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 its inception in 2010, we have presented over 50 lectures, many of which are available to view on our website.
  • Each year we expect to offer a mix of virtual, in-person, and hybrid experiences.
  • We are grateful to all who have helped to make this major educational initiative such a success, and so much a part of our community and our history!
  • CEUs Available for Lectures: APLD (1.5 credits); LA CES (1.5 credits); NOFA-AOLCP (1.5 credits).
  • Thank you to our program partners: Cambridge Public LibraryMount Auburn Cemetery, the Boston Society of Landscape Architects, and New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill.

Our 2024 Programs

 

Nick Dorian

The Secret Lives of Native Bees

Dr. Nick Dorian, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Chicago Botanic Garden

  • March 6 | 7:00 - 8:30pm

Where: Online (By Zoom Webinar)

Sign Up to Watch Online

You’ve probably heard “Save The Bees!” but do you know which bees need saving? Over 4000 species of bees inhabit North America, and most don’t live in hives or make honey. These wild bees come in every size, shape, and color you can imagine, and they live all around us, hiding in plain sight. In this lecture, ecologist Dr. Nick Dorian will introduce you to the wild bees of New England. Together, we’ll examine their varied lifestyles, habitat needs, and intricate relationships they have with native flowering plants and other insects. You’ll come away charmed by these tiny pollinators and with clear action items for how to support them in your backyard.

Nick Dorian received his Ph.D. from Tufts University, where he co-founded and ran the Tufts Pollinator Initiative, an urban pollinator conservation group that worked at the nexus of habitat creation, community education, and ecological research. Currently, Nick is a post-doc at the Chicago Botanic Garden where he studies how to optimize pollinator gardens for biodiversity conservation.

Andrea Berry

Planting for Climate Resilience

Andrea Berry, Executive Director, Wild Seed Project

  • April 3 | 7:00 - 8:30pm

Where: Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA

In addition to helping to sustain vital pollinators, birds and other wildlife, native plantings offer countless other benefits that are indispensable in the age of climate change. When created and maintained with ecologically attuned landscaping practices, they can minimize flooding and storm water runoff, shade and cool cities, survive droughts, and facilitate carbon storage more effectively than the landscapes dominated by turf and mulch that blanket so many of our communities. Join Andrea Berry from the Wild Seed Project to learn about the actions you can take to make your corner of the world more biodiverse and resilient to the effects of climate change.

Andrea joined Wild Seed Project as the organization’s Executive Director in 2021. She also serves on the Board of Directors at Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative and recently was elected to the Select Board for the town of North Yarmouth, Maine where she is leading community-driven efforts around land conservation and environmental stewardship. 

Nancy Lawson

Gardening Among Hungry Mammals

Nancy Lawson, Author, The Humane Gardener

  • May 8 | 7:00 - 8:30pm

Where: Online (By Zoom Webinar)

Sign Up to Watch Online

It’s hard to imagine, but white-tailed deer were once nearly extinct in dozens of states. Their abundance now puts them at odds with most gardeners, who become frustrated by the ineffectiveness of conventional methods such as use of repellent sprays and so-called “deer-resistant” species that end up getting browsed. Add to the mix all the resident rabbits, squirrels, and groundhogs, and many gardeners are ready to throw in the trowel. But by understanding plant resistance and tolerance strategies as well as animal behaviors and natural histories, we can create resilient gardens that will support a diversity of vertebrate and invertebrate life in our home habitats. Join author Nancy Lawson to discover how a combination of strategies—including mixtures of preferred and unpalatable species, strategic plantings along well-used pathways, and gentle exclusion techniques—can help you trade resistance for peaceful coexistence.

Nancy Lawson’s latest book is Wildscape: Trilling Chipmunks, Beckoning Blooms, Salty Butterflies, and other Sensory Wonders of Nature. A master naturalist and habitat consultant, she pioneers creative wildlife-friendly landscaping methods, and helped launch a community science project, Monarch Rx, based on scientific discoveries made in her own garden.


Past Programs This Year