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Wild Seed Project: Returning native plants to the Maine landscape

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Just for Members: Private Tour of Avena Botanicals

Avena Botanicals Herb Farm 219 Mill St, Rockport

Join WSP Founder Heather McCargo and Deb Soule, founder of Avena Botanical’s herbal apothecary in Rockport ME, for a private tour of the Avena gardens. In the late 1990’s Heather worked closely with Deb on a masterplan design for the new property Avena had purchased for the expanded herb farm on an old Maine farm surrounded by woodlands and conservation land. Deb Soule is a gifted organic grower and teacher on herbal uses of plants, many of them native species. This enchanting garden is the headquarters of Avena’s FDA-approved medicinal processing facility as well as where the location where the bulk of the herbs are lovingly grown.

Please note: attendees are responsible for their own transportation. Wild Seed Project members will receive a registration invitation for this event in late June. Not a member? Join today!

Online: Native Plant Guilds

Picking out your plants should be fun and creative, not daunting or complicated. In this webinar, we will learn how to create a native plant palette with trees and groundcovers. Using sample plant lists for various conditions, you will receive step-by-step guidance to inspire you with ideas for Fall 2022 planting. Presented in partnership with Native Plant Trust. Learn more and register here.

In Person: South Portland Yard Tour: Gregg Raymond & Jamien Jacobs

This summer, Wild Seed Project is inviting you into the yards of our members to see first-hand what biodiversity looks like at home. Our members will share stories about their personal habitat restoration journeys, and the challenges and joys they have encountered along the way as they have tackled invasive plants, experimented with leaving their leaves in place, cut back on mowing, and restored habitat with rich arrays of native plants. Tours will feature urban oases of bustling backyard meadows, neighbors who are working together to transform a suburban neighborhood, pristine coastal landscapes with formal garden plantings, and much more.

A labor of love, Gregg Raymond and Jamien Jacobs have been developing and enriching their bustling backyard meadow in South Portland for over a decade, all the while nurturing a remarkable homestead that supports a plethora of life. You’ll be inspired to see both native and non-native fruit trees, ornamental plantings near the house, screening shrubs, vegetable beds, a sunflower circle, and many pots of native seedlings for Wild Seed Project’s September plant sale.

In Person: Knight’s Pond in Summer

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

Four Season Walks at Knight’s Pond Preserve: Summer
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 summer plant walk is the second 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.

In Person: Why Native Plants Matter: Beauty, Biodiversity, and Resilience

Polly Hill Arboretum 809 State Road, West Tisbury

Annual David H. Smith Memorial Lecture at Polly Hill Arboretum

Heather McCargo, founder of Wild Seed Project, will share the many reasons we should bring native flora back into our developed landscapes. Native plants are excellent additions to our gardens; they are beautiful, they are important for our regions’ ecosystem functioning, and they do not need the high inputs of water and nutrients of commonly cultivated plants. Heather will provide insight into what is happening in the nursery trade with native plants, including loss of genetic diversity and cloning, and how we can all promote our native flora by planting seed-grown native plants.

Registration is required. Sign up here: bit.ly/Heather-McCargo-Lecture

Online: Native Plant Guilds

Picking out your plants should be fun and creative, not daunting or complicated. In this 1-hour presentation, learn how to create a native plant grouping all the layers of trees, shrubs, perennials, and groundcovers. Using sample plant lists for various conditions, you will receive step-by-step guidance to inspire you with ideas for Fall 2022 planting. Presented in partnership with Wild Ones – PA Chapter. 

To register, Jessie at wildonesofsepa@gmail.com to receive a link to the online presentation.

In Person: Terra Marketplace

Rooted Heart Farm & Apothecary 14 Old Orchard Road, Buxton

Wild Seed Project will have an informational table with publications and merch at Terra Marketplace at Rooted Hart Farm & Apothecary. See their instagram account for more details: https://www.instagram.com/terramarketplace_/?hl=en

In Person: Habitats at Home: A Rockport Yard Tour

This summer, Wild Seed Project is inviting you into the yards of our members to see first-hand what biodiversity looks like at home. Our members will share stories about their personal habitat restoration journeys, and the challenges and joys they have encountered along the way as they have tackled invasive plants, experimented with leaving their leaves in place, cut back on mowing, and restored habitat with rich arrays of native plants.

More than 25 years ago Dora Galitzki transformed a small, wet backyard lawn in Rockport into a stunning native plant meadow, filled with masses of Ironweed, Joe-pye weed, swamp milkweed, bee balm, coreopsis, asters and others. In addition to this magical space tucked behind a fenced courtyard, her street side plantings are also filled with an abundance of native plants. A long-time member of Wild Seed Project, Dora has been a gardening columnist for the New York Times, and spent years as the New York Botanical Garden’s plant information officer. This event is sold out. To join the waitlist, click here.

In Person: Native Plant Walk at Kennebunk Plains with Dan Wilder

Kennebunk Plains Kennebunk

In partnership with The Nature Conservancy and Norcross Wildlife Foundation

Join Dan Wilder for a tour of one of the most amazing and unique sites on the east coast. The Kennebunk Plains is a pyrogenic grassland ecosystem situated in Kennebunk, Maine. These ecosystems, once more common on the landscape, are home to numerous rare and endangered species such as grasshopper sparrows, broad sallow moths, and the largest population of New England blazing star in the world. Learn more about Kennebunk Plains on The Nature Conservancy website.

Dan Wilder is the Director of Applied Ecology at Norcross Wildlife Foundation which is currently undertaking restoring several pine barrens and grassland sites in Massachusetts. With a focus on native plants and their associated ecology, Dan will lead us on a tour of the preserve to discuss the various species present and the work that goes into restoring and maintaining these unique ecosystems.

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