Appreciation Lunch
Jun
21
12:00 PM12:00

Appreciation Lunch

Location: Smith Wilkes Hall

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BTG's board hosts a hearty lunch with thanks for the Chautauqua Landscape and Garden, Woods and Grounds Crews, nature presenters, 'perennial speakers', The Chautauquan Daily reporter, and other Institution friends of BTG in recognition and appreciation of their services provided through the season and in support of our mission. 

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Jun
24
6:30 PM18:30

Week One: Lake Walk

"Birding the Chautauqua Campus by Ear"
Speaker/Guide: Terry Mosher
Location: Lakeside porch of the Youth Activities Center near Heinz Beach

Terry Mosher, past President of the Lake Erie Bird Club, is a longtime birder and amateur naturalist. Terry studies the birds, butterflies, and wildflowers of western New York. In a short workshop, Terry will lead participants in listening to the songs and call notes of birds found in three different parts of the Chautauqua campus: the lakeshore, ravine, and central grounds. Next, the group will walk these three areas and practice bird identification by ear. Please bring binoculars if you have them, but all you’ll really need is your ears.

For thirty-six years, Dr. Terry Mosher taught environmental literature and other English courses at SUNY-Fredonia, where he loved connecting students with the natural world and great American writing about it.  His other outdoor pleasures include gardening, traveling, and enjoying nature from horseback. 

With a focus on land conservation and watershed education, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, a 501C3 is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the water quality, scenic beauty and ecological health of the lakes, streams and watersheds of the Chautauqua region. Working with residents, landowners, landscapers, developers, contractors, public officials, and governmental entities, CWC promotes best land management practices and preserves and restores the waterways/sheds of the region. CWC has led efforts resulting in the conservation of more than 1,000 acres of land and 2 miles of shoreline! chautauquawatershed.org

Note: Some Lake Walk presentations may involve short, non-strenuous walks and may take you to rough terrain. Please come prepared for light exertion and occasional inclement weather. Appropriate clothing and footgear are suggested.

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Week One: Bird Talk and Walk
Jun
25
7:30 AM07:30

Week One: Bird Talk and Walk

Speakers/Guides: Naturalists and Educators from Audubon Community Nature Center or Roger Tory Peterson Institute
Location: Smith Wilkes Hall

Join one of our seasoned guides to learn about the birds and habitat in our area. After starting out at Smith Wilkes Hall, there are several different routes for the group to take to see birds and hear their call. We'll stop along the way and talk about habitat, predators, migration patterns, nesting and even review 'bird apps'. Bring your own binoculars or borrow some for the walk. The walk/talk should last about an hour. (Dogs are discouraged from attending with owner).

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Copy of Week One: Brown Bag Lecture
Jun
25
12:15 PM12:15

Copy of Week One: Brown Bag Lecture

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"English Gardens and the People Who Designed Them"
Speaker/Guide: Melinda Wolcott

Award Winning Garden Designer and Garden Tour Host
Location: Smith Wilkes Hall

Beginning with the 18th century gardens of Blenheim Palace to gardens of the 21st century, we will examine the styles and personalities who created them. A 'perennial' BTG lecturer, Melinda has spent considerable time in the UK (and even married a Brit!) expanding her knowledge and time in these quintessential British spaces. 


Melinda is a National Garden Club Inc. Flower Show Judge, and an award winning floral designer and instructor of floral design. Having lived in England, Italy, and Singapore, led her to her interest in designing and leading garden tours. She recently left her Connecticut home of 30 years and moved to California where she is designing her new garden with native plantings and plants that attract birds and butterflies.She's also offering Gardening Workshops Weeks 4, 6, and 8 on Wednesdays 4:15pm in Smith Wilkes Hall along with Chris Flanders.

BTG's weekly Tuesday 12:15pm lecture platform features national experts presenting a range of topics concerning the natural world: wildlife, gardening, and the environment. Bring you lunch to Smith Wilkes Hall - lemon water provided. This signature lecture, usually with a slide show followed by Q&A, lasts approximately an hour. Engage with nature!

 

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Week Two: Lake Walk
Jul
1
6:30 PM18:30

Week Two: Lake Walk

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A Photographer’s Appreciation of Water
Speaker/Guide: Karen Glosser
Location: Lakeside porch of the Youth Activities Center near Heinz Beach

A fine arts photographer will share her love for the beauty of our lake and watershed and her reasons for their protection. For those who wish to bring a camera, Karen will field questions at the end of the presentation.

Karen Glosser is a fine art nature photographer whose work has led her to memorable places around the world. However, her native Western New York State remains her primary love and focus as she explores and captures the moody waves of Lake Erie, the serenity found at Chautauqua Lake and the silent woodlands near her home.

With a focus on land conservation and watershed education, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, a 501C3 is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the water quality, scenic beauty and ecological health of the lakes, streams and watersheds of the Chautauqua region. Working with residents, landowners, landscapers, developers, contractors, public officials, and governmental entities, CWC promotes best land management practices and preserves and restores the waterways/sheds of the region. CWC has led efforts resulting in the conservation of more than 1,000 acres of land and 2 miles of shoreline! chautauquawatershed.org

Note:  Some Lake Walk presentations may involve short, non-strenuous walks and may take you to rough terrain.  Please come prepared for light exertion and occasional inclement weather.  Appropriate clothing and footgear are suggested.

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Week Three: Lake Walk
Jul
8
6:30 PM18:30

Week Three: Lake Walk

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Saving Chautauqua's Muskies
Speaker/Guide: Fletcher Ward
Location: Lakeside porch of the Youth Activities Center near Heinz Beach

Fletcher will provide information on the status of Chautauqua’s Muskies based on data from the Prendergast Hatchery. His presentation will be based on his book, Saving Chautauqua’s Muskies, a story of a few men who brought this great fish back from endangerment.  

