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Cornelian Cherry Dogwood

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Joining us from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in entomology is Matthew Quenaudon, our new integrated pest management (IPM) intern. Matt’s position at Phipps is funded by a grant from the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust. Through the generosity of the Trust, Phipps will be able to ramp up our already pace-setting IPM program in regards to our recordkeeping, follow-through and invasive plant management. During this time, Matthew will be immersed in IPM — an approach that employs innovative methods of pest control in order to mitigate environmental harm — gaining important skills and carrying an appreciation and knowledge of IPM forward into his budding career.

We sat down with Matthew to ask him about his new position and how he developed such a strong interest in the insect world.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your role at Phipps?

I graduated in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in entomology from the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources at Michigan State University. I am an aspiring entomologist looking to further my education and experience working along Scott Creary in the IPM program while here at Phipps. As an IPM intern, I will be developing and coordinating Phipps’ IPM program; monitoring and diagnosing all plant health problems, biotic and abiotic; keeping the IPM database current; and maintaining records of all control measures implemented, along with the monetary costs associated with them, with a goal of minimizing pesticide use while maintaining the health and beauty of all plants throughout the Phipps campus.

Can you briefly explain integrated pest management?

Integrated pest management is an environmentally and economically friendly approach to effectively control pests. By using a combination of practices, IPM strives to suppress a pest population below the economic injury level (EIL). IPM specialists utilize information on the life cycle of pests, as well as their behavior and interaction with the environment, when deciding whether or not action is needed with regards to the safety of people, property and the environment.

What attracted you to working at Phipps?

I was impressed with Phipps’ commitment to being as environmentally friendly as possible and the direction in which the organization was heading. I browsed Phipps’ website, agreed with all I saw and knew I shared the same outlook and approach as the Phipps team. I’m very happy to join the team.

How did you first become interested in bugs?

I’ve always been very outdoorsy and captivated by nature, as well as all there is to learn and take from it. Growing up, my mom was an active gardener and I often found myself crawling around in the dirt, fascinated by all the little insects I found under rocks and in between plants. I would collect insects, keeping them as “pets,” and genuinely enjoyed studying their behavior year after year. Science fiction, outer space, and the search for alien life have always intrigued me, so I figured, why not start with the “alien” life living all around us?

Photo © Paul g. Wiegman.



Other Featured Exhibits & Events

Spring Flower Show
March 22 – April 20, 2014
Take a toe-tapping journey through a musical world where melodies bloom like flowers. Highlights include whimsical sculptures made out of up-cycled instruments, plantings designed to mimic the rise and fall of musical notes, and thousands of beautiful blooms.
Garden Railroad
Now Open
A unique twist on the traditional Garden Railroad, this year's display takes you to Phipps Prehistoric Park — a whimsical world where dinosaurs are brought back to life! Full of surprises, detailed models, moving parts and trains, this can't-miss exhibit is a thrilling adventure for all ages.
Natives on the Rooftop
April 4 – June 8, 2014
Tuesdays – Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park
Visit Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park to view gorgeous illustrations of native plants by our talented botanical art students.
Used Bulb Sale
Saturdays, April 5, 19 and 26, 2014
10 a.m. – noon
Attend our Used Bulb Sale for a chance to mix and match enough bulbs — including hyacinths, daffodils and lilies — to plant two pots, all for just $5!
Biophilia: Pittsburgh
Next Meeting April 17, 2014
5:30 p.m.
Biophilia: Pittsburgh is the pilot chapter for a Biophilia Network of creative minds meeting monthly to discuss strengthening the bond between people and the natural world through education, discussion and action. Meetings are free to attend; advance RSVP is required. Join the conversation!
Bowties & Butterflies
Thursday, April 24, 2014
6:30 – 10 p.m.
Join us for a spring time garden gala as we welcome beautiful butterflies back to our Stove Room and toast the return of warmer weather.
Butterfly Forest
April 26 – Sept. 1, 2014
Watch as gorgeous butterflies emerge from their chrysalises to soar and glide among colorful, bug-friendly blooms. One may even land on you!
Party in the Tropics
Select Fridays
Next Party May 2, 2014
7 – 11 p.m.
Ages 21+
Gather your friends and get ready to dine, drink and dance the night away at Phipps! Make our paradise your own as you indulge in sweet and savory morsels, taste unique cocktails, and dance to the beats of a live DJ in our Tropical Forest Conservatory. Entry is free with Conservatory admission.
30th Annual Great Plant Auction
May 2, 2014
6 p.m.
This annual event is a plant lover’s dream: Enjoy wine and hors d'oeuvres as Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park transforms into an auction house for unique plants and garden accessories. Reservations are required.
May Market and National Public Gardens Day
May 9 and 10, 2014
Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
A fun family outing held just before Mother’s Day, our 78th annual May Market features a wide selection of plants, including organic seedlings, specimens from our greenhouses and more. This event is free and open to the public, and in honor of National Public Gardens Day, admission to Phipps is half price during market hours.
Summer Flower Show
May 10 – Oct. 5, 2014
The whimsical miniature world of Garden Railroad takes center stage at Phipps this summer. With themed railroad displays in multiple exhibit rooms enhanced by unique plantings, interactive features and more, this show will bring the wonder of childhood to visitors of all ages.
Inspire Speakers Series
Second Thursday of every month, November 2013 – May 2014, except where noted
Next Event May 15, 2014
5 – 8 p.m.
Green Building Alliance (GBA) and Phipps collaborate to host a second year of all-star local and national guest speakers at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes. Registration with GBA is required.
Discovery Garden Day
May 25, 2013
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Bring the whole family to the Children's Discovery Garden for a day of hands-on, sensory fun. Together, you’ll learn about plants and their pollinators through games, potting stations, crafts and more — all free with Conservatory admission.
From the Ground Up: Community Feast
May 31, 2014
12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Join us for a lunchtime celebration with the high school student participants in our From the Ground Up food and culture program.
Farmers at Phipps
Wednesdays, June – October 2014
2:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Refresh your food shopping experience! Visit our sustainably managed front lawn to browse organic and Certified Naturally Grown fruits, vegetables and more from local farms.
Tropical Forest India
Now Open
Explore our new exhibit showcasing one of the most botanically rich regions of the world. Highlights include an Ayurvedic healing garden, spice and tea market displays, a stunning temple facade on Special Events Hall, and more!