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Pollinator Habitat Series
Tuesday, Jan. 31st: Pollinator-Friendly Garden Julie Weisenhorn, UMN Extension Horticulture Educator
Pollinators are responsible for the diversity of plant life & our food, & gardeners of all levels can adopt practices that help pollinators thrive. However, engaging with these important creatures through creating beneficial landscapes also helps to strengthen our sense of connection with nature (biophilia) & our understanding of the natural world while positively affecting these important insects. Join UMN Extension horticulture educator, Julie Weisenhorn, as she tells the story of pollinators from a landscape & plant selection standpoint & presents some practical options to help us make this world a better place for these valuable insects in our own gardens.

Wednesday, Feb. 1st: Bee Lawns- James Wolfin, Conservation Specialist
Bee lawns aim to integrate low-growing flowers into low-input turfgrass lawns to provide food for pollinators. They also help to conserve natural resources, as they require significantly less water, fertilizer, and mowing as compared to a traditional lawn. This presentation will examine the role of lawns in our culture, how lawns can be modified to protect pollinators & conserve natural resources, and the steps residents can take to easily install a bee lawn themselves.

Thursday, Feb. 2nd: Navigating Natives: Tools and Resources for Starting a Pocket Prairie- Sam Talbot, UMN Extension Educator, Dakota County
Native plants provide a wide range of benefits & can easily be incorporated into your backyard garden. Sam will draw from his experience restoring habitat in Dakota County Parks to discuss the benefits & challenges associated with planting natives in the landscape. He’ll highlight some of the tools and resources available, as well as opportunities to gain hands-on experience through volunteer opportunities in Dakota County. Topics will include propagation methods, plantings, & species considerations.

1:30-2:30 pm each afternoon
Jan 31, 2023 01:30 PM
Feb 1, 2023 01:30 PM
Feb 2, 2023 01:30 PM
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Julie Weisenhorn
Associate Extension Professor and Extension Educator, Horticulture @University of Minnesota Extension
Julie Weisenhorn holds communications and horticulture degrees from the University of Minnesota where she taught landscape design and later served as Extension Master Gardener state director. Today, she provides statewide horticulture education to a variety of audiences on design, plant selection and best management practices. She also serves on the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association Education committee and chairs the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Noxious Weed Advisory Committee. Julie coordinates and fields listeners’ questions on the WCCO Smart Gardens weekly radio show. In her own words, “This is the best job I’ve ever had.”
James Wolfin
Conservation Specialist and Sales Representative @Twin City Seed Company
James Wolfin is a Conservation Specialist with Twin City Seed Company where he aims to bring more visibility to bee lawns and sustainable turfgrass management practices to residents and land managers. Before his time with Twin City Seed, James was the Director of Education with Metro Blooms, a Minneapolis based nonprofit that aims to bring green infrastructure and native plants to our landscapes. James completed his MS in Entomology at the University of Minnesota where he was advised by Dr. Marla Spivak (UMN bee lab) and Dr. Eric Watkins (UMN turfgrass science lab) where he studied bee lawns – turfgrass lawns enhanced with pollinator-friendly flowers
Sam Talbot
Local Extension Educator in Dakota County @University of Minnesota Extension
Sam is a local Extension Educator in Dakota County. In this role he manages the county’s plant propagation program to enhance native habitat restoration efforts and provides support for the Dakota County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program. He brings his experience and passion for finding science-based solutions to the challenges of growing plants, while engaging volunteers and stakeholders. Although Sam's early career in ecology involved land conservation in the foothills of the Berkshires, he soon discovered his passion for prairies as soon as he moved to Minnesota.