Fletcher Ward is a fourth generation resident of Bemus Point, his great grandfather having piloted several of Chautauqua Lake’s steamboats.  Fletcher is a 1971 graduate of Kent State University.  He was employed for 29 years as environmental health and safety director of Signore, Inc. division of American Locker Group.  An avowed “lake rat” and historian, Ward has written four books on Chautauqua Lake and is currently researching for a fifth work.


With a focus on land conservation and watershed education, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, a 501C3 is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the water quality, scenic beauty and ecological health of the lakes, streams and watersheds of the Chautauqua region. Working with residents, landowners, landscapers, developers, contractors, public officials, and governmental entities, CWC promotes best land management practices and preserves and restores the waterways/sheds of the region. CWC has led efforts resulting in the conservation of more than 1,000 acres of land and 2 miles of shoreline! chautauquawatershed.org

Note: Some Lake Walk presentations may involve short, non-strenuous walks and may take you to rough terrain. Please come prepared for light exertion and occasional inclement weather. Appropriate clothing and footgear are suggested.

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Week Four: Lake Walk
Jul
15
6:30 PM18:30

Week Four: Lake Walk

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The Secret Lives of Chautauqua’s
Threatened Wildlife

Speaker/Guide: Twan Leenders
Location: Lakeside porch of the Youth Activities Center near Heinz Beach

Twan will lead a presentation of the rare and endangered wildlife of the Chautauqua Lake watershed, including the status of the Spiny Softshell Turtles, Bald Eagle and Osprey recovery, and decline of bats, purple martins, nighthawks and chimney swifts. 

Twan is President of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History (rtpi.org). He is a conservation biologist specializing in amphibians and reptiles, is an avid nature photographer and writes and illustrates field guides.

With a focus on land conservation and watershed education, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, a 501C3 charity, is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the water quality, scenic beauty and ecological health of the lakes, streams and watersheds of the Chautauqua region. Working with residents, landowners, landscapers, developers, contractors, public officials, and governmental entities, CWC promotes best land management practices and preserves and restores the waterways/sheds of the region. CWC has led efforts resulting in the conservation of more than 1,000 acres of land and 2 miles of shoreline! chautauquawatershed.org

Note:  Some Lake Walk presentations may involve short, non-strenuous walks and may take you to rough terrain.  Please come prepared for light exertion and occasional inclement weather.  Appropriate clothing and footgear are suggested.

 

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Week Four: Monarchpalooza!
Jul
18
12:00 PM12:00

Week Four: Monarchpalooza!

Location: Lincoln Park Noon - 3:30pm

Pick up a Monarch Passport and travel thru BTG's experiential learning event. Journeying thru stations, examine every stage of the monarch life cycle.  Observe and explore egg laying, larve, chrysalis, to the Monarch's full glory.  Knowledgable docents will facilitate observation, provide commentary, help participants to measure each monarch caterpillar instar, investigate their mouthparts and bite patterns, observe chrysalides, and hand-feed adult butterflies. Engage in this unique exciting guided discovery. Guest experts on Monarchs on hand from Audubon Nature Community Center, Roger Tori Peterson Institute, Chautauqua Lake Central School teachers and Jack and Diane Voelker, all local monarch enthusiasts ready to share and help you explore.

The event culminates when you present your completed passport in order to enter a 20'x10' tent of monarchs. They'll land on you if you wish and can be fed by hand. Plenty of chance for Q and A all along the way. Pick up a magnifying glass and Be Amazed!  Be sure to attend BTG guest lecturer Laurie Stralow Harris on Monday and Tuesday before the event at 12:15 Smith Wilkes Hall.

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Jul
22
6:30 PM18:30

Week Five: Lake Walk

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Lakeside Lab - Exploring Chautauqua Lake's
Underwater Life
Speaker/Guide: Courtney Wigdahl-Perry
Location: Lakeside porch of the Youth Activities Center near Heinz Beach

Investigate life under the water and hear how changes in the ecosystem’s smallest species affect the ecological health and water quality of Chautauqua Lake.  Learn about ongoing Chautauqua Lake research projects. Yes, we’ll be using microscopes! Citizen Scientists welcome!

Courtney is an assistant professor of Biology at SUNY Fredonia, with a Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Science from the University of Maine. Her research explores how environmental change influences organisms that live in lakes. Courtney manages the only research buoy on Chautauqua Lake, and has an up-to-date knowledge of the Lake’s water quality.

With a focus on land conservation and watershed education, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, a 501C3 is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the water quality, scenic beauty and ecological health of the lakes, streams and watersheds of the Chautauqua region. Working with residents, landowners, landscapers, developers, contractors, public officials, and governmental entities, CWC promotes best land management practices and preserves and restores the waterways/sheds of the region. CWC has led efforts resulting in the conservation of more than 1,000 acres of land and 2 miles of shoreline! chautauquawatershed.org

Note:  Some Lake Walk presentations may involve short, non-strenuous walks and may take you to rough terrain.  Please come prepared for light exertion and occasional inclement weather.  Appropriate clothing and footgear are suggested.


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Week Six: Lake Walk
Jul
29
6:30 PM18:30

Week Six: Lake Walk

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Chautauqua Lake: An Geological Backstory
Speaker/Guide: Glenn Wahl
Location: Lakeside porch of the Youth Activities Center near Heinz Beach

Explore the history of the Chautauqua Lake region and its surrounding hills.  Glenn’s presentation will take you back through time to learn about important events in the evolution of the present landscape. From ancient oceans with fifteen-foot long crustaceans to mile-thick glaciers, the Chautauqua Lake story is a fascinating one.

Glenn is a local educator and a geology instructor at Jamestown Community College. Holding degrees in geology and environmental biology, he's an environmentalist and advocate for sustainable systems. Glenn will explore the backstory behind the Chautauqua Lake region - how the lake and the surrounding hills came to be.

