Hometown Habitat


After more than two years in the making, a movie that connects solutions for pollinators, Colorado water and the importance of gardening locally with native species is hitting the big screen in Denver. “Hometown Habitat, Stories of Bringing Nature Home” is a 90-minute environmental, educational documentary that will have its Denver premier at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, at Denver Botanic Gardens. Tickets are ($10 each) available at DBG’s web site: www.botanicgardens.org

Hometown Habitat, which is being screened nationwide this summer and fall, focuses on and addresses the importance of why native plants are critical to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems in urban and suburban areas in Colorado and across the United States.

Colorado-based efforts by the Audubon Rockies Habitat Hero program and nature-conscious people from Pueblo, Denver and the Front Range are featured in the movie. The film tries to inspire everyone to learn how they can support wildlife at home.  The movie will be followed by a panel discussion including author and biologist Susan J. Tweit; representatives from Audubon Rockies including Alison Halloran, executive director of Rockies Audubon, and Jamie Weiss, Habitat Hero program coordinator; and Panayoti Kelaidis of Denver Botanic Gardens. Don Ireland, Habitat Hero and 2015 Colorado WaterWise award winner from Cherry Creek 3 HOA in Denver, will moderate the panel discussion.

Hometown Habitat features renowned entomologist Dr. Douglas Tallamy, whose research, books and lectures on the use of non-native plants in landscaping, sounds the alarm about habitat and species loss. Tallamy provides the narrative thread that challenges the notion that humans are here and nature is someplace else. “It doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t be that way.” Inspiring stories of community commitment to conservation landscaping illustrate Tallamy’s vision by showing how humans and nature can co-exist with mutual benefits. The message: All of us have the power to support habitat for wildlife and bring natural beauty to our patch of the earth. The goal: Build a new army of habitat heroes!

The movie’s Colorado segment shows how residents are dealing with plants, pollinators and water in the Front Range’s semi-arid climate. The local Audubon Habitat Hero awards program highlights individuals and organizations that have taken major steps toward helping pollinators and local ecosystems in Colorado and Wyoming. Included film locations are the Southeastern Water Conservancy in Pueblo, the Beulah garden of Chicago transplant Jim Ray, Legacy Ridge Golf Course in Westminster and Cherry Creek 3 HOA in Denver, which has transformed its landscaping to save 15 million gallons of water annually. Connie Holsinger, Terra Foundation President, is featured in her Lafayette native-themed yard while discussing how she founded the Habitat Hero program. Denver residents will also see footage of familiar places like the city’s Wash Park neighborhood and Interstate I-70.

In addition to showing what’s occurring in Colorado, the movie features the million-tree planting effort in New York City, native species restoration work in Florida’s Everglades, a multi-faith native gardening effort in the mid-Atlantic states and other projects occurring elsewhere in the country to help local ecosystems.

For additional information, please e-mail Don Ireland: [email protected] or call him at 720-217-1310.

Photo courtesy of Catherine Zimmerman, Hometown Habitat