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2023 Conference: Ecological Plant Conference @ Brooklyn Botanic Garden & VIRTUAL

Fri, December 1, 2023 @ 8:30 am EST - 5:30 pm EST

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, 990 Washington Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11225 United States

Friday, December 1 @ 8:30 EDT-4:30 EDT @ Brooklyn Botanic Garden & Virtual

This will be a hybrid event!

This year’s Ecological Plant Conference will be held on December 1, at Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Brooklyn, NY.  Our focus this year is Forest, Flower and Seed.  Forests, flowers, and seeds are integral components of the natural landscape, each contributing in unique ways to ecological health, human well-being, and the overall balance of the environment. Recognizing and valuing these elements is crucial for sustainable living and the preservation of our biodiversity.  Forest ecosystems house a wide array of plant and animal species and also help to store carbon. Flowers are essential for all life on earth, from the insects who pollinate them to the fauna (including humans of course!) who depend on the food they provide. And certainly, they also offer aesthetic value in both designed and natural landscapes. Then there are seeds. Seeds are where it all begins; the source of all plant life on earth, from individual flowers to forest ecosystems. 


Learning how Forests, Flowers and Seed impact our work and can help us create a more sustainable landscape will be shared by experts at this important conference.


We present four speakers who will offer insights into Forests, Flowers and Seeds.  This program will be in person, but there is a virtual option for those who cannot attend

Are you interested in sponsoring?  For more information CLICK HERE

Please be sure to mark your calendar for December 1 for what promises to be one of the New York Region’s most exciting ecological events of the year.

Scroll down to register– and watch this space for more information!


Forests, Flowers, and Seeds- 2023 Ecological Plant Conference

All times are East Coast Standard Timezone.

8:00- Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:30- Gather and Welcoming Remarks

8:40- Jean Beaugrand – Bronx is Blooming

9:10- Heather McCargoWild Seed Project Founder 
NATIVE TREES FOR NORTHEAST LANDSCAPES – Planting a diversity of native trees into our human dominated landscapes is a powerful act that each of us can take in our communities to support diverse wildlife and bufferer local ecosystems as the climate changes. In this presentation Heather will help you think like a forest with its layers of vegetation above ground to the diverse soil community below, and to also understand the importance of planting seed grown trees to support the genetic diversity of our native plants as we bring more of them into our landscapes.

10:25- 5-minute break

10:30- Ian Caton – Woodthrush Nursery

SPECIES DIVERSITY – Practical implications of genetic variation for nurseries, landscapes, and gardens. We often hear that local ecotypes are best. We often hear that straight species are best. But what do these terms mean for design? Especially when the nursery trade is not set up to account for these differences. Our opinions of a plant are often colored by our experience with what genetic type is available in the trade, but the truth is that many of our plants are so much more than that. Even cultivars often have informative stories to tell. This lecture will explore the practical implications of genetic variations, ecotypes, and, cultivars, and the real impact this can have on our expectations for how a plant will look, how it will behave in the landscape, and in some cases how it has the potential to cause harm to the broader landscape.

11:45- Lunch and Exhibitions

13:15- Taro Iateka & Jessica SchulerWestchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation
OUR ONCE AND FUTURE FOREST: PLANTING WESTCHESTER – Take a whirlwind tour of 20,000 years of forest change in the northeast to establish the context of current threats and future trends. From glaciation to indigenous forestry practices to European colonization through the arrival of the most recent pathogens from abroad, our native forests have seen major changes in composition and distribution. We’ll assess where we currently stand and the steps we are taking to grow the forests of the future.

14:30- 15-minute Break

14:45- Uli LorimerNortheast National Seed Network
THE NORTHEAST SEED NETWORK: AN EMERGING EFFORT TO INCREASE NATIVE PLANT MATERIALS IN THE REGION – The Northeast Seed Network is a growing effort designed to address the lack of local native plant seed available in the Northeast. By bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders, the network is working to build critical infrastructure, capacity and knowledge sharing to meet its goals of a sustained supply of genetically diverse, locally adapted native seed and plant material. This talk will explore how and why this network came together, what is currently underway and what future steps are needed to strengthen and expand the network.

16:00- Open Speaker Q&A

16:30- Exhibitions, Tour BBG

17:00- Closing


Fri, December 1, 2023
8:30 am EST - 5:30 pm EST
Event Category:


ELA Office
View Organizer Website


Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
990 Washington Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11225 United States
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