We pretty much pack the place with nearly 200 people, which is the limit for the facility. This year, the conference was sold out a month or so prior to the event. Get in early next year! We've thought about perhaps relocating to a larger venue - everything must be BIGGER and BETTER! - but event organizers are reluctant to do that. The conference seems to be just about the perfect size, and the people at Bergamo and Mount St. John are fabulous to work with. So, here it will stay, I think.
Our other presenters included Cheryl Harner, Bob Henn, John Howard, Terry Fredrich, Janet Martin, Don Geiger, Macy Reynolds, and yours truly. Between everyone, they managed to cover an incredibly diverse array of topics.
Lisa Rainsong, Wendy Partridge and I combined to lead expeditions both Friday and Saturday night, and the ever-popular singing insects were a main target. This is a remarkably tame Oblong-winged Katydid, tolerating our nightlights quite well. It sounds a bit like a frog.
We also featured "mothing" this year. Mary Ann Barnett, Scott Hogsten and Roger Grossenbacher spearheaded the moth sheets and lured in a variety of interesting creatures. And all of this nighttime action within a few hundreds yards of the conference venue!
I always lead the trip to Cedar Bog, and that's our group, above. Cedar Bog is also a recipient of proceeds generated by the Midwest Native Plant Conference, and to date we have raised about $2,000 for the Cedar Bog Association. We also split conference proceeds between other worthy recipients, and the others this year were The Nature Conservancy's Sunshine Corridor Project, Marianist Environmental Education Center, Ohio Natural Areas and Preserves Association, and Beaver Creek Wetland Association.
A huge thanks to all of the volunteers who manage this conference. I'm reluctant to start trying to name everyone, as I'm certain to forget someone, but you know who you are and everyone that is a part of the conference greatly appreciates your work! I will single out one person, and that's Diana Malas, who acted as our conference CEO this year and did an outstanding job!
The Midwest Native Plant Conference is slated to take place on August 1 thru 3, 2014, at Bergamo Center. Registration usually opens in April. Be there!