Saturday, February 20, 2016
Anderson Student Center, University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Ave, St. Paul, MN 55105

Good Design Matters

After digging out from yesterday's storm, I look around.  The snow outlines the branches.  It is quiet and peaceful.  Suddenly a squirrel pops out from under the snow carrying a nut dug up from somewhere below.  Other tracks are visible on the snow with the doings of the day.  A hawk glides silently overhead.  No sign of guests at the feeder this morning.  Perhaps they are just tucked in for now, waiting for the day to warm ... or??

Our conference on good design gets to the heart of this matter--
How can we improve our gardens, our landscapes to offer the habitat needs of pollinators, beneficial insects and birds?
How might our landscapes offer refuge all year round? 
What part do plant selections make?
Heather Holm, keynote speaker opens the day offering ideas on how we might offer native bees enhanced nesting sites and more food.  Her current 2-year project focuses on native bee species found on cultivated blueberry farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The decline of honeybees, native bees, monarch butterflies and other pollinators has led to local, state and federal projects.  On the federal level, the US with Mexico and Canada agreed to save the monarch butterflies.

In the afternoon, Benjamin Vogt, writer, landscaper and professor asks us to break with traditional methods of "cleaning up" our gardens in the fall and spring.  He talks about the beauty of planning for a winter garden, and how to  change our habits to offer wildlife habitat even in the snow and cold.

Chris Behringer of Behringer Designs and Arlys Freeman of Midwest Floating Islands show results of improved water quality using native plants and the soil food web.  Their studies are based on the man-made floating habitats that offer homes and food for pollinators, wildlife and fish.

Meet friends, gardeners, landscape designers and native plant aficionados for a day of fun, good conversation and learning.  Share your insights and questions with Wild Ones members, their partner organizations and a host of exhibitors.  We look forward to seeing you!

Together we make a better tomorrow!