The Westport Garden Club welcomes Dr. Peter Del Tredici to speak about spontaneous urban landscaping. Urban ecosystems are the ultimate manifestation of the dynamic interaction between humans and nature—between our desire for neat, orderly landscapes on the one hand and our fear of messy ecological chaos on the other. This presentation will focus on the plants that grow without cultivation in cities and their remarkable ability to flourish in spite of stressful environmental conditions. Cities—along with the plants and animals they support—can be considered "novel" ecosystems that not only reflect a tumultuous past but also preview our unpredictable future. The spontaneous vegetation that inhabits our cities is as cosmopolitan as its people and better adapted to their changing environmental conditions than the native species that once grew there. Like it or not, these novel ecosystems have become the new normal in urban areas and people need to recognize that they not only help make our cities more livable but also help clean up the planet.
If you misssed the recording, you may view a video recording here
Peter Del Tredici is a botanist specializing in the growth and development of trees. He worked at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University for 35 years and was an Associate Professor in the Landscape Architecture Department at the Harvard Graduate School of Design for 24 years. His widely acclaimed book, Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide, catalogues the spontaneous vegetation that flourishes in cities and makes the case that it improves the quality of urban life.