Wild Ones 2019 DESIGN WITH NATURE Conference

Saturday, February 16, 2019
9:00 AM – 4:30 PM CST

University of St. Thomas
James B. Woulfe Alumni Hall, Anderson Student Center
2115 Summit Ave (at Cretin), St. Paul, Minnesota 55105

Healing and Restoring our Relationship with Nature

To truly live in relationship with nature we must first realize we are “a part of” nature, not “apart from” nature. Only when we acknowledge and celebrate our relationship with the rest of the living world, will we be able to fully understand the generous gifts we receive from the Earth can only be sustained by giving our own gifts in return.

This event is SOLD OUT and the wait list is now closed. 

If you would like to receive notice of next year's conference and other related native plant program information offered by Wild Ones Minnesota chapters listed below, please contact us at info@designwithnatureconference.org. Thank you!

Thank you all for sharing our passion for native plants.


Find parking and convenient transit options here.


Guest speakersRobin Wall Kimmerer, Ph.D,  Michael Lynch, and Larry WeanerASLA, will teach us... 

  • the language of plants- how traditional indigenous teachings can help heal our relationship with nature.
  • how we can build a personal relationship with nature, 
  • and how our living landscapes can be a source of environmental change.


Robin Kimmerer is Professor of Environmental and Forest Biology at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) and Director of The Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at SUNY Syracuse. She is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and combines her heritage with her scientific and environmental passions.

Robin is the author of numerous scientific articles and the books Gathering Moss, which was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing in 2005, and Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, released in 2013. In 2015 she addressed the general assembly of the United Nations on the topic of “Healing Our Relationship with Nature.”

As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild.


Michael Lynch is a botanist and restoration ecologist, who studied Applied Plant Science at the University of Minnesota. He has worked for the City of Minnetonka as a Natural Resource Technician and is now an independent Botanist and Restoration Ecologist, offering his services and expertise to municipalities and individuals.

Michael is the founder of popular Facebook group Botanical Wanderings, encouraging people to become more enthusiastic about getting out into nature, to discuss and share images of plants and biomes visited.


Larry Weaner is founder of Larry Weaner Landscape Associates in Philadelphia, PA in 1982, combining expertise in horticulture, environmental science, and the traditions of garden design. His design and restoration work spans more than ten states and has been profiled in national publications, including The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalLandscape Architecture MagazineGarden DesignAmerican GardenerWildflower Magazine, and ASLA’s “The Dirt” blog.

In 1990, Larry developed New Directions in the American Landscape (NDAL), a conference and workshop series dedicated to advancing the art and science of natural landscape design. This influential series has a loyal following in the landscape field and in 2016 received the New England Wildflower Society’s first annual Regional Impact Award.

Larry is the co-author of Garden Revolution: How Our Landscapes Can Be a Source of Environmental Change with Tom Christopher (Timber Press, 2016). Their book received a 2017 Book Award from the American Horticultural Society.

Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Sarah Foltz Jordan & Karin Jokela

Since 1971 The Xerces Society has worked to protect invertebrates and their habitats. Invertebrates are an essential part of all ecosystems, contributing to the survival of wildlife, the pollination of crops, and the health of our environment.

Be sure to check out the SILENT AUCTION at this year's Conference!

Bison Buggy Ride for Eight at Belwin Conservancy

Each summer the Belwin Conservancy, located near Afton, hosts a bison herd on its’ restored prairie. The Conservancy has built a custom vehicle--the bison buggy--for hosting tours of the prairie and observing he bison up close. The buggy seats eight, providing a chance to see the amazing creatures—watch and photograph them from the comfort and safety of this custom vehicle, while getting your questions answered by the driver.

Design With Nature conference uses Silent Auction proceeds to further the Wild Ones important educational mission.  Available to Wild Ones MN Chapters through a mini-grant application process, grants are provided for projects which enhance the visibility of Wild Ones in Minnesota  and meet the Wild Ones mission  to promote environmentally sound landscaping practices that preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities.
Over recent years, we have approved a total of $4,000 for projects including printing the “Minnesota and Western Wisconsin Native Plant Nursery” brochures, supporting the Landscape Revival, matching any Wild Ones national “Seeds for Education” awards to Minnesota schools, honoring a recently deceased founding board member of TC chapter with a donation to national, and funding Wild Ones Chapter signage and materials for Outreach. This year a Minnesota school is again in the running for a SFE award, which we will match. 


Wild Ones 2019 Design With Nature Conference is planned and managed by volunteers who are members of Wild Ones in the greater Twin Cities metro of Minnesota. Host chapters include Big River Big Woods, Northfield Prairie Partners, Prairie Edge, St Croix Oak Savanna and Twin Cities. Additional Minnesota chapters include: Arrowhead (Duluth area) and St Cloud (central Minnesota).