By Mark Ambrogi
Preservation will be the theme at the annual Indiana Native Plant & Wildflower Society conference.
“Our mission is not only to protect native plants and wildflowers but to utilize them in our gardens and landscaping,” said Tom Hohman, conference leader. “Some years the theme is more native plant gardening. This time it’s more on preservation-type issues.”
The 23rd annual conference will be from 8:30 to 5 p.m. Nov. 5 at the 502 East Event Centre, 502 E. Carmel Dr., Carmel.
“Preservation: Keeping What We’ve Got, Restoring What We’ve Lost” is the title of the event, which is open to the public.
The keynote speakers are Dr. Reed Noss and Dr. Robbin Moran.
“That’s one of the nice things about our conference. It gives us a chance to hear some national speakers, and the other speakers are from Indiana,” Hohman said. “So it adds to that by giving a local spin on things. It’s a really great opportunity for people all over the state to come together and hear about native plants and conservation issues. It’s certainly not common to have that opportunity to hear those kinds of speakers all in one place.”
Noss, the Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Central Florida and President of the Florida Institute for Conservation Science, will discuss the changing values, concepts and themes of conservation and decisions that need to be made between competing values.
Moran, the Nathaniel Lord Britton Curator of Botany at The New York Botanical Garden, will focus on some of Indiana’s more interesting and unusual ferns.
Others speakers include Cliff Chapman and John Bacone, who will provide an update on preservation of natural areas in Indiana. Alyssa Nyberg, nursery manager at Kankakee Sands since 1999, will examine “the marvels and mistakes of a prairie 19 years in the making.” Bill McKnight’s talk will expose some of the common myths of gardening.
The cost for INPAWS members is $75, non-members $90 and students $40. Online registration ends Oct. 29 (inpaws.org). Hohman said registration will be available at the door if the conference isn’t sold out, but lunch can’t be guaranteed.