With a focus on land conservation and watershed education, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, a 501C3 charity, is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the water quality, scenic beauty and ecological health of the lakes, streams and watersheds of the Chautauqua region. Working with residents, landowners, landscapers, developers, contractors, public officials, and governmental entities, CWC promotes best land management practices and preserves and restores the waterways/sheds of the region. CWC has led efforts resulting in the conservation of more than 1,000 acres of land and 2 miles of shoreline! chautauquawatershed.org

 Note:  Some Lake Walk presentations may involve short, non-strenuous walks and may take you to rough terrain.  Please come prepared for light exertion and occasional inclement weather.  Appropriate clothing and footgear are suggested.

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Week Seven: Lake Walk
Aug
5
6:30 PM18:30

Week Seven: Lake Walk

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Trees:  Green Guardians of Soil, Air and Water
Speaker/Guide: Becky Nystrom
Location: Lakeside porch of the Youth Activities Center near Heinz Beach

Join Becky on a visit to the Ravine Forest, explore the relationships between fungi, microbes, air, water and light with the roots and leaves of trees, and the critical contributions trees make to the ecological health of the streams, lakes, wetlands and watersheds in their Chautauqua Region ecosystems.  

Ms.Becky Nystrom is a local naturalist, conservationist, and retired Jamestown Community College professor of biology (36 years!) who helped co-found the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy and who has served as a long-time CWC board director, conservation committee member, fieldtrip leader, and regular columnist for the Chautauqua Watershed Notes. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Chautauqua Lake Association and JCC Foundation, is a life-member of the BTG, and volunteers her time on behalf of a number of forest- and lake-related endeavors. She is active in her Creation Care group at Zion Covenant Church, and passionately promotes increased awareness, appreciation, and stewardship of the natural world.

Becky earned her Master of Science degree in Biology from SUNY College at Fredonia, Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology, magna cum laude, from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Associates in Science degree from Jamestown Community College. Her professional honors include the SUNY Jamestown Community College Distinguished Alumnus Award, the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute’s Blanche Hornbeck Award for Excellence in Nature Education, and others. Becky and her husband Steve live in Jamestown, and together enjoy traveling, spending time with their grandbaby, hiking, gardening, good music, good books, good friends, and a house-full of pets and plants.


With a focus on land conservation and watershed education, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, a 501C3 is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the water quality, scenic beauty and ecological health of the lakes, streams and watersheds of the Chautauqua region. Working with residents, landowners, landscapers, developers, contractors, public officials, and governmental entities, CWC promotes best land management practices and preserves and restores the waterways/sheds of the region. CWC has led efforts resulting in the conservation of more than 1,000 acres of land and 2 miles of shoreline! chautauquawatershed.org

Note: Some Lake Walk presentations may involve short, non-strenuous walks and may take you to rough terrain. Please come prepared for light exertion and occasional inclement weather. Appropriate clothing and footgear are suggested.

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Week Eight: Lake Walk
Aug
12
6:30 PM18:30

Week Eight: Lake Walk

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Near Shore Aquatic Insects of Chautauqua Lake
Speaker/Guide: Dennis McNair
Location: Lakeside porch of the Youth Activities Center near Heinz Beach

Dennis will share this expertise in his work, which will focus on the nearshore aquatic insects commonly found along the lakeshore at the Chautauqua Institution, with an emphasis on the winged adult stages present at the time of the walk.  He will also discuss their life cycles, their importance to the lake and shore food webs, and, thus, their importance to the lake ecosystem.

Dennis is an emeritus biology professor from the University of Pittsburgh, having taught at the Johnstown Campus for 33 years and chaired the Biology Dept. there for 21 years. Dennis’ academic research focused on aquatic insects as indicators of water quality and on the ecology and distribution of dragonflies and damselflies.

With a focus on land conservation and watershed education, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, a 501C3 charity, is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the water quality, scenic beauty and ecological health of the lakes, streams and watersheds of the Chautauqua region. Working with residents, landowners, landscapers, developers, contractors, public officials, and governmental entities, CWC promotes best land management practices and preserves and restores the waterways/sheds of the region. CWC has led efforts resulting in the conservation of more than 1,000 acres of land and 2 miles of shoreline! chautauquawatershed.org

Note:  Some Lake Walk presentations may involve short, non-strenuous walks and may take you to rough terrain.  Please come prepared for light exertion and occasional inclement weather.  Appropriate clothing and footgear are suggested.

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Week Nine: Lake Walk
Aug
19
6:30 PM18:30

Week Nine: Lake Walk

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"Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Chautauqua Campus”
Speaker/Guide: Johnathan Townsend
Location: Lakeside porch of the Youth Activities Center near Heinz Beach

A short introduction to the identification and precautions necessary in collection, processing and properties of common edible/medicinal plants found along the lakeshore and central grounds of the Chautauqua Institution.

Johnathan Townsend

For thirty-six years, Dr. Terry Mosher taught environmental literature and other English courses at SUNY-Fredonia, where he loved connecting students with the natural world and great American writing about it.  His other outdoor pleasures include gardening, traveling, and enjoying nature from horseback. 

With a focus on land conservation and watershed education, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, a 501C3 is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the water quality, scenic beauty and ecological health of the lakes, streams and watersheds of the Chautauqua region. Working with residents, landowners, landscapers, developers, contractors, public officials, and governmental entities, CWC promotes best land management practices and preserves and restores the waterways/sheds of the region. CWC has led efforts resulting in the conservation of more than 1,000 acres of land and 2 miles of shoreline! chautauquawatershed.org

Note:  Some Lake Walk presentations may involve short, non-strenuous walks and may take you to rough terrain.  Please come prepared for light exertion and occasional inclement weather.  Appropriate clothing and footgear are suggested.

