2023-24 Saturday Speaker Series

Year after year, expert speakers in our popular Saturday Series draw an audience from far and near. Participants leave with knowledge they can use in their gardens, yards, and homes. Some events include demonstrations. The Hamilton College campus is an accredited arboretum; please consider time to explore if you attend one of our events.

These events begin at 10 a.m. and are free and open to the public. 

Taylor Science Center Kennedy Auditorium, Map #44 (parking behind Ferguson House off of North Road, Map #48)

If the Zoom registration is not available, check back before the event.

Directions & Campus Map To Register for Zoom   

April 13, 2024
Seasonal Changes in Nature with Ernest Williams, Professor Emeritus of Biology

Professor Williams, author of The Nature Handbook, 2005, Oxford University Press, will give a naturalist’s view of the changes in natureyellow butterfly & orange flowers in the unfolding seasons from May through September, focusing on the Mohawk Valley and the western Adirondacks. He will show photographs of birds, butterflies, and wildflowers that illustrate seasonal change patterns and document nature's beauty and diversity.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-March 16, 2024
Sustainability through Land & Forest Stewardship with Brian Hansen, Director of Environmental Protection, Safety, andPicture of a field with small trees planted with white stakes. Sustainability

Hamilton College’s commitment to sustainability was updated and prioritized by the formal release of three action plans in April 2023. The Land and Forest Stewardship Plan particularly holds a special place among those three plans because it is both steeped in Hamilton’s historical land management traditions and is fostered by what Hamilton does best—educating future generations of land and forest stewards. Brian's talk will explore the development process to create the Land and Forest Stewardship Plan; the mechanics behind carbon sequestration and Hamilton’s 2030 carbon neutrality goal; and the symbiotic relationship between Hamilton’s sustainability goals and education/research interests.

February 17, 2024
Native Plant Garden Design with Maggie Reilly

Join Maggie Reilly from Wild Ones Mohawk Valley as she discusses the importance of
planting native plants to preserve healthy, biodiverse ecosystems andGarden of native flowers. create compassionate landscapes. Beautiful, well-designed native gardens and home landscapes can enrich our lives and the lives of those around us. Maggie will show you how to use native plants in traditional garden design, creating gardens that respect and sustain all living things; plants, pollinators, wildlife, and humans. 

Maggie is an environmental engineer. She works on nature-based stream and floodplain restoration projects that exclusively use native plants. Gardening became an integral part of her life while growing up on the banks of the Raquette River in Northern New York. As an adult, she has focused on garden design and the study of plants, taking many garden design and horticulture courses. She and her husband John are implementing compassionate landscape techniques, transitioning their gardens to include mainly native plants. 

November 11, 2023
The Art of Upcycling with Robert Fry

Robert Fry will talk about reclaimed wood salvaged from storm-damaged or diseased trees, saving it from the landfill, and other recycled materials used in his sculpture making. He will show images and discuss his artwork, process, and how he chooses materials. In his work, he says, “The sculptural forms I create are simple, with elements added to create contrast and complexity—texture, color, and line—aWooden sculptures in a gallerynd explore the differences and similarities of materials.” Robert studied art with a focus on sculpture at Northern Kentucky University. He is a self-employed artist and fabricator, working on museum installations and private commissions. Known for a reductive but sensually executed aesthetic, his sculptures have been featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions and sculpture publications. [Photo courtesy of Weston Art Gallery]

October 7, 2023
Hamilton College Landscape Master Plan with Glen Valentine

Join landscape architect Glen Valentine, principal of the Cambridge studio of STIMSON Associates, asGlen Valentine he gives an overview of Hamilton’s landscape master plan. You will learn a little about the history of Hamilton’s campus, how the space has evolved through the decades, the principles used to develop recommendations, and where we go from here. Glen is a landscape architect with more than 30 years of experience in the field. He started his career in Annapolis, Maryland, designing public spaces celebrating the history and ecology of the Chesapeake Bay region. He is particularly interested in exploring the expressive and sculptural potential of landform as it relates to unique programs and environmental conditions. His work includes award-winning campus and institutional master plans, public parks, and private residences. Glen received his undergraduate degree from Haverford College, where he studied urban planning, art history, and sculpture, and earned his master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Virginia.

September 16, 2023
Growing Cut-Flowers with Horticulturalist Nell GardnerField of flowers and old barn

Horticulturist Nell Gardner will lead you through how to grow, harvest, and arrange many cut-flower varieties, including Dahlias. Nell Gardner grew up in Vermont on a hardscrabble farm on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. She has worked in agriculture and horticulture since graduating from Cornell. She has grown specialty cut flowers since 1992 on her farm, “Flower Fields.” Through her experience with flowers and agronomic background, she has developed methods of growing to produce armloads of high-quality flowers for sale at shops, farm markets, and florists. Her unconventional background gives her a fresh, down-to-earth perspective, and you will be inspired to start your cutting garden or incorporate cut-flower varieties into your landscape.




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