Our Programs

Fall Meeting Saturday November 4, 2017 1:00 PM

Whitney Center
200 Leeder Hill Drive
Hamden, CT 06517

A Safe Haven for Pollinators: Creating a Backyard Oasis
Pollinators are in trouble. You can help. Create and improve habitat in your yard for birds, bees and butterflies. This talk will provide information and resources for both the beginner and experienced wildlife gardener alike. Even if don’t have a large area to work with, you can plant it and the pollinators will come.

Speaker: Jim Sirch
Jim Sirch

Jim Sirch is Education Coordinator at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. Previously, he was a science teacher in Vermont and Director of Education at the Connecticut Audubon Center at Fairfield. Jim serves as trip leader and naturalist for Humanity Now’s annual Ecuacorps service trip to the Napo region of Ecuador. He served as adjunct professor of biology for Sacred Heart University, where he taught wildlife field courses for more than a decade. He has served as a science consultant for Scholastic Books and Barrons Publishing. He earned his M.S. in environmental studies administration from Antioch New England Graduate School and B.S. degrees in Science Education from Miami University and in Recreation – Nature Interpretation from West Virginia University. In 2012, Jim was awarded the Sig Abeles Science Advocate Award from the Connecticut Science Teachers Association and Connecticut Science Supervisors Association for outstanding service to science education in Connecticut.

Jim has a keen interest in native plants and animals. He is currently President of the Hamden Land Conservation Trust. He also was co-founder of the Southern New England Herpetological Association and helped establish the Connecticut Amphibian Monitoring Project, which monitored amphibians on 15 sites across the state. Recently, Jim started a new chapter of Frogwatch USA, a citizen science program that tracks frog populations through call surveys. Jim has also conducted breeding bird research for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Jim received funding and created a bird and butterfly garden at Bear Path School in Hamden, Connecticut and lectures widely on ways to increase backyard wildlife diversity. Jim partnered with the New England Wild Flower Society for the NSF-funded Go Botany: An Online Guide to the Flora of New England and was involved in beta testing activities with high school students. Currently Jim helps create interpretive signage for Schoolyard Habitat and Urban Oasis sites for the Greater New Haven Urban Refuge Partnership. Jim was featured in the Members Making a Difference section of the Summer 2016 issue of the American Horticultural Society’s American Gardener magazine.


Directions: From New Haven, take Whitney Avenue north approximately four miles and turn left on Putnam Avenue. Go approximately 0.7 miles and turn right on Leeder Hill Drive. Whitney Center is at 200 Leeder Hill Drive. From New Haven or Hartford via I-91, take Exit 6 to Middletown Avenue heading north. Turn left at Edwards Street or Willow Street. Turn right at Whitney Avenue, left on Putnam, then right on Leeder Hill as described above.