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Aug
21
9:15 AM09:15

Week Nine: Eco Garden Walk

Speaker/Guide: Sara Baker-Michalak
Location: Fletcher Music Hall

This newly updated morning garden walk will introduce you to the Institution's forward thinking  ecological gardening practices and techniques related to water conservation and management. Participants will learn the importance of using native plants, rain gardens, "right plant in the right place," and attracting pollinators and nature to the garden. You're going to want to take notes on this walk! By all means take photos! The walk concludes at the Amphitheater putting you in just the right place to attend the 10:45  lecture. 

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Aug
23
9:00 AM09:00

Week Nine: Nature Walk

Speaker/Guide: Jack Gulvin
Location: Lake side (back) of Smith Wilkes Hall

Nature Walk Jack leads a group along Fletcher Avenue and the Ravine toward the South End and highlights a couple dozen features along the way of this 'guided discovery' walk, including birds and animals in addition to plants, trees and insects. Emphasis on items one might otherwise not notice and facts not widely known. You'll see these woods in a whole new light. The tour lasts about 75 minutes so there's still time to get to the 10:45 lecture at the Amphitheater lecture. 

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Aug
24
9:00 AM09:00

Week Nine: Nature Walk

Speaker/Guide: Jack Gulvin
Location: Lake side (back) of Smith Wilkes Hall

Nature Walk Jack leads a group along Fletcher Avenue and the Ravine toward the South End and highlights a couple dozen features along the way of this 'guided discovery' walk, including birds and animals in addition to plants, trees and insects. Emphasis on items one might otherwise not notice and facts not widely known. You'll see these woods in a whole new light. The tour lasts about 75 minutes so there's still time to get to the 10:45 lecture at the Amphitheater lecture. 

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Aug
22
4:15 PM16:15

Week Nine: Bat Chat

Speaker/Guide: Caroline Bissel
Location: Smith Wilkes Hall

Have fun laughing and learning the many ways the awesome 1,300 bat species of the world make our lives better. Pick up numerous bat facts, fun stories, share laughter and even some riddles and jokes. There will be no test as the end, just pure entertainment by the 'expert on call' in Chautauqua to rescue wayward bats from local buildings and homes.

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Aug
22
9:15 AM09:15

Week Nine: Eco Garden Walk

Speaker/Guide: Sara Baker-Michalak
Location: Fletcher Music Hall

This newly updated morning garden walk will introduce you to the Institution's forward thinking  ecological gardening practices and techniques related to water conservation and management. Participants will learn the importance of using native plants, rain gardens, "right plant in the right place," and attracting pollinators and nature to the garden. You're going to want to take notes on this walk! By all means take photos! The walk concludes at the Amphitheater putting you in just the right place to attend the 10:45  lecture. 

View Event →
Aug
21
4:15 PM16:15

Week Nine: Garden Walk

Speaker/Guide: Joe McMaster
Location: Lake side (back) of Smith Wilkes Hall

Join our seasoned guide with experience ranging from certified arborists, farmer and horticulturalist to expert in the plants, trees and habitat of Chautauqua Institution and county within western NY. Starting at the back of Smith Wilkes Hall (lakeside) you'll walk the grounds learning about the interesting selection of plants, shrubs, trees and flowers. Questions welcomed! The routes vary so be sure to attend as many afternoons as possible. 

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Aug
21
12:15 PM12:15

Week Nine: Brown Bag Lecture

Green Roof Landscapes that Improve the Environment
Speaker/Guide: Molly Meyer
Scientist, Entrepeneur

Location: Smith Wilkes Hal

Molly Meyer, discusses the latest developments of natural green roofs using a mere few inches of engineered soil reinventing formerly 'barren' space into growing habitats. These “working landscapes” both look attractive and serve additional functions: from managing storm water and growing crops, to creating habitats and engaging spaces for people. Learn about her American green roof company that developed a groundbreaking green roof system, from the CEO and Founder's perspective of Omni Ecosystems.


Molly Meyer is the CEO and Founder of Omni Ecosystems. She leads Omni’s strategy and business development and oversees Omni’s product innovation and field operations. She founded Omni with the mission to democratize access to natural spaces, and to create an organization that continuously engages in bold endeavors that elevate the triple bottom line: ecological, financial, and social. Molly is also the Co-Founder & CEO of The Roof CropTM, a commercial rooftop farming company in Chicago. Her background couples her work at Stanford University in systems problem-solving and in biogeochemical research with field experience in construction means and methods that she gained working as a carpenter and green roof installer as a Robert Bosch Fellow in Germany. These experiences were foundational in redefining the American green roof industry with Omni’s groundbreaking Comprehensive green roof system. Her inventions include Omni’s patented living wall panel and Omni’s patent-pending green roof drainage system. Molly is a Board Member of Openlands, a 55-year-old non-profit dedicated to protecting open space in northeastern Illinois and surrounding region, and an Executive Board Member of the Women's Leadership Initiative within Urban Land Institute Chicago.

BTG's weekly Tuesday 12:15pm lecture platform features national experts presenting a range of topics concerning the natural world: wildlife, gardening, and the environment. Bring you lunch to Smith Wilkes Hall - lemon water provided. This signature lecture, usually with a slide show followed by Q&A, lasts approximately an hour. Engage with nature!

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Week Nine: Bird Talk and Walk
Aug
21
7:30 AM07:30

Week Nine: Bird Talk and Walk

Speakers/Guides: Naturalists and Educators from Audubon Community Nature Center in Jamestown or Roger Tory Peterson Institute
Location: Smith Wilkes Hall

Join one of our seasoned guides to learn about the birds and habitat in our area. After starting out at Smith Wilkes Hall, there are several different routes for the group to take to see birds and hear their call. We'll stop along the way and talk about habitat, predators, migration patterns, nesting and even review 'bird apps'. Bring your own binoculars or borrow some for the walk. The walk/talk should last about an hour. (Dogs are discouraged from attending with owner).

