Late Winter is the time for Native Plant Seminars in our area and I urge you to attend at least one. Jerry Johnson, of Garfield Farm, is such a compelling writer that I decided to feature his entire promotion.
Contact Jerome Johnson (630) 584-8485
25th Annual Native Plant Seminar
CAMPTON HILLS, IL Garfield Farm Museum‚s 25th annual Prairie, Woodlands,
and Wetlands Management Seminar will be held on Saturday, February 19 from
8:30 am-4:30pm. From backyard gardeners to owners of natural area acreage,
this seminar covers all the key methods and techniques of preserving and
using the best adapted plants for the Illinois environment. Experts Roy
Diblik, Cathy McGlynn, Conner Shaw, John Engstrom and Jerome Johnson will
help explain the best techniques and methods to increase and maintain native
plants communities. There is a $50 donation for the all day seminar which
includes lunch and refreshments.
Living in Illinois requires developing an eye for the subtle beauty
and uniqueness of this the Prairie State. Even long time residents have
yet to fully develop such vision and in part it is no fault of their own.
So much of what Illinois was has disappeared. Even the once plentiful farmsteads
that dotted the horizon that turned oceans of prairie into fields of corn,
are themselves disappearing. So ironically the average gardener that calls
out heavy artillery when a single dandelion makes its appearance, he or
she would be aghast if they could as readily see the forests of buckthorn,
the mat of garlic mustard, the jungle of false chervil that are dominating
our „natural areas‰. This is such a dilemma that simply planting native
plants is not enough. Even the federal government has recognized the great
damage invasive species of plants are doing to our economics and environment.
At the regional level the Northeast Illinois Invasive Plant Partnership
(NIIPP) has been established to prevent and control new and existing plant
Cathy McGlynn, Coordinator of the NIIPP will be a special featured
speaker at the 25th annual seminar. She will provide information about new
and established invasive plants and each plant‚s natural history, identification,
native look a-likes, control methods, and current known locations. For
more information about NIIPP and the New Invaders Watch Program (NIWP) please
Cathy McGlynn received her Ph.D. from SUNY Stony Brook and her dissertation
focused on the effects of common reed and purple loosestrife on native plants,
small mammals, and birds in freshwater tidal wetlands of the Hudson River.
She has worked as the Manager for the New York Department of State‚s Significant
Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat Program, a habitat mapper for the non-profit
Hudsonia, and the Volunteer Coordinator for the Hudson River Submerged Aquatic
Vegetation Project. She began work as the Coordinator for the Northeast
Illinois Invasive Plant Partnership (NIIPP) this past August.
The other season veteran speakers already know that management of
these invasive plants is an ongoing battle that neglected makes effort to
plant native species almost fruitless. McGlynn will offer up the latest
challenges and methods.
Roy Diblik who has been growing native grasses and flowers from seed
since the late 1970s, knows how critical soil preparation and mechanical
or chemical control of „weeds‰ are when he installs more formal landscape
plantings be it public parks or palatial estates. From Northwind Perennial
Farm in Springfield, WI Diblik has consulted and supplied plants for around
the country and has published a book „Small Perennial Gardens: The Know
Connor Shaw is one of the few people who collects seed from the wild
and can grow native Illinois trees and shrubs like few others. Since 1978,
his Possibilities Place Nursery in Monee, IL is one of a kind. For homeowners
in town who want just the right tree for their backyard, Shaw knows what
will grow in such suburban conditions. For larger properties, his combinations
of native shrubs like the viburnums and deciduous oaks or Kentucky coffee
trees makes one‚s landscaping truly grand scale.
For property owners who are looking to turn the backyard in to a natural
area to large acreage owners, Johnson and Engstrom will bring their years
of experience to the table. Jerome Johnson, executive director and museum
biologist grew up walking the fields, woods, and streams around Garfield
Farm. Recalling woods full of spring flowers little did he realize how rare
such features would become with habitat loss, invasive plants, and over
grazing by deer which were once rarely seen. Housing developments certainly
caused loss but without management, Johnson quickly learned at Garfield
Farm, its prairie and woods were struggling to survive. With the addition
of John Engstrom as natural area manager to the museum‚s staff, Engstrom‚s
knowledge of chemical control methods has complemented Johnson‚s increase
use of mechanical means to aid the classic use of controlled burns. Their
combined management experience will offer the property owners or aspiring
volunteer restorationists the necessary tools to be successful and avoid
re-inventing the wheel.
The day‚s outline will consist of researching property history, identifying
native plants, soil preparation for planting in garden settings, use of
native trees and shrubs, identifying invasive species and the use of fire,
herbicides, and cutting and brush stacking equipment.
This seminar has both a history and method unlike any others. It
offers information that can be directly taken to the field and put in place.
Participants are welcome to return in March to gain hands on experience
in the museum‚s controlled burns.
Garfield Farm Museum is located five miles west of Geneva, IL off ILL
Rt. 38 on Garfield Road. For reservations call 630 584-8485 or email email@example.com