“Wildlife Matters” Landscaping Conference at The Native Plant Center
The dramatic decline of many of our common species has been an environmental wake up call. The Monarch butterfly population is crashing, honey bees and many native bee species are experiencing record losses, and the 20 most common bird species have dropped by an average of 68% in the past 45 years (National Audubon Society). These iconic species are more than just “wildlife,” they are part of healthy, functioning ecosystems which deliver the ecosystem services we humans depend upon.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could do something to help wildlife in our landscapes? Well, we can at “Wildlife Matters: Creating Landscapes That Sustain Nature” at The Native Plant Center in Valhalla, New York. Landscaping professionals and gardening enthusiasts will have the opportunity to hear experts speak on a number of topics, then apply what they learn to their own landscapes.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Doug Tallamy, Professor & Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. His talk will be: “Networks for Life: Stitching the Natural World Together.” Dr. Tallamy’s book: Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife With Native Plants, is regarded as a breakthrough work, changing the way we see, and value, our landscapes. I learn something valuable and useful every time I hear him speak, and you will too. I hear that Dr. Tallamy will be sharing some information about his upcoming book co-authored with Rick Darke.
The second speaker will be Dr. Stephen Kress, Vice President for Bird Conservation at the National Audubon Society and an associate at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Dr. Kress is also the Director of the Audubon Society Seabird Restoration Program. His topic at the conference will be: “Attracting Birds to Your Property.” Dr. Kress has authored a number of books, including, The Audubon Guide to Attracting Birds: Creating Natural Habitats for Properties Large and Small and The National Audubon Society North American Birdfeeder Guide.
Next up will be yours truly, Kim Eierman. My talk will be: “Planting for Pollinators” which includes honey bees, our many species of native bees, and a few unexpected pollinators. I will share the best practices for creating habitats and forage sources for our valuable pollinators, and debunk a few myths along the way.
The last presentation of the day will be: “Designing a Native Butterfly Garden” presented by Chrissy Word, an environmental science educator and co-founder of Butterfly Project NYC, and Ursula Chanse, Director of Bronx Green-Up and Community Horticulture at The New York Botanical Garden. With the Monarch crisis at full tilt, this is a very timely topic.
We can do a lot to support wildlife in every landscape. The time to start? Now!
Photo: Honey Bee Going for the Good Stuff on New England Aster
Photo credit: Flickr_Richard Hurd
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