Keynoting the symposium is Benjamin Vogt, owner of Monarch Gardens LLC, a prairie garden design firm. Vogt speaks nationally and writes a sustainable garden column for houzz.com. His book’s title, “A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future,” is the theme for Vogt’s keynote speech. His second presentation’ “Busting Garden Management Myths,” will challenge some traditional practices that aren’t in sync with more natural plant processes.
Philip Juras, an Athens, Georgia-based landscape architect and landscape painter, will follow Vogt. Juras’ presentation will be “Picturing Nature’s Design in the Landscapes of the South,” which coincides with his exhibition opening March 4 at the University of Georgia Circle Gallery. Juras portrays the rich aesthetics of a wide range of ecologically intact environments by combining direct observation with the study of the natural science and history of the subject.
The symposium concludes with a presentation by Bodie Pennisi PhD, who will address “Creating a Healthy Biodiverse Community with Native Plants, Pollinators, and Other Beneficial Insects.” Dr. Pennisi is an extension horticulture specialist in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Georgia. She will present her research findings on native plant and insect connections, a vital topic given that insects have suffered tremendous losses in recent years.
The symposium will be hosted by Amy Katcher-Dunne, former WDEF-TV News Channel 12 anchor and current Regional Director of External Affairs, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
All day long on Saturday, the Native Plant Marketplace and Expo will offer native plants, artwork, garden inspiration and opportunities to talk with representatives from area environmental nonprofit organizations, as well as showcase local students’ poster presentations. The Marketplace and Expo is free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The cost for the symposium is $60 for Wild Ones members, $70 for the public for registrations before March 11, or $75 at the door on the day of the program. College students are $25 with a valid student ID. Lunch is included, and there will be door prizes, exhibitors and plenty of friendly people to meet. For more information and to register, go to www.tnvalleywildones.org/plantnatives-2020.
Wild Ones memberships will be taken at the registration desk, or persons interested in joining may go to https://wildones.org/membership for more information and to become a member. The University Center is located at 642 E. Fifth Street, Chattanooga, Tennessee.