Noted entomologist and author Doug Tallamy spoke to a crowd of over 125 gardeners, landscapers, area DPW staff and Sound Shore residents on Friday, October 5. Just in time for the fall planting season, Tallamy sounded a clarion for landowners to select native specimens for their yards whether they begin with a sapling or even just an acorn. Summarizing over 30 years of scientific observations, Tallamy also explained how invasive plants like multiflora rose, oriental bittersweet and alien honeysuckle are unsuitable for helping birds reproduce or for nestlings. His clear and imperative message? Every one of us has the power to fight the extinction of butterflies and other native species through a wiser selection of non-alien shrubs and especially trees – whatever acreage we have, no matter how small, we can have a measured impact in aggregate on our ecosystems.
Tallamy contrasted the barren, statue-like landscapes of suburbia filled by invasive non-native trees like Callery pears and Norway maples with healthier habitats that attract beneficial insects and birds; he encouraged his audience to bring nature to the their homes by planting oaks, cherries and elm trees – the equivalent of giant birdfeeders! There were 3 other speakers – Suzanne Clary, who guided attendees to the website of the Lower Hudson PRISM to differentiate between native and non-native specimens and to obtain info about the pests that threaten them; Westchester representatives from Con Edison who outlined their line-clearing strategy for maintaining healthier trees and preventing storm outages; and Melissa Grieco, President of the Friends of Rye Sustainability Committee who proudly announced that after 11 years, the City of Rye was once again designated an official “Tree City” The first 100 guests received a copy of Tallamy’s 2nd edition book “Bringing Nature Home.” The free breakfast and talk was hosted by Jay Heritage Center, co-sponsored by Friends of Rye Sustainability Committee and made possible through a generous grant from Con Edison.
Thank you to Rye TV for filming the program in its entirety –