Claudia Thompson, founder of Grow Native Massachusetts, explains why native plant landscapes matter.
Native plants are increasingly recognized as important to gardens and landscapes, but why? Claudia will give us an overview of their essential role in ecosystem health— starting with the concept of co-evolution between plants and animals, and ending with a visual tour of her urban garden in Cambridge, MA. She will explain the differences among native, naturalized, and invasive plants; and explore the food web that links plants to insects to birds, wildlife, and humans. Her garden serves as a valuable case study, illustrating what happens when we convert a conventional landscape to a largely native one— and demonstrating the positive impact on birds, butterflies, and on biodiversity as a whole. By the end of the program you will “get” why this issue is so important and understand what you can do to support the health of local ecosystems—in your gardens and in your community.