Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 63.djvu/55

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In all about four hundred separate plants were shown to the close of July. The exhibit was discontinued in July, but in September was opened again with various compositæ, as asters and golden rod, together with gentian and witch hazel, and as winter came on with cryptogams, as toadstools, lichens and mosses. Pupils in the high school have cooperated in the work by preparing lists to show the dates of the appearance of different blossoms. Corrected lists are published in the annual report and in time these will add materially to our knowledge of the flora of the region. There is also printed in the report a classified list of flowering plants and ferns growing on the museum grounds. Plans are under way for an exhaustive study and complete herbarium of the flora of Forest Park.

In planning lectures and exhibits, the museum officials are on the alert to take advantage of any special interest in the minds of people. Some years ago when there was much discussion of the value of mushrooms and the importance of care in collecting them, there were placed on special tables with careful descriptions many of the most common and important species. The exhibit of birds and plants appeal to an innate interest, easily aroused and maintained. Evidences are many that these various activities and influences of the museum are in a quiet but effective way developing in the community a spirit of sympathy, power of observation and a delight in the wonderful treasures of nature.

A city of the wealth and population of Springfield is certainly fortunate in the possession of a museum of natural history of such excellence and of collections so extensive and of such value for exhibition purposes and for study. These things have been made possible by the fine public spirit that characterizes the community. The City Library Association, including the Library, Art Museum and Museum of Natural History, constitutes a rallying point for the various interests in matters literary, artistic and scientific. Much of the efficiency and influence of the association is the result of the untiring and unselfish devotion and labors of the late Rev. Dr. William Rice, librarian from 1861 to 1897. Such is the confidence of the people in the work of the institution that the city makes each year a generous grant of money to meet the running expenses of the three departments of literature, art and science. In land, buildings, books and collections the total value of the property is nearly, if not over, $600,000, most of which has been the gift of public-spirited citizens. On account of the simplicity of the museum building and the excellent work done on the cases, and care taken in the installation of the collections, this department of the association is conducted at a minimum expense. The total annual appropriation to cover salaries, repairs, cleaning and lighting is $1,200, and this amount is rarely exceeded. Yet the museum is em-