View Event →
Aug
17
9:00 AM09:00

Week Eight: Nature Walk

Speaker/Guide: Jack Gulvin
Location: Lake side (back) of Smith Wilkes Hall

Nature Walk Jack leads a group along Fletcher Avenue and the Ravine toward the South End and highlights a couple dozen features along the way of this 'guided discovery' walk, including birds and animals in addition to plants, trees and insects. Emphasis on items one might otherwise not notice and facts not widely known. You'll see these woods in a whole new light. The tour lasts about 75 minutes so there's still time to get to the 10:45 lecture at the Amphitheater lecture. 

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Week Eight: Ravine Program
Aug
16
4:15 PM16:15

Week Eight: Ravine Program

Nature Talks: "A Bag Full of Surprises"
Speaker/Guide: 
Jack Gulvin
Location: Burgeson Nature Classroom

What 'nature objects' are in the bag full of surprises? Jack totes a bag filled with some of nature’s most unique items. Shut your eyes; select one from the bag; and then he’ll help you discover something remarkable and unusual about that object. Naturalist, forester, and nationally known purple martin expert Jack Gulvin, will shed new light on the natural world that surrounds us.


Jack Gulvin

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Week Eight: Garden Workshop
Aug
15
4:15 PM16:15

Week Eight: Garden Workshop

"Divide and Conquer: Hosta La Vista Baby”
Speakers/Guides: Melinda Wolcott and Chris Flanders
Location: Smith Wilkes Hall

Get up close and personal for a demonstration and lecture by two master gardeners who have a whole lot of professional expertise, academic credentials and practical knowledge in the gardens.  More importantly, they have a great delivery style and don't take themselves too seriously. Melinda and Chris will regale the audience with tips, tricks and techniques and much more. They're BTG's version of NPR's "Click and Clack" - and you're really going to learn something!  Join us for this interactive demonstration.


Melinda, a BTG life member from California in the off season and from Magnolia in the summertime, is a well trained flower arranger, gardener and a new winery owner in CA. Melinda lectures on many gardening topics and is a well published writer on gardening in the trade magazines and a floral show judge. 

Chris, a lifelong resident of this county, attended CHQ since the 1960s and full time for the past five years. An avid sailor, retired Critical Care Nurse Practitioner, former horse breeder and trainer, Chris achieved Master Gardener certification in 2013. As a board member of BTG she has found her home base in CHQ with the BTG and holds many roles as Chair of Butterflies and Blooms, garden lecturer and tour guide of the newly renovated Arboretum. 

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Aug
15
9:15 AM09:15

Week Eight: Eco Garden Walk

Speaker/Guide: Sara Baker-Michalak
Location: Fletcher Music Hall

This newly updated morning garden walk will introduce you to the Institution's forward thinking  ecological gardening practices and techniques related to water conservation and management. Participants will learn the importance of using native plants, rain gardens, "right plant in the right place," and attracting pollinators and nature to the garden. You're going to want to take notes on this walk! By all means take photos! The walk concludes at the Amphitheater putting you in just the right place to attend the 10:45  lecture. 

View Event →
Aug
14
4:15 PM16:15

Week Eight: Garden Walk

Speaker/Guide: Joe McMaster
Location: Lake side (back) of Smith Wilkes Hall

Join our seasoned guide with experience ranging from certified arborists, farmer and horticulturalist to expert in the plants, trees and habitat of Chautauqua Institution and county within western NY. Starting at the back of Smith Wilkes Hall (lakeside) you'll walk the grounds learning about the interesting selection of plants, shrubs, trees and flowers. Questions welcomed! The routes vary so be sure to attend as many afternoons as possible. 

View Event →
Aug
14
12:15 PM12:15

Week Eight: Brown Bag Lecture

“Lessons From the Bee: How To Work As a Team When No One Knows What She Is Doing”
Speaker/Guide: Dr John Wenzel
University researcher, field researcher on insects, Department Chair
Location: Smith Wilkes Hall

Dr. John Wenzel will examine how bees organize their work in teams that divide labor efficiently as if they have an awareness of what the colony needs. They have only local information, no job foreman, no time clock, nor any knowledge of who their partners are in the team. A few simple rules govern this distributed decision-making, providing useful lessons for human teams.


Dr. John Wenzel started studying insects at age 19 when he was a field assistant in Panama to famous entomologist and sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson. His career has taken him to many remote locations around the world, with more than three years in the field in tropical America and Africa, and a year in Europe. He has held positions at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, France, and at the American Museum of Natural History, New York. He joined Ohio State Department of Entomology in 1994, where he was a professor for 17 years and won the highest teaching award Ohio State gives. He served as Director of the OSU Museum of Biological Diversity for ten years. John joined the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in 2011, where he has built new education and research programs at Powdermill Nature Reserve. John’s primary research has been on social insects such as ants, bees, and wasps, with a focus on the evolution of complex behavior and the organization of work. At Powdermill Nature Reserve, he founded an award-winning temperate ecology course for graduate students from Latin America. He and his staff also apply emerging technology to ecosystem science, such as their leading programs in using drones to capture landscape-level data, or using gigapixel technology to provide teaching tools for citizen scientists, and Virtual Reality 3D botanical models used for fun and teaching.

BTG's weekly Tuesday 12:15pm lecture platform features national experts presenting a range of topics concerning the natural world: wildlife, gardening, and the environment. Bring you lunch to Smith Wilkes Hall - lemon water provided. This signature lecture, usually with a slide show followed by Q&A, lasts approximately an hour. Engage with nature!

View Event →
Week Eight: Bird Talk and Walk
Aug
14
7:30 AM07:30

Week Eight: Bird Talk and Walk

Speakers/Guides: Naturalists and Educators from Audubon Community Nature Center in Jamestown or Roger Tory Peterson Institute
Location: Smith Wilkes Hall

Join one of our seasoned guides to learn about the birds and habitat in our area. After starting out at Smith Wilkes Hall, there are several different routes for the group to take to see birds and hear their call. We'll stop along the way and talk about habitat, predators, migration patterns, nesting and even review 'bird apps'. Bring your own binoculars or borrow some for the walk. The walk/talk should last about an hour. (Dogs are discouraged from attending with owner).

