February 22, 2013

News Digest: Flower and garden show winner, RecycleMania under way, Honor: Michael Gelb and František Tureček

Plants, stone walkway and face of stone in garden

Tracy Mehlin

Riz Reyes said he took inspiration from movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark for his garden featuring rare, wild and little-seen plant species.

Part-time UW gardener designs winning display
Riz Reyes, who works part time as a gardener with the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, claimed the top prize at the Pacific Northwest Flower & Garden Show this week. Reyes, who earned his bachelor’s in environmental horticulture and urban forestry from the UW, owns RHR Horticulture in Shoreline.

The flower and garden show proposed movies as the theme for gardens and Reyes said he took inspiration from Jurassic Park, King Kong and Raiders of the Lost Ark for his garden titled “The Lost Gardener – A Journey from the Wild to the Cultivated.”

Seattle garden writer Valerie Easton blogged, “The cool plant garden that took the Founder’s Cup – “The Lost Gardener” – is by Riz Reyes, a F&G Show first-timer. . . How many years has it been since there’s been a real plant collector’s garden? This one is all about unusual and rare plants, used extravagantly to create a jungle of a garden. How good Riz was rewarded with the big prize for being daring with his plant choices.”

Included in the display are more than 75 different kinds of plants.

At the UW, Reyes works at the Center for Urban Horticulture and is responsible for maintaining the Soest Herbaceous Display Garden.

The flower and garden show continues this weekend.

RecycleMania a chance to increase recycling, composting on campus
You can help the UW’s standings in this year’s RecycleMania by increasing your efforts to recycle and compost between now and March 30.

The RecycleMania competition pits the UW against universities nationwide – including the Pac-12 rivals such as ASU, Stanford and WSU – to determine the top recycler.

Since Feb. 3, UW Recycling has been tracking the amount of recycling, food waste and garbage collected on campus each week. UW is competing in four categories: the highest waste diversion rate (recycling compared to what is thrown away); the highest recycling rate per person on campus; the highest gross tonnage of recycling generated on campus; and the highest percentage of food waste composted per person.

UW Recycling is sharing weekly results on its website, where you can also see results of a competition between UW residence halls sponsored by Housing and Food Services.

The competitions provides incentives to take waste diversion at the UW further, according Jessica Lisiewski, UW Recycling & Solid Waste program coordinator. The more participation across campus, the closer the UW can get to reaching its waste diversion goal of 70 percent by 2020, she said.

Newborn screening test brings chemical society honor to Gelb, Tureček
Michael Gelb and František Tureček, UW chemistry professors, will be presented the Gustavus John Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest for their work in devising methods to detect rare genetic diseases in newborns.

The diseases – which include Tay-Sachs, Gaucher, Krabbe, Pompe, Nieman-Pick, Fabry, and Hurler syndromes – affect about one in every 5,000 people and cause serious abnormalities in children, often resulting in premature death. Early detection is important for the best chances of effective treatment.

The procedures for newborn screening developed by Gelb and Tureček have proven so reliable and inexpensive that several states now require that every newborn be tested.

The award will be presented by the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society April 4 at Harvard University.

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