Last weekend marked the third annual Midwest Native Plant Conference, and it was a hoot. A team of dedicated volunteers came together almost four years ago, hatched plans for this event, and brought it to fruition in 2009. The conference has gotten better every year, and we look forward to Midwest Native Plant Conference 2012, which will be held on the weekend of July 27-29, at the same place it was this year.
A special think you to Nina Harfmann, who agreed to put her vast photography skills to work as official event photographer. Each and every photo used in this post was snapped by Nina.
Bergamo Center, hub of conference activities. It's a one stop shop: rooms for our speakers, dining hall, vendor space, a wonderful inner courtyard for displaying plants for sale, and even 61 inexpensive but topnotch rooms for overnighters.
Ohio Prairie Nursery for their major sponsorship.
Cheryl Harner, and Jim Davidson.
Dr. Donald Geiger, the grounds feature extensive prairie plantings that sport species such as these purple coneflowers, Echinacea purpurea. The diversity of flora and fauna that we find on our forays around the grounds is astonishing.
Brian Jorg on hand. Here, he teaches a photography workshop, and later he delivered one of our keynote programs, on native orchids. Brian is not only an amazing photographer, he is also an outstanding biologist and field man who possesses an enormous bank of knowledge about flora and fauna.
Ann Geise, an artist from Cincinnati whose work has been featured far and wide. It was a great stroke of luck for us when she agreed to create our conference logo, which you can see at the Midwest Native Plant Conference website. Scroll to the bottom of the website's home page and view her rendering of rattlesnake-master with a coral hairstreak butterfly. We gave a few of those away this year as awards.
Saturday featured two sessions of breakout lectures, and that's Dr. David Brandenburg teaching one of them. David works at Dawes Arboretum, and is author of the new benchmark in plant field guides, the Field Guide to Wildflowers of North America. CLICK HERE for a review I wrote about this book for the Columbus Dispatch.
Derek Hennen photodocuments something at Cedar Bog. We feel it is important to have excursions into the wild to actually see and feel native plants in their natural haunts, so our Sunday trips visit the best natural areas in the Dayton region.
Proceeds from this year's conference went to support the following organizations: The Nature Conservancy (specifically their Sunshine Ridge project, an effort to link the Edge of Appalachia Preserve with Shawnee State Forest); Dawes Arboretum; MEEC (Marianist Environmental Education Center); and the Cedar Bog Association.
Thanks to all who came, and please put the Midwest Native Plant Conference on your calendar for next year.