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

27th ANNUAL MICHIGAN WILDFLOWER CONFERENCE

Sunday March 2 and Monday March 3, 2014

Becoming Native to the Place



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.

The conference is held at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center on the MSU campus. Please click here for links to directions and further information about the facilities.

Please find below the schedule for the 2014 conference. The registration form is available here.

PLEASE NOTE: Walk ins are welcome if you cannot meet the registration deadlines, but a lunch cannot be guaranteed.

Sunday, March 2
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, Big Ten Wing
Registration opens at 8:00 a.m. in the Red Cedar Room
Refreshments provided

9:00 - 9:10 Greetings and Announcements

9:10 - 10:15 The Richness of Layers (Keynote Presentation)
RICK DARKE, Rick Darke LLC, Photographer, Author, and Coauthor of The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden

The richness of life in any landscape is linked to the richness of its layers, and this is true for both people and wildlife. Landscape designer, photographer, and author Rick Darke will look at landscape layers from ground cover to canopy and will describe how to create and manage them in home gardens that are beautiful, biologically diverse, and eminently livable. Darke’s presentation will illustrate and describe a practical, ecologically sound approach to layering he calls “spacemaking with organic architecture.”

10:15 - 10:30 Break

10:30 - 11:30 Growing Native Plants: America’s Roots in Your Garden (Concurrent Session #1)
STEVE KETO, Natural Areas and Preserves Manager, Western Michigan University

Over the last 30 years, gardening with native plants has gone from a niche hobby to mainstream landscape design. Steve will draw on his 26 years of experience propagating native plant species to help gardeners avoid pitfalls and capitalize on the potential of native plants in the garden. Steve will highlight how growing native plants can bring rich history, pharmacology, aesthetic, and wildlife value to every garden space.

10:30 - 11:30 Beekeeping for Pollination (Concurrent Session #2)
BOB WILLIAMS, Architect

Do you want to increase pollination in your yard or natural area? How would you go about getting a beekeeper to set up hives in your area or for you to be a beekeeper yourself? What is the difference between beekeeping for harvesting honey and beekeeping for pollination? Which flower species do honeybees pollinate? How much time does beekeeping take? How would a person get started? These and many more questions related to beekeeping will be answered.

11:30 - 1:30 Grant Awards Lunch and Break

1:30 - 2:30 Sharing the Beauty of Our Regional Landscape: The Story of the Great Lakes Gardens at Mattaei Botanical Gardens (Concurrent Session #1)
BOB GRESE, Director of Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, University of Michigan, and SHANNAN GIBB-RANDALL, RLA, InSite Design Studio

Recently, Matthaei Botanical Gardens created a new collection of conservation gardens celebrating the unique beauty and flora of the Great Lakes region. Represented within the gardens are many of the habitats found in our region: sand dunes, limestone bluffs and pavement, prairies, oak openings, and deciduous forests. With a series of accessible pathways, boardwalks, and overlooks, visitors will be able to see plants up close that they might never have a chance to see in the wild. Creating a series of gardens like this brings a unique set of challenges from physical design through implementation. This talk will provide a story of these new gardens and how they came to be.

1:30 - 2:30 Native Scents: The Therapeutic Properties of Aromatic Plants (Concurrent Session #2)
JIM MCDONALD, Herbalist

Aromatic plants are of paramount importance in herbal traditions the world over. The overarching qualities of aromatic herbs and the specific applications of several native species will be discussed.

2:30 - 2:45 Break

2:45 - 3:45 On the Rocks: Great Lakes Alvars as Repositories of Unique Plant Diversity (Concurrent Session #1)
TONY REZNICEK, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan

Alvars (glaciated limestone pavements) are unique environments in the Great Lakes region. They offer treeless habitats, but with much more extreme conditions than prairies—often with little or no soil, extreme drought susceptibility, and highly calcareous substrates. Extreme habitats generate endemism, and alvars are one of the few habitats in the Great Lakes region noted for endemics (plants that occur nowhere else). Alvars may also be old habitats—continuously treeless since they formed—making it possible for suitably adapted species to survive long-term on them.

2:45 - 3:45 Experiencing the World Around You: Thoughts of a Naturalist (Concurrent Session #2)
CRAIG ELSTON, Naturalist for the City of Hudsonville

Proper plant identification and keen observation of nature are learned skills that are critical to understand, appreciate, and interpret our natural surroundings. Craig will share his lifelong passion and show how you can improve your naturalist skills.

