Pollinator Habitat Design Workshop: $55

“Save a Place for Wildlife, One Yard at a Time”

Fri., Feb. 10, 6–9 pm; Sat., Feb. 11, 9 am–4 pm (lunch included)


Landscape Design Lab: CLASS IS FULL 

“Come with an Idea, Go Home with a Working Design”

Sat. Feb. 18. 9–12 noon

Limited to 25 participants (5 per coach)


Location: UNM Continuing Education Conference Center

1634 University Blvd NE, Albq, NM (ample parking)


Registration form

Schedule and Program Information

Friday February 10

6:00 pm – Welcome and opening remarks

6:15 pm “Save a Place for Wildlife”

Speaker: George Miller, author of “Landscaping with Native Plants of the Southwest.”

Human housing disrupts the complex web of life from soil microorganisms to the butterflies, bees, birds, and small mammals that once lived here. By purposefully landscaping with native plants we can repair the habitat one yard at a time. I will discuss the back yard basics and plants that will create an oasis for wildlife in a desert of gravel lawns, alien plants, pavement and parking lots.

Bio: George Miller is an environmental photojournalist, naturalist, and author of books on landscaping with native plants of the southwest, Texas, and Southern California. He has written field guides and smartphone apps for wildflowers of New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Southern California. Currently he is president of the Albuquerque Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico.

7:15 pm “Native Plant Gardening with Interconnections in Mind”

Speaker: Virginia Burris

What makes my style of gardening unique? I design gardens that provide a place for pollinators and the native plants they rely on to connect. In addition, the native plants provide shelter and food for birds and other wildlife. Children love this natural style of landscaping. Using photos, I will walk you through my garden and you can see for yourself.

Bio: Virginia Burris has been a major force in the community for landscaping in a natural style. This style acknowledges the importance of using native plants and promoting pollinator health in our gardens. She has taught many classes in designing habitat gardens. She designed the Xeriscape Club Pollinator Garden at the Albuquerque Garden Center and was recently was given an award by New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light for her work in establishing the certified habitat garden at the First Unitarian Church and for her environmental leadership.

Saturday, February 11

9:00 am Opening remarks

9:15 am “Designing Shared Habitat”

Speaker: Judith Phillips of Design Oasis, author of “Growing the Southwest Garden: Regional Ornamental Gardening”

This talk is a virtual tour of beautiful landscapes describing design options based on the site conditions and the desires of home owners. Nature is orderly and beautiful unless uncommon disturbance upsets balances and triggers adaptive change to recover an equilibrium. Design to create habitat adapts natural patterns, dependent on topography, exposure, available moisture, and use of the site, to accommodate present and potential inhabitants from insects to humans.

Bio: Judith Phillips is a landscape designer who prefers working with native and xeric plants because they are beautiful, conserve water, and support wildlife. She has written five books and numerous articles encouraging people to garden with a passion for the high desert. Her newest book Growing the Southwest Garden concerns the climate-driven changes, new extremes facing western gardeners. She teaches an arid-adapted plants class in the Landscape Architecture Program at the University of New Mexico.

10:15 am Break

10:45 am “Bees in Your Backyard.”

Speaker: Olivia Carill, author of “The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America’s Bees”

Many have likely noticed a handful of bees zipping from flower to flower in their backyards, but few are aware of the wide array of species that are actually in residence all through our urban landscapes.  New Mexico is home to around 1,000 species, including the smallest bee in North America (smaller than a mosquito), and the biggest (around an inch in size).  They range in color from adobe-brown to emerald-green, and may be polka-dotted, zebra-striped, fuzzy, or bald. Many landscape-level changes to urban environments have eliminated or depleted important resources for New Mexico bees, however replenishing these resources is not difficult. Knowledge of the life histories of New Mexico bees can guide us in restoring habitat right in our backyards.  Dr. Olivia Carril will discuss the biology of New Mexico bees, and provide tips on encouraging and providing for these species.  She will discuss what to plant, how to providing nesting sites, and city-wide efforts that can be made for New Mexico’s amazing bees.

Bio: Olivia has been studying bees for two decades.  She received a BS and MS in Biology from Utah State University, where she studied the bee fauna of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, in southern Utah.  She holds a PhD from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, in Plant Biology, where she studied a specialist bee, Diadasia, and its floral hosts.  Most recently, she has coauthored a book entitled “The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America’s Bees.”

12–1:30 pm Lunch. Box lunches provided (sandwich, chips, cookie, drink)

1:30 pm “Creating Butterfly and Caterpillar Backyard Habitats”

Speaker: Steve Cary, author “Butterfly Landscapes of New Mexico.”

Steve’s presentation will focus on the importance of installing native New Mexico plants in habitat garden spaces and wherever we plant plants. This was once simply a philosophical preference for Steve – to honor and appreciate plants that make New Mexico unique. But now he sees use of native plants as essential for survival and sustenance and persistence of our native ecosystems. Why so serious? It might have something to do with the fact that native butterflies depend on native plants. Or maybe it has to do with native bees and other pollinators, which depend on native plants. Have you noticed the growing prevalence of alien plants, even in wild areas? Learn how Steve has arrived at this important conclusion and what we can do with that information.

Bio: Born and raised in the Upper Midwest, Steve earned his M.S. at the University of Wisconsin. After coming to New Mexico in 1980, Steve worked professionally for 35 years in resource management, environmental protection and nature conservation.  Butterflies have always been Steve’s passion and he has published a variety scientific and popular articles on these amazing creatures. Through countless butterfly talks and guided walks, he has become New Mexico ‘s Butterfly Guy. New Mexico Magazine published his book, Butterfly Landscapes of New Mexico, in 2009. He continues to pursue passions for butterflies, native pollinators and natural history through gardening, travel, writing, research and public presentations.

2:30 pm Break.

3:00 pm Landscape Garden videos: “Through the seasons,” and “Before and after.”

3:30 pm Panel discussion with speakers.

Moderator: Pam McBride

4:30 pm Closing remarks

  • •••

Saturday February 18

Habitat Design Lab: Come with an Idea, Go Home with a Working Design

9:00 am–12 noon

Limited to 25 participants (5 per coach)

Participants bring a rough layout of their landscape, goals for what they want in a design, and ideas for suitable native plants. Professional landscape designers will offer one-on-one design tips to meet the participants needs. Tracing paper and materials provided.

Design Coaches:

Judith Phillips: Design Oasis

Hunter Tenbroeck: Waterwise Landscape

Wes Brittenham: Plants of the Southwest

Aaron Lamb: Santa Ana Garden Center

Virginia Burris: Landscape Designer