Nature at Work

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en Español / em Português

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There is a new president for the Alliance for Cape Fear Trees exuding energy and vision, Margee Herring. Margee accepted the role from the very capable hands of the nonprofit’s founder and long-time president, Connie Parker. Inspired by Doug Tallamy’s book, Nature’s Best Hope and our local Extension Master Gardener program, “Nature at Home” , Margee is engaging the Alliance in a new endeavor called “Nature at Work” in partnership with the N.C. Cooperative Extension – New Hanover County Center and Arboretum.

Sign in road median in Frankfurt, Germany saying "Save the Bees"

On a recent Friday afternoon, over 50 people showed up at the Arboretum’s Education Center for a kickoff presentation. Responding to an invite that read “Please join your fellow environmental leaders to kick-off our “Nature at Work” campaign to foster more sustainable and biodiverse landscaping in our region. The Alliance for Cape Fear Trees and the New Hanover County Arboretum invite our Allies to join in building a collaborative and comprehensive movement to
• increase use of native plants in constructed landscapes
• decrease ubiquity of invasives
• shift delight from expansive monoculture lawns
• improve tree stewardship and canopy health

A group of adults in a classroom.

The inspiration for “Nature at Work” is Doug Tallamy’s Nature’s Best Hope. Indeed, few can read this book without comprehending the undeniable impact and relatively accessible approach his philosophy promises. With a drive to commit our community-at-large to this new urban landscape, we look to kick off our public campaign with a community-read of this title. Together, the New Hanover County Library, the Alliance for Cape Fear Trees and the Friends of the New Hanover County Arboretum look to provide as many free copies of this book as our sponsors and their budgets allow.
Funding for the young reader versions, suitable for middle school students, is also being sought to enlighten and engage our younger citizens and their families.
The Arboretum will serve as our distribution point for these books, driving traffic to the gardens during the month of September – nicely coinciding with the Native Plant Festival.
A website will be developed, insofar as providing a virtual gathering place for our community to discover resources, learn more, connect with others and commit to action. Our website will provide critical links, neighborhood maps, examples of residential and commercial landscapes, insights and blogs, notice of events and more. Social media posts and QR codes will link to this website – essential in today’s mobile media market.
Ultimately, the “Nature at Work” campaign is about building a collaborative and comprehensive movement to shift residential and commercial landscapes from a reliance on lawns and invasives to native plants and trees. The Arboretum, its Extension Master Gardeners, the Nature at Home Ambassadors, the Plant Clinic and staff will serve as tremendous resources for this massive mobilization. It’s an ambitious plan; let us know if you’d like to help.