Birds, Insects, Native Plants and Much More: Inviting the Web of Life into Your Yard

Posted by & filed under Educational Class, Monthly Meeting.

Date(s) - Mon Mar 16, 2020
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Bunker Interpretive Center, Calvin University


Birds, Insects, Native Plants and Much More:
Inviting the Web of Life into Your Yard

This program is a result of the collaborative work of the Education Committee of Wild Ones River City Chapter (WORC).

At the conclusion of the program, Education Committee members will individually highlight their favorite native plant book and explain why it’s their favorite! 

Presented by Martha MacCleery, WORC Education Chair

The program will offer wonderful nuggets of information for beginners, veterans, and everyone in between!

  • What is our cultural history of large lawns and choosing exotic plants for our landscapes? 
  • How do native plants increase insects in our yard and thus help birds? 
  • How to transform your yard into a nourishing “foraging hub” that provides ecosystem services such as food, shelter, and nesting sites for wildlife? 
  • Should your yard be all native plants? Not necessarily.  
  • Are there differences in ecosystem services provided by native plants? Yes! 
  • What are some of the native plants and shrubs that will be available this Spring and what are their requirements?

The program will include insights from the book, Bringing Nature Home, by Douglas Tallamy

“Juicy caterpillars like the spin oak slug (Euclea delphinii) provide valuable nutrients and energy for birds and other animals.”  —Douglas Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home

Native trees that produce berries are an essential food source for birds.









Marty MacCleery pictured with her educational display.

Speaker Bio:
Martha (Marty) MacCleery became reawakened to her love of gardening while spending a decade in Wilmington, DE. Marty and her son, Beau, became enthralled with Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA, as well as, Mt Cuba Center and Winterthur in Wilmington, DE.  She was inspired to apply what she’d learned at these wonderful institutions to her own yard, and thus began a life-long passion.

Although her working career was science-based (medical records administration, pharmaceutical research & development, including sales), gardening satisfies both her love of science and the arts. She joyfully shares her love of insects, plants, and animals with young children in 4-H, leads public tours as a volunteer docent at Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, and serves as chair of the Education Committee at Wild Ones River City Chapter. She is also an Advanced Master Gardener and Master Naturalist through MSU Extension.


Banner photo –  Cedar Waxwing © Valerie Lindeman

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