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

2017 WAM Conference Speakers

Keynote Speakers


Lynn Steiner is one of the Upper Midwest's best-known garden writers and a frequent speaker at gardening and environmental events. She is the author and photographer of several books that advocate for the effective use of native plants in the typical home landscape: Landscaping with Native Plants of Michigan, (named a Michigan Notable Book for 2007); Rain Gardens: Sustainable Landscaping for a Beautiful Yard and a Healthy World; Landscaping with Native Plants of Minnesota; and Landscaping with Native Plants of Wisconsin. She also helped develop, wrote, and provided photographs for The Complete Guide to Gardening series, 10 regional gardening books published in 2012 by Cool Springs Press. For 15 years, Lynn was the editor of Northern Gardener magazine, the official publication of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. Under her direction, Northern Gardener received several Overall Excellence awards from the Minnesota Magazine & Publication Association.

Midwestern Masterpiece: Celebrating Plants and Plant Communities
This program highlights the diversity and beauty of our unique Midwestern plant heritage, including tall-grass prairie, oak savanna, Eastern deciduous forest, Northern coniferous forest, and pine barrens. It includes a mini travelogue on places 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.


Ben Vogt is the owner of Monarch Gardens, a prairie garden design firm in Nebraska. He has published 170 articles for Houzz.com. Ben's writing and photography have appeared in dozens of magazines and books, including Gardening for Butterflies (The Xerces Society), Pollinator Friendly Gardening, and The Tallgrass Prairie Reader. His newest book, A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future, will be released soon.

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

Concurrent Session Speakers

MARIETTE NOWAK, author of Landscaping for Birds of the Midwest
Presentation: Landscaping for Birds

Presentation: Moths, Our Nocturnal Pollinators

JAMES DAKE, author of Field Guide to Northwest Michigan, and Education Director at Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire, MI
Presentation: Grass River Natural Area Story

Presentation: Dangers of Enhanced Glyphosate Products

Presentation: MSU Sentinel Trees Project

DAVID WARNERS, Professor, Calvin College
Presentation: Story of Plaster Creek Stewards

CRAIG LIMPACH, owner of Genius Loci
Presentation: Woodland Wildflowers

HEATHER KEOUGH, Huron Manistee National Forest
Presentation: Karner Blue Butterfly Habitat Story

JIM McDONALD, Herbcraft
Presentation: Medicinal and Edible Native Plants

Presentation: Shoreline and Aquatic Invasives