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Week Eight: Lake Walk
Aug
13
6:30 PM18:30

Week Eight: Lake Walk

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Near Shore Aquatic Insects of Chautauqua Lake
Speaker/Guide: Dennis McNair
Location: Lakeside porch of the Youth Activities Center near Heinz Beach

Dennis is an emeritus biology professor from the University of Pittsburgh, having taught at the Johnstown Campus for 33 years and chaired the Biology Dept. there for 21 years. Dennis’ academic research focused on aquatic insects as indicators of water quality and on the ecology and distribution of dragonflies and damselflies. Dennis will share this expertise in his talk, which will focus on the nearshore aquatic insects commonly found along the lakeshore at the Chautauqua Institution, with an emphasis on the winged adult stages present at the time of the walk.  He will also discuss their life cycles, their importance to the lake and shore food webs, and, thus, their importance to the lake ecosystem.

With a focus on land conservation and watershed education, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, a 501C3 charity, is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the water quality, scenic beauty and ecological health of the lakes, streams and watersheds of the Chautauqua region. Working with residents, landowners, landscapers, developers, contractors, public officials, and governmental entities, CWC promotes best land management practices and preserves and restores the waterways/sheds of the region. CWC has led efforts resulting in the conservation of more than 1,000 acres of land and 2 miles of shoreline! chautauquawatershed.org

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Week Eight: Monarch Moments & More
Aug
13
12:15 PM12:15

Week Eight: Monarch Moments & More

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"Strange Pollination Syndromes"
Speaker/Guide: John Wenzel, Ph.D.
Location: Smith Wilkes Hall
     

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Powdermill Nature Reserve’s Director, John Wenzel, Ph.D., will reprise his Chautauqua appearance with a talk on Strange Pollination Syndromes.  While bees and butterflies get most of the credit, there are many pollination systems that rely on other animals. John will examine several unusual systems, ranging from tight beneficial partnerships to exploitive interactions, and teach us about the evolutionary causes and consequences of these strange syndromes. Get here early because this guy can sell out Madison Square Garden! 


John Wenzel, Ph.DDr. Wenzel graduated Harvard College, Bachelor of Arts, with Honors in 1981 and received his PhD in 1988 from the University Kansas, Department of Entomology.  John’s studies of social insects include ants, bees, and wasps, with a focus on the evolution of complex behavior and the organization of work.  His career has taken him to many remote locations around the world, with more than three years in the field in tropical America and Africa, and a year in Europe. He has held positions at the University of Georgia, the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, France, and at the American Museum of Natural History,New York.  John was with Ohio State Department of Entomology for 17 years. He served as Director of the OSU Museum of Biological Diversity for ten years. John joined the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in 2011, at Powdermill Nature Reserve, a 2,200 acre parcel in the Laurel Highland where he has built new education and research programs on forest regeneration and pollinator health. He is back with BTG after last year's exciting and intriguing lectures!

MONARCH MOMENTS AND MORE Bring your lunch and a healthy appetite for learning on Mondays 12:15pm in Smith Wilkes Hall. Expanding beyond solely discussing Monarchs, settle in for a lecture about a topic related to the natural world with a wide range of interesting speakers. 

BUTTERFLIES AND BLOOMS program celebrates you - the gardeners in our audience who have adopted eco-friendly practices and have certified their gardens as monarch waystations with Monarch Watch. Prior to each Monarch Moments & More presentation, home owners will place a pin on their CHQ garden! 

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Aug
10
9:00 AM09:00

Week Seven: Nature Walk

Speaker/Guide: Jack Gulvin
Location: Lake side (back) of Smith Wilkes Hall

Nature Walk Jack leads a group along Fletcher Avenue and the Ravine toward the South End and highlights a couple dozen features along the way of this 'guided discovery' walk, including birds and animals in addition to plants, trees and insects. Emphasis on items one might otherwise not notice and facts not widely known. You'll see these woods in a whole new light. The tour lasts about 75 minutes so there's still time to get to the 10:45 lecture at the Amphitheater lecture. 

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Week Seven: Ravine Program
Aug
9
4:15 PM16:15

Week Seven: Ravine Program

Nature Talks: “Tree Canopy Health Assessment”
Speaker/Guide: Craig Vollmer

Location: Burgeson Nature Classroom

Join Craig Vollmer, certified arborist with Forecon Inc., and inspect trees to find internal defects and determine wood density and growth rates using a resistograph. With this high-resolution needle drill measurement device, an evaluation will be conducted on a few trees and then you will hear about the overall assessment and health of the tree canopy at the Institution. THIS is COOL!


Craig Volmer, Forecon Inc. Certified Arborist

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Aug
8
4:15 PM16:15

Week Seven: Bat Chat

Speaker/Guide: Caroline Bissel
Location: Smith Wilkes Hall

Have fun laughing and learning the many ways the awesome 1,300 bat species of the world make our lives better. Pick up numerous bat facts, fun stories, share laughter and even some riddles and jokes. There will be no test as the end, just pure entertainment by the 'expert on call' in Chautauqua to rescue wayward bats from local buildings and homes.

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Aug
8
9:15 AM09:15

Week Seven: Eco Garden Walk

Speaker/Guide: Sara Baker-Michalak
Location: Fletcher Music Hall

This newly updated morning garden walk will introduce you to the Institution's forward thinking  ecological gardening practices and techniques related to water conservation and management. Participants will learn the importance of using native plants, rain gardens, "right plant in the right place," and attracting pollinators and nature to the garden. You're going to want to take notes on this walk! By all means take photos! The walk concludes at the Amphitheater putting you in just the right place to attend the 10:45  lecture. 

