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EVENINGS WITH EXPERTS: Sugar, Sex, and Poison: Understanding the Vital Powers of Plants
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EVENINGS WITH EXPERTS: Sugar, Sex, and Poison: Understanding the Vital Powers of Plants

Evenings with Experts--this free public lecture is sponsored by Grow Native Massachusetts and is titled: "Sugar, Sex, and Poison: Understanding the Vital Powers of Plants." The presenter, William Cullina, is the author of many celebrated books about native plants, including the well-known trio: Growing and Propagating Wildflowers; Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines; and Native Ferns, Moss & Grasses.

When: Wednesday, March 6, 2019
7:00 - 8:30 pm
Where: Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway
Cambridge, Massachusetts  02138
United States
Contact: Meredith Gallogly

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Evenings with Experts 2019


First Wednesday of each month, February through May 2019

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


free public lecture series presented by Grow Native Massachusetts

at the Cambridge Public Library

449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA  02138


Thank you to our community partners­— the Cambridge Public Library, Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Boston Society of Landscape Architects— for their support of this series.

Continuing education credits will be available.


For more information, visit us at, or call 781-790-8921.



March 6

Sugar, Sex, and Poison: Understanding the Vital Powers of Plants

William Cullina, Executive Director, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Are we humans masters of our world, or are plants really the ones in charge? What they lack in locomotion, they compensate for in structure and chemistry. Celebrated author and botanist Bill Cullina will explain why plant life is at the center of a carefully balanced natural economy that is critical to the functioning of our ecosystems. Through photosynthesis, plants produce the energy that powers the food chain. And although eaten by others, they are far from helpless prey, having evolved a dizzying arsenal of  relationships to create ecologically sound landscapes.

William Cullina is the author of many celebrated books about native plants, including the well-known trio: Growing and Propagating Wildflowers; Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines; and Native Ferns, Moss & Grasses.


April 3

More than Just the Buzz: Finding Real Solutions to Native Pollinator Declines

Robert Gegear, Assistant Professor of Biology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

For almost two decades, pollinators have been declining in abundance, species richness, and geographic distribution at an unprecedented rate worldwide. While media attention has focused largely on the domesticated European honeybee, the decline of our native species poses a significant threat to global biodiversity due to the keystone role that pollinators play in terrestrial ecosystems. Biologist Robert Gegear will explain the beautifully complex interactions between plant species and the insects that pollinate them— intricate ecological systems that we humans are only beginning to understand. Join us to learn how Dr. Gegear’s research on pollination ‘networks’ can help develop truly effective conservation and restoration strategies, and come away with scientifically informed and practical actions you can take to support these vital insects.

 Dr. Robert Gegear is the founder of the Bee-cology Project, an initiative that uses citizen science to collect much-needed ecological data on native pollinator species and pollinator habitat.


May 1


A Grassland Restoration Tale of Weeds, Wildlife, and Renewal

Jenna Webster, Senior Designer, Larry Weaner Landscape Associates

Restoring weed-dominated habitats comes with many complex challenges and often involves difficult tradeoffs. This process is even more complicated in public landscapes with diverse constituencies. Join landscape designer Jenna Webster to learn how Larry Weaner Landscape Associates negotiated these challenges in their restoration planning for a 100-acre grassland at Croton Point Park in New York. Located atop a capped landfill, this site provides vital habitat for imperiled bird species. The Park’s popularity and complex history led Jenna and her team to seek stakeholder input, synthesize crowd-sourced ecological data, and utilize scientific research— creating a thoughtful restoration plan that is now under construction. This case study gives us valuable lessons for land restoration on sites both large and small, and particularly for protecting specialized habitat used by native wildlife.

Jenna Webster is co-curator of the New Directions in the American Landscape conference, and teaches in the Ecological Gardening Certificate program at the Mt. Cuba Center.


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FUNDAMENTALS UNIT 203 - Open Space Planning and Protection Techniques - WEBINAR

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