Alison Gillespie


Washington, DC

Alison Gillespie

As a freelance reporter, writer and editor I will happily cover almost anything, although I specialize in biology, environmental science and chemistry. I really like to make complicated topics accessible and easy-to-read. My award-winning book, Hives in the City, tells the story of urban beekeepers struggling to keep their bees alive in the Mid-Atlantic.


Releasing Invasive Plant Strangleholds in Urban Parks

In many US parks, invasive exotic vines have a stranglehold on trees. Those invasives don’t just look bad – they often support little in the way of native wildlife, and can limit some of the most beneficial ecological aspects of urban forests. Link to Story

Back-to-School With Native Bees

Over the summer, a group of volunteers worked long hours in the hot sun to build some new housing at the University of Maryland College Park – not for students, but for native bees. Their structure – a 24-foot-long orange wall, called “Dwelling: Paint Branch Creek” — serves as both an educational exhibit and a place to conduct scientific research.
Greening the City Link to Story

Street Trees VS Rain Gardens: Balancing the Green Equation

For hundreds of years people have been planting things to improve cities. Fresh landscaping tends to make people feel better about where they live, and can break up the visual monotony of a gray urban street. But as cities try their best to become greener, debates often emerge over what kind of planting projects really are best.
Greening the City Link to Story

Another Bad Year for Honey Bees

These are the words that Mid-Atlantic beekeepers used to describe how their bees fared this year. It was an extremely tough winter in the Eastern US, full of ice and snow and below-normal temps. Some of the losses can be blamed on those extreme conditions. But it isn’t just the weather that seems to be taking a toll, and it isn’t dramatic cases of Colony Collapse Disorder either, according to many beekeepers.
Greening the City Link to Story

Connecting in the City of Trees

Things have changed a lot since author Melanie Choukas-Bradley first arrived in Washington, DC back in the late 1970s. There are fewer old trees in some neighborhoods now. But there are more tree lovers. “In 1977 I felt like this lone bud watcher,” Choukas-Bradley told the crowd which had packed the auditorium of DC’s Carnegie Institute for Science on March 25.
Greening the City Link to Story

Could the Arrival of Exelon Dim the Future of Solar in DC?

Very few corporations bring up as much ill will as Pepco, the power company that supplies electricity to much of the Washington, DC metropolitan area. In 2011, the website BusinessInsider even ranked the utility as the “most hated company in America” after reader surveys unleashed a tsunami of complaints about unreliable service, poor customer relations and slow response to storm events.
Greening the City Link to Story


Alison Gillespie

I live in Silver Spring, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC.

In addition to writing about science and the environment for various publications, I sometimes write copy for non-profit groups and a few select trade organizations.

My non-fiction book about urban beekeepers and their bees was published in 2014 and is for sale online and in select bookstores. You can find more details at the book's website:

Before going freelance I worked for several non-profit organizations, writing newsletter articles, annual reports, and press releases. I also maintained press databases and pitched stories to editors.

When not at my computer writing, I like to hike and explore the streams of Maryland. I am a passionate gardener who likes to watch the bees land on flower tops in the summer and the birds find berries in the winter. My ultimate gardening dream is to attract frogs and toads to my urban pond.

I'm eager to take on new freelance assignments, and available to give talks about my book.