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

30 Years Later...Still Growing Strong


30th ANNUAL MICHIGAN WILDFLOWER CONFERENCE
Sunday March 5 and Monday March 6, 2017
Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing


The Michigan Wildflower Conference is designed for persons who are interested in Michigan native plants and their habitats. 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 3, 2017, or until all rooms have been booked. Please call (800) 875-5090 for reservations.

Conference Agenda

Sunday, March 5, 2017

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

LYNN STEINER, Author and Photographer, Landscaping with Native Plants of Michigan
Midwestern Masterpiece: Celebrating Plants and Plant Communities
This program points out the diversity and beauty of our unique Midwestern plant heritage, including tall-grass prairie, oak savanna, Eastern deciduous forest, and Northern coniferous forest. It includes a mini travelogue on places where you can see natural plant communities, as well as restorations. It shows how to use natural plant communities as models for landscapes and gardens. The program includes photos and descriptions of some lesser-known Midwestern native flowers, grasses, groundcovers, ferns, shrubs, and trees for landscape and garden use.

10:15-10:45 Break - Please visit our vendors in the Centennial Room

10:45-11:45 Concurrent sessions

Big Ten B
CRAIG LIMPACH, Owner, Genius Loci, Inc.
Woodland Gardens: An Ecological Design Model
There is more to a woodland garden than hostas and Japanese painted ferns. We have hundreds of great native woodland trees, shrubs, and perennials to choose from and a wide variety of woodland expressions that include wetlands, ponds, and dry places that can be adapted to residential settings. We will explore the possibilities using an ecological design model of an old growth beech-maple forest.

Big Ten C
DAVID L. ROBERTS, PhD, Senior Academic Specialist, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University
Did My Herbicide Do That? No Way! Unintended Impacts of Herbicides on Non-Target Plants
A plethora of herbicides are available on today’s market for combating unwanted (weeds) and invasive plants. Regrettably, homeowners and professional applicators alike are making serious errors with the utilization of the various herbicides for their intended outcomes—and the problem is growing! When is Roundup not really Roundup? What is imazapyr and why is it mixed with various glyphosate formulations? If herbicides are misapplied, what can we do to remediate their impacts on desirable plants? These are just a few of the questions we need to ponder before making an herbicide application. Actual field case studies will be presented during this informative session.

11:45-1:30 Grant awards lunch and break - Big Ten A

1:30-2:30 Concurrent sessions

Big Ten B
DAVID WARNERS, Director for Research, Plaster Creek Stewards, Calvin College
A Reconciliation Ecology Approach to Watershed Restoration: Healing a Creek with Native Plants
Plaster Creek, running from Caledonia to the Grand River just north of Roosevelt Park in Kent County, is known as the most contaminated waterway in West Michigan. The main problems—high E. coli levels, heavy sediment loads, thermal pollution, and excessive nutrients—are all triggered and exacerbated by stormwater runoff. For decades Plaster Creek has been mistreated and neglected, a trend that Plaster Creek Stewards is working to change by focusing on education, research, and on-the-ground restoration activities. One of our recent restoration approaches has been an urban curb-cut rain garden project. During the summer of 2015, 13 urban curb-cut rain gardens were installed in the Alger Heights neighborhood in southeast Grand Rapids. Because this is a relatively novel project and many of the native plants have never been used in urban restoration projects before, we developed an experimental design to test the relative success at both the species and garden scale. Our research evaluated all 13 gardens planted in 2015 and addressed the following four questions: 1) Which native species survived best in curb-cut rain gardens? 2) Which native species performed best in curb-cut rain gardens? 3) Which gardens exhibited the greatest survivorship? And 4) Which gardens scored highest for performance? From the results of this study, we can indentify factors that strongly influence urban garden infrastructure projects like these.

Big Ten C
JULIE CRICK, Natural Resources Educator, Michigan State Extension
Michigan Eyes on the Forest and Sentinel Tree Monitoring
This talk will cover the economic and ecologic costs of invasive forest pests, an overview of three invasive forest pests that have yet to become established in our Michigan forest ecosystems, and what you can do to support the early detection and rapid response efforts currently underway.

