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ELA Mid-Atlantic Conference

Thu, November 14, 2019 @ 8:30 am EST - 4:00 pm EST

Delaware Center for Horticulture, 1810 N Dupont Street
Wilmington, DE 19806 United States

2019 Program: The Plant Pollinator Partnership

Offered in collaboration with
The Delaware Center for Horticulture

As native bees struggle alongside European honey bees for survival, their reduced numbers put natural ecosystems and agricultural systems at risk. And bees are not the only pollinators that are suffering. Beetles, butterflies, ants, birds, and bats all help with pollination and all are experiencing environmental stresses.

In response, landscape professionals and concerned homeowners across the country are learning more about the habitat needs of all pollinators – and using that knowledge to make planting decisions.

Join ELA to learn from four pollinator experts what we can do to support pollinators.

Program schedule below.

The Pollinator-Friendly Landscape: Beyond Plant Selection
~ Sam Hoadley, Mt. Cuba Center Research Findings

A landscape rich with a diversity of flowering plants is both beautiful and helps support the thousands of species of bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinating insects we have in the U.S. However, planning your pollinator-friendly landscape does not end with your plant list. In addition to the evaluation of native plants for the Mid-Atlantic region, the Trial Garden at Mt. Cuba Center is also taking an in-depth look at pollinators.  Volunteer citizen scientists observe and record pollinator activity on selected genera in our trial.

Currently data is being collected on:
Echinacea, Hydrangea, and Helenium.

These observations made over a three year period helps us to determine the plants that are preferred by pollinators.  This information plays a major role in our selection of top performers.  It is not enough to be a beautiful plant in our trials, there must also be an ecological benefit to get the Mt. Cuba stamp of approval.

Please join us in a discussion of our findings  as we break down our pollinator data from current and past trials.

Sam Hoadley is the Horticultural Research Manager at Mt. Cuba Center.  His work includes evaluating native plant species, old and new cultivars, as well as hybrids in Mt Cuba’s Trial Garden.  Using data collected and analyzed over a three-year period a research report is published outlining top preforming plants for the Mid-Atlantic region.  This information is designed to inform consumers and home gardeners as well as professionals in the horticultural and nursery industries about the ecological benefits and attributes of the native plants in our trials.  Current genera on trial include Carex, Echinacea, Hydrangea arborescens, and Helenium. Sam received his degree in Sustainable Landscape Horticulture from the University of Vermont and has always maintained a strong passion for plants and the horticultural world.

Creating Gardens for Birds
~ Connie Schmotzer

40% of the world’s 11,000 bird species are now in decline. And our best efforts installing bird houses and feeders can’t reverse this. But changing the plant palette in our yards can. Learn about the relationships between native plants, pollinators and birds and what you can include in your landscape designs to make life better for our feathered friends. The bottom line is to attract birds into the landscape and gardens, plant more native trees, shrubs, and perennials.  Native plants have co-evolved for millions of years with the native birds and form the foundation of a healthy North American ecosystem.

By adding more native plants to the landscape, everyone can do their part to support pollinators of all types while also supporting breeding and migratory bird populations imperiled by habitat loss and climate change.

Connie Schmotzer works as the Consumer Horticulture Educator for Penn State Extension in York County, PA, where she coordinates the Master Gardener Program and the Mid-Atlantic Ecological Landscaping partnership (MAEscapes). Since 2011 she has taken leadership of the statewide Master Gardener pollinator monitoring program, and the Penn State Pollinator Friendly Garden Certification program.  She also spearheaded a large pollinator trial at Penn State’s Southeast Agricultural Research and Extension Center, trialing 84 varieties of native plants. Connie has a B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA and did graduate work at Montana State University.

In Support of Pollinators:
Native Plants Throughout the Landscape

 ~ Kelly Gill

Entomologist and pollinator-conservation specialist Kelly Gill presents plant suggestions and landscape practices In Support of Pollinators. The layout of your gardens, layout of your plants, and your maintenance practices all affect pollinators. Here is a set of considerations for choosing the best types of plants for pollinators, plus how to use them to create the best pollinator sanctuary possible.

Kelly Gill is a Pollinator Conservation Specialist for the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, an international nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. In her dual role, she is also a partner biologist, based in New Jersey, with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Kelly, who completed her Masters in Entomology at Iowa State, provides technical support for planning, installing, and managing pollinator habitat across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. She also conducts research aimed at the development of best practices for conserving beneficial insects in agricultural landscapes.

Native Bees and How to Maintain Bee-Friendly Landscapes
 ~ Sam Droege

Bees require both food sources and good habitat to thrive. Native bees are ubiquitous, occurring in all landscapes, often in surprisingly large numbers, without anyone aware that they are even present. Unlike honey bees, and the social wasps such as yellow jackets and hornets, most native bees do not defend their nests and rarely sting.

Wildlife biologist, Sam Droege, will explain how simple landscape choices and landscape maintenance practices can encourage or discourage native bee populations.

Sam Droege is a Wildlife Biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and has spent most of his career at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. He has coordinated the North American Breeding Bird Survey Program, developed the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program, the BioBlitz, Cricket Crawl, and FrogwatchUSA programs and worked on the design and evaluation of monitoring programs. Currently he is developing an inventory and monitoring program for native bees, creating online identification guides for North American bees at, and with Jessica Zelt reviving the North American Bird Phenology Program. His group maintains high resolution photographs of insects and other macro natural history objects at: Sam is also the author of Bees: An Up-Close Look at Pollinators Around the World. He holds a B.S. from University of Maryland and an M.S. from State University of New York – Syracuse.

CEUs have been granted by:



  • 8:30 – 9:00         Registration
  • 9:00 – 10:00       Sam Hoadley – The Pollinator-Friendly Landscape
  • 10:00 – 11:00      Connie Schmotzer – Creating Gardens for Birds
  • 11:00 – 11:15       Break
  • 11:15 – 12:15       Kelly Gill – Supporting Pollinators: Native Plants Throughout the Landscape
  • 1:15 – 2:15           Sam Droege – Native Bees and How to Maintain Bee-Friendly Landscapes
  • 2:15 – 2:30           Break
  • 2:30 – 3:30           Panel Discussion and Q&A
  • 3:30 – 4:00           CEU Awards and Networking


Conference is SOLD OUT



Thu, November 14, 2019
8:30 am EST - 4:00 pm EST
Event Category:


Penny Lewis


Delaware Center for Horticulture
1810 N Dupont Street
Wilmington, DE 19806 United States


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