Lectures and Workshops

Explore topics including invasive plant identification and control, conservation landscaping, promoting native plants for landscaping, basic plant identification, introduction to ecological restoration, plant conservation.  Hands-on workshops use plant samples and tools in a classroom or outdoor setting.  Below you can see a selection of lecture and workshop topics:

Is It An Invading Alien?  Invasive Plant Identification and Control
Through photos and hands-on samples, when available, participants will learn how to identify common invasive species and some common control methods.  In learning to identify invasive plants, we also learn how to distinguish them from similar looking native plants.  Control methods covered include mechanical and chemical methods with an emphasis on safety and minimizing the effect of control methods on surrounding plants.  I also note that any plan for removing invasive plants must include measures for restoration and monitoring.

Plant More than just a Pretty Face. Native Alternatives to Invasive Ornamental Plants  
Gardeners often unknowingly harbor some serious invasive plants in their backyards, or maybe they know but aren’t sure what to replace them with.  In this lecture participants learn about how using native plants to replace invasive plants can offer benefits from attracting more butterflies and birds to reducing the spread of invaders in their neighborhood.  Participants will learn how gardens can reflect their native landscapes as well as being ornamental.

The 8 Elements of a Conservation Landscape
Based on the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council’s 8 Elements, this lecture covers the basics of creating and maintaining environmentally friendly, beautiful and healthy landscapes.  From design and plant choices to conserving water and practicing integrated pest management, listeners will be able to take home and apply the ideas and techniques presented to their own landscapes.

Layers of the Forest  
This workshop describes forest ecology by focusing on the natural history of the different layers of a mature forest.  From what’s happening in the soil to the importance of canopy trees, particpants learn about forest succession, tree gaps, plant and animal life cycles, forest food webs and nutrient and water cycling in the forest.  This workshop is usually held indoors and outdoors and can be divided into several classes.

Basic Botany  
This class can be indoor or outdoor. Indoors it combines a powerpoint on plant identification with plant samples set up for students to review and practice with. Outdoors, depending on the time of year, the class can focus on plant identification from leaves and flowers or from bark and stem structure in winter. Outdoor classes can also include information about flower structure and pollinators and plant adaptations to different environements.