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Navigating Race & Inclusivity in Community Gardens | Sama Mirghavami

Well-meaning people have been organizing since the dawn of the local food movement to create vibrant, urban garden spaces in an effort to build and support their communities. However these efforts, which are often oriented towards the goal of ameliorating social issues such as lack of access to food and green space for marginalized people, sometimes undermine themselves in terms of equity and inclusivity. How can we ensure that our work as community organizers and gardeners is doing more help than harm? Sama will describe some actions (often unconscious) that can potentially turn an inclusive space into an unwelcoming one, and explore what we can do to create a beautifully diverse garden community.

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021 | 12 – 1:30 PM EST

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Schoolyard Habitats: Restoring Native Habitat One Schoolyard at a Time | Jillian Bell

In this presentation we’ll learn about Audubon Connecticut’s Schoolyard Habitat Program and how Audubon CT, along with a suite of partners, are inspiring the next generation of conservation leaders. They achieve this by connecting students with nature and restoring much needed native habitat for pollinators and our migrating and year-round birdy friends in Connecticut. Jillian will share resources so no matter where you’re located, you’ll be able to start working on your very own schoolyard habitat moving forward!

Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 | 7 – 8:15 PM EST

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Close Encounters with Nature: Native Design in the Residential Landscape | Larry Weaner

Few home landscapes can provide the stunning vistas of a Yosemite National Park, a vast midwestern prairie, or an ancient Appalachian mountain range. They can however, provide a far more intimate and interactive natural experience than visits to those landscapes ever could. In this session Larry will interweave a series of practical, ecologically-interactive landscape techniques, with the rich experiential rewards that applying those techniques can engender.

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021 | 1 – 2:30 PM EST

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Native Meadows: Let’s Get Real | Larry Weaner

Wildflower meadows were introduced to the American gardening public in the 1960’s along with tie dye tee shirts and kaleidoscopic acid trips. But just like those 60’s acid trips, the colors never lasted. Alternatively, by planting site-adapted native perennials, managed according to the ecological processes that govern open field vegetation in the wild, long-lived vibrant meadows can be consistently achieved. In this presentation plant selection criteria, planting procedures, and management techniques will be illustrated through a series of residential case studies, including some over two decades old.

Friday, March 19th, 2021 | 1 – 2:30 PM EST

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The Future of the Past | Patricia Klindienst and Clayton Apikan

For this workshop Patricia and Clayton will share ideas about how the making of a garden helps maintain and transmit cultural heritage. We will explore the twin imperatives to honor and pass on traditional knowledge of garden and farming practices while healing the land and people estranged from their cultural heritage.

Thursday, March 11th, 2021 | 1 – 2:30 PM EST

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Bird-Friendly Home Landscapes (New England Region) | Jillian Bell

What can we do to support birds visiting our homes this spring and beyond? In this workshop we will take an in-depth look at native plants that you can plant to make your home more bird-friendly to our year-round residents and those stopping over on their migration journeys. In this workshop, we will explore the importance of choosing native plants and how to select native plants to attract specific birds to your yard.

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021 | 1 – 2:15 PM EST

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Prairie-side Chat: Darrel Morrison – Interviewed by Larry Weaner

As a longtime leading proponent of native landscape design, Darrell Morrison has had a profound influence on countless landscape architects and designers. His former students from the state Universities of Wisconsin and Georgia, to Columbia University have fanned out across the country to multiply that influence. He has also designed some of America’s most notable ecology-based projects including at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Research Center in Austin, Texas, The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, and the now iconic grasslands at The Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, NY.

Monday, March 15th, 2021 | 1:00 – 2:30 PM EST

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Prairie-side Chat: Gerould Wilhelm – Interviewed by Larry Weaner

Dr. Wilhelm is one of America’s foremost botanists. He co-authored the definitive volume, Flora of the Chicago Region (2017), developed the widely used “Floristic Quality Assessment” method for plant community analysis, founded the innovative non-profit “Conservation Research Institute,” and performed innovative research on the relationships between cultural practice and landscape ecology. His academic accomplishments are complemented by the many projects he shepherded to fruition as a principal with the pioneer landscape architecture firm Conservation Design Forum in Lisle, Illinois. Dr. Wilhelm’s sharp intellect, nonconformist perspectives, and vast field experience are sure to produce a stimulating, enlightening, and even paradigm-altering session.

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021 | 1:00 – 2:30 PM EST

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Prairie-side Chat: Charles Birnbaum – Interviewed by Larry Weaner

After fifteen years as the coordinator of the National Park Service Historic Landscape Initiative, Charles embarked on a visionary path and single handedly founded The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF). TCLF is now the world’s leading cultural landscape advocacy organization, and has brought awareness to, restoration of, and literally saved countless important landscapes worldwide. His many recognitions include The Rome Prize in Historic Preservation and Conservation and the ASLA medal. While “historic landscapes” may be Charles Birnbaum’s obvious calling card, his work to shepherd the practice of Historic Landscape Preservation into the modern era makes him one of our most interesting and far-sighted landscape practitioners.

Thursday, January 14th, 2021 | 1:00 – 2:30 PM EST

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Prairie-side Chat: Piet Oudolf – Interviewed by Larry Weaner

An accurate professional suffix for this session’s guest could be “Piet Oudolf, MADOP” (Most Acclaimed Designer On Planet). Despite being self-taught, Piet has been awarded some of the garden world’s highest honors and designed plantings for some of the world’s most admired contemporary gardens (the Lurie Garden in Chicago, the High Line in New York City, etc., etc., etc.). What are his criteria for selecting and arranging plants? What does he mean by terms like “purposeful abandon” and “emotion” in the garden? And what role does ecology play in his horticultural endeavours? Larry and Piet will explore these and other topics, and compare notes on how they direct the planting and management of their designs in the real-world context of disturbance, deadlines, and weeds.

Thursday, January 7th, 2021 | 9 – 10:30 AM EST

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