Botanist Sows Seeds of Hope for Plant Conservation

Three decades of field experience have enabled Hope Leeson to develop an intimate knowledge of Rhode Island’s plant communities.

ECORI.ORG – Thanks to lessons taught by her grandparents, Hope Leeson has always been drawn to plants. Some of her oldest memories are of trees, especially their different shapes.

“I’ve always had this haunting sense of awareness of their forms,” said Leeson, a botanist, plant conservationist, and botanical educator from South Kingstown who has walked much of Rhode Island in search of wetlands and rare plants. “I was always interested by their shapes, and by other little things on the ground that also attracted my attention, like the incredible structure of inch-high plants, sedges and flowers. There are so many different unbelievable shapes and forms that plants take.”


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