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Thursday, March 24, 2016, 7:30 p.m.: From parking lot to pollinator garden — a wild garden in the heart of the city with Carol Bornstein: Reclaimed from hardscape, the Nature Gardens at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County were designed to create habitat for wildlife and serve as a field site for educational and scientific study. The gardens are used as a training ground for myriad citizen science projects and as the home of a long-term urban biodiversity study conducted by the Museum’s research staff. The California native pollinator garden is a visually dynamic section, changing dramatically throughout the year. The goal to maximize habitat value across all seasons informed the design, installation, and ongoing maintenance of this naturalistic garden. Striking a balance between habitat value and aesthetics has engendered lively discussion among the horticulture and research staff and continues as the garden matures.

Carol Bornstein is Director of the Nature Gardens at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, whose mission is to inspire wonder, discovery, and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds. She oversees the ongoing care and development of this dynamic new garden. She co-authored two books, the award-winning California Native Plants for the Garden and Reimagining the California Lawn. For nearly 30 years, Carol was horticulturist at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. She has selected and introduced several popular cultivars for California gardens, including Verbena lilacina ‘De La Mina’ and Lessingia filaginifolia ‘Silver Carpet’ and she continues to share her knowledge of plants native to California and other mediterranean climate regions through her teaching and writing.