The Preserve is proud to announce the continuation of Thursday Night Nature. In the same vein as our popular Winter Lecture Series, the Preserve will host a guest lecturer 7 pm - 8 pm every Thursday night for six weeks beginning April 7. Using easy-to-use Zoom webinars, these virtual lectures will feature an impressive list of experts from across the country.
Thursday Night Nature – Spring 2022
Admission: $15 per lecture (members $12 with discount code)
Admission: $105 for the full series (members $84 with discount code) - this option is only available before the start of the series.
So kick back, relax and join the Preserve from the comfort of your couch and turn your screen green with Thursday Night Nature.
Raptors in flight and migration bring a sense of wonder and struggle to birders. This is especially true when trying to identify them at a distance. Field marks are not enough with backlit conditions and when birds miles out lack any color. Flight identification has long been the best way to identify raptors at a distance; however, books only take it so far. Join hawk watcher Josh Haas as he shares the principles of how raptors migrate so efficiently, look at some of the famed hawk watches east of the Mississippi, the evolution of raptor identification and see clips from his movie “Hawks on the Wing.” This film brings an innovative new way to learn about raptors in flight.
Josh Haas is a Michigan birder, photographer and vice chair for the Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA) board. He has been birding and photographing seriously for over 17 years. Josh enjoys teaching others bird identification, how to bird by ear and photographing birds in flight. His photography background, involvement with raptors at various local nature centers and interest in raptor migration were the inspirations for his movie “Hawks on the Wing.” His movie, reference guide, information about hawk-watching and galleries with his finest images are all available at www.hawksonthewing.com. Josh’s passion started with raptors but he can be found birding and photographing in all seasons, often with his wife, daughter and son.
Food and yard waste is an inevitable part of life and a highly valuable resource. Composting is nothing short of a visionary way to handle our organic refuse.
Heather Guidice, owner of the local composting business Kona Compost Co., will guide you on the various ways to transform your waste into a nutrient-dense soil amendment your plants, garden and soil will love. Learn about compost benefits, do’s and don’ts of composting and the variety of composting options available as you begin your journey or further refine your composting skills.
Heather Guidice is the founder of Kona Compost Co., a food scraps collection service operating in Bucks County, PA. Launched in 2019, Kona Compost’s mission is to keep food material out of landfills and transform it into nutrient-rich compost. Heather collects compost from her ecologically-minded customers, and actively provides compost education, helping to spread awareness of its role and importance in our lives. Heather is an avid gardener who enjoys growing and foraging her own food, and utilizing and promoting native plants to help restore local ecosystems. She is also a master gardener, environmental leadership fellow and certified in permaculture design.
Join presenter Mark Brownlee to learn the essential components of applying ecological restoration principles in the landscape. Learn the importance of observing and interpreting the interactions between soil, water, and light and how these influence native plant performance in the landscape. Explore a case study of how the application of restoration techniques transforms a landscape into a beautiful, durable and sustainable mini-ecosystem.
Mark Brownlee is a principal with ArcheWild, a science-based ecological restoration firm. Mark also functions as the head ecologist for WildLawn, a regional firm dedicated to applying ecological restoration principles in the home landscape. Mark frequently provides training to landscape architects and civil engineers throughout the mid-Atlantic.
April 28: Diversify Your Lawn: Transforming your Lawn into a Rich Tapestry of Native Plants with Anna Fialkoff
Who says lawns need to be monocultures or only made of grasses? We can do better than the default landscape material that covers most of the suburban landscape. Join Anna Fialkoff and discover how to diversify your lawn, transition it to meadow or convert it to layers of native plants to create a rich, wildlife-friendly tapestry.
As Wild Seed Project’s ecological programs manager, Anna Fialkoff inspires people to return native plants to the Maine landscape and works with partners to demonstrate rewilding in action. She was the senior horticulturist at Native Plant Trust’s Garden in the Woods in Framingham, MA. She designed and installed native plant gardens, managed interns and volunteers and taught the public ways to incorporate native plants into their gardens. With a BA in human ecology from the College of the Atlantic and an MS in ecological design from The Conway School, she brings with her a deep knowledge of native plant ecology, horticulture, conservation and ecological landscape design.
Every species has its “Goldilocks zone,” an area where it thrives best. Learn to recognize the natural forces that support and constrain native plant populations everywhere–and how you can use them to your advantage. Cian Brownlee will discuss how you can unravel the natural history and conditions of a site simply by observing the plants that are already present there.
Currently a senior in high school, Cian Brownlee grew up taking trips to various unique, natural places throughout the east coast. This has resulted in a deep-seated love for nature and the outdoors. An aspiring author, he has worked on short stories, novels, music, TV shows and more. When he isn’t writing or exploring the outdoors, he enjoys devoting his time to his local church’s student ministry and other volunteering opportunities.
Brandon Huber, Ph.D., has been growing carnivorous plants successfully for nearly 20 years and attributes some of his earliest passion for horticulture to them. In this lecture, he will highlight the incredible variability of carnivorous plants seen around the world, including ones that can be easily grown in and around your home garden. There are many common myths regarding the culture of carnivorous plants which lead to failure when trying to grow them. Brandon will cover the essentials of growing these striking plants in our region to ensure long-term success and share photos of these plants in their natural habitats to provide further insight and help understand their culture.
Brandon Huber, born and raised in Philadelphia, found his passion for horticulture at a young age. He credits his early interest partly to annual visits to the Philadelphia Flower Show and interactions with carnivorous plants. He began working at PHS Meadowbrook farm in 2009, eventually becoming the head grower before leaving to pursue graduate school at North Carolina State University. His time at Meadowbrook gave him industry experience and opened his eyes to research and plant breeding. In 2014, he accepted a master’s program offer focused on the breeding of Stevia and in 2017, he became interested in controlled environment horticulture. , His work extends well outside of his Ph.D. research, growing over 200 plants in his apartment as a hobbyist. He is also known for growing giant pumpkins, giant watermelons, and blooming his very own Amorphophallus titanum.
No matter where you are, you are in a watershed. What is a watershed, and why are they important? In this lecture, given by Rick Anderson, we will dive deeper into this topic, discuss watersheds as a whole and explore our local watershed. We will highlight challenges facing our watersheds and the environmental heroes tackling these issues. We will also cover how you can be a watershed warrior in your everyday life.
Rick Anderson has been a naturalist with the Preserve for 11 years offering a variety of guided walks from spring through fall. A dedicated member of the BHWP education committee, he has been a mentor to several interpretive naturalists. Rick has held a strong interest and involvement with nature from his early days as a Boy Scout in New Jersey and Florida. Following a long career as a rehabilitation counselor, Rick worked as a landscape/estate gardener in Seattle, WA and the VP of the Seattle chapter of the Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association. Rick is a certified master gardener and has been an active volunteer with the Master Watershed Steward program in Bucks County, PA.
Storms are happening more frequently and dumping more rain per event. This leads to the headache of flooding in your yard or home. Learn from Olivia Spildooren about the benefits of installing rain gardens or rain barrels on your property to reduce flooding as well as protect the health of your watershed!
Olivia Spildooren is The Watershed Institute’s River-Friendly coordinator. She is a recent graduate of Dickinson College with a BS in environmental science. She oversees five River-Friendly certification programs for residents, schools, businesses, golf courses and community partners. This program seeks to encourage better environmental education and promote hands-on stewardship of the land for the overall goal of keeping water clean, safe and drinkable for all.