The Polly Hill Arboretum has announced its summer lecture series, which will include programs on gardening, conservation and sustainability — all topics important to the Island community. Support for the programs comes from local sponsors Bartlett Tree Experts, Donoroma’s, Eden Market & Garden Center, Heather Gardens, Jardin Mahoney, Middletown Nursery, and SBS: The Grain Store.

This year many guest speakers will address topics related to sustainability including local landscapes, designing with nature and preserving biodiversity.

In June David Foster, director of Harvard Forest, will explain how knowledge of local landscape history can provide guidance for both land management and conservation planning. In July Claire Sawyers, director of the Scott Arboretum, explores how understanding the nature of our land leads to authentic gardens — successful landscapes deeply rooted in their surroundings. The theme continues when landscape architect and summer resident Michael Van Valkenburgh shares lessons learned from 25 years of creating landscape designs on the Vineyard that are responsive to our natural environment and history.

In August Doug Tallamy, professor of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware, will discuss how native plants sustain local native wildlife in the annual David H. Smith Memorial Lecture. His research has exposed the unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife essential for sustaining biodiversity in our communities. Learn how as gardeners we can help sustain this link by planting native species in our gardens. Observing and preserving plants on a global level has been a pursuit of renowned horticulturalist and plant hunter Dan Hinkley. He will share tales of his adventures seeking out exotic plants to introduce to American gardeners, but also explain the importance of knowing what is surviving on our planet.

These and other lectures will be held at the Far Barn at the arboretum. For a complete summer schedule, visit the education page at or call 508-693-9426.