NatureServe is a nonprofit conservation organization that provides the scientific information and tools needed to help guide effective conservation action. NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs are the leading source for information about rare and endangered species and threatened ecosystems as well as invasive plants. NatureServe Explorer, described as an online encyclopedia of life, provides an authoritative source for information on more than 65,000 plants, animals, and ecosystems of the United States and Canda. The database can be searched either for species or ecological communities and systems. It includes both scientific and common names, conservation status, invasive species assessments, distribution maps, life histories, conservation needs, links to photos, and much more. It takes some time to learn all the possibilities of this database, but even a quick perusal can yield some fascinating information.
This may not be the best time of year to think of extra garden projects, yet Easy Garden Projects to Make Build, and Grow: 200 Do-It-Yourself Ideas to Help You Grow Your Best Garden Ever (Rodale, 2006, $17.95) may be just the thing to help you break out of the summer doldrums. Edited by Barbara Pleasant and the editors of Yankee Magazine, this book is filled with ideas to help save time, make complicated jobs simpler, and transform trash to treasure. Besides the garden projects themselves, there is lots of additional information that is both useful and fun to read. This is a book that will inspire.