Paula Kosin for the Lake Geneva Conservatory
BURLINGTON – The setting was idyllic. Acres of restored prairie surrounded more than 125 diners at Molly and Jeff Keller’s North Breakenridge Farm in Burlington on Saturday, July 17. swayed in the refreshing breeze.
Douglas Tallamy, the event’s speaker, may well be the current “rock star” of gardeners and environmentalists across the country. Tallamy is a professor of entomology – a bug guy – at the University of Delaware.
His 2020 book, “Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard,” is a New York Times bestseller.
The event, “Dinner on the Prairie,” was its first in-person presentation since March 2020, and members and guests of the Geneva Lake Conservancy were the lucky audience.
“I am here to convince you that you are nature’s best hope,” Tallamy said as he launched into the compelling reasons for every person to take action to reverse the dangerous decline in biodiversity. These are the variety of species of plants, trees, insects, pollinators and wildlife that provide essential services to humans. These include the production of oxygen, the cleaning of water, the storage of carbon in the soil and the pollination of food crops.
If species continue to disappear, as they are now, biodiversity is lost and humans are in great difficulty. “Our very survival as human beings depends on rebuilding nature’s food webs where we have already destroyed them,” says Tallamy.