2024 Gardening For Wildlife Speakers Announced!

We are honored to have four renowned expert speakers join us for our 2024 Gardening for Wildlife Gala!

Founder of Orenda Wildlife Land trust, Barbara Birdsey is a widely recognized leader and national voice for animal protection, environmental preservation and habitat protection globally. Barbara’s passion for wildlife started as a child growing up on the waterfronts of Cape Cod. Since then, she has devoted her career to preserving the natural habitats that define her childhood memories. Barbara is also the Founder and President of the Pegasus Foundation, which aids in rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild animals. She serves on the boards of The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation, The Guardians of Martin County (Florida), and is Chair of The Treasured Lands Foundation, and Co-Vice Chair of International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). Barbara continues to partner with Orenda to further the organization’s mission and impact.

Mark Robinson is the Executive Director of The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, and has served in that capacity and as the “go-to” person for all open space matters on Cape Cod since The Compact’s founding in 1986. The Compact enables its member land trusts to complete up to fifty new land acquisition projects every year in Barnstable County, an achievement that would not be possible without the critical assistance provided by Compact staff. Mark is a trusted advisor to Orenda, working closely with the organization to preserve and protect land and wildlife.

Zak Mertz is the CEO of the New England Wildlife Centers, which runs two wildlife veterinary hospitals in Weymouth and Barnstable Massachusetts. In this role Zak uses The Center’s platform of wildlife care to teach students of all ages about the natural world and provide professional training experiences to wildlife rehabilitators and veterinary care professionals. In addition to serving on the the Board for the Orenda Wildlife Land Trust, Zak also serves as the co-chair of the Southeast Massachusetts Rabies Task Force and as an advisory board member to the Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Massachusetts. Zak possesses a wealth of expertise in backyard wildlife and habitat management.

MaryKay Fox received a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife Management and a Masters in Water Resources from the University of Minnesota. Throughout her career, she has held several positions working closely with wildlife, conducting field research and studying ecosystems. She has been instrumental in effecting change in Cape Cod conservation as a volunteer and in leadership for the Friends of Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge, Inc. since 2005. MaryKay spearheaded the Native Pollinator Gardening Initiative in 2013, helping to create pollinator gardens within the Mashpee Wildlife Refuge. Under her direction, this initiative has continued to grow to include educational components, a new greenhouse and the development of a nature center. MaryKay is a modern day homesteader living an eco-conscience and self-sufficient lifestyle.

Learn more and get your Gardening For Wildlife Gala tickets, here!