Our mission is to promote the education, enjoyment, science and stewardship of native wildflowers and their habitats
 

Zooming in and Zooming out: The Parts and the Patterns


29th ANNUAL MICHIGAN WILDFLOWER CONFERENCE
Sunday March 6 and Monday March 7, 2016
Kellogg Center, Michigan State University


The Michigan Wildflower Conference is designed for persons who are interested in Michigan native plants and their habitats. There will be general and concurrent sessions both days.

Location and Accomodations
The conference is held at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing (map). Discounts on room rates are available for conference attendees until February 5, 2016, or until all rooms have been booked. Please call (800) 875-5090 for reservations.

Registration
New! Online registration is now available!

Conference Agenda

Sunday, March 6, 2016

8:00am – 9:00am  Registration and Refreshments - Red Cedar Room

9:00am – 9:10am  Greetings and Announcements - Big Ten A

9:10am – 10:15am  Keynote Presentation - Big Ten A
LARRY WEANER, FAPLD, Landscape Designer, President Larry Weaner Landscape Associates
Breaking the Rules: Ecological Landscape Design and Traditional Landscape Methodology
Using Native plants requires more than simply expanding the conventional design palette. Based on observation of how native plants develop in nature, new design, implementation, and management techniques emerge, many of which are diametrically opposed to traditional horticultural practice. This presentation examines how alternative approaches on everything from selecting, arranging, and spacing plants to the simple act of weeding can yield more easily maintained landscapes that express the beauty and ecological richness of our native landscapes.

10:15am – 10:45am  Break
You are invited to visit our vendors in the Centennial Room.

10:45am – 11:45am

Concurrent Session #1 - Big Ten B
ELLEN WEATHERBEE, Founder of the Adult Education Program at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum for the University of Michigan
Shoreline Plants: Sorcerers of Success in a Harsh Environment
Plants survive almost impossible odds in a desperate search for hospitable niches as they broil in the sun, skid across jagged winter ice, splash in on chaotic waves, are splatted from animals and birds, sprawl across the damp sand, or are spit out onto the beaches and cliffs of the shoreline. Successful colonizers have potent survival strategies, being attractive, brazen, camouflaged, clever, edible, insectivorous, poisonous, or prickly. Poke along with Ellen in a treasure hunt through bedrock, boulders, cobbles, damp sand, debris lines, dunes, rivulets, and swales in search of these enchanting plants.

Concurrent Session #2 - Big Ten C
ANDREW MUTCH, City Council Member, City of Novi
MELANIE PIANA, Ferndale City Council
Changing Local Ordinances to Support Native and Natural Plantings
Local landscaping ordinances are often very specific about aesthetics and the types of plantings permitted. They often require wide expansive lawns, narrow foundation plantings, limit vegetation height, and prohibit some native species such as Milkweeds and Goldenrods, among others. Listen to two city council members, Andrew Mutch of Novi and Melanie Piana of Ferndale, talk about how these two cities changed the landscape of landscaping by enacting new ordinances that permit naturalistic and native plantings.

11:45am – 1:30pm  Grant Awards Lunch & Break - Big Ten A

1:30pm – 2:30pm

Concurrent Session #1 - Big Ten B
SAM LOVALL, PLA, ASLA PEA,Inc. and Friends of the Detroit River
Habitat Restoration on the Detroit and Rouge Rivers – With focus on Belle Isle and Fordson Islands
The riparian corridors of southeast Michigan once fostered a hunting and fishing-based economy for early European Settlers, brimming with fish and wildlife beyond imaginable proportions. Fur trade and a rich fishery exemplified life sustaining commodities. This apparently endless resource was exploited to near extinction, and the Industrial revolution forever changed the landscape, depleting the region of its splendor by the Mid-1900s. Following the “Clean Water Act” in 1972, water pollution has all but ceased, and water quality in the Rouge and Detroit Rivers has significantly improved. This session examines strategies underway to restore fish and wildlife habitat and their abundant populations. Current projects on Belle Isle and Fordson Island are showcased as part of the discussion.

Concurrent Session #2 - Big Ten C
AMANDA MEIER, Doctoral Student, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology University of Michigan
The Far-reaching Effects of Soil Fungi on Plant-Insect Interactions
Beneficial soil fungi, such as mycorrhizal fungi, can have extensive effects on plants and insects above-ground. Mycorrhizal fungi associate with over 80% of all plant species and provide plants with nutrients in exchange for sugars from the plant in a mutually beneficial relationship. Amanda will discuss the important role mycorrhizal fungi play in interactions among plants, insects, and the predators of insects above-ground. She will review this research performed at the University of Michigan in milkweed (Asclepias) species and the insect herbivores of milkweed, including monarch caterpillars and aphids. She will conclude with comments on why we should consider mycorrhizal fungi in our own natural landscapes.

