Welcome to the 1st Annual Eco-Fun Tour
Our first stop on the “Eco-Fun” Tour is Tohono Chul Park where they are celebrating National Pollinator week from June 21-27. Just in case you didn’t know… Tohono Chul Park is located in Tucson Arizona. An award winning park where nature, art and culture connect. Named one of the World’s Great Botanical Gardens by Travel + Leisure and listed by National Geographic Traveler as one of the top 22 Secret Gardens in the U.S. and Canada, there is something for everyone. This oasis in the desert offers a respite from the hectic pace of daily life, provides an informative look at the region’s fascinating cultural traditions.
Along with Bat Conservation International, the Pollinator Partnership and Tucson Audubon Society, Tohono Chul Park invites you to celebrate National Pollinator Week June 21 to 27. You will discover Bats, Birds, Butterflies and Bees. In addition, beginning Monday, June 21, finalists in the Pollinators in Action digital photography contest will be on display in the Education Center Classroom #1 through July 5 (closed on June 27 and July 4). From 9am to 4pm on Saturday, June 26, visit the Sonoran Seasons Garden and Children’s Ramadas and talk with representatives of local “pollinator and plant” organizations like Tucson Audubon, Bat Conservation International and the Sky Island Alliance. Awards for the Pollinators in Action photography contest will be presented in the Performance Garden at 2pm. To register for any lecture or workshop, call520- 742-6455 ext. 228.
Please join Tohono Chul Park for a week that promises to be educational and fun.
Hummingbirds: More than Just Eye Candy
Thu., June 24 / 7pm / Ed. Ctr. #1
Don’t let the Disney-esque public image fool you: there’s a lot more going on behind a hummingbird’s glittering façade than most people realize. Sheri L. Williamson, author, hummingbird researcher, and director of the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory, shares amazing facts about these tiny dynamos, including their unique adaptations, continent-spanning travels and intricate relationships with plants and other animals. Free
Sonoran Desert Bees: Trouble in Paradise?
Fri., June 25 / 7pm / Ed. Ctr. #1
The University of Arizona’s Dr. Stephen Buchmann, scientist, author and photographer, opens our eyes to the diverse world of bees in the Sonoran Desert in this illustrated talk. Describing their natural history and ways of life, he introduces us to miners, leafcutters, masons and cuckoos, from the world’s smallest bee to gentle giant carpenter bees. A leader in The Pollinator Partnership, Dr. Buchmann also explains the latest findings on Colony Collapse Disorder in honey bees and shines the spotlight on what is happening to our nation’s bees, especially recent alarming declines in bumble bee populations. When was the last time you saw a bumble bee in Tucson? Free
Gardening for Butterflies and the Caterpillars That Become Them!
Sat., June 26 / 9am / Ed. Ctr. #1
Butterflies are some of the most beautiful and graceful of all pollinators and southern Arizona is noted for its diversity of species. Author, naturalist and gardener Lynn Hassler explains butterfly life histories (and help you learn to love those hairy, voracious caterpillars) and offers tips on how to create butterfly habitat with plants that attract both adults and caterpillars. Free
Up Close and Personal: Elements of Macro Photography for Pollinating Insects and Wildflowers
Sat., June 26 / 10am / Ed. Ctr. #2
In this one-hour workshop, local photographer and author Dr. Stephen Buchmann (University of Arizona and The Pollinator Partnership) guides participants in the use of simple techniques to get the most out of digital and film cameras when photographing local pollinators and flowers. Short discussions on the topics of tripods, macro lenses, available light, flash, reflectors and more, will be followed by hands-on familiarization with camera equipment, review of prints or projected images and possibly a “walkabout” in the Park’s gardens stalking our prey. Please bring a point and shoot or SLR camera, digital or film; printed handouts will be provided. Free
Nectar-feeding Bats and Hummingbirds: Nature’s Mega Pollinators
Sat., June 26 / 11am / Ed. Ctr. #1
Although most flowering plants are pollinated by insects, a large number of species rely on nectar-feeding birds and bats for pollination. In the desert southwest in particular, hummingbirds and certain species of bats are responsible for helping propagate many cacti and agave species. Dr. Theodore Fleming (Universities of Arizona and Miami) discusses the role of these high-energy vertebrates in New World habitats, focusing on the costs and benefits to the plants that are associated with vertebrate pollination. Free
Life in the Hothouse: How a Living Planet Survives Climate Change
Sat., June 26 / 1pm / Ed. Ctr. #1
Why does the planet’s warming produce stronger hurricanes, rising seas, and larger floods? Simple, says Dr. Melanie Lenart, award-winning journalist and science writer, the Earth is simply doing what comes naturally. Just as humans produce sweat to cool off on a hot day, the planet produces hurricanes, floods, wetlands and forests to cool itself off. Dr. Lenart, University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment, examines global warming with a trained eye, presenting the science in a clear, straightforward manner in her book, Life in the Hothouse. Relying on the latest research in climate change, Lenart believes that if we help sustain Earth’s natural defense systems, including wetlands and forests, perhaps Mother Earth will no longer need to rely as much on the cooling effects of what we call “natural disasters.” Copies of Life in the Hothouse will be available for sale and signing. Free
Orioles, Woodpeckers and other Lesser-Known Pollinators
Sat., June 26 / 3pm / Ed. Ctr. #1
The nectar that plants supply for visiting pollinators can provide food for many kinds of birds, and while hummingbirds are supremely adapted to exploit this food source, so can others such as orioles, woodpeckers, doves, and a host of other bird species. In helping themselves, they also help plants transfer pollen and mix up the gene pool, so everyone is a winner! Ornithologist Paul Green, Executive Director, Tucson Audubon discusses birds that feed on nectar in our region and invites everyone to bring their own observations to share. Free
Thank you Tohono Chul Park for helping us discover National Pollinator Week!
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