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

The Wildflower Association of Michigan (WAM) Presents


THE 31st ANNUAL MICHIGAN WILDFLOWER CONFERENCE

Growing in a Post-Wild World

Sunday March 4 and Monday March 5, 2018

The Annual Michigan Wildflower Conference presents local, regional and national speakers who are experts in their fields. Topics include native plants, invasive controls, environmental concerns, forestry, landscape design, wildlife and much more. There will be general and concurrent sessions both days.

Location and Accomodations
The conference is held at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing (map). Discounts on room rates are available for conference attendees until February 2, 2018, or until all rooms have been booked. Please call (800) 875-5090 for reservations.

Conference Agenda

Sunday, March 4, 2018

8:00-9:00 Registration and refreshments - Red Cedar Room

9:00-9:10 Greetings and announcements - Big Ten A

9:10-10:15 Keynote presentation - Big Ten A

CLAUDIA WEST, Co-author, Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes.
Planting in a Post-Wild World
We live in a global city and few wild places remain in today’s world. Planting designers have the opportunity and responsibility to bring wildness and ecological value back into our landscape. This challenge requires a new form of planting design that works with natural principles and marries horticulture with ecology. Join us as we explore how native and ecological plants will fit into our future landscape and how plant community based design strategies can help you meet aesthetic and ecological goals during your next planting project.
Learning objective:
• Analyze differences between the way plants grow in the wild and the way they grow in designed landscapes.
• Examine strategies for creating aesthetic frames around mixed planting to make them attractive and appealing to the public.
Understand how to use site constraints as assets and minimize site preparation resources.

10:15-10:45 Break - Marketplace Shopping and Networking

10:45-11:45 CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Concurrent Session #1 in Big Ten B
LARRY CORNELIS, Horticulturalist and Habitat Specialist, “Return the Landscape” Sarnia, Ontario
The History of Our Local Forests
Larry's presentation looks at both the ecological and cultural impacts on our region's forests over the last 15,000 years, which includes climate change at both ends of that time frame, native peoples' land care, a great re-wilding and European exploitation. He will finish up with a focus on southern Michigan and southern Ontario indigenous "Carolinian" tree species.

Concurrent Session #2 in Big Ten C
PETER CARRINGTON, MSU Beal Botanical Garden Assistant Curator
Wildflowers and Their Toxins
Join Beal Botanical Garden assistant curator Peter Carrington in an examination of the beauty and toxicity of our Michigan Wildflowers. When you can’t run away, and yet you have to be striking enough to attract pollinators, how do you keep from having the reproductive parts end up as some herbivore’s lunch and who become the unintended targets?

11:45-1:30 Lunch, WAM Grant Awards and Networking

1:30-2:30 CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Concurrent Session #1 in Big Ten B
JULIE HURD PhD., Retired from a university teaching career, Julie volunteers at the Grass River Natural Area, and is a WAM Grant winner.
Grass River Natural Area’s Native Plant Gardens: A WAM-funded Project after 5 years
In 2012 Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire, Michigan received a WAM grant to support a project to design, plan, and implement native plant landscaping around the new Grass River Center. Learn how a group of volunteers was able to leverage that support to create habitat gardens that bring beauty to the new building and enhance the educational initiatives of the organization. The planning process will be outlined as well as successes and challenges encountered.

Concurrent Session #2 in big Ten C
MIKE BALD, Owner and founder, “Got Weeds”?
Invasive Species? Weed Issues? Poor Soil? Rehabilitate your Land with Stewardship and Thoughtful Transition
Stewardship is the path; enjoy the journey. People have managed landscapes for thousands of years. Agriculture, and virtually any land management activity, is a dynamic undertaking. The land, the people who work it, the weather, the plants and their seeds, all are shifty and ever-changing. Throw climate change into that scenario to create quite the moving target for anyone pursuing management visions. So how do we keep our lands on a path toward improved health, resilience, and functionality? How do we give advantage native species while stemming the advance of opportunistic and unbound invasives? How do we fund the effort and build community? Presence. Simple, curious, humble, energetic, and persistent Presence builds deep connections. These connections are the roots of Stewardship; our Presence and our understanding of the dynamics at play on the land allow us to take a role and bring our influence to bear. Management practices and singular actions define our notion of Presence. Thus, an open, receptive mindset is crucial to informing and guiding our approaches.

2:30-2:45 - Break - Marketplace Shopping and Networking

2:45-3:45 CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Concurrent Session #1 in Big Ten B
JIM MCDONALD, Owner Herbcraft
Native and Naturalized Plants for Topical Use
Topical applications of plants has always been a mainstay of herbalism. Join herbalist Jim McDonald in an exploration of poultices, oils, salves, and soaks that can easily be prepared from the plants that surround us.

Concurrent Session #2 in Big Ten C
DAN CARTER, Ecologist, Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission
Lawn Alternatives for the Midwest
Blur the separation between daily life and nature by thinking about your lawn differently, and learn how to create lawns and lawn-like spaces in your landscape that promote biodiversity. This presentation will introduce grasses, sedges, and wildflowers that can be used to create lawns and lawn-like spaces that are inspired by natural plant communities in the Midwest. Establishment, management, cultural requirements, and species availability will be discussed.

