Although the term “biodiversity” often brings to mind images of tropical rain forests and other exotic places, our local natural communities have a unique wealth of life that drive the ecosystem processes critical to sustaining healthy environments. Our widespread modifications to these natural communities have diminished biodiversity and degraded these life support systems.
This workshop will examine two questions:
Why do backyards present some of the best opportunities to restore natural ecosystems and help replenish some of the lost biodiversity? What are the simplest changes we can make in the way we manage our property to aid in the survival of many species?
Specific topics will include:
- A brief overview of the variety of plants and animals found in local communities
- The ecology of several natural communities that can be restored and sustained on small properties
- How this approach can benefit rare and uncommon species
- The variety of native plants available and their sources
- Ways to deal with invasive species
Participants are encouraged to bring photos of their properties to discuss specific situations and to share ideas. Handouts and fact sheets will be provided on the various techniques for creating biodiversity-friendly backyards.
Leader: Rick Enser (Author of the original list of Rare Plants of RI, co-author of Natural Communities of RI, founding member of RI Wild Plant Society and RI Natural History Survey and 28 year term, as coordinator/biologist, at the RI Heritage Program)
Minimum: 12 Maximum: 20