Saturday, March 31, 2012



Botanical Garden Celebrates 50 Years of “Silent Spring”

Chapel Hill:  Three April events planned by the North Carolina Botanical Garden celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of “Silent Spring,” Rachel Carson’s classic and revolutionary exposé of toxic chemical use in the U.S.

On April 18, Botanical Garden Director Peter White (faculty in UNC’s Department of Biology) leads a discussion, in book-club format, on the impact of “Silent Spring” on the environmental movement. Participants will independently read “Silent Spring” using study questions provided by Dr. White ahead of time. Advance registration is required, and those interested should call now to sign up: 919-962-0522. There is a small fee.

The second event is a morning Bird Walk at Mason Farm Biological Reserve, part of the North Carolina Botanical Garden. The Saturday, April 21, walk will be led by Cynthia Fox, bird expert and owner of Chapel Hill’s Wild Bird Center. Advance registration is required and there is a small fee; call 919-962-0522. Mason Farm is a 367-acre reserve in Chapel Hill that encompasses both forests and old fields supporting a great diversity of wildlife. Visitation is by permit only, available at the Botanical Garden.

The third event is a lecture by Dr. Priscilla Coit Murphy, scholar and author of “What a Book Can Do: The Publication and Reception of Silent Spring.” The free lecture is on Thursday, April 26 at 7 p.m. in the Botanical Garden’s Reeves Auditorium. Please call ahead to reserve a seat: 919-962-0522. Dr. Coit Murphy offers a vivid recounting of the events in 1962 leading up to and following to the publication of “Silent Spring.” “My goal is to bring immediacy to the anniversary and the book’s unique ability to enable a single citizen to place a matter of public importance in the forums of debate,” says Coit Murphy.

The North Carolina Botanical Garden is located at 100 Old Mason Farm Road off Fordham Boulevard in Chapel Hill. Admission to gardens, trails, and exhibits is free. More information at or 919-962-0522.

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