Conservation on the Home Front
Jim Locklear, Lauritzen Gardens
Lauritzen Gardens is dedicated to the conservation of plants and the biological diversity they support. Seed banking projects and rare plant surveys are major elements of our conservation program, but the subjects of this work are mostly obscure species growing in remote settings in faraway places. Having an on-site component to our conservation program helps make this mission more evident and relevant to our visitors and to the rest of our staff. Toward this end, we are working to gain understanding of the biological diversity supported by our 100-acre property with the aim of practicing the best possible ecological stewardship. This involves ongoing surveys of birds, butterflies, bees, and moths that not only document the species observed, but how these species utilize the garden. Armed with an enhanced understanding of the ecological context of the garden, we are implementing practices that achieve horticultural goals while at the same time protect and enhance biological diversity. This on-site component to our conservation program has also fostered stronger working relationship with our horticulture staff.