Winter Lecture Series

Shake off the winter doldrums by joining us for our annual Winter Lecture Series. This popular series features presentations by fascinating speakers on eight Sundays in January and February, from 2 - 3 p.m.

Knowledgeable lecturers address a wide range of topics related to natural history, biodiversity, ecological gardening, native plants, native wildlife and other related topics.

All lectures are held in the Auditorium in the Preserve’s Visitor Center with general admission seating. For more information, please call (215) 862-2924. Join us for an energizing and enlightening experience!

2017 Winter Lecture Series Ticket Prices:

Members and fulltime students: $8 per lecture

Non-members: $12 per lecture

Educational program fees include admission to the Preserve. We accept and encourage pre-registration: (215) 862-2924. Walk-ins welcome as space permits.

Special offer: Purchase a book of tickets for all eight lectures and save over 20%!
Members and fulltime students: $50 (full price: $64)
Non-members: $76 (full price: $96)

BHWP offers a special price to anyone who buys a book of tickets for the complete series of eight lectures. This is a great way to save money and support the Preserve’s educational mission. Each ticket entitles the holder to one admission per lecture. Ticket books may be purchased in advance by calling the Preserve at (215) 862-2924, or they may be purchased at the door.

Seating for all lectures is general admission, so please arrive early to get the seat of your choice. 

2017 Winter Lecture Series Schedule:



January 8th- Understanding Vultures SOLD OUT

When people see a vulture soaring overhead or perched ominously in a tree, rarely do we consider their value. Dr. Keith Bildstein will share his studies on the movement of vultures and the important roles they play in natural and human-dominated ecosystems. 

Keith Bildstein, PhD., is the interim President and Director of Conservation Science at Hawk Mountain’s Acopian Center, and directs the Conservation Science Traineeship Program and our newly emerging Graduate Student Program. Keith is the author of more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, has written several books including Migrating Raptors of the World: their ecology and conservation.



January 15th - Beyond Honeybees: Pennsylvania's Native Bees SOLD OUT

We hear a lot about the honey bee, Apis mellifera, but most people don’t have any idea how many other bees there are. The honey bee is actually an introduced species, having come to the area with the pioneers from Europe. There are about 400 species that were already in Pennsylvania. This presentation will introduce you to these particular bees, where they live, what they do, and what flowers they use.

Dr. Anita Collins is a retired honey bee geneticist, from the Agricultural Research Service, US Dept. of Agriculture. Since retiring she has been a collaborator in a US Geologic Survey project to find and identify native bees east of the Mississippi. She is a volunteer and President of the Board at Lehigh Gap Nature Center and an Adjunct Professor, in the Department Entomology, Penn State University.


January 22nd - Gardening to Protect Water: Mitigating Polluted Stormwater Runoff with "Green Infrastructure"

The federal Clean Water Act of 1972 eliminated most direct discharges of untreated industrial and human waste into the nation’s rivers. Unfortunately, 25 years later our streams and rivers are still failing to meet clean water standards, mostly due to unregulated polluted stormwater runoff. This problem is getting worse due to impacts of climate change on hydrology and continued development of our watersheds but “Green Infrastructure” strategies offer hope. This talk will explain the problem and solutions that can be implemented on multiple scales. The lecture will include an explanation of the Watershed Association’s efforts at the new Watershed Center in Hopewell Township and in municipalities in our region.

Jim Waltman is the Executive Director of the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, serves as a member of the State Agriculture Development Committee, and is a founding Board member of ReThinkEnergyNJ, a non-profit public education organization seeking to accelerate the transition to renewable energy. Prior to joining the Watershed Association in 2005, he served as an environmental lobbyist in Washington, DC for 15 years, working for the National Audubon Society and The Wilderness Society on wildlife, water and wilderness issues.


