Greening Greenfield to host ‘Gardening for Wildlife’ talk

  • As part of its Planting for Pollinators campaign, Greening Greenfield’s next free presentation will be held on Wednesday at the First Congregational Church in Greenfield. AP File Photo

Staff Report
Published: 6/10/2019 5:45:36 AM

GREENFIELD — As part of its Planting for Pollinators campaign, Greening Greenfield’s next free presentation is “Gardening for Wildlife: Why Native Plants Matter to Pollinators and Songbirds.”

Urban wildlife research scientist Dr. Desirée L. Narango will speak at the First Congregational Church, 43 Silver St. in Greenfield, on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

“I am fascinated with the ways that plants and animals interact with each other, their environment and with us, and what enables birds and insects to thrive, especially in landscapes altered by humans such as urban yards and forests and farmland,” Narango said. “There is a tremendous opportunity for people to manage their own properties in ways that make positive impacts on wildlife. In my research, I aim to provide information that will help people make decisions that will help preserve biodiversity in our rapidly changing world, from plant choices for their gardens, to how often they mow their lawns.”

According to a Greening Greenfield press release, Narango grew up in Baltimore City, Md., where her only interactions with the natural world were in her backyard watching squirrels, catching earthworms and climbing dogwood trees.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology, she spent five years as a traveling field ecologist studying wildlife from the deserts of Arizona to the rainforests of Ecuador.

Visiting all these places, she became aware of how urban development has reduced the quality of habitat for wildlife in cities and towns. She was inspired to study how people can improve urban landscapes to increase biodiversity, and how to involve the public in the process.

Narango is now a visiting postdoctoral researcher at the University of Massachusetts with Dr. Susannah Lerman of the U.S. Forest Service.

“We are fortunate that Desirée is now a visiting research scientist at UMass,” said Nancy Hazard of Greening Greenfield. “And that she is eager to share what she has learned with homeowners, land managers and conservationists. We have much to learn from her message of ‘native, native, native,’ and why plant identity matters as we think about what we want to plant to support pollinators and build biodiversity and beauty in Greenfield.”

This talk is the third in Greening Greenfield’s Planting for Pollinators campaign. To find out more about the campaign, visit or call 413-774-5667.

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