Friday, July 16, 2010

Midwest Native Plant Conference- August 6th-8th

The 2nd Annual Midwest Native Plant Conference will take place August 6, 7 & 8, 2010, at the Bergamo Center in Dayton, Ohio. Attendees will enjoy learning from experts on a wide array of topics associated with native plants.

Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis

A different keynote speaker will be featured each day of the conference. Friday evening’s speaker is Wil Hershberger, co-author of “The Songs of Insects”. Wil will open a door to the fascinating world of insects and their songs. One will definitely come away with an appreciation of insects and their importance to our world after hearing Wil’s talk. Afterwards, an evening field trip will be offered to look and listen for insects and other nocturnal animals. You can also visit his blog, here.

Purple Coneflower, Echinacea Purpurea

The Saturday evening banquet will feature artist and writer Julie Zickefoose. Julie is a widely published natural history writer and artist. She is a monthly commentator for National Public Radio and has a popular blog with almost 14,000 readers each month. Julie lives with her family on an 80-acre wildlife sanctuary near Whipple, OH. Her daily walks on the property bring inspiration for her artwork and writings.

Judy Semroc, a Conservation Specialist for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (Natural Areas Division), will be the Sunday morning speaker. Judy will use macrophotography to demonstrate the unique botanical structures and feeding adaptations found within the important relationships between native plants and their pollinators. Tips on how to enhance the garden to attract pollinators will also be covered.

Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa

Saturday morning will provide breakout sessions on a large variety of native plant topics. Native plant propagation, native woody plants, summer wildflowers, survival strategies of plants, butterfly gardening, rain gardens and goldenrods are just a few of the subjects.

Field trips and tours will be offered each day. Early arrivals will be treated to a session by Macy Reynolds on using Newcomb’s field guide to identify plants. Friday and Saturday evening will have a guided tour on the grounds to identify singing insects and other nocturnal life. On Saturday, there will be an early morning bird walk. Sunday, after the keynote speech, attendees will depart for field trips in the Dayton/Springfield area. There are twelve different field trips from which to choose. Cedar Bog, Possum Creek MetroPark, Prairie Road Fen, Gallagher Fen, Germantown MetroPark and Beaver Creek Wetlands are just a few of the destinations.

Vendors will be on hand with native plants, books, artwork and other items that will help one appreciate the benefits of going native. Vendors will also be open to the general public on Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Master Gardeners and Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists may use these events for accredited hours and educational requirements. Also, there will be a limited number of scholarships for young naturalists and to Ohio Young Birders, aged 10-18. These scholarships are to help young people connect with nature. If you are interested in getting more information about scholarships, or in donating to the scholarship fund, please contact Kathy McDonald at or call 513.941.6497

The conference is held at the Bergamo Center, located on the campus of Mount St. John, a beautiful 150-acre property. The Mount St. John Nature Preserve was named an Ohio Natural Landmark by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in 1988, recognizing it as "an outstanding environmental education area possessing exceptional value in illustrating and interpreting the natural heritage of Ohio." The land is managed by the Marianist Environmental and Education Center(MEEC).

For more information and to register for the Midwest Native Plant Conference, please visit our website at Proceeds from the 2010 conference will Beaver Creek Wetlands Association, The Sunshine Corridor Project and MEEC .


  1. Hi Janet. I wish I could go, but this is right in the middle of my "busy" season.

    If you have a chance to talk to Wil Hershberger, could you mention the occurrence of Roesel's Katydid's in northern Indiana, as documented recently on both my blog and Carl Strang's blog (, Thanks!

  2. Looking forward to seeing you at the event Janet. Thanks for all you do to make the field trips flow smoothly for the participants, and the leaders too!

    You pick the coolest places to see and we'll have a great time in the field, seeing amazing plants and bugs. Thanks again for all you do! Cheryl