January 29th - Our Nighttime Neighbors: the Ecology and Behavior of Bats SOLD OUT

Second only to rodents, bats are a diverse group of mammals with a little over 1,300 known species. By eating insect pests, dispersing seeds and pollinating flowers, bats provide essential services to humanity while often going unnoticed in the nighttime skies above us. Come learn about the biology and ecology of these amazing creatures--from their ability to navigate using sound to their feeding and roosting habits to the threats they face from a rapidly spreading fungal disease.

Matthew Wund earned his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2005 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. There he studied the echolocation behavior of bats, as well as the impacts bats have on mosquitoes. He subsequently held a postdoctoral research fellowship at Clark University, in Worcester, MA, where he investigated the evolution of behavior and morphology in threespine stickleback fish. He has continued this line of research since joining the faculty of The College of New Jersey.


February 5th - Backyard Butterflies of Bucks County SOLD OUT

Bob and Pat Whitacre bought an abandoned farm in Tinicum Township in 1982. As they explored the surrounding 15 acres of various habitats, they began to discover unfamiliar butterflies. Learning that 96 species had been verified for all of Bucks County, they began daily photo safaris which eventually recorded 65 species, including one that had not been previously listed. The Whitacres’ close-up photos also illustrate the many wild plants – and some garden flowers - which play host to these beautiful creatures.

North Jersey natives Bob and Pat Whitacre met at Duke University, and settled in Morris County, NJ, where Pat became a teaching naturalist at the county outdoor education center. With a single lens reflex camera, she began photographing the wildflowers she had known since childhood, and quickly expanded her subjects to the rest of the natural world. Bob became the family photographer when they graduated to a digital camera and he discovered that he could capture close-up photos of butterflies without a special lens.

February 12th - Novel Ecosystems

Dr. Jordan, a retired ecologist for The Nature Conservancy of New York and an Lehigh Gap Nature Center Board member, will speak about what are being called novel ecosystems. These are new, historically unprecedented combinations of species resulting from human actions such as land disturbance, introduction of invasive species, pollution and climate change. Is Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve a restoration, rehabilitation, novel ecosystem or designer ecosystem? Learn what all this means and what implications it has for management of our landscape.

Dr. Marilyn Jordan retired in 2014 as a Senior Conservation Scientist for The Nature Conservancy on Long Island, NY. Her career experience includes invasive plant assessments, nutrient cycling, soil and water pollution, ecological impacts of deer, fire as a restoration tool and novel ecosystems. She is now on the Board of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center in Slatington PA which is restoring land polluted by zinc smelting at the Palmerton PA Superfund Site.

February 19th - Planting with a Purpose: Saving Nature at Home and Beyond

Want a yard alive with birds, butterflies, and other interesting creatures – one that’s attractive and welcoming to family and friends, too? Though habitat is disappearing and many species are declining, even small changes in your yard can help nature in a big way. Learn how you can garden with native plants for beauty — and for nature.

Edie Parnum and Barb Elliot are the founders and co-Directors of Backyards for Nature, a program of the Valley Forge Audubon Society. Edie and Barb trained as Habitat Stewards with the National Wildlife Federation and each has a property certified as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation and also as a Monarch Waystations and Pollinator Habitat. Edie and Barb are both avid birders and enthusiastic moth-ers hosting Moth Nights at their properties.

February 26th - Mushrooms Matter!

Many plant-focused people are not aware of the important roles that fungi, including mushrooms,

play in the lives of plants. There would be no land plants were it not for the fungi that nourish them! This lecture will cover a few of the amazing things that you probably don’t know about fungi, along with photos of the colorful and unusual macrofungi in our woods and fields.

Marion M. Kyde, Ph.D., lives in Tinicum Township in the middle of a woods full of magical (not magic) mushrooms. She has lectured locally on mushrooms for 20 years and writes for the Tinicum Conservancy Newsletter and the Bucks County Herald on environmental and local issues. An award winning and pioneering conservationist, Marion received her bachelor’s, masters and doctorate degrees from Rutgers University and currently serves as the vice chair on the Tinicum Township Land Preservation Committee.