Loudoun County Master Gardeners
Turf - Grass Roots Program
Lectures feature topics of interest to gardeners and naturalists. The Lecture Series is open to the public.
Lectures will be held at 7 PM at the Rust Library Old Waterford Rd. Leesburg, also accessible from the Ida Lee Park Recreation Center parking lot.
June 6. Pollinators, Banshee Reeks Bee Inventory with Elizabeth Sellers. In the context of pollinators and their importance to plant and biodiversity conservation, and to the overall health and function of the global ecosystem, Ms. Sellers will provide an introduction to bees as pollinators and to the Banshee Reeks Bee Inventory (2010-2011).
Elizabeth Sellers has been described by her colleagues as an “incurable naturalist.” The daughter of a National Parks Ranger, she was born and raised in Australia, gaining extensive field research experience through volunteer opportunities and student scholarships. During her high school, undergraduate, and graduate years she worked with scientists studying plants and plant communities, birds, sea turtles, and various mammals and marsupials. She graduated in 1996 from James Cook University, Australia with a Bachelor of Science degree in botany and geomorphology and completed her postgraduate Honors degree, researching the ecophysiology or growth responses of an invasive tropical woody weed (Ziziphus mauritiana). Ms. Sellers has continued to exercise her interest and involvement in citizen science and biological field research in the United States to date. With the help and support of volunteers from the community, Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve staff, the Friends of Banshee Reeks, and the U.S. Geological Survey, she coordinated and is currently working on publishing the results from the first ever Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve Bee Inventory (2010-2011). As a continuation of her work and interest in the study of bees, she was one of a limited number of applicants selected to participate in the American Museum of Natural History's (AMNH) "2012 The Bee Course". This involved two weeks of intensive field and lab-based training in the taxonomy and identification of the 66 known U.S. bee genera, held at the Southwestern Research Station in Portal, AZ. Ms. Sellers has worked as a Technical Information Specialist - Biology for the U.S. Geological Survey for 9 years. She currently serves under the Core Science Analytics and Synthesis Program. Her main responsibilities with the USGS currently include acquisition and preparation of biological occurrence data for the Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON) project; facilitating and participating in the USGS Community for Data Integration and its Citizen Science Working Group; and working with renowned bee taxonomist Dr. John Ascher (AMNH) and the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) to update the World Bee Checklist first published online in 2009. Ms. Sellers also previously served as the Manager of the Pollinators Project and Assistant Coordinator of Invasive Species Information for the USGS National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) until 2010 when the USGS Program was terminated. She also co-lead the Citizen Science, and Collections and Databases task forces of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) and worked with the Pollinator Partnership to implement the Pollinator Information Network of the Americas (PINA) - a western hemisphere effort to make pollinator occurrence data more accessible.
July 11. Green lawns, the bridge between HOAs and protecting the watershed with Tim Ohlwiler. Tim will be talking about dealing with HOAs and their requirements while protecting the watershed.
Tim Ohlwiler is the horticulture extension agent in the Fauquier County Extension Office. He brings a wealth of educational and horticulture experience to this position. Ohlwiler comes to Extension after teaching 8th grade Agriscience at Taylor and Marshall Middle Schools in Fauquier County for the previous five years. As a graduate of Virginia Tech he has both a Master's degree in Agricultural and Extension Education and a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture from Utah State University. Tim has worked on an orchard and berry farm, as well as in the cut flower, and turf and landscape maintenance parts of the horticulture industry. Ohlwiler serves both the commercial and home owner horticulture needs. Tim works with nurseries, landscapers, orchards, vineyards, small fruit growers and vegetable growers. In cooperation with local Master Gardener volunteers, Tim also serves homeowners by helping to answer landscape problems and follow good environmental practices. Ohlwiler also serves Culpeper, Rappahannock, Madison, and Orange Counties.
Aug. 8. Collecting and Organizing Seeds / Composting with Michael Neese. Michael will be talking about how to properly collect and organize seeds, and also a bit on composting.
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Sept. 5. The Meadow Project with Catherine Zimmerman. Catherine Zimmerman presents meadowscaping as a lawn alternative in her lecture The Meadow Project. She explains meadows can be big or small, short or tall. However large, the economical and environmental benefits are great. Meadows sequester carbon, retain water, filter pollutants, eliminate the need for fertilizers or pesticides and provide habitat.
Catherine gives a step-by-step primer on reducing lawn size and organically installing a beautiful meadow in your own yard. Reduce your carbon footprint. Improve your neighborhood. Enjoy a meadow in your backyard!
Zimmerman is a filmmaker and sustainable landscape designer based in the
blog, book, video and Catherine’s Meadow Project are her efforts to help
people rethink their pesticide-ridden, manicured, monoculture lawns and
return their land to beautiful, natural habitats for native plants and
wildlife. Catherine’s book and video will be for sale at the lecture and
she will be available for book signing. Learn more about Catherine
Oct. 3. What's That Tree? Tips for Winter Tree ID with Debbie Dillion. Debbie, a certified arborist, will talk about ways to identify trees in the winter.
Debbie is the Extension Agent, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Horticulture housed in the Culpeper Extension Office and serves Culpeper, Madison, & Orange Counties. She is responsible for providing educational programming and diagnostic services for commercial horticulture producers, green industry professionals, and consumers. She also manages the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program in these counties. A Culpeper County resident since 1996, Debbie has worked in the Albemarle, Fairfax, and Loudoun offices of Virginia Cooperative Extension since 1994, coming to the Culpeper Office in October 2012.
Nov. 7. Holiday Arranging with Kim Wright.