Immerse yourself in a two-day exploration of ecological concepts that support living landscapes! Early registration discounts available through 2/28.
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Our 2016 Annual Conference brings together well-known experts for a lively exchange of information and experiences. On Wednesday, choose from two daylong Focus Sessions: An in-depth look at protecting and building soils and how to incorporate permaculture principles into the conventional landscape. Thursday’s topics include restoring the urban forest, the best use of native cultivars, designing with plant communities, and the latest in energy efficient technology to light up your landscape. Join us as we look at strategies to create and maintain healthy ecosystems.
Two Focus Sessions, Keynote Lunch, and Keynote Dinner
Building and Managing Soils from the Top Down
Soil supports plants, and in turn, plants and organic matter are essential to protecting and building soil. As designers and managers of the land, we need to understand these individual components as well as how they function as part of a larger system. Our speakers will share strategies for remediating compromised soils and stabilizing slopes, discuss plant design and selection for poor soil conditions, and illustrate ways to support the natural cycling of nutrients and water. Join us for a comprehensive look at how our designs and landscape practices can provide maximum protection and restoration of soil.
Permaculture Applied to Conventional Landscapes
As stewards of the land, we need to ask ourselves how we can improve on traditional practices to ensure that the landscapes we create and manage are more resilient against pests, diseases, and climate changes. As resources become scarcer, we need to ask how we can reduce our dependence on inputs and maintenance. Permaculture, based on mimicking natural processes, offers some solutions. Presenters for this session will introduce principles and practices of permaculture, demonstrate how these techniques can be incorporated into conventional landscapes, and show examples of successful application in the traditional landscape settings.
Keynote Luncheon, Philip Korman 12:30-2:00pm
Growing Local, Buying Local: Community Support Makes a Difference!
Community support can make a difference! Mr. Korman will discuss how Community Involved In Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) has changed the local farming and food economy. He will show what is unique to Western Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley and what others have done to inspire local farming.
Philip Korman is the Executive Director of Community Involved In Sustaining Agriculture (CISA). Started in 1993, CISA is the longest running “buy local” organization in the nation. Their mission is to strengthen local agriculture by building connections between farmers and the community.
Keynote Dinner, Tradd Cotter 6:30-8:30pm
Mycoremediation: Healing Compromised Ecosystems with Fungi
Many species of fungi sweat powerful enzymes capable of molecular disassembly of complex molecules such as hydrocarbons and pesticides. A few species of fungi are also well adapted to filter, stun and destroy pathogenic bacteria. Learn how fungi perform these tasks and how to develop a filtration system that is customized to fit your needs. Mr. Cotter will focus on biomass expansion, site engineering, and species of fungi that can be used for mycoremediation projects. He will also discuss using fungi for pest management, habitat restoration, and how to incorporate fungi into bioswales to capture pollutants from site runoff.
Tradd Cotter is a microbiologist, professional mycologist, and author of Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation, a best-selling mushroom cultivation guide. In 1996 he founded Mushroom Mountain, focusing his interests on the use of native plants and fungi to create urban ecosystems that are more functional and compatible with the local plant and wildlife communities. He currently maintains more than 200 species of fungi for food production, for mycoremediation of environmental pollutants, and as natural alternatives to chemical pesticides. Mr. Cotter’s current research focuses on the development of target-specific mycopesticides that could replace conventional chemical products for agriculture.
One Demonstration, Eight Sessions, Plus Four Idea Exchange Panel Discussions
- Landscape Lighting Demonstration
Lukas Sturm – Lumen Studio, Inc.
- Light Up Your Landscape
Lukas Sturm – Lumen Studio, Inc.
- Tree Filter Systems for Stormwater Management
Paul Iorio – StormTree
- Designing with Plant Communities in Mind
Claudia West – North Creek Nurseries
- Restoring the Urban Forest
Matthew Stephens – New York City Parks
- Creating an Urban Refuge: Mt. Auburn’s Wildlife Action Plan
Paul Kwiatkowski – Mount Auburn Cemetery
- What Role Do Native Cultivars Have in an Ecological Landscape?
Keith Nevison – Fellow in the Longwood Gardens Graduate Program in Public Horticulture
- Creating Ecological Landscapes in Maine: Challenges & Opportunities
Arek Galle – BETA Group, Inc.
Emily Goodwin – Back Meadow Farm
- Native Shrubs up to the Challenge
Dr. Jessica Lubell – UConn
Idea Exchange Panels
- Managing Challenging Landscapes: Tips from the Experts
George Carrette – EcoQuiet Lawn Care
Russ Hopping – Trustees of Reservations
Anthony Ruggiero – Greenway Conservancy
Theresa Sprague – BlueFlax Design
ELA Moderator: Sue Storer – Horticultural Services
- Cost-effective Landscape Management Strategies
Benjamin Crouch – Land of Plenty Gardens
Nate McCullin – LaFrance Hospitality Company
Mark Richardson – New England Wild Flower Society
ELA Moderator: Dan Jaffe – New England Wild Flower Society
- Battling the Bugs: Strategies for Insect Management
Carl Brodeur – Arborcare with Ropes ‘n Saddles
Jennifer Forman Orth, PhD – Mass. Dept. of Agricultural Resources
Joe Magazzi – Green Earth Ag & Turf
ELA Moderator: Rebecca McMackin– Brooklyn Bridge Park
- Buying Quality Nursery Stock: Asking the Right Questions
David Anderson –Hartney Gremont
John Kinchila – Amherst Nurseries
Nave Strauss– New York City Parks
ELA Moderator: Chris Roddick – Brooklyn Botanic Garden