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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Spring Landscape Conference, ‘Places for Pollinators,’ Streams March 15

photo: Bonnie Sue Photography

Online registration is now open for The Native Plant Center’s 2021 SpringLandscape Conference, Places for Pollinators: Designing Welcoming Landscapes, which will take place virtually on March 15. Topics will include pollinators’ needs and challenges, how to create pollinator habitats through design and native plants, and the movement that’s changing backyards and communities while helping these critical creatures survive. 

This event revisits the topics and speakers scheduled for last year’s conference, which was canceled due to Covid 19. While Westchester Community College campus (including The Native Plant Center gardens) remains closed to visitors, the center staff is busy planning for what can be safely done, says its director, Carol Capobianco.

“Our spring landscape conference will be virtual, as will most of our Go Native U classes,” Capobianco says. “Our Native Plant Sale will be by preorder and contactless pickup only, in mid-May. No in-person sale will take place in 2021. We’re working to create an online ordering platform—stay tuned for details.”

A new menu of spring elective classes from The Native Plant Center will allow people to learn about sustainable gardening from the comfort of home. Best Practices for Garden Maintenance, on March 6 (10 a.m. to noon, $57), will focus on creating a thriving garden without the use of chemicals. Fungi in Your Garden, on March 7 (10 a.m. to noon, $57), will explain the role fungi play in a healthy garden and as pathogens, and offer practical tips for using fungi as amendments, growing edible mushrooms and recognizing common fungal diseases and parasites.

Creating a Bird-Friendly Garden, on March 17 (10 a.m. to 1 p.m., $83), offers a species-specific, ecological approach to attracting birds through landscaping techniques and native plants that provide food, shelter and nesting sites. Success with Seed Starting, on March 27 (10 a.m. to noon, $57), will explore the fundamentals of seed germination and transplanting—from proper temperatures and the best soils to avoiding pitfalls.

Offered by The Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College. To register, call 914.606.6830 and press 1. For more info, visit