Piqua library to host gardening series

PIQUA — The Piqua Public Library will host a gardening series focused on native Ohio plants. Each Saturday in March, a local expert will present on a topic relating to native plants. Free seed packets of native plants will be available at each presentation, while supplies last. Registration is requested, but not required for these events.

• March 2, 2-4 p.m. — “Milkweed and Monarchs” presented by Caleb Shields

Learn about the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly and how they use Milkweed as a host plant.

Shields is a private lands biologist for the Ohio Division of Wildlife. He meets with landowners who are interested in completing habitat improvement projects. He makes recommendations for wildlife management plans, prairie and pollinator habitat establishment, tree plantings and wetland construction.

• March 9, 2-4 p.m. — “Rain Gardens: Pretty with a Purpose” presented by Linda Raterman

Information on rain gardens, stormwater management, and water quality practices will be shared. Rain gardens not only reduce problems associated with flooding and drainage, but they can also enhance the beauty of individual yards and communities.

Raterman has worked for the Miami Soil and Water Conservation District since 2000. She teaches all ages about topics including how soils form, forestry, agriculture, and urban draining issues.

• March 16, 2-4 p.m. — “If You Plant It, They Will Come” presented by Chris Kline

Hear about the gardening strategies that Butterfly Ridge has used to triple its butterfly population in four years.

Kline is the director of Butterfly Ridge Butterfly Conservation Center in Rockbridge, Ohio. He and his wife have converted 21 acres of fields and forests into butterfly-friendly habitats. Chris has authored several books including “A Field Guide to Tropical Butterflies of American Conservatories,” “Butterfly Gardening with Native Plants,” “Butterfly Rider,” “Moths of Butterfly Ridge,” and the Tony Spencer mystery series. He will be available after the presentation to sign and sell his books.

• March 23, 2-4 p.m. — “Why Native Plants are Important and How to Replace Invasive Plants” presented by Ron Corbett

Learn the value of native plants over non-native plants. Suggestions will be provided for replacing non-native plants.

Corbett is the owner of Native Ohio Plants, LLC, outside of Tipp City. He has a passion for ecology, especially the relationship between native plants and wildlife that depend on them. He has a six-acre parcel of land on which he has replaced non-native plants with native woodland and prairie wildflowers, shrubs and trees. He has been selling native plants since 2008.

• March 30, 2-4 p.m. — “The World of Native Plants + Birds” presented by Tom Hissong

Hear about the fascinating relationships between native plants and birds. A special discussion will focus on the use of native plants to enhance our home landscapes for birds.

Hissong is well-known throughout the Dayton area for his expertise as an ornithology instructor. He has worked as an Environmental Educator in the Dayton, Ohio area for nearly 41 years. He retired from his position as the Education Manager at the Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm north of Dayton in March of 2017.

Register online by visiting the Piqua Public Library’s Facebook page, or call 773-6753.