2:30pm – 2:45pm  Break

2:45pm – 3:45pm - Big Ten A
HEATHER HOLM, Author, Pollinators of Native Plants
Attracting Bees and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants
Most insects have a positive impact in our landscapes. Native plants can be selected to attract specific bees and beneficial insects including predatory and parasitic wasps, beetles, flies, true bugs, and lacewings. Learn about the predator-prey relationships of these flower-visiting beneficial insects and how they help keep problem insect populations in balance. The life cycles, diversity, and nesting habitats of native bees will also be covered along with examples of native plants for different site conditions.

3:45pm – 4:00pm  Break

4:00pm – 5:00pm  Annual Meeting - Red Cedar Room
A cash bar will be available.



Monday, March 7, 2016

8:00am – 9:00am  Registration and Refreshments - Red Cedar Room

9:00am – 9:10am  Greetings and Announcements - Big Ten A

9:10am – 10:15am  Keynote Presentation - Big Ten A
LARRY WEANER, FAPLD Landscape Designer, President Larry Weaner Landscape Associates
At Home with Native Plants
Discover how to use your region’s native flora to achieve landscapes that are diverse, beautiful, and low maintenance. Through a series of case studies, this presentation explores the dynamic ecological processes that occur in our native woodlands, shrub lands, and meadows, and illustrates their direct application in a variety of residential landscapes. Examples will feature effective solutions to common landscape situations including entrance areas, screen and bank plantings as well as techniques for establishing native wildflower meadows and woodland gardens in various contexts.

10:15am – 10:45am  Break
You are invited to visit our vendors in the Centennial Room.

10:45am – 11:45am

Concurrent Session #1 - Big Ten B
DAVE MINDELL, PlantWise, LLC
My Yard’s on Fire AGAIN! Safe and effective prescribed Burns in Residential Settings
Fire has been a vital and frequent component of the Michigan landscape for thousands of years. Most Midwestern landscapes have suffered dramatic setbacks with fire’s exclusion during the last two hundred years. In this talk, we’ll discuss why fire is so important and how we can reintroduce it at all scales in a residential setting. We’ll touch on planning, permitting, burn techniques, equipment, and more.

Concurrent Session #2 - Big Ten C
JEFF BAKER and STUDENTS, Detroit Catholic Central High School
Zooming In through the Roots, Zooming Out through the Stomates: The Path Water takes through Plants
Transpiration is the movement of water into plants through the roots, and out of plants via structures called stomates. Ultimately these stomates control this movement of water. We modified an AP Bio Lab, experimenting on native Michigan Plants to discover their transpiration rates, and to determine if there’s any correlation to stomate density and ecological niche of those plants.

11:45am – 1:30pm  Luncheon - Big Ten A - and Break
A door-prize drawing will be held during lunch.

1:30pm – 2:30pm

Concurrent Session #1 - Big Ten B
DOUG A. LANDIS, PhD, Department of Entomology Michigan State University, Center for Integrated Plant Systems Lab
Supporting Beneficial Insects with Native Plants: New Research and Application Opportunities
Most beneficial insects require regular access to pollen and nectar to enhance longevity, reproduction, and fuel their pest control and pollination activities. However, many landscapes no longer contain a reliable diversity of floral resources and some natural enemies and pollinators are in decline. For more than a decade we have been working with the Michigan Native Plant Producers Association to select and screen native flowering plants for their ability to support beneficial insects and test their impacts on pest control and pollination. We will present results of our current screening trials and describe the species and floral characteristics that make for the most effective insectary plants. Application of these findings include informing plant lists for home gardens and landscapes, pollinator gardens, rain gardens, riparian buffers, restoration sites, and agricultural cropping systems.

Concurrent Session #2 - Big Ten C
RANDY BAKER, Naturalist Endeavors
The World of the White-tailed Deer
This program covers everything from the biology and behaviors of the White-tailed Deer to the impact that this species has on ecosystems. This amazing animal is adaptable enough that it can be found from southern Canada to the southern end of South America.

2:30pm – 2:45pm  Break

2:45pm – 3:45pm

Concurrent Session #1 - Big Ten B
BETTY SEAGULL, President Red Cedar Chapter Wild Ones
Bringing it Home: Creating Your Own Native Plant Garden
With 95% of land in the lower 48 states in development for agriculture, roads, or buildings, native plants and animals are in trouble. Exotic species have invaded our parklands. Pollinators like bees and butterflies are imperiled. Instead of wringing our hands, we can make a real difference by creating native habitat in our own yards. Native plant gardening is fun and empowering. Native plants are beautiful and hardy. This presentation will help you learn how you can do it yourself!

Concurrent Session #2 - Big Ten C
MIKE KOST, Curator of Native Plants, Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, University of Michigan
Navigating the Natural Communities of Michigan
The natural communities of Michigan span the full range of environmental gradients from dry droughty sand prairies and open dunes to rich conifer swamps and floodplain forests. We will explore the factors that structure the distribution of this diverse assemblage of natural communities across the state. You will come away with a renewed appreciation for the natural beauty of Michigan and a framework for better understanding the diversity of ecosystems we observe in nature.