Bee Girl director to deliver Hildene's Last Best Hope talk

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MANCHESTER >> Every generation faces challenges that demand action. Hildene's annual Last Best Hope Series features speakers whose transformative experiences are changing the world for the better and inspiring others to act on issues that impassion them. With pollinators in peril worldwide, it is timely that this year's presenter is Sarah Red-Laird, founder and executive director of the non-profit organization Bee Girl. Bees are Sarah's passion. Her mission to inspire and empower communities to conserve bees and their habitats is also aligned with Hildene's mission, Values into Action. Committed to its role as a pollinator sanctuary, Hildene's horticultural, agricultural and forestry management practices are particularly focused on promoting habitat for pollinators and songbirds. These practices in combination with Hildene's pollinator programming for students and community groups seek to inspire others to engage in similar, meaningful activities.

In Abraham Lincoln's second Annual Address to the nation, after listing the multitude of challenges the war-torn country faced, the President concludes with a warning and call to action: "to think anew and act anew we shall nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope of earth." Sarah Red-Laird is a woman who understands well the need to act anew. Those who hear her 2015 "Last Best Hope" talk on May 28 from 5:30 to 6:30 at the Hildene event tent, will learn why. The talk is just one of the programs offered during the week. Sarah will also be interacting with students from 10 local schools and leading a Bee Safari Workshop for the public on May 30 from 9 a.m. to noon at Hildene.

Sarah describes herself as always having been a beekeeper, fascinated by bees since she was a child. Sarah brought her affinity for beekeeping to fruition at the University of Montana, Missoula, choosing honey bees and Colony Collapse Disorder as her Davidson Honors College research thesis. She graduated with honors from University of Montana's College of Forestry and Conservation in 2010 with a degree in Resource Conservation, focused on community collaboration and environmental policy. Shortly thereafter, Sarah combined her love of bees with her education, outreach, research, conservation, and non-profit experience to create her Bee Girl organization.

In addition to her work with Bee Girl, Sarah Red-Laird is the U.S. Ambassador of the International Bee Research Association's BEEWORLD project, the Kids and Bees Director for the American Beekeeping Federation, a New York Bee Sanctuary Advisory Board Member, a mentor in the Oregon State Beekeepers Program, Apiary Manager for Southern Oregon University's Center for Sustainability, and the Oregon Outreach Coordinator for the Bee Friendly Farming initiative.

The Last Best Hope talk, Bee Safari Workshop, and Last Best Hope related educational programming led by Sarah Red-Laird in local schools during her visit, are presented with support from The Vermont Country Store.

The Last Best Hope talk is free and open to the public. Reservations are strongly recommended as space is limited. The Bee Sarfari Workshop is $8 for members, $10 for non-members. Registration is required as space is limited. Call Stephanie at 802-367-7960 or email Stephanie@hildene.org.

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