© 2020 Cleveland Pollinator & Native Plant Symposium   Cleveland, Ohio 44118       clevelandpollinatorsymposium@gmail.com

Cleveland Pollinator

& Native Plant Symposium



Scott Hoffman Black is the Executive Director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, which under his leadership has become the premier invertebrate conservation organization in North America. Xerces’ work has led to the protection and restoration of habitat on hundreds of thousands of acres of rangelands, forests, and farmland, as well as protection for many endangered species.

He is a co-author of the best-selling Attracting Native Pollinators and Gardening for Butterflies and has written more than two hundred other publications. His work has been honored with several awards, including the 2011 Colorado State University of College of Agricultural Sciences Honor Alumnus Award and the U.S. Forest Service Wings Across the Americas 2012 Butterfly Conservation Award.

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Insect Apocalypse?
What is really happening, why it matters and how we can all help

With well over one million known species, insects and other invertebrates eclipse all other forms of life on Earth. They are essential to the reproduction of most flowering plants; they filter water and help clean rivers and streams; and they clean up waste from plants and animals.

If we hope to stem the losses of insect diversity and the services they provide, society must take steps at all levels to protect, restore and enhance habitat for insects.

Scott Hoffman Black will explain the latest science on insect declines and highlight important ways everyone can incorporate invertebrate conservation into their lives.

Ann Rzepka Budziak is the Horticulturist for the Myrtle S. Holden Wildflower Garden at Holden Arboretum.  In addition to regular garden maintenance, she collects and propagates seed for use within the garden and collaborates on projects that benefit pollinators and help maintain Holden’s commitment to the preservation of rare and endangered plant species. Ann is passionate about horticulture, sustainability, the mission of the Holden Forests and Gardens. and creating a culture that fosters lifelong enthusiasm and appreciation for our natural environment.

Propagating Native Plants from Seed

The Holden Arboretum Wildflower Garden has evolved into a showcase of Ohio’s native flora and a repository for the vanishing flora of the Great Lakes Region with a strong commitment to stewardship programs that will promote long-term conservation of plant species in their natural habitat. Join Annie in this workshop on propagating native plants from seed which is the best way to preserve the genetic diversity within a species. Seeds develop when flowers are pollinated (usually by insects) mixing the genes of multiple individuals. This results in genetically diverse individuals. This variation is the best strategy for wild plants to adapt to future environmental conditions, such as drought, heat, flooding, cold and pollution. Annie will tell you about germination codes, pre-germination treatments, planting your seeds or making a seed germination bed and the best ways to then transplant your seedlings.

Susan Carpenter maintains the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum’s 4-acre native plant garden with the assistance of dedicated students and volunteers. She provides myriad training and educational activities for the public on sustainable gardening practices, and leads a citizen science conservation project that documents bumblebees, including the endangered rusty-patched bumblebee. She also teams up with acclaimed landscape architect, Darrel Morrison, FASLA, designer of the garden, to monitor the Wisconsin Native Plant Garden. In 2017, Carpenter received the Academic Staff Excellence Award.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy Pollinator Habitat

With your native plant garden design in hand, you are excited to create your “garden full of life,” but also have many questions. What are the best practices for site preparation? What are the variables of existing site conditions? If you are new to gardening with native plants, what are some robust, hardy plants to dance with first? Ms. Carpenter will cover the practical side of native plant gardening (“I didn’t know cup plant got SO big!”) from installation, maintenance, editing, and monitoring the plants and the wildlife they support. In addition, she will share hard-won “discoveries” made along the way.


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Sam Droege has been spent most of his career at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, where he is a wildlife management expert. He has coordinated the North American Breeding Bird Survey Program, developed the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program, the BioBlitz, Cricket Crawl, and FrogwatchUSA programs and worked on the design and evaluation of monitoring programs.  Currently he is developing an inventory and monitoring program for native bees, online identification guides for North American bees at www.discoverlife.org, and with Jessica Zelt reviving the North American Bird Phenology Program. 

Elisabeth Rothschild worked as an environmental specialist with the Ohio EPA for ten years after graduating from Antioch College with a double major in chemistry and biology and obtaining a Masters in Biology from Wright State University. She is a board member of the Ohio Lepidopterists and Mothapalooza. Elisabeth volunteers for a several organizations conducting butterfly monitoring, moth surveys and lectures on pollinators and wildlife gardening. She recently completed a ten year project restoring a fen in her neighborhood park. Elisabeth loves guiding the local fifth grade classes to the fen where they discuss food webs and excitedly jump up and down on the springy soils.

Native Bees: Protecting our Urban Pollinators
Mothapalooza:  Pollinators of the Night

Did you know that more than 4000 species of native bees live in the United States and Canada, with 500 species in Ohio alone?!  Despite their diversity and numbers, few people know anything about the bees in their backyard—what are they, where do they winter and what plants do they use for forage? The close relationship between specific bees and specific plants means that what you plant in your garden makes a difference. Noted Wildlife Biologist Sam Droege will outline the critical importance of native bees to our food supply, debunk the most pervasive myths the public perceive about bees and will give tips about how to foster healthy, thriving habitats for our pollinators. You will see amazing close-up photographs of beautiful regional bees and gardens supporting a diversity of bees from meadows, small gardens and even microscapes.

Meet nocturnal moths—the night shift pollinators. To clarify, many of these night fliers are more active in the early dawn or at dusk than in the dead of night when they visit flowers with white or pale tones, such as moonflowers, evening primrose, nicotiana or morning glories. Strong sweet or spicy scents draw moths from hundreds of feet away.

