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2021 Regenerative Solutions for Resilient Landscapes

Thu, November 11 @ 8:30 am EST - 4:30 pm EST

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ELA Members $119  ~  Non-members $139

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Margaret Molyson Photo

Connections are vital throughout healthy landscapes and include everything from interaction between pollinator and plant to the underground networking of mycelium.

The degree to which a landscape is successfully connected determines soil health, biodiversity, local adaptation, colonization, and species survival prospects. All connections are further challenged as ecosystems cope with climate change.

Join us on Thursday, November 11th to explore many critical landscape connections and to investigate the roles we can play in ensuring their success:

  • Climate Connections
  • Soil and Mycillium Connections
  • Host/Pollinator Connections
  • Plant Community Connections
  • Tree Connections

Plant Community Connections:
Building Strong Foundations
Roy Diblik

Gorgeous perennial gardens packed with color, texture, and multi-season interest (think of stunning examples like the Lurie Garden) may be aspirational but are also achievable with some plant community know-how from award-winning plantsman and designer Roy Diblik.

Roy’s design approach begins by learning a core group of plants, and all of the characteristics of the plants, that are reliable performers, tolerant of varied initial soil conditions. The next steps are combining them with complementary plants that thrive together when grown as a community. Roy also emphasizes a design approach that minimizes garden maintenance. One reliable species is Carex used as a groundcover to reduce reliance on wood mulch, create a healthier habitat for woody plants, create interconnected plant communities that benefit the well-being of the whole community, and promote long-lived communities over time.

Plant/Pollinator Connections:

Using Informed Plant Selection to Restore Pollinators and Songbirds
Desiree Narango

Functional food webs are essential for the successful conservation of ecological communities. In terrestrial systems, food webs are built on a foundation of co-evolved interactions between plants and their consumers. Efforts to restore urban and suburban green space, provide ecosystem services, and combat adverse impacts of development have resulted in widespread tree- and garden- planting efforts. Yet, little attention is given to the importance of plant identity for successfully supporting biodiversity. In this presentation, Dr. Narango will discuss the ecological and evolutionary relationships between plants, pollinators, and songbirds and highlight her recent research demonstrating that particular native plants are crucial for supporting local food webs. She will also share examples where species interaction data can provide quantitative metrics to inform planting guidelines to restore wildlife habitat in shared, living- and working landscapes.

Tree Connections:
Mother Trees
Suzanne Simard

Trees are connected, that’s right, CONNECTED. Through their research, Dr. Simard and her team have discovered that trees are connected below-ground via a vast fungal network. The Mother Tree project is investigating forest renewal practices that will protect biodiversity, carbon storage and forest regeneration as climate changes. This field-based research compares various retention levels of Mother Trees (large, old trees) and their neighbors, as well as regenerating seedling mixtures, in Douglas-fir forests located across nine climatic regions in British Columbia.
What is the mysterious, powerful force that connects and sustains others? The old, large trees in forests are responsible for nurturing and connecting forests in the same profound ways that families and human societies nurture and connect their members. Learn about the vital and inseparable bonds that enable survival of all.

Climate Connections and Adaptations

Connecting Communities in Safe, Natural Spaces

Speaker Bios

Roy Diblik is a recognized perennial plant expert, grower, designer, author, and co-owner of Northwind Perennial Farm in southeastern Wisconsin. Combining his 35+ years of knowledge growing traditional and Midwest native perennials, he specializes in highly aesthetic, sustainable plant communities for all seasons, while reducing maintenance through design. He believes that gardens should be thoughtful, ecologically directed, emotionally outreaching, and yet very personal.

Mr. Diblik is the author of The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden, a simplified approach that promotes use of hardy, beautiful plants that are complementary and thrive together as a community.

Dr. Desiree Narango is a conservation biologist who studies plant-animal interactions and wildlife ecology in novel ecosystems significantly altered by people, such as urban forests, residential yards, and farmland. Her ultimate goal is to find data-driven conservation solutions for land managers to help preserve biodiversity and species interactions in a rapidly changing world. She is currently a David H. Smith Conservation Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, collaborating with the US Forest Service Northern Research Station.

Dr. Suzanne Simard is a Professor of Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia and the author of the book, Finding the Mother Tree. She is a pioneer on the frontier of plant communication and intelligence; and has been hailed as a scientist who conveys complex, technical ideas in a way that is approachable, yet dazzling and profound. Her work has influenced filmmakers (the Tree of Souls in James Cameron’s Avatar) and her TED talks have been viewed by more than 10 million people worldwide.
Dr. Simard is known for her work on how trees interact and communicate using below-ground fungal networks, which has led to the recognition that forests have hub trees, or Mother Trees, which are large, highly connected trees that play an important role in the flow of information and resources in a forest. Her current research investigates how these complex relationships contribute to forest resiliency, adaptability and recovery and has far-reaching implications for how to manage and heal forests from human impacts, including climate change.




Continuing Education Credits

CEUs are being requested from APLD, LA CES, MCH, MALP, and NOFA. 


8:30 – 9:00Check-in and tech check
9:00 – 10:00Roy Diblik – Plant Community Connections
15 minute break
10:15 – 11:15Desiree Narango – Plant/Pollinator Connections
45 minute break
12:00 – 1:00Suzanne Simard – Finding the Mother Tree: Connections Beneath the Soil
45 minute break
1:45 – 2:45TBD – Climate Connections and Adaptations
15 minute break
3:00 – 4:00TBD – Connecting Communities in Safe, Natural Spaces

4:00 – 4:30                   CEU Processing – Networking


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Thu, November 11
8:30 am EST - 4:30 pm EST
Event Category:


Penny Lewis