Free online program January 29, 2021 at 7 pm

Why do native plants matter? Join naturalist Morgan Elmore for an informal introduction to the beauty and benefits of native plants in the landscape, and artist Tim Rand who will talk about his pollinator artwork series Life is Sweet.

Morgan and Tim are working with us to develop Arts at the Palace’s parking lot pollinator garden and outdoor mural project, which we will also discuss.

Our Project

Over the next year, Arts at the Palace will create a native plant garden next to the Palace Theater in downtown Hamilton. We’ll be inviting community members to collaborate with us in the following ways:

  • Sharing plant information and deer resistance knowledge
  • Sharing plant divisions
  • contributing local photos of pollinators visiting native plants as a resource
  • Planting and tending the garden
  • Creating plant and pollinator name signage

To join us for the FREE January 29th online presentation and discussion via Zoom, please send an email with the subject line “native plantscape” to We look forward to seeing you online!

Morgan Elmore is a native plant enthusiast and recent transplant to Hamilton. She graduated from Oberlin College with a BA in Environmental Studies and Geology. She spent many years building digitized collections of rare books for university libraries before launching her native plant landscaping business. Now Morgan works with nonprofits and home owners to create functional landscapes that nourish biodiversity, invite exploration, and kindle a sense of place using native plants. She works with, rather than in opposition to, ecological principles to amplify the functionality of outdoor spaces while easing the burden of caring for them. Morgan finds great pleasure in noticing small things about her environment; It is the things that happen in the garden rather than the garden itself which fuel her passion for gardening with natives. Morgan is a PA certified tree tender, NYS master composter and mama to Lena (age 12) and Hazel (age 9). Her husband Paul teaches in the Colgate University Geology department.

Tim Rand started the Life Is Sweet project in March 2020 with a painting of a honey bee, an homage to nature’s essential worker and all those who were making sacrifices for the greater good during a worldwide pandemic. The series quickly grew, with oil paintings and murals of pollinators cropping up both in the studio and all over Central New York in the coming months. What started as a way to connect with family, painting a mural seen through the kitchen window for his parents and 100 year old grandmother, led to murals on West Park Row in Clinton and a larger piece at the Utica Zoo. “To me, this pandemic is all about how we can come together and help out our neighbors and community as a whole when times are tough.” Rand recently completed a successful fundraising raffle as part of the Life Is Sweet project, raising over $200 for the Country Pantry.

Tim opened TRand Art Studio & Gallery in 2011 with the mission of creating art in his hometown of Clinton and connecting with the community through art. He has work in private collections across the country, with public works at the Adirondack Bank Center (Utica), Clinton Pottery (Clinton), and New England College (Henniker, NH). Studio visits at TRand Art Studio & Gallery at 84 Utica Street in Clinton are encouraged any time by making an appointment. You can contact Tim at (315) 527-4774 or via email at and learn more about his work at

Photo credits: Tim Rand and Morgan Elmore. All rights reserved.

This program is free and open to all. If you have the means, please consider making a donation to help Arts at the Palace continue to cultivate the arts, culture, and community.

This program is made possible in part by grants from the Mid-York Foundation and the Central New York Community Foundation.