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ELA News – January 2021

Inside ELA

Thank you for all of your support and engagement, especially over the last year. As you know, the pandemic forced us to pivot our programming from being largely in-person and often hands-on to being entirely online and virtual. This work hasn’t been easy, but for those of you who attended any of the fall conferences (Season’s End Summit, Regenerative Designs for Resilient Landscapes, and the Ecological Plant Conference) you know that these have been truly wonderful educational events.

Though nothing can replace the networking and social contact many of us look for in an in-person conference, the virtual events create an experience with opportunities for both group and one-on-one interactions. Each participant can decide their level of engagement – camera on or off (though we love to see your faces!), listen and take notes, speak up and ask questions, stay in one “room” or move from around – just like at an in-person conference. For those of you who will attend the 27th ELA Conference and Virtual Eco-Marketplace on March 3 & 4th, I am certain you’ll appreciate this new system, because there are so many excellent talks on the menu!

Our industry has long been led and dominated by the voices of white men. For the last several years the ELA intentionally worked to promote and amplify voices of women and people of color in the industry. The more voices and perspectives we hear, the better able we are to understand one another in this world. This year’s annual conference features a diverse group of speakers from all over the country with a range of backgrounds and areas of expertise. We are honored to have so many incredibly talented people sharing their knowledge, experience, research, and insight with us in March. Join us on Wednesday March 3rd and hear experts talk about Climate Change and its effect on invasive species, carbon sequestration, and forest ecology, or about Building Resilience with food justice, regenerative land care, and water infiltration. Thursday March 4th offers three concurrent tracks – Focus on Design, Focus on Practice and Idea Exchanges – with many interesting topics and experts, including a lunchtime panel on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Horticulture. We encourage you to join us with open hearts and open minds for this important conversation.

Rie Macchiarolo
President, Board of Directors

Wednesday Walks Are Back March 31

The Ecological Landscape Alliance (ELA) announces a return of the Wednesday Walks in the Garden. For 12 weeks beginning on March 31st, ELA will again offer free webinar presentations as respite to gardeners across the country and beyond who continue to struggle with the stress of the COVID pandemic. Presentations will cover a wide range of gardening topics from the mysteries of soil microbes to foliage-framed focal points. This series will inform, delight, and inspire gardeners and designers of all backgrounds. We hope that you’ll join our Wednesday Walks in the Garden for a nature-filled diversion as we introduce new plants, new practices, and inspiration to get outdoors – a sanctuary in the midst of continuing lockdowns. More information and registration will be available on February 1st.

Thank you to all who generously donated on Giving Tuesday and throughout 2020.

Membership Milestone

Congratulations to ELA’s 1000th member, Karen Lavin. And thank you to all of our members as we continue to grow our ecological community and expand the reach of nature-based stewardship.

Virtual Coffee January 20

ELA’s Virtual Volunteer Coffee continues on Wednesday, January 20, 12:30-1:00. Call in to tell us your idea for a program, or about the great speaker you heard or book you read. To get the call-in number email