Free screening of ‘Hometown Habitat’ set for Nov. 5

The Southern Hills Garden Club of Ashland wants to build an army of Habitat Heroes, starting with a free screening of “Hometown Habitat: Stories of Bringing Nature Home,” on Sunday, Nov. 5 at Ashland Community and Technical College’s J.B. Sowards Theatre.

The educational documentary focuses on showing how and why native plants are critical to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems. Native plants, once established, do not require the use of chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides to maintain their beauty and they don’t require extra watering. Also, native pollinators and birds generally prefer native plants for nectaring and seed.

The narrative thread is provided by Doug Tallamy, an entomologist whose research, books and lectures on the misuse of non-native plants in landscaping sound the alarm on habitat and species loss. Tallamy says, “It doesn’t have to and shouldn’t be that way.”

Not only is the film screening a way for the public to learn about native gardening, but ACTC is also using it as a training aid for its employees.

“We are in the process of removing most of the invasive species of plants from our campus and reintroducing native plant species back into those areas,” said Paul Seasor, director of maintenance and operations at ACTC. “We will also be adding pollinator gardens in those areas, too. This video is very educational in that it shows what we can do to be environmentally conscious in the selection of the plants we use in the landscapes and other areas.”

For two years, producer and director Catherine Zimmerman and film crew traveled around the country to visit hometown habitat heroes and film their inspiring stories of community commitment to conservation landscaping. Zimmerman will introduce the film and will be available for a question and answer session following the film.

The 90-minute film is broken down into chapters such as church congregations, homeowner associations, landscape designers, nurseries, city councils, parks and recreation divisions and land developers.

Zimmerman will introduce the film at 2 p.m. followed by a break with light refreshments at 3:10 p.m. The question and answer session will begin at 3:20 p.m. Seating is limited, so those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP to southernhillsgardenclub@gmail.com.

For more information on “Hometown Habitat,” visit www.themeadowproject.com/hometown-habitat.