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Wild Seed Project: Returning native plants to the Maine landscape

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In Person: Knight’s Pond Four Season Walk: Fall

Knight's Pond Preserve 477 Greely Road Extension, Cumberland Center

In this Four Season Walks series, learn how to identify many of the native plants that grow at Knight’s Pond Preserve. Anna Fialkoff, Wild Seed Project’s ecological programs manager, will share about the native wildflowers, ferns, shrubs, and trees and their habitats around the pond, forest, and utility corridor. She’ll also share other fun information on the plants’ uses as edibles, herbals and landscape plantings. Learning to recognize the native species in our midst is the first step toward becoming caring stewards of the places we live, work, and play.

This fall plant walk is the third in the series. With each new seasonal walk you will have an opportunity to see the plants through their full life cycles: from emerging, flowering, and unfurling leaves to fall foliage and fruits, and finally finishing with snow-covered trees in winter.

About Knight’s Pond Preserve:
Tucked among the rolling hills and fields of Cumberland and North Yarmouth, Knight’s Pond Preserve is a natural treasure for many surrounding communities. At approximately 334 acres in size, Knight’s Pond Preserve is a part of one of the largest blocks of undeveloped land in the area, and it contains many natural resource values important to the region, including a 46-acre great pond, forested uplands, a ridgeline with views of Casco Bay, a network of connecting trails, unique natural community types, and critical wildlife habitat. It is a keystone parcel in a multi-town recreational and conservation corridor and has been a conservation priority for the Towns of Cumberland and North Yarmouth for decades. For more information, please visit the Knight’s Pond Preserve listings on the following websites: Chebeague & Cumberland Land Trust, the Town of Cumberland, and the Royal River Conservation Trust.

This event was originally scheduled during Yom Kippur, and has been rescheduled to Thursday, October 6. We apologize for the oversight.

In Person: Native Plant Walk at Pleasant Hill Preserve

Pleasant Hill Preserve 256-280 Pleasant Hill Rd, Scarborough

Woodlands and meadows contain a variety of interesting native plants and have a story to tell about landscape history. In this native plant walk, Heather McCargo will highlight the surprising diversity of species native to Maine, including fall wildflowers, ferns, and a variety of native shrubs and trees. We will learn which species are adaptable to gardens and developed landscapes, their edible and medicinal properties, unusual reproductive strategies, and the threats to their survival. Learning to recognize the native species in our midst is the first step toward advocating for their conservation. Learn more and register here.

In Person: Gardening for Habitat

How to balance beauty, wildlife value and your garden workload
Gardens are habitats, but the degree to which they support local wildlife depends on how we plant and manage them. Our plant choices determine who visits, stays or passes by as creatures look for food, shelter, to nest and lay eggs. When and how we decide to clean up leaves or cut plants back affects life cycles of salamanders, bees, birds, moths and butterflies. Learn how to create habitat in the garden year-round while balancing your workload and garden aesthetics. Learn more and register here.

In Person & Online: Garden as if the Earth Matters

Acton Town Hall 472 Main Street, Acton

Join Anna Fialkoff as she explores how gardening with native plants helps foster biodiversity and creates more resilient landscapes. Anna highlights the wonderful ecological connections that happen in our own backyards and public spaces when we focus on native plants. Without sacrificing beauty, we can create extraordinary, vibrant habitats for the insects and birds who are essential to a healthy ecosystem. Anna shares many concrete suggestions for planting and for landscape care, all designed to enrich our soils and to help mitigate the stresses of climate change. Instead of taming nature, find ways to cooperate with nature and create a beautiful community in your yard.

This event is co-sponsored by EnergizeActon.org, the Acton Garden Club, and the Acton Conservation Trust. Learn more and register here.

In Person: Hands-on Native Planting Workshop

The Maine Organic Marketplace 55 Main Street, Freeport

Did you know fall is a great time to plant native species? Want to learn how to create a garden and get your hands dirty while you’re at it? MOFGA and Wild Seed Project are teaming up to offer a second planting workshop this October. We will continue planting native shrubs and perennials at MOFGA’s storefront in Freeport, Maine, where we started establishing the garden earlier this spring. Please join us to get hands-on experience while learning the what, why and how of planting in the autumn landscape.

Attendance is capped at 12 participants. This workshop is being offered on a sliding scale from $5-$25. Learn more and register here.

Online: Diversify Your Lawn

Transforming your lawn into a rich tapestry of native plants
Who says lawns need to be monocultures or made only of grasses? We can do better than the default landscape material that covers most of the suburban landscape. Discover how to diversify your lawn with lawn alternatives, transition it to meadow or convert it to layers of native plants to create a rich, wildlife-friendly tapestry.

Online: Planting for Pollinators

We hear a lot about honey bees but much less about the myriad other pollinators, like native bees, moths, butterflies, beetles, flies, and birds that also support our food systems and ecological webs. In this lunch & learn online presentation, find out what native plants and management strategies help create habitat for these hard working pollinators and why flowers are just a one piece of the puzzle. Learn more and register here.