Environmentalist to speak about reconnecting to the physical world

Dr. Benjamin Vogt at rest in his defiant garden.
Dr. Benjamin Vogt at rest in his defiant garden.

Our landscapes push aside wildlife and in turn diminish our genetically-programmed love for wildness. How can we get ourselves back into balance through gardens, to speak life's language and learn from other species?

Dr. Benjamin Vogt addresses why we need a new garden ethic, and why we urgently need wildness in our daily lives. He argues that modern living -sequestered in buildings surrounded by monocultures of lawn and concrete- harm our physical and mental health. He examines psychological issues related to climate change and mass extinction as a way to understand human response to global crises.

With a focus on native species gardening, Dr. Vogt advocates for thinking deeply and honestly about our built landscapes in order to create a compassionate activism.

Dr. Vogt suggests that "your garden is a protest. It is a place of defiant compassion. That space is one to help sustain wildlife and ecosystem function while providing an aesthetic response that moves you. Here, beauty isn't just petal deep, but goes down into the soil, further down into the aquifer, and back up into the air and for miles around on the backs and legs of insects." Vogt creates the imagery that "you don't have to see soil microbes in action, birds eating seeds, butterflies laying eggs, ants farming aphids -- just knowing it's possible in your garden thrills you, it's like faith, and it frees you to live life more authentically. Your garden is a protest for all the ways in which we deny our life by denying other lives. Plant some natives. Be defiantly compassionate."

Please join us to engage in this discussion and then to enjoy a reception and book signing.

The event will be 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 in Hardin Hall, 3310 Holdrege St., Lincoln, Nebraska.

Admission and parking are free.