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Cleveland Pollinator

& Native Plant Symposium

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Ian Adams is an environmental photographer, writer and educator specializing in Ohio’s natural, rural and historical garden areas. Twenty-three books of his color photography have been published, including Ohio In Photographs: A Portrait of the Buckeye State, co-photographed with Randal Schieber and a forward by Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Since 1989, Ian has conducted more than 200 seminars and workshops in digital photography and has produced photographs for Country Gardens, Fine Gardening, Horticulture, Living the Country Life and Organic Gardening magazines.

iPhone Landscape and Nature Photography

Today, more than 80% of all the photographs taken in the world are taken with a cell phone camera, and Apple’s iPhone is the most popular smart phone. This presentation is packed with information on how to take great photographs with your iPhone, as well as some of the best apps for capturing iPhone photos, fine-tuning them and then sharing on various devices. You will learn about the best settings for your iPhone, and when and how to use the Flash, HDR and Grid options in addition to how to shoot Raw files with your iPhone.

David Burke is the Chief Program Officer of Science and Conservation at Holden Forests and Gardens. His primary research interest as an ecologist has been the interaction between plants and soil microorganisms. Of special interest are mycorrhizal fungi that form mutually beneficial relationships with plants that can enhance plant growth, diseases resistance, drought tolerance, and affect plant community composition. David believes a better understanding of how mycorrhizal fungi interact with plants will be necessary to develop sound management of ecosystems.

The Mysterious Mutualistic System of Mychorrizal Fungi and Why We Should Care

The green, leafy world as we know it would not exist were it not for underground mycorrhizal fungi growing into (endo), and around (ecto) plant roots. In fact, 90% of all plants live in association with mycorrhizal fungi and depend on them for their survival. Why then do many of us know so little about such an important partner in the very life support system that provides our oxygen? Only recently have scientists begun to develop a fuller understanding of these fungi and their complex relationships with the universe of plants. It is a mind-boggling world with countless yet to be described species of fungi and much that is unknown about how it all works.


Laura Ekatsetya is the Director and Head Horticulturist at the renowned Lurie Garden in Millenium Park, an ecologically sensitive oasis in downtown Chicago designed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol and renowned Dutch designer, Piet Oudolf. Laura has been responsible for guiding Lurie Garden as it matures—maintaining the vision of the designers while leading it into a new climate era. Even though the garden is ecologically responsible by design, Laura has shifted the organization’s mindset from one of pure maintenance to one of constant improvement---challenging the garden to maximize its usefulness to the urban wildlife and human community. She has pushed the boundaries of design, experimenting with new ideas to preserve habitat for wildlife. Ekatsetya is an evangelist of the naturalistic movement, speaking world-wide and participating in the global initiative to change the way we think about gardens.

Wild By Intention

Lurie Garden’s naturalistic planting style connect visitors to an elemental feeling of looking out on a wild prairie or meadow, but at a scale that suits a highly visited park in an urban area. The garden is beautiful and supportive of local ecology, but would likely fail aesthetically without a sensible management plan and a thoughtful plant selection. This presentation will highlight how a resilient Piet Oudolf planting

design is managed for both beauty and ecological benefit.

Nadia Malarkey is a garden and landscape design professional who incorporates environmentally friendly practices to produce landscapes that enhance biodiversity and biomass, address habitat fragmentation and climate change, while enriching our experience of the changing seasons. Many of Nadia’s gardens exemplify how regenerative design, while addressing habit fragmentation and climate change, can be elegant, uplifting and enlightening. Nadia’s work has been featured in magazines and news articles, and she speaks at regional Conferences. In 2015, Nadia’s project “Regenerating Suburbia” was selected as a finalist in The Society of Garden Designers (United Kingdom) annual SGD awards for Planting Design.