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Aug
7
4:15 PM16:15

Week Seven: Garden Walk

Speaker/Guide: Joe McMaster
Location: Lake side (back) of Smith Wilkes Hall

Join our seasoned guide with experience ranging from certified arborists, farmer and horticulturalist to expert in the plants, trees and habitat of Chautauqua Institution and county within western NY. Starting at the back of Smith Wilkes Hall (lakeside) you'll walk the grounds learning about the interesting selection of plants, shrubs, trees and flowers. Questions welcomed! The routes vary so be sure to attend as many afternoons as possible. 

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Week Seven: Bird Talk and Walk
Aug
7
7:30 AM07:30

Week Seven: Bird Talk and Walk

Speakers/Guides: Naturalists and Educators from Audubon Community Nature Center in Jamestown or Roger Tory Peterson Institute
Location: Smith Wilkes Hall

Join one of our seasoned guides to learn about the birds and habitat in our area. After starting out at Smith Wilkes Hall, there are several different routes for the group to take to see birds and hear their call. We'll stop along the way and talk about habitat, predators, migration patterns, nesting and even review 'bird apps'. Bring your own binoculars or borrow some for the walk. The walk/talk should last about an hour. (Dogs are discouraged from attending with owner).

View Event →
Week Nine: Lake Walk
Aug
6
6:30 PM18:30

Week Nine: Lake Walk

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Chautauqua Lake: An Ecological Backstory
Speaker/Guide: Glenn Wahl
Location: Lakeside porch of the Youth Activities Center near Heinz Beach

Glenn is a local educator and a geology instructor at Jamestown Community College. Holding degrees in geology and environmental biology, he's an environmentalist and advocate for sustainable systems. Glenn will explore the backstory behind the Chautauqua Lake region - how the lake and the surrounding hills came to be. Glenn’s presentation will take you back through time to learn about important events in the evolution of the present landscape. From ancient oceans to fifteen foot-long crustaceans to mile-thick glaciers, the Chautauqua Lake story is a fascinating one.

With a focus on land conservation and watershed education, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, a 501C3 charity, is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the water quality, scenic beauty and ecological health of the lakes, streams and watersheds of the Chautauqua region. Working with residents, landowners, landscapers, developers, contractors, public officials, and governmental entities, CWC promotes best land management practices and preserves and restores the waterways/sheds of the region. CWC has led efforts resulting in the conservation of more than 1,000 acres of land and 2 miles of shoreline! chautauquawatershed.org

 

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Week Seven: Lake Walk
Aug
6
6:30 PM18:30

Week Seven: Lake Walk

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A Photographer’s Appreciation of Water
Speaker/Guide: Karen Glosser
Location: Lakeside porch of the Youth Activities Center near Heinz Beach

Karen Glosser is a fine art nature photographer whose work has led her to memorable places around the world. However, her native Western New York State remains her primary love and focus as she explores and captures the moody waves of Lake Erie, the serenity found at Chautauqua Lake and the silent woodlands near her home. Glosser shares her love of water not only through her photography, but also by encouraging people to get close to water, to appreciate water and to become active participants in protecting our wild waters. Karen’s talk will focus on her personal insights on why water means so much to her and how she captures the mood and emotion the natural world in her photography. For those who wish to bring a camera and ask about water photography, Karen will field questions at the end of the presentation.

With a focus on land conservation and watershed education, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, a 501C3 is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the water quality, scenic beauty and ecological health of the lakes, streams and watersheds of the Chautauqua region. Working with residents, landowners, landscapers, developers, contractors, public officials, and governmental entities, CWC promotes best land management practices and preserves and restores the waterways/sheds of the region. CWC has led efforts resulting in the conservation of more than 1,000 acres of land and 2 miles of shoreline! chautauquawatershed.org

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Week Seven: Monarch Moments & More
Aug
6
12:15 PM12:15

Week Seven: Monarch Moments & More

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 "What Has a Tree Done For Your
Community Lately?"
Speaker/Guide: Lori Brockelbank
Location: Smith Wilkes Hall

Lori Brockelbank, certified arborist and project manager for the Davey Resource Group, will ask, “What Has a Tree Done for Your Community Lately?” Lori will focus on the impact of specific trees in Miller Park and the Arboretum, explaining how each has brought a different dynamic to its community from an ecological and physical perspective.


Lori Brockelbank turned her passion into a career over the past twenty years.  She works for Davey Resource Group. A graduate of SUNY Environment Science and Forestry with a Bachelor in Natural Resource Management, Lori has been a certified arborist for ten years and is president of the NYS ISA Chapter while also volunteering as the Tree Fund liaison and Certification liaison   She was awarded the Urban Forestry Partnership Award by the NYS DEC in 2014 for her leadership and how she sows the threads of professionalism into the fabric of each project. She has helped Jamestown Community College become the first community college in New York become a Tree Campus USA and has offered an internship at the college to help encourage the future generation to care for the trees in their community.   She has taught Master Gardeners in Chautauqua County on the care of trees and has recently expanded her share of knowledge to the Community Tree Stewardship program.

MONARCH MOMENTS AND MORE Bring your lunch and a healthy appetite for learning on Mondays 12:15pm in Smith Wilkes Hall. Expanding beyond solely discussing Monarchs, settle in for a lecture about a topic related to the natural world with a wide range of interesting speakers. 

BUTTERFLIES AND BLOOMS program celebrates you - the gardeners in our audience who have adopted eco-friendly practices and have certified their gardens as monarch waystations with Monarch Watch. Prior to each Monarch Moments & More presentation, home owners will place a pin on their CHQ garden! 

