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Monthly Meeting: Naturalizing Yards

February 12 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Naturalizing Yards for Biodiversity, Climate Change Adaption and Community

In recent years, there is growing recognition of the importance of habitat stewardship on private land, particularly in urban areas where vegetated cover is lacking. Yet, there are also longstanding traditions for landscaping that may pose conflicts with efforts to naturalize: the beloved colonial turfgrass lawn, ornamental exotic plantings and competing ideas about aesthetics for vegetation in neighbourhoods.  How do we reconcile these “old ways” and “new ways” of thinking about what we do with our green spaces in gardens, parks, boulevards and backyards, especially in the context of climate change and mass extinction crises? Many municipalities are undertaking changes to their by-laws to remove barriers, and in some cases, to actively encourage naturalization on private land. There are key details that those who wish to naturalize their space should understand before getting started. This presentation will provide an overview of “lessons learned” by the speaker, Brendon Samuels, recalling his experiences naturalizing his own yard in London, Ontario, while engaging with the municipal government about applicable by-laws, and promoting community awareness of the many co-benefits of naturalization. Brendon will also share practical advice for creating wildlife habitat at home, and how to proactively avoid conflicts with neighbours over landscaping.

Brendon Samuels is a PhD candidate in the Department of Biology at Western University, working out of the Advanced Facility for Avian Research where he studies solutions for preventing bird-window collisions. Brendon acts as the chair of the City of London’s Environmental Stewardship and Action Community Advisory Committee, as the coordinator of Bird Friendly London under Nature Canada’s Bird Friendly Cities Program, and as the research coordinator for the Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) Canada.


Location: McMaster Innovation Park, 175 Longwood Rd S, Hamilton

Please park in Lot 1 or Lot 5, north of the building. Meeting is in room C/D on the ground floor at the back of the atrium. Social time starts at 7:00 PM, talk begins at 7:30 PM.

Online: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83351442796 Passcode: 199072


February 12
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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McMaster Innovation Park (MIP)
175 Longwood Rd S
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 0A1 Canada
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