices.
  • 10% of Rhode Island's total land acreage is devoted to Agriculture.
  • Rhode Island is a leader in direct sales of produce from farms to consumers.
  • Agriculture (including livestock, dairy, aquaculture, nursery and greenhouse stock, vegetables, and sod production) contributes significantly to Rhode Island's economy.

What you can do:

The Heinz Center. 2013. Rhode Island Pollinators and Agriculture. Washington, DC, 46 pp

Happy #DesignWeekRI!

DesignWeek (September 14-25) is an annual celebration of Rhode Island's unique community of designers put on by DESIGNxRI.  A series of events, lectures, tours, awards, and informal talks spotlight local talent and innovation.

Yesterday, one of Searle Design Group's Principals, Taber Caton hosted an Eat & Speak Luncheon at Roger Williams Park Botanical Center.  Taber gave a talk about SDG's master plan for the center which was implemented in 2010. The Botanical Center is New England's largest indoor garden.  SDG's master plan expanded the indoor garden to the exterior grounds, boasting a wide variety of diverse plant communities featuring both native and adaptive plants to create a sustainable vision for the overall grounds. Taber also talked about how this project achieved ADA accessibility in spite of the challenge of working with steep terrain.  Those who attended this event saw the original master plan and listened to Taber speak about the first three phases of construction before embarking on a tour of the grounds. The beautifully maintained gardens would not exist in such great condition today without the help of the volunteers of the Botanical Center Conservancy and Providence Parks and Recreation.

Join us for DesignWeek at Roger Williams Park Botanical Center!

DesignWeek is an annual celebration hosted by DESIGNxRI spotlighting talent and innovation in the Rhode Island design community.

This year Searle Design Group's Taber Caton will be offering a can't-miss opportunity to tour the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center and learn how SDG's sustainable vision for the grounds of New England's largest indoor garden became a reality.

Learn more and register for this free Eat and Speak Luncheon event on September 22 at noon at 1000 Elmwood Avenue in Providence, RI.

A Colorful Visit to the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center

Tuesday morning Taber, Rebecca, and Jess did some volunteer weeding at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center.  Searle Design Group developed the master plan for the center in 2010 and with the continued efforts of maintenance staff and volunteers, this portion of the park offers visitors a unique educational experience among a large, diverse collection of plants.  If interested in visiting (or volunteering!) check out:  

We're presenting at Green RI hosted by @AIARhodeIsland and @iidaNE

Come by and hear our and others presentations, tour the gardens, and attend the Sustainable Design Showcase #GreenRI


Roger Williams Park Botanical Center
1000 Elmwood Avenue – Providence, RI