Saluda Library speaker series continues this spring

Published 12:38 pm Monday, April 1, 2024

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SALUDA—Thanks to a generous Free Community Events grant from Polk County Community Foundation and a partnership between Polk County Public Libraries and Conserving Carolina, a speaker series occurs at Saluda Library on the second Tuesday of each month at 2 pm, through November 2024.

Next up in the series is “Creating an Ecologically Sustainable Landscape.” On April 9, Lisa Wagner, plant ecologist, will demonstrate how to choose plants that naturally work together using a plant community approach, reflecting the aesthetic of natural Blue Ridge landscapes. By including a diversity of native plants and focusing on species that support native insects, birds, and other wildlife, your landscape can become not only sustainable but attractive and easily maintained. Lisa was the Director of Education at the South Carolina Botanical Garden at Clemson University for over 20 years.

Mark Ray, NC Wildlife Resources Commission Engagement Program Specialist, will present “For the Love of Bats” on May 14. The program will focus on the only flying mammal, bats! Mark will discuss some of the bat species found in western North Carolina, where they live, and why they are beneficial to have around. He will also share the most recent research on White Nose Syndrome and the NCWRC’s bat conservation efforts. 

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The June 11 program, “An Introduction to Western Carolina Butterflies,” will be led by Dr. David Ahrenholz. Participants will learn how to identify the butterflies of the western Carolinas through photographs, as well as the food plants needed to attract both the caterpillar and adult stages to your home butterfly garden. Dr. Ahrenholz began his interest in butterflies as a child in Iowa. He taught himself photography because family and friends were not interested in dead insect specimens. After medical school he continued his passion for nature photography, photographing butterflies across the US and tropical South America. His photographs captured new species and led to an appointment as a Research Associate in the Entomology Department at the Smithsonian. He has pursued a 25-year project with the museum to document the butterflies of Ecuador in photographs and by collecting specimens. 

Please register for these events at Contact Pam Torlina at with questions or for more information.

Polk County Public Libraries has two libraries, Columbus Library and Saluda Library, with books, movies, music, audiobooks, and downloadable eBooks and audiobooks available for checkout, as well as public computers and wireless internet access. PCPL also offers regularly scheduled virtual and in-person programs for all ages. To learn more, visit


Submitted by Jen Pace Dickenson