Western Reserve Land Conservancy Offering Free Online Symposium to Invite Biodiversity into Home Gardens

January 10, 2022

Western Reserve Land Conservancy – Ohio’s largest local land trust – is hosting a free online symposium for backyard gardeners to learn from nationally and regionally renowned experts on ways to select and plant native flora to create vibrant, ecologically valuable home gardens that benefit pollinators and other wildlife.

The series of five 3-hour sessions begins January 12 at 1pm and will continue every two weeks through March 9. Reporters interested in attending can click here to register. Registration for each individual session is required.

Titled “Inviting Biodiversity into Our Gardens,” the symposium will help homeowners, horticulturists, botanists, naturalists, educators, conservationists, landscape designers, and anyone interested learn the value of using native plants and trees to create and maintain healthy habitats in greenspaces both large and small.

Session 1, beginning Jan. 12, 2022, is titled “Selecting & Sourcing Plants to Create Ecologically Vibrant and Resilient Gardens” and will feature three speakers discussing the following:

  • 1 p.m. Uli Lorimer of the Native Plant Trust in Massachusetts: “Native Species, Cultivars and Selections: What’s the Difference and Why Should We Care?” Uli will answer the following questions: What can I plant that is best for local ecosystems? Which members of the animal kingdom can I support with my choices? Once I decide on those plants, where can I buy them?
  • 2 p.m. Claudio Vazquez of online native plant resource Izel Plants: “Selecting and Sourcing Native Plants for Diverse Landscape Needs.” Claudio will review selecting and sourcing native plants, including the drawbacks and benefits to using cultivars, and the importance of genetic diversity in choosing plants.
  • 3 p.m. Sam Hoadley of the Mt. Cuba Center near Wilmington, Delaware: “Knockout Natives.” Sam will discuss the ecological benefits and attributes of several native plants studied in recent trials.

“Anyone wanting to learn how to transform their gardens and greenspaces into a healthy, vibrant oasis with native plants for pollinators and wildlife will enjoy these webinars, as they begin planning for spring. Our speakers will help attendees understand why natives provide the greatest benefit to support diversity of species,” said Renee Boronka, Manager of Conservation Education and Outreach for the Land Conservancy.

The series is made possible through a collaboration of Western Reserve Land Conservancy, the Cleveland Pollinator and Native Plant Symposium, and Nature Spark.

Professional development/continuing education units (CEUs) are available for each session.