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 and throughout our first decade, we have presented 4-5 programs each year at the Cambridge Public Library, held on the first Wednesday of the month beginning in February. With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, we were forced to reschedule and reformat these programs to be accessed solely online.
  • Now, in 2021, we are proud to continue our tradition with three great new programs, all on Zoom and still on Wednesday evenings in spring. We look forward to returning to live programming, hopefully next year.
  • Thanks to all who have helped to make this major educational initiative so much a part of our community and our history, and such a success. Together, we are building much greater public engagement in the need for ecological landscaping and knowledge about new methods for stewarding landscapes that help to protect biodiversity and to mitigate climate change.
  • 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.

2021 Programs

Biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate across the globe, and restoring wildlife habitat in urban and suburban green spaces is a crucial way we can stem this tide. To be effective in achieving this critical conservation goal, we need evidence-based guidelines to inform our landscaping decisions and plant selection. Desiree Narango will describe the ecological and evolutionary relationships between plants, pollinators, and songbirds— and highlight her compelling research on why native plants are the essential component of gardens that sustain biodiversity. She will also discuss specific findings from her research to help us identify the necessary proportion of native plants, as well as the plant best genera and species to use, if we are to create thriving wildlife habitat at home and in our communities.

Dr. Desiree Narango is a postdoctoral researcher and David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. While earning her Ph.D. at the University of Delaware, she worked closely with Doug Tallamy on numerous research projects. Her focus is on understanding wildlife habitat relationships and plant-animal interactions in novel human-dominated landscapes.