Cultivating Wildlife Conservation

Start Date
End Date
The Boston chapter has a longstanding partnership with Grow Native Massachusetts. This annual spring lecture series, Evenings with Experts, does just that: bring national experts to speak about topics related to native plants and ecology as relates to the work of landscape architects and designers. These workshops are recorded in a live (virtual) presentation and then available online for the next year.


Biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate across the globe, and restoring wildlife habitat in urban and suburban green spaces is a crucial way we can stem this tide. To be effective in achieving this critical conservation goal, we need evidence-based guidelines to inform our landscaping decisions and plant selection. Desiree Narango will describe the ecological and evolutionary relationships between plants, pollinators, and songbirds— and highlight her compelling research on why native plants are the essential component of gardens that sustain biodiversity. She will also discuss specific findings from her research to help us identify the necessary proportion of native plants, as well as the plant best genera and species to use, if we are to create thriving wildlife habitat at home and in our communities.

Dr. Desiree Narango is a postdoctoral researcher and David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. While earning her Ph.D. at the University of Delaware, she worked closely with Doug Tallamy on numerous research projects. Her focus is on understanding wildlife habitat relationships and plant-animal interactions in novel human-dominated landscapes.
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Horticulture / Plants
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
• Understand the critical ecological and evolutionary relationships that bind together plants, insects, and birds, and learn how human disruption of these food webs is contributing to alarming declines in biodiversity.

• Learn how Desiree Narango’s research offers evidence-based guidelines we can use to create truly valuable habitat in urban and suburban landscapes.

• Understand why plant selection—both in terms of species and the proportion of native versus non-native plants—is the essential factor when creating landscapes that sustain biodiversity.
Dr. Desiree Narango, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Course Codes
GrowNative2021_Cultivating Conservation
Boston Society of Landscape Architects

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