The sun was shining brightly when 13 IMA- and bsb-members and guests met on June 30, 2018 to tour the Palmengarten in Frankfurt which was founded by Heinrich Siesmeyer 150 years ago. Following a brief welcome, Lilian Helbig, head of IMA’s Frankfurt regional chapter, gave the floor to biologist Petra Jung. At the beginning of the tour that covered only a small part of the 54 acres the park encompasses, Ms. Jung presented the coco-de-mer, at up 55 lbs the largest seed in the world. The fruit of a palm that grows only on two islands of the Seychelles is able to form plant ivory on its inside which, as the participants found out, cannot be distinguished from animal ivory. The next stop was the American sweetgum which is not only responsible for the rich coloring of the Indian summer, but whose gum and fibers were used for dental care by the Native Americans. Ms. Jung illustrates the variety of woods by presenting same-sized pieces of balsa and lignum vitae, the most light-weight and the most heavy-weight types of wood. At the Palmenhaus which is home to a selection of the 2,600 species of palm trees the group learned more about the multitude of palms and the assorted products obtained from the various species. The group went on to the roses which featured a species whose green flowers that only consist of sepals could only be seen at a second glance. The informative and fascinating tour ended with a walk through the vegetation zones subtropical dry evergreen forest, xerophytic forest and semi-desert. Along the way, there was a lively exchange of gardening tips. After the tour the participants enjoyed delicious cake while networking on the patio of Café Siesmayer.
On June 8, 2018, 11 members and guests of the Frankfurt IMA-regional chapter visited the Hessischer Rundfunk (HR - Hessian state radio and TV). Prior to the tour, Jonas Reinhardt provided information on the HR, one of the biggest organizers of cultural events in the state of Hesse. The approx. 1,800 employees in Frankfurt do not only look after 6 radio stations and a TV-program as well as two or-chestras, but a car workshop, a facility to build stage sets and a cafeteria which is also open to employees from the surrounding companies. With its multitude of vocational trainings the HR is one of the biggest providers of vocational training in Hesse. Within the ARD (network of public TV and radio stations in Germany) the HR produces movies for the popular German crime show series Tatort (crime scene) set in Wiesbaden and Frankfurt, movies and - due its proximity to the German Weather Service in Offenbach – the weather forecast. The ARD-administration and the broadcasting center are also located on the HR-premises which comprise 13 soccer fields. IMA Germany chairman Nicole Stigler made her debut as a weather forecaster in front of the blue wall, before the group continued to the TV-studios. Following a live show with cooking segment studio 2 was being converted for another show. In studio 1 five quiz shows are recorded up to six months in advance using varying stage sets. In a separate corner of the studio soccer experts regularly analyze matches. In the studio of HR1-radio host, Doris Renck offered tips for the weekend before Sebastian Korff took over the microphone after news, weather and traffic. There also was a chance to learn about the complex computer-controlled technology behind the broadcast.
Following the tour and a group photo the evening ended with a dinner.