You can Help Bring “Hometown Habitat” to the Screen


HHI’m guessing you all know Doug Tallamy, the entomologist whose Bringing Nature Home turned so many people into native-plant gardeners.  Now there’s a chance that a full-length documentary with Tallamy featuring interviews of inspiring “Habitat Heroes” will become a reality.  Especially if you donate.

The movie, called “Hometown Habitat” is being made by a terrific filmmaker –  Catherine Zimmerman.

In Catherine’s words, the Habitat Heroes are people who are reversing detrimental impacts on the land and in the water of U.S. watersheds, one garden at a time.  For the film she travels to the watersheds of Florida, the prairies of the Mississippi River Basin, the stream of the Rocky Mountains, the  Columbia River, the Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes to find success stories that celebrate conservation landscaping.

To name some names, “Hometown Habitat” will tell the stories of Doug Tallamy, PhD (natch), but also ecologist Steve Apfelbaum, eco-artists in South Florida, Earth Partnership at the University of Wisconsin, water conservation educators Susan Tweit and Connie Holsingern in the Colorado Basin, a program of the Interfaith Environmental Movement, two chapters of Wild Ones, NYC’s Million Trees campaign, and more.

The film will be distributed widely, targeted especially to public television, cable TV channels, and environmental and general-interest film festivals.


I asked how this collaboration came about.  “Doug and I had been talking off and on about a video, of some sort, ever since he was part of my Urban & Suburban Meadows book and video in 2010…Doug and I settled on the idea that his voice would provide the framework but that it might get more play if we heard other voices – the heroes. I specifically wanted to make a very positive film to draw in folks who are not already involved in restoration work or who even know the difference between native and non-native plants, let alone the benefits of native plants. The stories are positive looks at all aspects of solving the issues – restoration, education, the art angle, landscape designers, activism, even the role religious institutions can play in being good stewards.

“This documentary is going to be a game changer. Hometown Habitat is now filming projects that will SHOW people how landscape conservation can work: the utility, the economic benefits, the eco-service benefits, and the beauty, too. People will get to see actual success stories in situations like theirs. They will learn why it SHOULD be done, and see that it CAN be done.”

You are invited to contribute!

In Vienna, VA, Wolf Trap gave up its grass for a native-plant meadow. Photo @Catherine Zimmerman

To learn more about the filmmaker, check out her website, this interview by Jane Pauley, and her “Why a Meadow” video below.



    • Hey- I’m with you on Downton Abbey… 🙂

      Our push is to get the film on PBS. All this takes a lot of money. Sadly, PBS is not free. Help spread the word. Share this on FB and everywhere you can!! We thank you.

  1. Susan Harris, Thanks for supporting Hometown Habitat! I am honored to be featured along with Connie Holsinger for the Be a Habitat Hero project, and have donated to help with the fund-raising. If more of us help out, Catherine will be able to bring the film to the small and big screen and spread the word about the miracle of restoring nature and habitat at home where we all live, work and play. Habitat up!

  2. Yes, thanks Susan, for helping get this ‘good news’ around. So many people first became aware of the natural connections between native plants and pollinators, and the role native plants play in shoring up our over-burdened, critically important ecosystems through Tallamy’s seminal book. The new Hometown Habitat documentary, an awesome blend of science and art, has the potential to help communities understand how they can make better decisions for their landscaping and land use choices. I have supported the documentary, and am really looking forward to having it as a tool in my resource kit! Come on, everybody, give a little, and help bring it to fruition!

    • In fairness to, from whence one of the quotes in the blog came, please see the whole post I wrote there in support of the Hometown Habitat project: i

  3. Great article. I’m looking forward to seeing this film and hope it will inspire many others to adopt native plants. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

  4. I’m so excited to see this film come to the screen! Restoration of ecosystems and growing native plants for wildlife in backyard habitats is something everyone can participate in and enjoy. We need to become more aware of how our actions affect wildlife both positively and negatively and strive to conserve our local plant and animal diversity.

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