UF Receives Grant for Spring Environmental Program with Native Plants Author
The University of Findlay has been awarded an $8,844 grant to host a weekend environmental program in April 2024, “Bringing Nature Home, One Person at a Time,” open to UF students and the community.
The grant is from the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation’s Madeleine Thomas Schneider Fund.
The program will include a talk and book signing by Douglas W. Tallamy, one of the foremost proponents of native plants in the nation and a University of Delaware professor of entomology and wildlife ecology.
One of the coordinators of the program, Ben Dolan, Ph.D., UF associate professor of biology and director of natural areas and plant collections, said Tallamy’s presentation “will demonstrate to students and the community the importance of nature-based solutions to environmental problems.”
Tallamy has authored 104 research publications, written four award-winning books including the New York Times best seller, “Nature’s Best Hope,” and has presented webinars and workshops to communities all over the country.
He is the co-founder of Homegrown National Park, an organization with a goal to achieve 20 million acres of native plantings – about half of the lawn area of privately owned properties in the country. Tallamy plans to reach the goal by persuading homeowners, property owners, land managers, farmers, and “anyone with some soil to plant in” to plant native plants and remove invasive plants.
Dolan believes bringing a speaker of national prominence to UF will encourage the Findlay-Hancock County community to consider individual actions they can take to protect the environment.
“As an ecologist who studies the impacts of invasive species on native ecosystems, I appreciate Dr. Tallamy’s advocacy for the use of native plants in our gardens as a practical approach to conserving biodiversity,” he explained.
The “Bringing Nature Home” program also will feature educational displays on gardening, landscaping, and conservation with an emphasis on native plants and the connectivity of ecosystems.
More than a dozen local organizations are supporting the program, and a variety of community activities will be planned leading up to the weekend.
The primary organizers with Dolan are Tim Brugeman and Ann Woolum, volunteers with Hancock County Master Gardeners, who raised the idea to bring Tallamy to Findlay.
“They’ve worked diligently to build the partnerships, apply for grants, and get folks excited about ‘Bringing Nature Home’,” Dolan noted.
Other partners and their organizations are: Bob Connour of Owens Community College, Lauren Sandhu of Blanchard River Watershed Partnership, Hal Mann of Wild Ones Oak Openings region chapter, Chad Carrol of West Central Ohio Land Conservancy and Hancock Park District, Devin Orpurt of Findlay Hancock County Public Library and Friends of the Library, Jane Ricker of Hancock County Naturalists, Peggy Biolchini and Lisa McClain of OSU Extension Hancock County Master Gardeners, Katie Ware of Rieck Center for Habitat Studies, and Tamera Rooney, a community volunteer with Red Tornado Collective.
The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life for all in the community. Established in 1992 as the result of an estate gift from L. Dale Dorney, The Community Foundation has granted more than $75 million to fund projects to support our community. Visit community-foundation.com or call 419-425-1100 to learn more about how the Foundation is making a lasting community impact.