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Professional Growth and Enrichment

Thursday Workshops and General and Concurrent Sessions

Thursday July 18th

9:15am 10:30 am– Plenary Session 2
The Light of the Longleaf with Bill Finch

10:30am - 12 Noon– Plenary Session 3
Woody Natives: Making Quick and Confident Choices with Ginger Woolridge

For eons, the Southeastern Appalachians have provided a sanctuary for the remarkably rich palette of native plants in eastern North America. As the ice ages and ice flows passed through the east, plants could retreat south along the mountains. Species have been preserved here as they have not been in Europe and parts of northern Asia. We are in a period of significant species loss – insects, birds, and others. We know planting natives is a fundamental piece of the effort to preserve our environmental heritage. Fortunately, we have attractive and proven plants for almost any use. Join us to see how our beautiful, and tough, trees and shrubs can be used to stunning effect in our landscape projects.


Thursday Afternoon Concurrent Session 1 - 1:30pm – 2:30pm

1A - Conjure in Carolina; an examination of spiritual rootwork in NC – James Stewart

This session will discuss and examine a brief history of African American rootwork in the American south, as well as plants native to the Carolinas and their various spiritual uses.

1B -Diversity on Display; What the plants are trying to tell you at Auburn University’s Davis Arboretum – Patrick Thompson

1C   The Alabama Flora: Getting the word out on a neglected flora that is full of surprises - Dr. Brian Keener

Acre for acre, Alabama is one of the most diverse states in the country and continues to produce a steady stream of newly discovered plant species. However, there was a darker period when the state has traditionally lagged behind in the study and knowledge of its rich botanical heritage. With the publication of the now classic 2001 paper describing the Ketona Dolomite glades with the narrow endemics, a renaissance has occurred in Alabama. This talk will explore the developments over the last 20 years and plans for the future that have Alabama moving forward in botanical study and disseminating that knowledge to the masses through various media. Recently named and described taxa, as well as, other new ones in the works will also be highlighted.

1D  What's Wrong with Crepe Myrtles?- Geoffrey Neal

What's wrong with crepe myrtles?- But my family always had nandinas in their garden! Those periwinkle flowers are so pretty, though, c'mon...just one, it'll be ok! Join us for an entertaining (and informative) romp through the aisles of mass-market garden centers and discover that there are indeed alternatives to the landscape plants that have been part of our horticultural vocabulary for entirely too long.

2:45 - Plenary Session 3 - Land Trusts Panel

Non-profit Land Trusts are thriving and currently protect hundreds of thousands of acres across the country and beyond of both private and public lands with conservation easements. So what does that really mean for you, me and the environment? A diverse mix of land trust professionals will shine a light on the current status of this important aspect of conservation with discussions on various ways properties are protected by different types of land trusts, what a trusts role is in conservation, public vs. private properties, landowner benefits, how can you get involved and other burning topics that you have been wondering about. Panelists: Chris Miller, Lisa Lord, Gary Wein, Meredith Clebsch & Katherine Eddins.

Thursday Afternoon Concurrent Session 2 - 4:00pm – 5:00pm

2E - Native Berries for Migratory Birds: A Nutritional Perspective with Susan Smith Pagano

Wild fruits are an important resource for songbirds and may help to support the extraordinary energetic demands of long-distance migration. But fruits can be variable in terms of their nutrition and biochemical content. Many native shrubs provide energy-dense and calorific berries that are preferred by migrating birds, and some may also provide other important dietary components like antioxidants. Successful habitat management for migratory birds could incorporate a variety of native plants that produce high-quality berries in order to help birds fill up their fuel tanks before continuing migration. 

2FA - Force for Nature: Lucy Braun with Meg Hanrahan

A Force for Nature: Lucy Braun" is a one-hour documentary that explores the life of E. Lucy Braun (1889 -1971), one of the most influential natural scientists of the 20th century. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Braun was a pioneer in the science of plant ecology, a trailblazer as a woman of science, and a leader in the early conservation movement. She helped establish the Ecological Society of America - the first professional organization for ecologists in the U.S. - and numerous preservation groups, including The Nature Conservancy. Lucy and her sister Annette, an internationally respected entomologist, traveled 65,000 miles conducting scientific research for Lucy's landmark book "Deciduous Forests of Eastern North America", published in 1950. It documents forests from Florida to Canada. Their travels resulted in over 1700 photographs that depict ecosystems across the country. Before Rachel Carson, there was E. Lucy Braun. Enjoy the story of this trailblazing woman of science.

2G - Gardening for joy and abundance or how to plan and maintain a garden that brims with biodiversity with Chris Liloia

This session will be a gardening talk informed by 18 years working in piedmont North Carolina. There will be lots of pretty piedmont plant pictures, each with tales of the myriad ways that these plants support pollinators and all the other critters. There will also be some artful garden maintenance tricks that will allow you to just say no to the ecological disaster that is winter cleanup while keeping (the appearance) of chaos at bay. Wattle structures built from last year’s perennial stems, Andy Goldsworthy brushpiles, and stickery will be discussed! Fun will be had! Here and in your own garden.

2H - Medicinal Trees and Shrubs of Appalachia with Erika Galentin

Did you know that many of our beloved native trees and shrubs have medicinal value? Join clinical herbalist Erika Galentin for a talk on medicinal trees and shrubs native to Appalachia and their traditional and modern use in supporting the health and wellbeing of humanity. She will cover parts used such as barks, root barks, roots, flowers, leaves, and fruits, as well as harvesting techniques (without killing the plant) and how extracts are prepared for modern clinical use.

2I Building a Piet Oudolf Designed Meadow Garden - Gregg Tepper

Join Horticulturist Gregg Tepper to lean about the Piet Oudolf Meadow Garden at Delaware Botanic Gardens and how it came to be. From the initial contact of Piet Oudolf and planning discussions to the full implementation and manitenance of the meadow, participants will learn of the many steps involved to create the unique garden work of art.

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