Gardening for Biodiversity
July 13 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Join Sustainable Woodstock for an in-person program on the best ways to conserve and enhance the biological diversity of your yard. We will focus on what E.O. Wilson called “the little things that run the world” and answer two basic questions. What are the best plants (native and non-native) for enhancing biodiversity on my property and, how can insect pests and invasive plants be controlled without using chemicals?
Biodiversity is the variety of life on earth; the plants, animals, and microorganisms that fill the planet’s ecosystems. Forests, bogs, and meadows are familiar ecosystems, but the human-altered environment is also a collection of ecosystems with unique assemblages of plants and animals that help maintain the ecological integrity of altered landscapes. Many people recognize their yards to be valuable oases of biodiversity and manage accordingly by reducing lawns, limiting pesticides, and planting bird and pollinator-friendly plants; but biological diversity is much more than birds and pollinators. It is also the parasitoids and predators that keep pests under control, the dispersers of seeds, and the myriad decomposers that transform waste into nutrients for the next generations of plants. All are essential to maintaining a balanced and healthy ecosystem.
This workshop will be taught by Rick Enser. Rick retired to Vermont in 2007 following a 28-year career directing the Rhode Island Natural Heritage Program, that state’s biodiversity inventory and conservation program. He has taught courses in ecology, endangered species, conservation biology, and backyard biodiversity at the University of Rhode Island, RI School of Design, and for the Native Plant Trust’s certificate program. He is currently propagating native plants at Ragged Orchid Farm in Hartland, and providing consultations on stewarding yards and other lands to support biodiversity.