3:45 - 4:00 Break

4:00 - 5:00 Annual Meeting (Cash Bar Offered)



Monday, March 3
8:00 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Kellogg Center, Big Ten Wing
Registration opens at 8:00 a.m. in the Red Cedar Room
Refreshments provided

9:00 - 9:10 Greetings and Announcements

9:10 - 10:15 The Art of Observation (Keynote Presentation)
RICK DARKE, Rick Darke LLC, Photographer, Author, and Coauthor of The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden

Rick Darke believes the ability to see deeply is the most important skill any of us can bring to the enjoyment, understanding, and stewardship of private and public landscapes. This presentation will employ examples of diverse habitats and cultural landscapes to explore the art of observation and the inspiration to be found in celebrating the unprogrammed qualities of everyday places.

10:15 - 10:45 Break

10:45 - 11:45 A Local Cooperative Weed Management Approach to Address Swallow-wort in Northwest Oakland County, MI (Concurrent Session #1)
BRITTANY BIRD, Natural Resource Planner, Oakland County Parks

Beginning in 2010, under the umbrella of the Stewardship Network, public and private land managers and conservancy interests launched a multi-year project to combat invasive swallow-wort, Cynanchum spp., in northwest Oakland County. An overview of swallow-wort, its impact on natural communities, and an example of a local, cooperative, public-private management effort will be reviewed. Recommended next steps and challenges facing continued progress will also be discussed.

10:45 - 11:45 Conservation Practices for Agricultural Viability: A Shift Back to Restorative Land Practices (Concurrent Session #2)
PATRICK JUDD, LLA, ASLA, Principal Landscape Architect, Conservation Design Forum

Farm practices have remained unchecked across much of North American agriculture for well over a century, and now a customized approach to assisting farmers on how to look at revenue and expense projection in the development of a whole farm business plan is underway. Every whole system farm plan solution must be tailored to take advantage of the multiple opportunities afforded by the combination of natural resources, including the context of its watershed and cultural factors unique to each place.

11:45 - 1:30 Lunch and Break - Door Prize Drawing

1:30 - 2:30 From Start to Finish: The Importance of Proper Site Preparation and Maintenance (Concurrent Session #1)
TONYA HUNTER, LLA, MNSP¸ CA, Landscape Ecologist with Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc.

This presentation will focus on the importance of proper site preparation and maintenance techniques and how they relate to a successful seeding project.

1:30 - 2:30 Providing Backyard Habitat for Native Bees: Native Bee Nest Box Workshop (Concurrent Session #2) - Pre-registration Required!
RUFUS ISAACS, Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University, and EMILY MAY, Graduate Student, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University

Native bees provide essential pollination services to commercial agricultural crops, wildflowers, and backyard gardens. Rufus and Emily will give a short presentation on the native bees of Michigan, their importance for pollination and ecosystem functioning, and how we can support and enhance their populations by providing nesting and foraging habitat. The talk will be followed by a hands-on workshop assembling native bee nest boxes. Each participant will bring home a nest box to provide nesting habitat for native bees in their yard or garden this coming season.

2:30 - 2:45 Break

2:45 - 3:45 The Fascinating Lives of Butterflies and Moths (Concurrent Session #1)
BRENDA DZIEDZIC, Author of Learn About Butterflies in the Garden

Explore the lives of butterflies and moths as Brenda takes you on a journey of their life cycle. See some of the dangers they encounter and how to protect them by raising them inside.

2:45 - 3:45 Providing Backyard Habitat for Native Bees: Native Bee Nest Box Workshop (Concurrent Session #2) - Pre-registration Required!
RUFUS ISAACS, Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University, and EMILY MAY, Graduate Student, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University

Native bees provide essential pollination services to commercial agricultural crops, wildflowers, and backyard gardens. Rufus and Emily will give a short presentation on the native bees of Michigan, their importance for pollination and ecosystem functioning, and how we can support and enhance their populations by providing nesting and foraging habitat. The talk will be followed by a hands-on workshop assembling native bee nest boxes. Each participant will bring home a nest box to provide nesting habitat for native bees in their yard or garden this coming season.

OTHER ATTRACTIONS
A wide variety of vendors offering high quality arts and crafts, gifts, books, photographs and original paintings. A variety of business and organization exhibitors will provide educational information about native plants, habitats, products and programs.

Registration:

The registration form is available here.

PLEASE NOTE: Walk ins are welcome if you cannot meet the registration deadlines, but a lunch cannot be guaranteed.