2:30-2:45 Break

2:45-3:45 Concurrent sessions

Big Ten B
LYNN STEINER, Author and Photographer, Landscaping with Native Plants of Michigan
Native Plants for Challenging Situations
Native plants are well-suited to a wide variety of tough situations, such as dry shade; poor, sandy soil; wetlands; etc. This talk explores some of the best native flowers, groundcovers, shrubs, trees, and vines for these and other challenging situations, highlighting their aesthetic value and attractiveness to native birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects.

Big Ten C
HEATHER KEOUGH, Huron-Manistee National Forest, Baldwin/White Cloud Ranger District, Karner Blue Recovery Team and Michigan Karner Blue Butterfly Working Group
Reversing the Loss of Pollinators
The Baldwin/White Cloud Ranger District is working with partners and volunteers to reverse the loss of pollinators, including the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly, by restoring savannas and other open areas within the Huron-Manistee National Forest. The district is dedicated to educating the public about the importance of conserving rare savanna species, and encourages native plant restoration on federal, state, and private lands.

3:45-4:00 Break

4:00-5:00 Annual meeting (cash bar offered) - Red Cedar Room

Monday, March 6, 2017

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

BEN VOGT, Owner, Monarch Gardens
A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future
This talk focuses on why gardening with native plants is an ethical and even moral imperative in a world of climate change and species extinction. It explores ecology, science, psychology, and philosophy as we ponder how to embrace gardens as places to create social and cultural change that benefits all species.

10:15-10:45 Break - Please visit our vendors in the Centennial Room

10:45-11:45 Concurrent sessions

Big Ten B
MARIETTE NOWAK, Author, Birdscaping in the Midwest, and Past Vice President of Wild Ones National
Birdscaping in the Midwest
Learn how to increase the variety of birds in your yard by growing native plants that offer birds their natural habitat and a yearlong smorgasbord of berries, nuts, seeds, and insects. Gardeners and native plant enthusiasts can play a vital role in restoring and preserving native communities that support not only birds, but also other wildlife, including butterflies, bees, and bats.

Big Ten C
DREW RAYNER, West Michigan Cooperative Species Management Area (CISMA) Coordinator
Invasive Species Management in West Michigan
This presentation will focus on both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species work being conducted in West Michigan. In this talk, Drew will discuss many invasive species that are an issue not only in West Michigan, but throughout the State of Michigan. In addition to discussing some of these species, we will also focus on some of the responses that are happening and the efforts of the West Michigan CISMA to combat these species.

11:45-1:30 Lunch, door prize drawing, and break - Big Ten A

1:30-2:30 Concurrent sessions

Big Ten B
JAMES DAKE, MA, Science Education, Education Director Grass River Natural Area, Bellaire, MI; Author, Grass River Natural Area's Field Guide to Northwest Michigan: Its Flora, Fauna, Geology and History
James Dake takes you on a virtual tour of Michigan flora and fauna while discussing what makes this region unique. Through a photographic presentation and interactive participation, you will explore the history and opportunities at Grass River Natural Area and the creation of the Field Guide. Get inspired to enjoy the outdoors while protecting our local landscape.

Big Ten C
JIM MCDONALD, Herbalist; Owner, Herbcraft
Meadow Medicine
Meadows, fields, and prairies offer an abundance of medicine. Alongside their innate beauty, they provide habitat for a diverse array of medicinal plants, whose leaves, roots, and blossoms can address a number of common concerns. Join herbalist Jim McDonald in a discussion of the practical use of these plants, which can readily replace an excess of lawn.

2:30-2:45 Break

2:45-3:45 Concurrent sessions

Big Ten B
JEN LAU, Evolutionary Ecologist, Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, and W.K. Kellogg Biological Station
Climate Change Effects on Native Plants

Big Ten C
ILSE GEBHARD, Monarch Watch Conservation Specialist, Chair of Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones Monarch Committee
Moths, Our Nocturnal Pollinators
Colorful photos document the diversity of moths found in rural Kalamazoo County. Both moths and/or their caterpillars are shown along with the native plants that host them. Also discussed is the significance of insects both to plant pollination and as a food source for birds.