Upcoming Events

Lexington Living Landscapes-sponsored events

January 26, 2022, 7:00-8:30pm

The Language of Flowers: An Introduction to Pollination Ecology with Rebecca McMackin, Director of Horticulture for Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The majority of plants rely on pollinators to reproduce. From bees, to butterflies, to birds and bats, these pollinator partners shaped the evolution of flowers, giving us so much of the beauty we appreciate today. However, these exciting dynamics, in which a flower’s pollen is carried to a stigma, are fraught with trickery, bribery, thievery, and of course, salacious plant sex. This lecture will cover the basics of pollination ecology. Why do plants have flowers? How did they evolve? And specifically, what are flowers doing? Why are they so pretty and smell so good to us, non-pollinating primates? By the end of the presentation, you will be able to “read” flowers and come to know the true desires of the organisms you cultivate.

Held over zoom. Hosted in partnership with Cary Memorial Library. Register here.

Rebecca McMackin is an ecologically obsessed horticulturist and garden designer. By day, she is the Director of Horticulture for Brooklyn Bridge Park, where she manages 85 acres of diverse parkland organically and with an eye towards habitat creation for birds, butterflies, and soil microorganisms. In her imaginary free time, Rebecca writes about landscape management and pollination ecology, as well as designs the occasional garden. Her writing has been published by the New York Times, the Ecological Landscape Alliance, and the Landscape Institute.

February 24, 2022, 7:00-8:30pm

It's Nighttime--It's Supposed to be Dark! with James Lowenthal, Professor and Chair of Astronomy at Smith College.

When was the last time you looked up at the stars on a clear, dark night, far away from streetlights? Artificial light at night has become ubiquitous and harms virtually every kind of living creature that's been studied, from insects to migratory birds, mammals, fish, trees, crops, and even coral and plankton.

Join us as James Lowenthal, Professor of Astronomy at Smith College, leads us on a multi-faceted virtual tour of the night-time environment and how important natural darkness at night is for all species, including humans -- and how beautiful and magical it is. Learn what we can do to bring back the stars while supporting the health of all ecosystems.

Held over zoom. Hosted in partnership with Cary Memorial Library. Co-sponsored by the Lexington Conservation Division. Register here.

James Lowenthal is the Mary Elizabeth Moses Professor and Chair of Astronomy at Smith College. Prof. Lowenthal uses some of the largest telescopes on Earth and in space to study the formation and evolution of galaxies in the early Universe, as well as exoplanets orbiting stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy. He is a member of the American Astronomical Society's Committee on Light Pollution, Radio Interference, and Space Debris, and leads the Massachusetts Chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association. He spends as much time outdoors under the stars as he can.

March 24, 2022, 7:00-8:30pm

Kill Your Lawn, with Dan Jaffe Wilder, Director of Applied Ecology for the Norcross Wildlife Foundation

Every house in America should be fronted with a non-native monoculture with the maintenance requirements of a golf course and the ecological value of a strip mine; a place where all flowers are called weeds and signs essentially saying “keep off” are the norm.

Does that idea seem a bit odd to you? It’s time to take a second look at this idea we call lawn. Join Dan Jaffe Wilder, co-author of Native Plants for New England Gardens and Director of Applied Ecology at Norcross Wildlife Foundation, to learn about options available to us, from whole lawn replacement to managing existing lawn in more ecologically beneficial ways. From well-known plants to brand new introductions, we will discuss various options that fit the needs of various lawn spaces.

Held over zoom. Hosted in partnership with Cary Memorial Library. Co-sponsored by the Lexington Conservation Division. Register here.

Dan Jaffe Wilder is an ecologist, horticulturist, and botanist with over fifteen years of experience working with native plants and their associated ecology. His work has ranged from classrooms to nurseries to botanical gardens to wildlife refuges, specializing in native plant ecology, propagation, wildlife habitat construction, and native edible landscapes. Dan is currently the Director of Applied Ecology for the Norcross Wildlife Foundation, whose mission is to protect, enhance, and expand wildlife through conservation, education, and support.

Other events of interest

January 7 – February 11, Fridays at 10 am

Tending Nature: Native Plants and Every Gardener’s Role in Fostering Biodiversity, Lecture Series, The Ohio State University. Register once to attend the series and receive links to the lectures, recordings and additional resources. More info here.

January 7: Beneficial Insect Biodiversity: What It Is and Why It Matters, Mary Gardiner

January 14: Bringing Nature Home: The Importance of Native Plants, Doug Tallamy

January 21: Cultivating a Community of Support for Native Plants, Lisa Olsen

January 28: Host-plant Specialist Bees – Biology, Biodiversity, and Conserving Them in Your Backyard, Bryan Danforth

February 4: Bumble Bee Banquet: Selecting Native Plants for Bumble Bees, Heather Holm

February 11: Native Plants in My Garden? Absolutely! Debra Knapke

January 30, 10:00 11:30 am in person at Wright Farm, Lexington

Intro to Tree Identification with the town’s Conservation Land Land-Use Ranger, Adam Green. At Wright Farm, Grove Street. Lexington Conservation Division. For more info and to register, email: landstewards@lexingtonma.gov

February 9, 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Regenerating Suburbia One Garden at a Time with Nadia Malarkey. Ecological Landscape Alliance. Fee for non-members. More info here.

February 15, 6:00 – 8:30 pm

Class: Climate Change and Native Plants with Trevor Smith. Native Plant Trust. Fee. More info here.

February 17, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Class: Finding Your Environmental Ethic with Kendy Hess. Ecological Landscape Alliance. Fee. More info here.

February 22, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Rewild in 10 Action Steps with Anna Fialkoff. Native Plant Trust. Fee. More info here.

February 23-24, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Ecological Landscape Alliance Conference including sessions on pollinator-supporting landscapes. Fee. More info here.

Programs sponsored by our Partner Organizations

January 18, 7:00 pm

Climate Change and the Ocean: Action and Insight with Les Kaufman and Liz Cunningham. LexCAN and Cary Memorial Library. More info and registration link here.