March 20 Bucket Course Presenter | Jim Kessler and “The Green Yard Makeover”


Jim Kessler returns to the Bucket Courses to present the March 20 program entitled “The Green Yard Makeover.”

The Bucket Course will be held in the Caulkins Community Room at Drake Community Library from 10:00 am to 11:30 am.  The course is open to all and is free of charge.  Donations are welcome to cover the cost of refreshments.

Kessler’s presentation will explain how to plan, plant, and maintain publicly acceptable native plantings in your yard that support desirable wildlife such as butterflies, other pollinators, and songbirds. He will include specific information about butterfly gardens, border plantings, and how to integrate native plants with a vegetable garden to help control insect pests and to attract pollinators to your garden.

Kessler shares his knowledge at environmental conferences, garden shows, community groups, churches, conservation organizations, and school classes.  “My goal is to motivate others to plant butterfly gardens to confront the extinction and climate crises. Loss of biodiversity can be reversed by the actions of ordinary people,” Kessler says.

Jim Kessler taught Environmental Biology and Introductory Biology at Iowa Valley Community College—Grinnell from 2006-2018, and before that, taught Biology at Newton High School from 1972-2005.  Jim and Kathy Kessler have restored 30 acres to native habitat south of Grinnell. The property includes reconstructed prairie and restored wetlands, stream banks, oak savannas, and oak/hickory woodland; they donated 27 acres of the restored habitats to the Bur Oak Land Trust in Iowa City for perpetual preservation and management in 2017.

Bucket Courses are sponsored by Grinnell’s Community Education Cooperative, whose members include UnityPoint Health Grinnell, Grinnell College, Drake Community Library, Grinnell-Newburg Community School District, Grinnell Area Arts Council, Mayflower Community, Grinnell Education Partnership, Read to Lead, and Iowa Valley Community College. Videos of previous Bucket Courses are available on the YouTube channel Grinnell Community Education Cooperative.