Gardening with Native Plants: Why It Matters - with Claudia Thompson, founder,  Grow Native Massachusetts

Feb 14, 2018

March 6, 2018

Native plants are increasingly recognized as important to our gardens and landscapes, but why? Claudia will give us an overview of their essential role in ecosystem health— starting with the concept of co-evolution between plants and animals, and ending with a tour of her 7,000 square foot garden in Cambridge, MA.  She will explain the differences among native, naturalized, and invasive plants; and explore the food web that links plants to insects to birds, wildlife, and humans.  Using her garden as a case study, we will learn about the essential principles for designing gardens that are places of both beauty and biodiversity. This includes working with local ecology, thinking about plant communities, and creating habitat for birds, butterflies, and wildlife. Ending with an overview of resources available to learn more about these issues and how to source native plants from the nursery trade, this program will help you “get” why native plants are so important and understand what you can do in your own garden to make the world a better place!
Claudia’s Biography:
Ms. Thompson founded Grow Native Massachusetts in 2010 and has been recognized nationally as a leader in the native plant movement. She has had an extensive career in the environmental sector, including past roles as Director of Education for the Appalachian Mountain Club, Director of Drumlin Farm for Mass Audubon, and serving for nine years on the board of the New England Wild Flower Society. She is a strong advocate for the importance of land stewardship on all lands— large and small— and believes that conservation begins at home. We must change the paradigm that views humans as separate from nature, and adopt a 21st century attitude toward conservation that views human activity as integral to the natural world. Claudia’s happiest moments are spent in her own gardens, watching a diverse array of hawks, migrating songbirds, and even rare species such as woodcocks— all taking sustenance and utilizing the habitat she and her husband have created on a relatively small parcel in urban Cambridge.  
Grow Native ❦ Massachusetts
Every garden matters ~ Every landscape counts!

This meeting will be open to the public. $5 donation. RSVP required.

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