Thursday, September 21 - Member Exclusive Event

Jody Allair - SOLD OUT

Conserving Canada’s Birds

7 to 8:30 p.m.; RBG Centre

In Ontario, the interest and observation of birds is very high and results have shown concerns for many species with settlement patterns due to land use activities. Join Jody Allair, Bird Studies Canada biologist and science educator, for a presentation on Canada’s birds and the threats to their conservation. Resources are scarce so strategic partnering has developed promising initiatives. Jody outlines these action plans and discusses ways we can make a difference for the birds.

For members and their guests only, RSVP today.



Friday, September 29

Heather Holm

Home Garden Initiatives for You and Native Bees

7 to 8:30 p.m.; RBG Centre

Heather Holm, horticulturist and biologist, outlines the types of native bees that visit our gardens and covers initiatives of how we can nurture their life cycles and provide food and habitats, while being a haven for the homeowner. Heather is also a writer, designer, and publisher. Her first book, Pollinators of Native Plants, published in 2014, established her as a knowledgeable resource on the subject of the interactions between native bees and native plants. Her new book is titled Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide. Heather’s website is a wealth of information, and her presentation is sure to enthrall.
Fee: Non Member $18; Member: $6


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Unique Workshop Opportunity: Friday, September 29

Ecological Solutions: Landscaping for Bees

9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; RBG Centre

Heather Holm, horticulturist and biologist, discusses design considerations, plant selection, and landscape maintenance strategies to support and attract native bee populations as well as the life cycles and habitat for several genera of bees. Participants then head outside to gently catch and release bees while Heather discusses their specific biology, forage needs, and habitat. A walk includes discussing landscape maintenance methods to support bee populations. Participants receive a certification of attendance. Program can be used for CEU with CNLA and OALA.
Fee: $100 (Members 10% off)


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Friday, October 13

Wade Davis - SOLD OUT

The Healing Forest: The Ethnobotanical Search for New Medicines

7 to 8:30 p.m.; RBG Centre

Between 25 and 40 percent of all modern drugs are derived from plants, and a majority of these were first used as medicines or poisons in a folk context. The gift of the shaman and the curandero, the herbalist and the witch include such basic pharmaceuticals as cocaine and morphine, digitalis and curarine, aspirin and quinine. With both the tropical rainforests and the indigenous peoples being destroyed at a horrendous rate, ethnobotanists are now engaged in a final race to discover the medical secrets of the plants before they are lost forever.


For three years Wade Davis traveled in the Andes and Northwest Amazon, living among a dozen or more tribes as he searched for new sources of medicine for the modern world. Journeys by jeep, mule, dugout, river raft and on foot led him to a dozen or more indigenous groups including the Ika, Kamsa, Barasana, Cubeo, Tukano and Paez of Colombia, the Kuna and Choco of Panama, the Kofan, Shuar and Waorani of Ecuador, the Bora, Witoto and highland Quechua of Peru and the Chimane and Aymara of Bolivia. Major areas of research included coca, the sacred leaf of the Inca and the notorious source of cocaine, the San Pedro Cactus healing cults of northern Peru, the arrow and dart poisons of the Jaguar shaman of the Waorani of eastern Ecuador, and the hallucinogenic plants of the Northwest Amazon. In the course of these travels, the Andean Cordillera was traversed at fourteen points and the Amazon descended from its source on the upper Apurimac in Peru to its mouth at Belem, Brazil. Alone or with botanical colleagues, Davis made some 6000 botanical collections which have since been distributed to herbaria throughout the world. In this lecture Davis both reviews the results of his expeditions and outlines the hopes and expectations of the ongoing program of ethnobotanical exploration that today seeks from the forests new treatments for cancer, A.I.D.S. and a host of afflictions that affect the well-being of all human societies.


Free lecture in celebration of Canada and Ontario’s 150th.


Wade Davis is an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society. Named by National Geographic as one of the Explorers for the Millennium, he has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet, and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.” Davis’s work as an anthropologist and botanical explorer has taken him throughout the world from the forests of the Amazon to the mountains of Tibet, from the high Arctic to the deserts of Africa, from Polynesia to the grasslands of Mongolia. Widely recognized as one of the most compelling storytellers of our time, his presentations, illustrated by his exquisite photographs, are a wild and moving celebration of the wonder of the human spirit, as expressed by the myriad of cultures he has encountered in a lifetime of travel, exploration, and ethnographic research.


Davis is the author of 17 bestselling books including The Serpent and the Rainbow, which was later released as a feature film, and Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest, which won the 2012 Samuel Johnson Prize, the top literary award for nonfiction in the English language. Davis has written for National Geographic, Newsweek, Outside, Harpers, Fortune, Condé Nast Traveler, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Globe and Mail, and many other international publications.


A professional speaker for 25 years, Davis has lectured at more than 200 universities and captivated corporate clients such as Microsoft, Shell, Fidelity, Bayer, Bristol¬Myers, Hallmark, Bank of Nova Scotia, MacKenzie Financials, and many others. His many TED talks have been seen by millions of viewers. In 2009 he delivered the Massey Lectures, Canada’s most prestigious public intellectual forum.





Thursday, November 9th

Doug Tallamy

A Chickadee's Guide to Gardening

7 to 8:30 p.m.; RBG Centre

In the past we have designed our landscapes strictly for our own pleasure, with no thought to how they might impact the natural world around us. Such landscapes do not contribute much to local ecosystem function and support little life. Using chickadees and other wildlife as guides, Tallamy will explain how plants that evolved in concert with local animals provide for their needs better than plants that evolved elsewhere. In the process he shows how creating living landscapes sharing by our spaces with other living things will not reduce our pleasurable garden experiences, but enhance them.

Free lecture in celebration of Canada and Ontario’s 150th


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Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 87 research publications and has taught Insect Taxonomy, Behavioral Ecology, Humans and Nature, Insect Ecology, and other courses for 36 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers' Association. The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014. Doug is also a regular columnist for Garden Design magazine. Among his awards are the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation and the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence.