Evenings With Experts

A Free Public Lecture Series


  • This free program is open to all and features some of the nation's best experts on the ecology of native plant landscaping.
  • Since inception, we have presented 4-5 programs each year at the Cambridge Public Library, held on the first Wednesday of the month beginning in February and running through May or June. With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, we have been forced to reschedule and reformat these programs. After holding our first two lectures this year in person (February and March), we are now continuing the remaining two lectures as online webinars. We are committed to this major educational initiative that is so much a part of our community, and proud of our success at building much greater public engagement in the need for ecological landscaping and best approaches for success.
  • We don’t yet know what the future holds for our 2021 season, but stay tuned. We will evaluate alternatives and effective ways to share knowledge from the expert community, and we very much look forward to the time when we can all gather again in person.
  • CEUs Available for Lectures: APLD (1.5 credits); LA CES (1.5 credits); NOFA-AOLCP (1.5 credits)
  • Thank you to our program partners: Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Boston Society of Landscape Architects, and the Cambridge Public Library.

Our 2020 Programs

Heather Holm

Native Bees: Our Pollination Powerhouses

Heather Holm, Author, Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide

  • September 23 | 7:00 - 8:30pm

Where: Online Webinar (By Zoom)

Advance registration for the webinar is required.


Native bees are the most important and effective pollinators for our flowering plants. Although they play a crucial role in sustaining biodiversity, they are poorly understood and under threat from human activity. Heather Holm will teach us how to recognize common bee genera, and enlighten us about their fascinating life cycles, nesting habitat, and foraging needs. Come learn more about the mutualistic relationships that they have with native plants— a powerful reminder that the salvation of one is inextricably linked to the proper stewardship of the other.

Heather Holm is an expert on pollinators whose first book, Pollinators of Native Plants, brought her national attention. She is a sought-after speaker who is passionate about educating audiences. Her recent book, Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide, won the 2018 American Horticultural Society Book Award.

Dan Jaffe.

Designing with Plant Communities

Dan Jaffe Wilder, Horticulturist, Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary

  • October 21 | 7:00 - 8:30pm

Where: Online Webinar (By Zoom)

Advance registration for the webinar is required.


All too often, during the design process, we think of plants on an individual or species basis. Yet in the landscape, plants are constantly interacting with one another in intricate ways. What happens if we create planting plans focused on complete systems rather than collections of individuals? Join us to learn how to create healthy, resilient plant communities that are beautiful and ecologically vibrant. Dan Jaffe will discuss how to select and combine the right species for specific site conditions, and how this community-oriented approach can be applied to plantings of all sizes.

Dan Jaffe is passionate about ecological horticulture, and enhancing the wildlife value of every landscape. Prior to joining Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary, he was the senior plant propagator at Garden in the Woods. He is the co-author of Native Plants for New England Gardens, which features his captivating photographs.