View Event →
Aug
3
12:15 PM12:15

Life Member's Annual Luncheon

Location: Athenaeum Hotel ~ Gather at Noon
Program: "The Arboretum:  Honoring our Roots of the Past to Grow the Canopy of the Future"  
Guest lecture: Lori Brockelbank, Certified Arborist   
Fee: Lunch and program are $37 payable to the Chautauqua BTG via check or credit card. Reservations by July 16.  This event is open to Life Members only. Guests are by invitation of BTG.                                                                           

BTG's Life Member Annual Luncheon is an opportunity to honor Life Members whose contributions help the Bird, Tree, and Garden Club continue its mission. Our gathering allows us to remember our tradition of education and conservation and to share information about new opportunities and projects being undertaken by the Bird, Tree, and Garden Club. This year's luncheon will feature a lively talk and slide show presentation by Lori Brockelbank, providing the audience with greater understanding of BTG's Arboretum - it's historic and arbor past along with recommendations for how we can care of this space well into the next 100 years. 

Lori Brockelbank turned her passion into a career over the past twenty years.  She works for Davey Resource Group. A graduate of SUNY Environment Science and Forestry with a Bachelor in Natural Resource Management, Lori has been a certified arborist for ten years and is president of the NYS ISA Chapter while also volunteering as the Tree Fund liaison and Certification liaison   She was awarded the Urban Forestry Partnership Award by the NYS DEC in 2014 for her leadership and how she sows the threads of professionalism into the fabric of each project. She has helped Jamestown Community College become the first community college in New York become a Tree Campus USA and has offered an internship at the college to help encourage the future generation to care for the trees in their community.   She has taught Master Gardeners in Chautauqua County on the care of trees and has recently expanded her share of knowledge to the Community Tree Stewardship program.

View Event →
Aug
3
9:00 AM09:00

Week Six: Nature Walk

Speaker/Guide: Jack Gulvin
Location: Lake side (back) of Smith Wilkes Hall

Nature Walk Jack leads a group along Fletcher Avenue and the Ravine toward the South End and highlights a couple dozen features along the way of this 'guided discovery' walk, including birds and animals in addition to plants, trees and insects. Emphasis on items one might otherwise not notice and facts not widely known. You'll see these woods in a whole new light. The tour lasts about 75 minutes so there's still time to get to the 10:45 lecture at the Amphitheater lecture. 

View Event →
Week Six: Garden Workshop
Aug
1
4:15 PM16:15

Week Six: Garden Workshop

"Not Your Mother's Orchids"
Speakers/Guides: Melinda Wolcott and Chris Flanders
Location: Smith Wilkes Hall

Get up close and personal for a demonstration and lecture by two master gardeners who have a whole lot of professional expertise, academic credentials and practical knowledge in the gardens.  More importantly, they have a great delivery style and don't take themselves too seriously. Melinda and Chris will regale the audience with tips, tricks and techniques and much more. They're BTG's version of NPR's "Click and Clack" - and you're really going to learn something!  Join us for this interactive demonstration.


Melinda, a BTG life member from California in the off season and from Magnolia in the summertime, is a well trained flower arranger, gardener and a new winery owner in CA. Melinda lectures on many gardening topics and is a well published writer on gardening in the trade magazines and a floral show judge. 

Chris, a lifelong resident of this county, attended CHQ since the 1960s and full time for the past five years. An avid sailor, retired Critical Care Nurse Practitioner, former horse breeder and trainer, Chris achieved Master Gardener certification in 2013. As a board member of BTG she has found her home base in CHQ with the BTG and holds many roles as Chair of Butterflies and Blooms, garden lecturer and tour guide of the newly renovated Arboretum. 

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Aug
1
9:15 AM09:15

Week Six: Eco Garden Walk

Speaker/Guide: Sara Baker-Michalak
Location: Fletcher Music Hall

This newly updated morning garden walk will introduce you to the Institution's forward thinking  ecological gardening practices and techniques related to water conservation and management. Participants will learn the importance of using native plants, rain gardens, "right plant in the right place," and attracting pollinators and nature to the garden. You're going to want to take notes on this walk! By all means take photos! The walk concludes at the Amphitheater putting you in just the right place to attend the 10:45  lecture. 

View Event →
Jul
31
4:15 PM16:15

Week Six: Garden Walk

Speaker/Guide: Joe McMaster
Location: Lake side (back) of Smith Wilkes Hall

Join our seasoned guide with experience ranging from certified arborists, farmer and horticulturalist to expert in the plants, trees and habitat of Chautauqua Institution and county within western NY. Starting at the back of Smith Wilkes Hall (lakeside) you'll walk the grounds learning about the interesting selection of plants, shrubs, trees and flowers. Questions welcomed! The routes vary so be sure to attend as many afternoons as possible. 

View Event →
Week Six: Brown Bag Lecture
Jul
31
12:15 PM12:15

Week Six: Brown Bag Lecture

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“Raised Beds and Compost: The Keys to Organic Success
Speaker/Guide: Mike McGrath

Gardener, Radio Host
Location: Smith Wilkes Hall

Mike McGrath, host of the nationally syndicated Public Radio show, “You Bet Your Garden,” shares his knowledge on how to be a successful gardener with raised beds and compost. Are you still a “flat earth“ gardener? Learn how to grow twice as much in half the space and without weeds by “growing up.”


Mike McGrath is the host of the nationally syndicated Public Radio show, "You Bet Your Garden".  His program is an hour of “chemical-free horticultural hijinks”, and airs every Saturday morning in Philadelphia, and at various times on other Public Radio stations across the nation. Mike is the Garden Editor for WTOP News Radio in Washington, DC and contributing editor and columnist for Greenprints magazine.  He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Organic Gardening magazine and author of books on tomatoes, compost, seed saving, and kitchen gardening.

BTG's weekly Tuesday 12:15pm lecture platform features national experts presenting a range of topics concerning the natural world: wildlife, gardening, and the environment. Bring you lunch to Smith Wilkes Hall - lemon water provided. This signature lecture, usually with a slide show followed by Q&A, lasts approximately an hour. Engage with nature!

 

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