Quilt Lawns and Ancestor Trees

  Dates & times
  Category Living Well, Local Interest
  Age Groups Adult, Teen


Saturday, April 20, 2024 Earth Day Workshop

Start time: 2:00 PM – Duration: 1 hour

Location: Wright Library’s Community Room


Dr. Ryan McEwan shares how your yard can support the environment

Here in the Miami Valley our lawns make up a huge habitat space, and we can manage that habitat in ways that are environmentally peaceful - meaning that our actions do not harm the environment. Join Dr. Ryan McEwan to learn about two ideas that can actually enhance the beauty of our living spaces and make for happier neighborhoods. 

The first idea is the Quilt Lawn: A biodiverse, never sprayed, selectively mown, lawn where turf grass is interspersed with naturally occurring, short statured, flowering plants. Maintaining perfect monocultures of lawn grass costs a tremendous amount of time and money and causes environmental damage. Quilt lawns are a more ecologically peaceful way that can be more attractive than simple turf. 

The second idea is "Ancestor Trees." Homeowners plant a LOT of trees every year and, if you are not careful, you may be planting species that become invasive in regional habitats. Ancestor Trees are those plants that have lived in the Miami Valley for thousands of years. By planting only Ancestor Trees you reduce the risk of causing damage to Miami Valley habitats, and they are also visually spectacular.

About the Presenter

Dr. Ryan McEwan is a professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Dayton. In the McEwan lab (McEwanlab.org) he and his students work towards understanding how ecosystems function and respond to disturbances. Recently they have been focused on developing scientific techniques to heal habitats that have been damaged by humans in the Miami Valley of Ohio and across the American Midwest.