BELFAST — Prominent ecologist Douglas W. Tallamy, author of the 2021 best seller “Nature’s Best Hope” and other books will be the featured speaker at the Belfast Garden Club’s public lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 21.
The one-hour program, free to the public, is the third of nine garden club lectures for 2023. Sponsored by First National Bank of Belfast, the Tallamy lecture will be streamed live at noon in the Abbott Room at the Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street. Those who wish to join from home, may attend via Zoom. For more information and to register, visit belfastgardenclub.org.
What is “nature’s best hope”? Well, smarter gardening! Tallamy asks today’s gardeners to banish invasive species from their landscapes and install natives that sustain food webs, sequester carbon, and provide diverse habitats for bees, birds and insects.
“It is tempting to garden only for beauty, without regard to the many ecological roles our landscapes must perform,” Tallamy has said. “All too often, such narrow gardening goals result in a landscape so low in ecological function that it drains the vitality from the surrounding ecosystem.”
Tallamy will speak on this idea and more. Recent declines in insect and bird populations make clear how poorly current landscape designs sustain life. Tallamy invites the public into his ambitious conservation effort. If half of the area now planted with lawn grass could be converted to native plants, gardeners nationwide could create a 20-million-acre network he calls the “Homegrown National Park.”
Tallamy is the T. A. Baker Professor of Agriculture in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has taught insect-related courses for 41 years. In addition to “Nature’s Best Hope,” he is the author of “The Nature of Oaks” (2021), winner of the American Horticultural Society’s 2022 book award, and coauthor of “Bringing Nature Home” (2009) and “The Living Landscape” (2014).
The scientist and researcher speaks nationally about his conviction that the approach to gardening must change. He has been recognized by the Garden Writers Association, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Allegheny College, American Horticultural Society and The Garden Club of America.
Founded in 1928, the Belfast Garden Club promotes the knowledge and love of gardening, the protection of native flora and fauna, and the importance of civic beautification.