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Featured Events

ELA Ecological Plant Conference 2020

Fri, December 4 @ 8:00 am EST - 4:00 pm EST

On December 4th, we invite you to spend a day reconnecting with familiar plants, learning about new plant options, and reconsidering our relationship to plants.

Class: NGICP – December 2020

Mon, November 30 @ 12:00 pm EST - Tue, December 22 @ 5:00 pm EST

The program provides the foundational understanding needed to properly design and oversee construction, inspection, and maintenance of green stormwater infrastructure.  Designed to meet international best practice standards, this program provides candidates with the technical skills necessary to incorporate green infrastructure into projects successfully.

Webinar: Creating Outdoor Spaces that Connect Children to the Natural World

Mon, December 14 @ 12:00 pm EST - 1:00 pm EST

With rich, inspiring images from around the world, author, educator, and landscape designer Nancy Striniste explains why and how to bring the beauty, adventure, and sustainability of nature play to backyards, schoolyards, churchyards, neighborhood parks, early childhood settings, and more.

Webinar – The Green Industry’s Black Thumb: Pollution from Our Use and Disposal of Plastic Plant Pots

Wed, January 6, 2021 @ 12:00 pm EST - 1:00 pm EST

Without plastic pots, the Green Industry would not have grown into the multibillion dollar industry it is today. But now, billions of single-use plastic plant pots are disposed of annually in the United States. Find out more about the problems and learn steps we can take to remedy them.

Class: History and Principles of Landscape Design

Wed, January 20, 2021 @ 1:00 pm EST - 4:00 pm EST

Over four afternoons, this class will explore Eastern and Western garden design, including long-practiced principles that encourage sustainable and ecological approaches.

Upcoming Events

Webinar: Expanding Biodiversity – Attracting Birds to Your Yard

Wed, January 27, 2021 @ 12:00 pm EST - 1:00 pm EST

This presentation emphasizes the importance of planting natives as both a sustainable approach to gardening and an opportunity to attract birds to your yard.

Webinar: The American Oaks – Diversity, Ecology, and Identification

Wed, February 3, 2021 @ 12:30 pm EST - 1:30 pm EST

Familiarity with oaks is vital for anyone looking to garden for biodiversity. Tim will show us how to identify most of the twelve species native to New England and offer guidance on species selection, installation, and maintenance for establishing oak trees in our managed landscapes.

Event calendar

Featured Articles

As Things Always Change, the Nature of Nature Remains the Same

By Kelsey Skaroff

2020 was obviously a remarkable year for many in adjusting work, relationships, and life in general in response to a pandemic, social justice movements, the economy, climate change, and politics. After a brief moment of uncertainly my job as Head Gardner went on as normal in this most unusual year.

    What is Native?

    By Dan Jaffe Wilder

    The recent interest in ecologically-minded landscapes has created a growing interest in native plants with more interest comes the question, what exactly does native mean? To simply state a plant is native is to make certain assumptions, and qualifiers are needed in order to make the statement namely time and place.

      More than Pollinator Friendly

      By Uli Lorimer

      Pollinator friendly is certainly a buzz word these days and for good reason. Both birds and insects are being impacted by climate change, habitat loss and fragmentation, and invasive species. This reality makes our choices in the garden that much more crucial.

        Recent Articles

        Wellness One Yard at a Time

        by Kelly Cartwright, Ph.D. 

        When I started researching native landscaping and eco-friendly yard care, my primary motivation was in its ecological and wildlife benefits. As I researched the topic further, I became interested in the connection to human well-being. I never imagined the soul-supporting connection I would form with my yard and the species with whom I interact.

         

        Small Native Shrubs to Replace Commonly Used Exotics

        By Sarah W. Middeleer, ASLA

        What do Japanese spirea, burning bush, boxwood, and forthysia all have in common? They are all non-native common garden plants that can be invasive and do not support native pollinators. Growing native plants helps foster biodiversity, feed bees, and other pollinators.  Many of our northeastern native shrubs are fantastic substitutes for commonly used exotics. 

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        Conferences

        ELA’s one- and two-day regional conferences offer cutting-edge knowledge, useful information, CEU’s, and invaluable opportunities for engagement with fellow professionals. Conference sponsors present their ecologically-focused products and services while supporting ecological education.

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        Webinars

        “A Focus on Sustainability” is an interactive webinar series geared to the needs of landscape professionals and gardeners. Experts from across the country present a wide range of topics relevant to sustainability. Webinars are developed in collaboration with several like-minded, ecologically-focused organizations that also provide regional education programs.