4:00-5:30 WAM Annual Meeting in registration/breakfast room. All are welcome to share ideas and comments about your organization. Cash bar offered.

Monday, March 5, 2018

8:00-9:00 Registration and refreshments - Red Cedar Room

9:00-9:10 Greetings and announcements - Big Ten A

9:10-10:15 Keynote presentation - Big Ten A
CLAUDIA WEST, Co-Author, Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes
Wild and Neat: Bridging the Gap between Great Garden Design and Ecology
Our planet is rapidly losing its foundation of life—the very plants that sustain us and most other creatures on earth. We know that planting more native plants in our gardens is an important part of the solution. However, many native plant gardens that focus on ecological benefits often suffer for aesthetic challenges and fail to inspire the public. Great planting design is an essential part of the solution. Join us as we dig deeper into inspiring design principles derived from wild plant communities that resonate deeply within us and trigger stunning emotional responses. We will analyze archetypal landscapes and translate their principles into smaller garden spaces to help you create the native plant oasis of your dreams that will blow you away with stunning beauty!
Learning objective:
• Understand the reasons for aesthetic and functional challenges surrounding native planting.
• Discover the principles behind inherently beautiful archetypal landscapes.
• Apply principles of stunning wild landscapes to smaller garden spaces and learn how to spark strong emotional responses.
Explore countless inspiring design solutions that bring nature back into our gardens.

10:15-10:45 Break - Marketplace shopping and networking

10:45-11:45 CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Concurrent Session #1 in Big Ten B
JAMES TOPPIN and JANET TRAUB
Small World: Mosses, Liverworts and Hornworts
Looking for adventure? You can start by exploring the bryophytes growing in your back yard! Mosses are small plants that are part of virtually every landscape, even in the heart of the city. Many are drought-tolerant. A few species are aquatic. Most mosses are perennial and thrive throughout the year. About 400 kinds are reported in Michigan. Most of the 160 species of liverworts in Michigan grow in moist habitats. Fossil liverworts represent the earliest known land plants, dating back over 450 million years. Three species of hornworts are known from Michigan, usually observed in late fall on bare soil in places such as old fields. We'll explore the diversity and interesting natural history of these lesser-known plants.

Concurrent Session #2 Big Ten C
DAVID SCHUEN, Michigan Department of Transportation
Conservation Planning for Rare Native Plants along I-75 in Monroe County
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has created a conservation plan guiding the reconstruction of I-75 as it passes just west of Lake Erie. The plan calls for MDOT to perform its largest plant mitigation program ever. Learn how native plants have enjoyed a revival in the I-75 right of way and how MDOT plans to manage the plants during and after construction.

11:45 -1:30 Lunch, Networking and Break. Door prizes!

1:30 – 2:30 CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Concurrent Session #1 in Big Ten B
BEN VANDERWEIDE, Oakland Township and MIKE LOSEY, Springfield Township
Act Locally: Land Preservation and Stewardship Through Local Government
Local land preservation and management has traditionally been left to private individuals and non-profit conservation organizations, but local governments play a vital role in protecting natural communities. Ben VanderWeide and Mike Losey work for local governments in southeast Michigan to manage protected natural areas, control invasive species, and provide outreach to residents. They will explore how local governments can provide conservation services to benefit local flora and fauna, enhance quality of life for residents, and increase property values.

Concurrent Session #2 in Big Ten C
AMY MCINTIRE, Owner, City Girls Farm
Using Livestock to Tackle Invasive Species
Amy will be sharing the success achieved using livestock (goats) to help control invasive species, the pros and cons and the obstacles to overcome when proposing using livestock instead of chemical treatments.

2:30-2:45 Break - Marketplace Shopping and Networking

2:45-3:45 CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Concurrent Session #1 in Big Ten B
JULIE HURD, PhD. Retired from a university teaching career, Julie member of the Handweavers Guild of America and the Michigan League of Handweavers.
Nature’s Palette: Native Plants as Textile Dyes
Prior to 1856, when the first synthetic dye was produced in a laboratory, all colors in clothing, household, and ceremonial textiles were derived from naturally occurring sources. Whether for the medieval tapestries of Europe, the glowing colors of ancient Scottish tartans, or the silken kimonos of Asia, skilled dyers practiced their craft and passed on their knowledge of dyeing fiber using materials found in nature. Plant sources were employed most often, but insects, other animal sources, and naturally occurring inorganic substances sometimes played a role in bringing color into human surroundings. Learn how color can be extracted from natural sources to create a predictable and lasting dye on fiber. It may look like magic, but is really chemistry, physics, botany, and more.

Concurrent Session #2 Big Ten C
PAUL GLAUM, Phd. Candidate University of Michigan, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Parsing the Particulars of Pollinator Populations: Dynamics of Wild Insect Pollinator Communities in Natural and Human Altered Environments.
Wild insect pollinators play critical roles in supporting both agricultural output and general plant biodiversity. Unfortunately, numerous pollinating insect species are experiencing alarming declines. Protecting pollinators requires a better understanding of how their abundance and biodiversity is maintained in natural habitats as well as what might be expected when these natural habitats are altered due to human land use. In this talk I will explore both of these issues and detail some efforts which may offer support for these essential organisms