Beautiful Backyards


CANCELED - Beautiful Backyards with Birds, Bees, and Butterflies: protect our water with native plant landscapes

  • Saturday, May 2, 2020, 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM

CANCELED due to coronavirus
Beautiful Backyards with Birds, Bees, and Butterflies: protect our water with native plant landscapes


WHEN: Saturday, May 2, 2020. Doors open at 8 a.m. Event ends at 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: Skaneateles High School, 49 E. Elizabeth St., Skaneateles

Presentations by Doug Tallamy, professor and author of Bringing Nature Home, The Living Landscape, and Nature’s Best Hope

Learn why and how native plants are so important to protecting Skaneateles and all our lakes.

Be inspired to beautify your yards and gardens while preserving our precious waterways and providing habitat for birds, butterflies, and the other creatures that are part of a healthy environment.


8:30 – 9:45 Presentation 1:
Restoring Nature’s Relationships

Specialized relationships between animals and plants are the norm in nature rather than the exception. It is specialized relationships that provide our birds with insects and berries, that disperse our bloodroot seeds, that pollinate our goldenrod, and so on. Plants that evolved in concert with local animals provide for their needs better than plants that evolved elsewhere.

Tallamy will explain why this is so, why specialized food relationships determine the stability and complexity of the local food webs that support animal diversity, why our yards and gardens are essential parts of the ecosystems that sustain us, and how we can use our landscapes to connect the isolated habitat fragments around us.

It is time to create landscapes that enhance local ecosystems rather than degrade them.

10:15 – 11:30 Presentation 2:
A Guide to Restoring the Little Things that Run the World

A recent UN report predicts that as many as 1 million species will disappear from planet earth because of human activities. Many of these are insects and nearly all species at risk rely on insects. Insects have already declined 45% since 1974.

The most alarming part of this statistic is that we don’t seem to care, despite the fact that a world without insects is a world without humans!

So how do we create beautiful landscapes brimming with life; landscapes that support the pollinators, herbivores, detritivores, predators and parasitoids that run the ecosystems we depend on?

Tallamy will remind us of the many essential roles insects play, and describe the simple changes we must make in our landscapes and our attitudes to keep insects on the ground, in the air and yes, on our plants.

Nature's Best Hope book

Additional activities

  • Buy Tallamy’s newly-published book, Nature’s Best Hope
  • Learn more from the organizations and native plant nurseries that will be tabling at the event.
  • Buy native plants after the event.
  • Refreshments will be available.

About Doug Tallamy

Doug Tallamy
Doug Tallamy

Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 95 research publications and has taught insect related courses for 40 years.

Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities.

His book Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers’ Association. The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014.

Doug’s new book Nature’s Best Hope was released by Timber Press in February 2020. Among his awards are the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation and the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence, the 2018 AHS B.Y. Morrison Communication Award and the 2019 Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award.


Gardening for Life by Doug Tallamy – an article that originally appeared in the Wild Ones Journal

Bringing Nature Home – Doug Tallamy’s website

Articles by Doug Tallamy in national publications:

Articles about Doug Tallamy


Here’s a past presentation by Dr. Tallamy at the Tennessee Wild Ones Symposium in 2015

Sponsored by:



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Skaneateles High School Auditorium
49 E. Elizabeth St.
Skaneateles, NY 13152

Last updated April 17, 2020