Moths are part of the order Lepidoptera, but did you know that moth species outnumber butterflies by 15 to 1 with over 12,000 species found in North America? The spectacular larvae are as much fun to observe as the beautiful winged adults they become. Elisabeth will take you into the fantastical world of moths and show you how they interact with plants and affect the diversity of animal communities. Who knows—maybe you will be inspired to become a “moth-er”!

Judy Semroc is a conservation specialist with the Natural Areas Division for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. She is the founder of Operation Botanic Rescue (a volunteer plant-rescue group), Quail Hollow Land Conservancy and Chrysalis in Time – the first Ohio chapter of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA). Judy co-wrote Dragonflies & Damselflies of Northeast Ohio with Larry Rosche and Linda Gilbert (2008). In 2017, she co-wrote Goldenrods of Northeast Ohio with Dr. Jim Bissell and Steve Mckee. Judy loves to learn about and share her passion for the natural world through hikes, interpretive programs, public presentations and photography.

Important Late Summer & Fall Plantings to Aid Pollinators & Migratory Species

Goldenrods and asters have a starring role in late summer/fall and winter as a cornerstone of ecosystems across the region. These plants are an extremely important food source for nectar-feeding birds and insects, particularly migrating Monarch butterflies, hummingbirds and at least eight other butterfly and moth species that feed exclusively on Solidago species.  Honey bees and native bees rely heavily on the nectar and pollen produced to sustain them through the winter. As the flowers die back for the season, the plants’s seeds provide a valuable food source for chickadees, finches, siskins, juncos, sparrows and small mammals.

Discover more about these native plants that will brighten your landscape and enliven the end of the season for you and wildlife.

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Przemek Walczak has enjoyed a 22 year career in horticulture at Chanticleer, one of the most exquisite and imaginative gardens in the US, located in Wayne, PA outside of Philadelphia. Walczak started his career in horticulture as a dendrologist at The Center for the Preservation of Historic Landscapes in Poland. He studied arboriculture and interned at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania and at Winterthur Museum and Garden in Wilmington, DE.

Walczak lectures and teaches workshops on native plant gardening, native pollinators, ferns, woodland and shade gardening, moss gardening and spring wildflowers. He graduated from the Academy of Life Sciences in Warsaw, Poland with a MS in Agriculture and Economics. Walczak also participated in writing  The Art of Gardening: Design Inspiration and Innovative Planting Techniques from Chanticleer showcasing the visual and sensual delights created by the Chanticleer horticulturists.

Larry Weaner is an icon in the world of ecological landscape design and founder of the educational program series New Directions in the American Landscape. His firm, Larry Weaner Landscape Associates, is known for combining ecological restoration with traditions of fine garden design. LWLA has received the Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award, the New England Wildflower Society landscape design award for use of native plants in exceptional and distinctive landscapes, the top three design awards from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and an Honor Award for Municipal Public Spaces from the Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary.

His co-authored book with Thomas Christopher, Garden Revolution: How Our Landscapes Can Be a Source of Environmental Change, won the 2017 American Horticulture Society Book Award.

John Barber has served on the board of the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes for ten years, including two terms as Board President. He is on the board of the Ohio Bluebird Society and the New England Wild Flower Society in Framingham, MA. He is co-founder and co-director of the Friends of Lower Lake, a program of the Doan Brook Watershed Partnership.


John has been involved in citizen science for over fifty years, focusing on green space preservation, the recovery of Peregrine Falcon populations and the continuing recovery of the Eastern Bluebird. He is passionate about fostering biodiversity in our backyards and the Earth.

Planting Native Plants for Birds - A New Primer
Small-scale Residential Design: Living in the Liberated Landscape

All too often in our gardens and landscapes, we think of static compositions of carefully placed and managed plants. But our approach can be more dynamic—and arguably more rewarding—by taking advantage of native plants’ natural abilities to proliferate.

Mr. Weaner will demonstrate how he combines design with the reproductive abilities of plants, as well as ecological processes to create compelling, ever-evolving landscapes that bring us into a greater partnership with nature. Using examples from his own property, in addition to diverse client projects, you will feel emboldened to break out of the traditional horticultural practices by using successful approaches to ecological design that express the beauty and biodiverse richness of our native landscapes.

How can we best feed birds in our yards?  The accepted wisdom of many feeders brimming with commercially-grown seeds is increasingly seen as one of the lowest priorities for helping both nesting and migrating birds.  Even a focus on what plants produce berries can help only a relatively few species of birds.  The answer lies in designing and planting a wide array of native trees, shrubs, and perennials to host the widest possible array of native insects, while avoiding the temptation to plant non-native and potentially invasive plants sometimes sold as "bird-friendly".  Think of this - the highest probably of success for nesting Black-capped Chickadees results from yards planted with more than 70% native plants.  We'll talk about turning yards of any size into truly bird-friendly habitats.

Bell’s Woodland:  Creating a Native Garden from a Disturbed Woodland

Developing a native woodland garden in suburban areas comes with specific challenges, such as soil erosion, an abundance of invasive exotic plant species, and a need to manage storm water runoff. Mr. Walczak will discuss soil restoration, including evaluating the effectiveness of different methods for a variety of situations; invasive plant removal—eradication or suppression; and Hugelculture, a method often employed in permaculture by using fallen branches to enhance nutrient cycling and soil health.

Through extensive renovation, Bell’s Woodland has been given a new identity as a native woodland plant garden with spring ephemerals, ferns, mosses and woody plants of eastern North America.