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Cullowhee Native Plant Conference Saturday sessions, plant sale open to public

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By Julia Duvall

The public is invited to attend all Saturday programs and events at no charge as part of the annual Cullowhee Native Plant Conference, which will be held on Western Carolina University’s campus July 19-22.

The public portion, which includes presentations, a plant sale and access to vendor booths, will be at Ramsey Regional Activity Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Presentations include “Restoring a Historic Wetland: Bowyer Farm” with Brian Jorg beginning at 9:30 a.m. and “Common and Not So Common Natives for the Home Landscape” with Mike Berkley at 11:45 a.m.

The conference, which has been held at WCU for nearly four decades, has set a record with 450 participants registered for this year’s event. The paid conference field trips and workshops are at capacity, with registration closed.

The conference is designed to increase interest in and knowledge of propagating and preserving native Southeastern plant species in the landscape, and includes regional field trips by vehicle, hikes and canoe, workshops and presentations.

Participants of the conference include landscape architects, commercial nursery operators, garden club members, botanists, horticulturists from state highway departments, universities, native plant societies, botanical gardens and arboretums. The agenda also allows for informal sessions to exchange ideas, network and share materials.

For more information, go to or call WCU’s Division of Educational Outreach, who facilitates the conference, at 828-227-7397.

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