Creating Captivating Bio-Diverse Residential Gardens: One Practitioner’s Path Of Discovery

Forty-five million acres of US lawns account for more tons of toxic pesticides per acre than those used for agriculture. This suburban aesthetic and practice has produced large-scale habitat loss, reduced biodiversity and depleted soils. It has dramatically reduced birds, pollinators and keystone species, and accelerated climate change. Is it possible to regenerate suburbia from this pattern of ecological abuse while at the same time addressing human needs? Nadia will share her philosophy and examples of her projects where this is being achieved in collaboration with her clients. By integrating principles of spatial design, a native plant aesthetic serves as a foundation to create carefully designed plant

communities so that former monoculture landscapes become beautiful and eminently useful. 

Joel Hunt is the program administrator of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) Highway Beautification and Pollinator Habitat Program. Realizing the many benefits of roadside pollinator habitats, ODOT became a founding partner of the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI) in 2015. In late 2016, ODOT created a fully funded standalone Highway Beautification and Pollinator Habitat Program to capture the numerous opportunities available to establish new pollinator habitat on ODOT’s right of way.

Joel coordinates all roadside pollinator habitat projects on Ohio’s 19,000 miles of roadsides.

Ohio’s Pollinator Highway Initiatives

ODOT is a leading department of transportation in the nation, working to restore public land to native prairie. They participate in the Nationwide Candidate Conservation Agreement program, in which they have agreed to conserve 20,800 acres for 50 years. Joel will detail all their initiatives to date throughout Ohio at highway interchanges, roadside rest areas for pollinators & people, brown-fields (Brown-fields to Blooms)  reduced mowing plans, and targeted herbicide applications to control Ohio’s noxious and invasive plants. A final goal is at least one

pollinator project in all 88 Ohio counties by 2022.

How might you enhance your pollinator habitat…with trees? Kass Urban- Mead's research as an entomology PhD candidate at Cornell University explores the intersection of ecological forest management and sustainable crop pollination. Her “tree-climbing for bees” (sampling in canopies) explores forest habitats as sites not only for bee nesting, but also the possibilities they are collecting the vast amounts

of pollen produced by flowering forest trees. Kass has written several extension articles for outreach and extension publications, given many community workshops and outreach events.

Doug Tallamy’s work has been a catalyst for change at the grass-roots level, and has formed the principles that guide how we treat our landscapes for future generations. Doug says, “Biodiversity is not optional.” He is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology and the University of Delaware, where he has taught classes in insect taxonomy, behavioral  ecology, humans and nature, and insect ecology. Doug's book Bringing Nature Home was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers Association and The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014. He has won the Garden Club of American Medal for Conservation, the 2018 American Horticultural Society Communication Award and the 2019 Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award.

Nature's Best Hope

Recent headlines about global insect declines, the impending extinction of one million species worldwide, and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current landscape designs have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain us.  Such losses are not an option if we wish to continue our current standard of living on Planet Earth. The good news is that none of this is inevitable. Doug will discuss simple steps that each of us can--and must--take to reverse declining biodiversity and will explain why we, ourselves, are nature’s best hope. 

Let it Be an Oak

Once we have decided to restore the ecological integrity of our suburban neighborhoods, we need to decide what plants to add to our properties. Oaks are superior trees for suburban restoration projects because of their many ecological and aesthetic attributes. Doug will compare oak species to other popular shade trees in terms of their ability to support animal diversity, protect watersheds, sequester carbon dioxide, and restore lost plant communities

The Value of Forests for Insect Pollinators

The Northeastern US is a heterogenous landscape where agricultural, natural and developed areas form a complex habitat matrix for small insects—including native bees. These habitats may be crucial to the wild, unmanaged native bees that also pollinate the economically important New York state apple orchards. Where are wild bees found and how are their movements between habitat patches governed by a variety of factors? Kass is exploring the intersection between forest management and sustainable crop pollination by multiple species of apple orchard bees plus the importance of wild pollinator dynamics and wild bee conservation in agroecosystems.

Hunt Malarkey Tallamy


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