WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The recent, dramatic declines of iconic species such as bees and Monarch butterflies, have put wildlife in the news. Our youngest generation may be the last one to see a Monarch butterfly if this alarming downward trend continues. The plunging populations of honey bees and native bees could put a third of our food crops at risk. That $1 apple you just purchased could turn into a luxury food item in the future, if we have to hand-pollinate apple crops, in the absence of bees. That is now the stark reality in Japan.
"Wildlife Matters: Creating Landscapes That Sustain Nature" is the timely topic for the a Spring Landscape Conference on Monday, March 17 at The Native Plant Center in Valhalla, New York, which is on the campus of Westchester Community College. Landscaping professionals and gardening enthusiasts will have the opportunity to hear experts speak on a number of topics, then apply what they learn to their landscapes.
Dr. Doug Tallamy, Professor & Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, is the keynote speaker at the conference. His book: Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife With Native Plants, has been regarded as instrumental in changing the way we see, and value, our landscapes.
Dr. Stephen Kress, Vice President for Bird Conservation at the National Audubon Society and an associate at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, will also be featured with a talk on attracting birds to your property. Dr. Kress has authored a number of books, including The Audubon Guide to Attracting Birds and The North American Birdfeeder Guide.
Next up will be yours truly, Kim Eierman, an environmental horticulturist and Founder of EcoBeneficial!, a horticulture communications and consulting company dedicated to ecological landscapes. My talk will be: “Planting for Pollinators” which includes honey bees, our many species of native bees, and a few surprise pollinators.
To wrap up the conference on an aesthetic note, the last presentation of the day will be: “Designing a Native Butterfly Garden” delivered by Chrissy Word, an environmental science educator and co-founder of Butterfly Project NYC, and Ursula Chanse, Director of Bronx Green-Up and Community Horticulture at The New York Botanical Garden.
Attendance at the conference, which includes lunch, is priced at $85 for members of The Native Plant Center, without continuing education credits (CEUs), $135 for members who want CEUs, and $165 for non-members. To reserve a spot, visit http://www.mysunywcc.org/events/event_details.asp?id=393031&group= or call (914) 606-7870.
Kim Eierman, is an environmental horticulturist and Founder of EcoBeneficial! www.ecobeneficial.com When she is not speaking, writing, or consulting about ecological landscapes, she teaches at the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Native Plant Center and Rutgers Home Gardeners School.