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

Annual Michigan Wildflower Conference Speakers for 2018

Keynote Speaker

Claudia West is a leading voice in the emerging field of ecological planting design. Known for her passionate advocacy of plant-driven design, Claudia is a widely sought out speaker and consultant who applies the technologies of plant systems to bring essential natural functions back into our cities and towns. She has worked on all sides of the green industry—as a designer, a grower, installer, and land manager—grounding her innovative work in pragmatic solutions that address the realities of our urbanizing world.

Throughout her entire life, Claudia has been immersed in the plant world. She grew up in eastern Germany on a family owned nursery, florist business and design/build firm. She received a Master's Degree of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Her intense studies of plant habitats and the science of plant community-based design strategies at the renowned school for horticulture in Weihenstephan, Germany built a solid foundation for her current work. Her love of American native plants brought her to America where she immersed herself in the study of American flora and mid-Atlantic ecosystems. She is the co-founder of the Phyto Studio, a niche landscape architecture firm dedicated to crafting artistic & technical solutions for the next green revolution: the creation of the plant-covered city. She is the co-author of the critically acclaimed book, Planting in a Post-Wild World.

Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes

Wild and Neat: Bridging the Gap between Great Garden Design and Ecology

Concurrent Speakers

LARRY CORNELIS, Horticulturalist and Habitat Specialist from "Return the Landscape an organization in Sarnia, Ontario that specializes in growing native plants, ecological restoration and landscape design, and environmental education.
Presentation: The History of our Local Forests

PETER CARRIGTON, MSU Beal Botanical Garden Assistant Curator
Presentation: Wildflowers and Their Toxins

JULIE HURD, PhD. Julie Hurd is retired from a university teaching career. She now enjoys supporting arts and environmental organizations through volunteer activities. She leads weekly wildflower hikes at Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire during blooming season as well as teaching gardening, weaving, and dyeing classes and workshops at meetings and conferences. She is a Master Gardener and a member of the Handweavers Guild of America and the Michigan League of Handweavers.
Grass River Natural Area's Native Plant Gardens: A WAM -funded Project after 5 Years.
Nature's Palette: Native Plants as Textile Dyes

MIKE BALD, Owner and founder, “Got Weeds”? , a Vermont company that uses manual and non-synthetic control methods to eradicate, contain, or suppress non-native invasive plants.
Presentation: Invasive Species? Weed Issues? Poor Soil? Rehabilitate your Land with Stewardship and Thoughtful Transition

JIM MCDONALD, Owner Herbcraft
Presentation: Native and Naturalized Plants for Topical Use

DAN CARTER, Ecologist, Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission
Presentation: Lawn Alternatives for the Midwest

Presentation: Small World: Mosses, Liverworts and Hornworts

DAVID SCHUEN, Michigan Department of Transportation
Presentation: Conservation Planning for Rare Native Plants along I-75 in Monroe County

BEN VANDERWEIDE, Natural Areas Stewardship Manager for Oakland Township Parks and Recreation in southeast Michigan with a doctorate in biology (focused on plant ecology) Ben is passionate about protecting and managing natural areas. MIKE LOSEY, is a Natural Resource Manager for Springfield Township with a passionate love of the land and landscapes.
Presentation: Act Locally: Land Preservation and Stewardship Through Local Government

AMY MCINTIRE, Owner of City Girls Farm, an urban farm based in Pontiac, MI. She loves all things goats and will rent her goats for conservation grazing.
Presentation: Using Livestock to Tackle Invasive Species

PAUL GLAUM, PhD. Candidate University of Michigan, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Presentation: Parsing the particulars of Pollinator Populations: Dynamics of Wild Insect Pollinator Communities in Natural and Human Altered Environments.