Making a Difference with Native Plants on April 13

Smooth Blue Aster (Lucy Birkett photo)

Did you know that including native plants in your yard can help support the diversity of wildlife we enjoy in Harpswell? Planting natives is a simple way to be a part of the solution to support animals like native bees, Monarch butterflies and many kinds of birds. We encourage you to learn more about how and why to include native plants in your landscape. This event is free and open to the public.

We are also offering a native plant sale. You can buy plants that are recommended for their beauty and their importance to pollinators, birds and other wildlife, while also supporting Harpswell Heritage Land Trust. Click here for details.

Saturday, April 13
9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, 153 Harpswell Neck Rd, Harpswell

Each speaker will speak for around 50 minutes, with short breaks in between. Speakers are listed in the order that they will speak.

Advance registration is requested. Click here to register.

Native Plants You May Not Have Thought Of

with Jeff O’Donal

The underlying issue pertaining to the use of native plants has been the difficulty in propagating certain native plants. With advancements in propagation techniques as well as a better understanding of the use of rare native plants; the number of native plant species becoming available is changing rapidly. It is possible that some of the native plants being presented today have not been seen in home gardens before.

Jeff O’Donal owns O’Donal’s Nursery in Gorham, Maine. He is a second-generation professional nurseryman and both his father, Royce, and Jeff are past–Presidents of the Maine Landscape and Nursery Association. They were also both recipients of the Al Black Lifetime Achievement Award for Horticulture. Jeff is a graduate of Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts.

Native Bees in Maine, Threats and What You Can Do to Help

with Kalyn Bickerman-Martens

Learn about Maine’s native bees, bumble bee species and threats, and the Maine Bumble Bee Atlas, a citizen science project. Hear about what you as a homeowner can do to help native bee populations, including what native plants to include in your landscape. 

Kalyn Bickerman-Martens is a PhD candidate in Ecology and Environmental Sciences at the University of Maine and her work focuses on the health of Maine’s bumble bees and wild blueberry pollination. Her research interests include disease ecology and the natural history of Maine. Kalyn helps to coordinate the Maine Bumble Bee Atlas, a citizen science project led by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to document the diversity, distribution, and abundance of bumble bee species in Maine.

Rewilding Your Yard

with Lucy Birkett

Join Lucy Birkett, ecology enthusiast and native plant gardener to explore how our gardens, yards, and landscapes can be enhanced to benefit birds, pollinators, and other wildlife, while providing delight to humans. Lucy will show us how easy, inexpensive, and rewarding it can be to grow native perennials, shrubs, and trees, and will recommend specific strategies, species, and resources for growing. Lucy will draw on her own experiences from “rewilding” her 1/4 acre property, starting a home nursery where she grows 50 species, and her favorite activity—visiting people’s properties and favorite places and introducing them to the plants that live there.

Lucy consults on ecosystem gardening, plant identification and inventory; grows many native plants species from seed; works on an organic vegetable farm; is active with Wild Seed Project, Maine Audubon, Freeport Conservation Trust and the UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener Program; and earned a certificate in Native Plants & Ecological Horticulture from the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.