Tallamy bringing message to WNY: Your garden is a wildlife preserve

Doug Tallamy to speak in Niagara Falls
Image courtesy Western New York Land Conservancy


While we may think of our gardens as simply places of beauty, that thinking needs to change, says Doug Tallamy, famed author of Bringing Nature Home as well as co-author of The Living Landscape. He contends that our home gardens are actually wildlife preserves.

Our gardens play this role because decades of intense urban sprawl have fragmented and shrunk our natural places. Our native plants and animals depend more and more on human-dominated landscapes for their continued existence, according to Dr. Tallamy.

Home gardeners need to use native plants to support pollinators, feed wildlife and to make our communities healthier. Even if you have only a small yard, using native plants can make a difference.

Dr. Tallamy is a professor and chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware.

His research and books have sparked a national conversation about the importance of native plants, and he will bring his message to Western New York in two talks taking place in March.

Friday, March 16 

The first talk will be held by the Western New York Land Conservancy at 7 p.m. Friday, March 16, at the Niagara Power Vista, 5777 Lewiston Rd., Lewiston.

Dr. Tallamy will present “A Case for Native Plants.”

While the event is free, space is limited, so please register before March 15.

You can arrive at 6 p.m. for a book signing by Dr. Tallamy and to explore all the Power Vista. The presentation begins at 7 p.m.

This event is a part of the Land Conservancy’s multi-year Restore the Gorge project, which will maintain and enhance the ecological diversity of the remarkable Niagara Gorge.

“The Land Conservancy protects 6,500 acres of remarkable places across Western New York,” said Executive Director Nancy Smith. “But we can’t protect everything. If every gardener and landowner, and every business, school, and town park includes even a small number of native plants, it will make an enormous difference to our pollinators and wildlife.”

Saturday, March 17

Dr. Tallamy will speak at the 2018 Education Day held by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County Master Gardener Program from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 17 at Classics V Banquet & Conference Center, 2425 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst.

Advanced registration for the program is required and seats are going fast. See registration information here. 

The cost for this full-day event is $35 for Erie County Master Gardeners, $45 for Master Gardeners from outside Erie County and associates, and $55 for the general public.

The registration fee includes a hot buffet lunch, beverages and snacks. The day begins with registration from 8:30 – 9 a.m., a morning presentation, coffee break, second presentation, full hot buffet lunch and an afternoon presentation. The day ends at 3 p.m.

Dr. Tallamy will give two talks. In “Bringing Nature Home,” he will discuss how plants play an essential role in our landscapes, with ecological, educational, physical and emotional benefits, as well as benefits for the wildlife, birds, pollinators and insects that inhabit our gardens. Dr. Tallamy will discuss how plants in the landscape support biodiversity and the consequences of choosing “alien plants” that do not.

His second presentation, “Creating Living Landscapes,” will discuss how making your yard part of a living landscape means sharing with other species. Dr. Tallamy will talk about bringing life into urban areas and how to reconstruct complex food webs in your yard. Bringing more plants into your landscape does not have to be messy or higher maintenance. Learn how to create a beautiful landscape that supports the life around us.

Also speaking will be Sally Cunningham, CNLP, who is the author of Great Garden Companions. She is a garden writer, teacher and a well-known TV personality in Western New York, as well as past educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County.

Cunningham will present “What Would Doug Do (in Your Yard)?” She will address the practical concerns of Western New York gardeners, including choosing plants for your landscapes, sourcing plant material, and how to sequence changes and projects in your yard to build a sustainable and diverse ecology.

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