Host: Ecological Landscape Alliance
Speaker: Heather McCargo, Wild Seed Project founder and educator
Portland is the largest urban area in Maine and many of the region’s native plants and the fauna that depend on them have been replaced with buildings, paving, and exotic plant species. Creating a vision for restoring native habitat was the goal of the Portland Pollinator Vision Plan, a joint project between Wild Seed Project and the Conway School of Landscape Design. Engaging citizens, grassroots organizations, and public officials to take the bold steps needed when most people can’t even imagine what a habitat corridor would look like requires lots of education and the ability to inspire the multiple actions needed to create connected plantings stretching across the landscape from the healthy wild habitats and farmland of rural areas into the heavily developed city and suburbs.
Heather McCargo is the founder of Wild Seed Project and is an educator with 35 years of expertise in plant propagation, landscape design, and conservation. She was the head plant propagator at the Native Plant Trust's Garden in the Woods during the 1990s; worked in landscape architecture/planning firms specializing in ecological design; and has been a contributor to research projects with USAID, the National Gardening Association, and MOFGA. She lectures nationally and is widely published in journals and magazines.
Heather has a BA in plant ecology from Hampshire College and a MA from the Conway School of Landscape Design. Wild Seed Project, a Maine-based nonprofit that works to increase the use of native plants in all landscape settings in order to conserve biodiversity, encourage plant adaption in the face of climate change, safeguard wildlife habitat, and create pollination and migration corridors for insects and birds. Wild Seed Project sells seeds of locally-grown native plants and educates the public on seed sowing so that a wide range of citizens can participate in increasing native plant populations.