CommunityEducation

Quinta Mazatlan Celebrates 3rd Annual ‘Planta Nativa” Party

With balmy weather forecast for tomorrow night, Quinta Mazatlan will celebrate the 3rd annual Planta Nativa Party on Thursday, October 19, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at the urban sanctuary in McAllen. The evening works to celebrate the Valley’s natural and cultural history.

Tickets are available for $25 per person in advance. For ticket and other information, call (956) 631-3370 or visit the website at: www.quintamazatlan.com.

Award-winning author Dr. Douglas W. Tallamy of “Bringing Nature home” will have a live presentation on the large outdoor LED screen and will also be signing books afterwards. Tallamy is professor and chair of the department of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, where he has taught insect taxonomy, behavioral ecology, and other subjects. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities.

In his critically acclaimed book, Tallamy eloquently weaves science and passion to explain the unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife. As he points out, most native insects cannot, or will not, eat alien plants. When native plant species disappear, or are replaced by alien exotics, the insects disappear, thus impoverishing the food source of birds and other animals. In many parts of the world, habitat destruction has been so extensive that local wildlife populations are in crisis and may well be headed toward extinction.

Food and entertainment will be on hand. The amazing local brewers from Big River Brewery in Pharr, Rabble-Rouser Brewing Company in McAllen and Border Brewers in Weslaco will have their best brews on tap for the event. Chef Nancy Melham, from Greens & Lemons, will have her healthy, delicious Mediterranean specialties on hand. Lebby Salinas and her Home Bakers Market will offer a wide variety of specialty healthy desserts. Luis Heffner and The Art Agency will feature several Valley artists in the Art Walk and Sale.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Agroecology Program will have student science poster presentations on display. UTRGV recently established a research and teaching program in Agroecology. Agroecology is the study of ecological processes that operate in production systems. A deep understanding of the ecological implications of the ways we produce our food, fuel, and fiber is required to effectively manage these systems in ways that are more environmentally sustainable. The Agroecology program at UTRGV combines student-centered research, education, and community engagement in various projects to address locally relevant issues that affect agroecosystems in South Texas, including in sustainable agriculture, community supported agriculture, urban forestry, and sustainable food systems.

The focus of the event will be the Native Plant Sale. On hand will be Mike Heep, from Heeps Nursery in Harlingen, James Lovegren, from L&L Growers of San Benito, and Betty Perez, from Perez Ranch Nursery in Penitas. They will over a wide variety of native plants for sale and will be on hand to explain the importance of native plants and how to use them in landscaping.

The Marcel Adjibi & Group Native Drum Ensemble will perform for the attendees. The Parula Winds Woodwind Quintet will also perform during the event.

Presenting sponsors for this annual event at Texas Regional Bank, the Native Plant Project, Perez Ranch Nursery and the Valley Garden Center.

Quinta Mazatlan is the McAllen Wing of the World Birding Center under the stewardship of the City of McAllen. Its mission is to preserve the 1930s adobe estate and the native plants and animals of the Rio Grande Valley, by providing a sanctuary for environmental education, eco-tourism and inspiration to people of all ages.

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