Bedford Audubon’s 2023 Spring Appeal: It’s NOT Just For the Birds!

by May 9, 2023News0 comments

Bedford Audubon isn’t just for birders;
Liz Stein’s path to us was through gardening!

Dear Friends,

My path to Bedford Audubon’s board was not through birds, but through plants. As the daughter of an environmentalist and an ornithologist, I’d been exposed to nature and birds all my life, but somehow, sitting for hours in the back seat of a station wagon in the pouring rain while my parents argued about whether the bird they saw was a merganser or not hadn’t turned me into a birder. I have always, however, been a gardener, growing everything from heirloom roses to potatoes, strawberries to shrubs, and I’ve always loved wildflowers. But it was reading Doug Tallamy’s eloquent call to environmental action in one’s own backyard, Bringing Nature Home, in 2007, that brought me to Bedford Audubon, and Bedford Audubon became my arena to try to bring about change.

As a volunteer and, later, garden director of our Leon Levy Native Plant garden, I had the chance to learn about how to plant and grow a garden not just for beauty but to foster wildlife, to help offset the effects of climate change and invasive plants, and to see birds and pollinators and insects close up, as much a part of the garden as the flowers. And here at Bedford Audubon we’ve worked hard to spread that message far and wide.

Thank you for hearing and sharing this message! Your support of Bedford Audubon is inspiring – and for that we are grateful.

Over the years, we’ve worked with Eagle Scouts and Girl Scouts, Environmental Science classes and garden clubs, sharing our garden space and our vision of what we all can do to nurture the world around us. We’ve given workshops and talks, garden tours and tours of other gardens, Zoom presentations and lectures, and we’ve partnered with other environmental groups for programming and hands-on work.

As a member of Bedford Audubon, your contributions have made this kind of community outreach possible. As our garden blooms this spring, won’t you please make a donation to help us grow to new heights and soar into even more communities?

Just before covid hit, we designed a new plan for the garden, aiming to demonstrate more clearly the different roles a suburban garden can play, the different ways it can support a wide range of life, from human to microflora and fauna, and how one can combine the goals of environmentalist and gardener.

With our new plan in hand, we sought, and got, a grant to renew and reinvent our garden from the Leon Levy Foundation, and the next 12 months will see us gleefully re-planting and enriching and labelling, making our garden an even better example of what we all can accomplish. For this work, we have enlisted a cadre of eager volunteers. They will help us get the work done and even more importantly, help us spread the knowledge of how to create and care for a native garden. This is our main cause and the reason our volunteer program specifically includes weekly instruction sessions from a renowned native garden firm.

This is my last year on the Board, so I’m handing on the baton, and I look forward to seeing the wonderful new garden. I am proud of what we’ve done here, and for me, amazed that it all came from showing up one Monday morning to work in the garden. The native garden’s most important job is to show people what a difference they themselves can make in the world around them, plant by plant, garden by garden, person by person.

Please think about making a contribution to our work here—you never know whose life you will change, whether bird, birder, or gardener


Liz Stein

Board Member


P.S. Please give a gift today. You can also call us at 914-232-1999 to make your donation.



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Liz Stein at a Bedford Audubon event; feature image: Liz leading a native garden workshop at Bylane Farm.

Liz’s vision is behind our current garden renovation… native planting for habitat. This photo of a Wavy-lined Emerald (Synchlora aerata) moth caterpillar using Black-eyed Susans as a host is a great example. (Photo taken at Bylane Farm by Kristen Johnson.)