Many thanks to our speakers and attendees of the CT Meadows & Grasslands Seminar!

“If we don’t have habitat, we won’t have wildlife” said Peter Picone, Senior Wildlife Biologist at the Connecticut DEEP to a large crowd attending the free Connecticut Grasslands and Meadows seminar at the Cyrenius H. Booth library on Saturday morning, April 9.

Picone advocated increasing habitat for birds, insects, pollinators and other wildlife by creating and protecting grassland and meadow habitats.  Two of the worst things for wildlife are habitat loss/fragmentation and invasive plants, said Picone.  The audience enjoyed Picone’s lively and educational talk with short-burst videos of Robins, Wild Turkey, and more.

The seminar also featured noted Conservationist Leslie Kane, Center Director for Bent of River Audubon, who started her talk with a sweeping panoramic vista of a large grassland habitat in Tanzania and then brought the meadow and grassland habitats closer to home, specifically her Audubon home in Southbury.

“[S]pring is everywhere – mixed into the meadows” said Kane as she showed colorful photographs of tiny blooming wildflowers nestled into the larger grasses in Althea’s Meadow at the Bent.  Kane discussed how birds such as the Bobolink, turkey and warblers use meadows to gather insects, an important protein source, to feed their young and how hummingbirds use spider webs to weave their nests.  Kane’s presentation featured photos of birds, butterflies, amphibians, and meadows giving the audience views of warm weather landscapes on a cold Newtown morning.

Sponsored by the Town and Country Garden Club and the Newtown Forest Association, the seminar provided handouts covering the types of native plants to add to yards and those invasive plants to avoid; pollinator information from Protect our Pollinators; grassland/meadow management and Bobolink information from Citizens for Public Commons; and shrub information from Bees and Trees.

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