2015 Native Plant Symposium

Saturday, September 19, 2015 | 9:00 am to 5:00 pm | Brown University | Providence, RI

Registration closes 5 pm on Monday, September 14. (No tickets will be available at the door.)

8:00 am – 9:00 am | check-in + continental breakfast

9:00 am – 9:15 am | welcome

9:15 am – 10:15 am | Locally Sourced: The Brooklyn Botanic Garden Expands Its Native Flora Collection

The Brooklyn Botanic garden has expanded its collection with unusual parameters. In an effort to sample local species and genetic diversity, all of the plants for the new expansion garden were grown from seed collected locally in the wild. This represents a unique approach to sourcing plants for public garden displays. Curator Uli Lorimer will share the history and design of the new garden with emphasis on how field botany and horticulture can inform each other to produce a garden that is not only aesthetic but [also] sustainable and full of life.

Uli LorimerUli Lorimer is the Curator of Native Flora at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Program Chair for the Torrey Botanical Society.

10:30 am – 11:30 am | Seed: A Critical Natural Resource

Seed of native species is a valuable natural resource that has long gone unacknowledged and certainly under managed.  How we use seed, how we translocate seed in our land management and restoration activities, has a profound effect on the genetics of wild populations of plants and their long term sustainability.  As we start to manage for climate change how we also manage our seed resurces will become ever more critical.  This presentation will explore the basis for informed seed management decisions and will advocate for increased, cooperative action to protect our seed resources.

Edward TothEdward Toth is the director of the Greenbelt Native Plant Center operated by the City of New York, Department of Parks.

11:30 am – 12:30 pm | Wild + Neat: Native Plants that Bridge the Gap Between Horticulture + Ecology

So you think Natives are weedy and messy?  This lecture debunks this myth and explores the aesthetic value of native plants in modern-day landscape situations.  You’ll be fascinated by the range of landscape styles and functional plantings created with our native flora.  Numerous design examples and plant combinations demonstrate the beauty, diversity, and functionality created with regionally appropriate plants.  We will explore how native species grow in the wild and translate this knowledge into powerful design principles for your landscape.  Enjoy and be inspired!

Claudia WestClaudia West is the ecological sales manager at North Creek Nurseries, in Landenberg, PA.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm | lunch
optional tours of the Brown University Herbarium

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm | The Self-Perpetuating Garden: Setting Processes in Motion

We go to great effort and expense installing every plant in our landscapes, yet nature spent millennia perfecting plants’ abilities to self-reproduce. How can we capitalize on this, and encourage planted, existing, and new species to colonize our landscapes? Learn about protocols for creating ecologically rich, dynamic landscapes where nature does much of the “planting.”

Larry WeanerLarry Weaner is the founder of Larry Weaner Landscape Associates in Glenside, PA.

2:40 pm – 3:50 pm | Propagating Change: Local Seeds + Local Sowers

[panel discussion] In search of local ecotypes: exploring an eco-regional approach to growing plants

Cayte McDonough is the Nursery Production Manager for New England Wildflower Society’s Nasami Farm Native Plant Nursery.

Polly Weigand is the Executive Director of the Long Island Native Plant Initiative.

Hope Leeson is the Botanist for the Rhode Island Natural History Survey and leads the Rhody Native™ initiative.

Joined by Edward Toth + Claudia West

Mark RichardsonModerated by Mark Richardson, Director of Horticulture at the New England Wildflower Society.

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm |  Conservation by Design: Native Gardens Past + Present

The roots of today’s interest in native gardens extend back so some of the earliest writings on American horticulture and a fascination with the American flora.  Yet it wasn’t until the late 1800s and early 1900s that several groups of designers across the US began to extoll gardens based on the regional native flora.  In this talk, Bob Grese will explore the evolution of the native garden and suggest design lessons for today.

Bob GreseBob Grese is a Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Michigan, Director of the Mattaei Botanical Gardens + Nichols Arboretum, and editor of The Native Landscape Reader.

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm | reception

Sunday, September 20, 2015 | 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Optional Field Sessions

(limit 25 per session)

• Option A | Botanizing Hike
Great Swamp Management Area, West Kingston, RI
lead by Rick Enser + Doug McGrady


• Option B | Seed-Cleaning Workshop
Kettle Pond Visitor Center, Charlestown, RI
lead by Hope Leeson, Polly Weigand + Chris McHugh

Saturday, September 19th | Symposium Fee: $100.00 (includes continental breakfast, buffet lunch, + closing reception)

Sunday, September 20th | Field Session Fee: $30.00 (space is limited)

Symposium will take place in Carmichael Auditorium, 85 Waterman Street, Providence, RI, 02912.  Driving Directions

Parking & Transportation: Ample free side street parking is available within walking distance.  We recommend that you allow time to find a parking spot. Kennedy Plaza, a hub of Rhode Islands bus system (RIPTA), is .6 miles away. Numerous busses also run from Kennedy Plaza to within a block of 85 Waterman Street.

QUESTIONS? Contact office@RIWPS.org

Registration closes 5 pm on Monday, September 14. (No tickets will be available at the door.)

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