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ELA Conference & Eco-Marketplace 2016

March 9, 2016 - March 10, 2016

$5 - $460

ELA Conference Logo Tree and GlobeSustaining the Living Landscape
The 22nd Annual ELA Conference & Eco-Marketplace
March 9 & 10, 2016 at the UMass Campus Center, Amherst, MA

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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Click Here to View ELA Conference Brochure                Click Here to View Session Schedule and Descriptions

Conference Sessions and Hotel In One Building!

University of Massachusetts - Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center Amherst

Hotel UMass Located in Campus Center

Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center
And Hotel UMass
University of Massachusetts
1 Campus Way
Amherst, MA

Click here for Transportation and Lodging Tips!

Conference Hotel – Special Room Rates for conference attendees $109.
Discount rate available through February 28th only!

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.

Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) are requested for many ELA conference sessions. CEUs are requested from the following organizations: APLD, ISA, LA CES, MA Forester, N.E. Pesticide, N.Y. Pesticide, N.J. Pesticide, and NOFA AOLCP. Click here for the current list of approved CEUs. All other CEU applications are currently being reviewed. Please check back soon for an updated list of approved credit awards.

March 9th
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.

March 10th 
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
    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


March 9, 2016
March 10, 2016
$5 - $460
Event Category:


Penny Lewis


UMass Amherst – Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center
1 Campus Center Way
Amherst, MA 01003 United States
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