Author Doug Tallamy to discuss how gardeners can help rebuild nature

monarch on milkweed
Planting native plants, such as swamp milkweed, can help reverse the loss of wildlife, says Doug Tallamy, whose book “Bringing Nature Home” has sparked a national conversation about the importance of native plants. Photo courtesy WNY Land Conservancy

Historically, we have landscaped to add beauty to our yards, without much thought to the role that plants provide in maintaining healthy ecosystems. The way we think about our yards needs to shift, according to award-winning author Doug Tallamy.

In an event organized by the Western New York Land Conservancy, Tallamy will present “Rebuilding Nature’s Relationships at Home” on Tuesday, May 10 at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts on the North Campus, Maple Rd. and Flint, Amherst.

There will be a reception open to the public at 6 p.m. and the talk will begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the UB Box Office or online at The Land Conservancy’s last speaker event sold out, so don’t delay in buying tickets.

“We have eliminated so much nature so fast, that most people don’t realize how little is left,” said Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home. “Particularly in the east, we have devastated our natural areas to the point where if we are going to have functioning ecosystems, if we’re going to have biodiversity, we need to start sharing the property that we’ve taken.”

Tallamy’s research and book have sparked a national conversation about the importance of using native plants in our gardens.

After decades of intense urban sprawl, our natural places are shrinking and becoming more fragmented. The use of native plants in our yards and gardens will make a difference, no matter the size, according to information from the WNY Land Conservancy.

Native landscapes support food webs, sustain pollinators, sequester carbon, filter our water and produce oxygen. Many native plants, such as milkweed, are beautiful too.cover of Bringing Nature Home

The plight of the monarch butterfly is making headlines all over the nation. To a large degree, their decline is tied to the loss of native plants. Monarch caterpillars are dependent upon a single source of nutrition—native milkweeds—and their populations have suffered dramatic losses as milkweed fields disappear. But we can fix this in our own backyards by planting many types of native milkweeds, which have pretty flowers.

“The Land Conservancy protects 6,000 acres of remarkable places across Western New York,” said Nancy Smith, executive director of the WNY Land Conservancy.  “But we can’t protect everything. If every gardener and landowner, and every business, school, and town park included even a small number of native plants it would make an enormous difference to our pollinators and wildlife.”

This event was made possible by cosponsors Bernadette Clabeaux, Ph. D.; Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper; East Aurora Garden Club; Eastern Monarch Butterfly Farm; Ecology & Environment; Grassroots Gardens; Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect PC; The Knoer Group; Lessons from Nature Garden Consulting; Nature Sanctuary Society of WNY; Paul Fuhrmann; Sierra Club Niagara Group; Tifft Nature Preserve and the Buffalo Museum of Science; Wild Birds Unlimited, and WNY Environmental Alliance.

The Western New York Land Conservancy is a regional, not-for-profit land trust that permanently protects land with significant conservation value in Western New York for future generations.

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