Professor Doug Tallamy (Submitted Photo)
Professor Doug Tallamy (Submitted Photo)

Native plants provide food essential for the survival of native insects, which then become food for other animals, according to Doug Tallamy, author of “Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants.” Tallamy will speak on the importance of using native plants in residential landscapes during the Bringing Nature Home event on Saturday, Jan. 14, 8:15 a.m.-1 p.m., at Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater, 100 N. Charles Street. The native landscaping event is sponsored by the Friends of Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA) and Lewisville Parks and Leisure Services.

“Native plants provide the basis for a healthy and diverse ecosystem, which benefits humans,” says Tallamy. He will outline how all gardeners can help support this ecosystem by including more native plants in their own yards.

At the same event, Mike Merchant, urban entomology specialist at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Center in Dallas, will describe plants native to North Texas and the wildlife they will support. A panel discussion with the two speakers, a City of Lewisville neighborhood services representative, a native landscaper, and a resident will round out the morning by taking audience questions on the practical aspects of using native plants in residential landscapes. Participants will also receive detailed information on native plants, proper planting and watering techniques, sources for native landscaping materials, and more at booths that will be available throughout the morning.

Registration is open to the general public.

Tickets are $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents, and registration is available online at bit.ly/CoLRegistration, activity code 810007.

Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 85 research publications and has taught Insect Taxonomy, Behavioral Ecology, Humans and Nature, Insect Ecology, and other courses for 35 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.

Merchant has served as the “bug expert” at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas since 1989. He develops educational materials for the public as well as training programs and materials on pest management for the landscape maintenance and pest control industries. He has a strong interest in identifying and promoting safer and more effective pest control methods. Most recently, he is working with entomology colleagues to create educational materials on mosquitoes and West Nile and Zika viruses.

Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area is more than 2,000 acres of prairies, forests, and wetlands managed as a wildlife preserve by a group of agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the City of Lewisville, the University of North Texas, and Lewisville ISD. Its mission is to preserve and restore native Texas ecosystems and biodiversity while providing opportunities for environmental education, research, and recreation. LLELA’s entrance is at 201 E. Jones St, Lewisville, TX. Learn more at llela.org and follow LLELA on Facebook at facebook.com/LLELALewisvilleLake.

To reach MCL Grand from Interstate 35E, take exit 452 and proceed east on Main Street to Charles Street. MCL Grand will be on the left. Free public parking is available along Main and Church streets, or at Lewisville City Hall across Church Street from the center.