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        Classes, Eco-Tours & Workshops

        ELA programming offers classes, tours, and hands-on workshops to expand your skills from design and soil management to incorporating edibles and managing rainwater.

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        Introducing ELA

        I want to thank you and ELA for having such a wonderful speaker [Heather Holm] talk about our native bees and plant partners. It was fantastic. Great photos. 

        Virginia K.

        Thanks - another great webcast. For those of us living too far away to take advantage of other ELA offerings, your webinars are eagerly awaited. I teach classes at the NC Arboretum, and always tell my students about them.

        Nina S, Hidden Road Landscape Design

        "I just returned from visiting the Celebrating Natives gardens in Concord and Lincoln. They were so interesting and the homeowners answered any questions we had. Please do this again. It is a wonderful way to spread the word on ecological gardening. Thanks."

        C. Mandler ELA Newsletter Subscriber and Tour Attendee

        I thoroughly enjoy being a member of ELA. In fact, I get the most out of my membership from your organization than from any other professional organization I belong to. Your educational opportunities are fantastic, I have enjoyed every webinar I've ever attended, and your newsletter is always informative and helps me do my work. Thank you!

        Nancy H. Little Eden Gardens

        Fantastic! So many delicious offerings so well organized, so much energy, so many smiles! And just think of the abundance of skills, knowledge, deepened friendships, new connections, and inspired energy now out there, put to service, and passed on to still others! An astounding event! Hooray for everyone on the Conference Committee!

        Cindy G, Landscape Designer

        I just wanted to let you know I thought the conference was fantastic. It was so informative and the speakers where great! Thanks so much.

        Kim H. Kim Hoyt Architect & Landscape Architect P.C.

        I am an avid consumer of your web information and webinars. Keep up the excellent work!

        Judy P. Connecticut Sea Grant

        I wanted to thank you for an excellent Walk in the Garden series. The webinars were all-around professional, fact-filled, and pertinent presentations. I've learned a lot and am inspired to implement some changes!

        Margaret R.

        I especially enjoyed the Conference and felt like I learned quite a bit. I plan to make attending an annual event, either for me or one of my work colleagues.

        Michele A.

        I learned so much from David Seiter’s webinar.  I love the scientific approach and thinking differently about some plant species in terms of services, design, interaction with people, etc. Thank you!

        Missy F

        Thank you everyone for the energy you put into ELA. These programs shine from your involvement, expertise, and love of nature. I’m excited for what the next year will bring.

        Mark H.

        Thanks so much for organizing a great informative Mid-Atlantic conference. The speakers were all excellent and very enlightening, I came away with lots of new knowledge. I also enjoyed meeting and networking with lots of like minded professionals.

        Mark E. MSE Landscape Associates, LLC

        Laura and I were just talking about how much we get from all of the ELA events and webinars…. The good "vibes" abound at ELA events.

        John K, Land Design Inc.

        The whole day on soils was particularly educational. I really liked the on-topic, varied discussions.

        Erica B.

        I met and made new friends with great topics to discuss.

        Timothy M.

        You do a wonderful job with your newsletters. Everything might as well be a MUST Do with the way you present the programs.  We appreciate your dedication to doing a good job, and are most impressed with ELA.

        Ginny S. Talbot Ecological Land Care

        I really love ELA. Can't believe I only discovered y'all last year!

        Laura B

        Thank you for a full day’s worth of insightful material! Thank you for organizing this great event every year.

        Karen C.

        Speakers were very good, but meeting landscapers at the talks & in the lobby was best.

        Cathy B.

        Thank you Penny for making this delightful series available to members of the GCFM. [A Walk in the Garden webinars] have been one of my favorite hours each week this springtime. The speakers have been top notch subject experts who have excellent teaching skills to boot. Their photo presentations have been beautiful and informative. All around an excellent series!

        Linda N

        Thank you for a lovely and informative conference at BBG this past December. [It was] very well run and a joy to attend.

        I salute you on the excellent conference today at BBG! It's cheering and edifying for my staff and me to be among so many people, old friends and new, who value horticulture and ecology.

        Thank you for offering...courses via webinar - it really helps to save the professional development budget & travel time from my job. I find these information sessions very interesting, inspiring and informative.

        Thanks for providing the great professional society that I have been long searching for.... I am definitely a better, more informed practitioner for it.