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Thumbs Up for the Environment:      
      Native Landscaping for Clean Water

Hands Holding Plant

Saturday, February 21st
8:30 am - Registration Opens
8:45 am - 4:10 pm Program and Exhibits
Radisson Hotel Roseville
2540 Cleveland Avenue North
Roseville, MN 55113
(PDF Map)

The 9th Annual Spring Expo highlights the importance of landscaping with native plants to protect the quality of our lakes, rivers and ground water. Native plants can play a key role in controlling storm water pollution and protecting our shorelines and natural environment. Learn how native gardens offer an attractive, low-maintenance and eco-friendly alternative for our landscapes. Visit with professionals in the native plant business, watershed districts and published authors, including Welby Smith of the DNR who just authored "Trees and Shrubs of Minnesota", in the 'Reader's Corner' of the Exhibitor Hall.

The Expo is co-sponsored by the Twin Cities and St. Croix Oak Savanna chapters of Wild Ones, partnering with the award-winning local Blue Thumb - Planting for Clean Water program. Attendance at the Expo may qualify for Master Gardener and Minnesota Naturalist credits.

Registration is $35 for members, $40 for non-members, and includes the lunch buffet. Payment is due by Friday, February 13th. Please register early as space is limited. Register by mail using this downloadable PDF form.

Expo Program

3:30 pm - 4:10 pm Raffle / Expo Close
8:30 am - 4:10 pm Registration Open
8:45 am - 2:30 pm Exhibits Open
9:30 am – 10:30 am

Welcome and Keynote Address
How Did We Get Here, and What Are We Doing to Change Our Ways?
Bonnie Harper-Lore
, Restoration Ecologist, Federal Highway Administration

Bonnie Harper-Lore has dedicated her career to native plant restoration. From MnDOT to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and on to the FHWA wildflowers, invasive plants and vegetation management programs, she has continuously fought to protect both wetland and woodland edges along our roadways. Bonnie is a published author and expert on native plants, invasive species, and the effects they have on our land and water.

11:00 am - 11:45 am Morning Workshops (choose one):

Designing Your Landscaping for Clean Water
Douglas Owens-Pike
, Native Landscape Designer, EnergyScapes Inc.

For those who are starting the transition to native plants and sustainable design, hear how to dream big yet fit into your neighborhood and do the maintenance to keep it looking beautiful. Learn why every native plant in your landscape becomes an important source of diversity and how you can easily improve water quality.

Layering Your Landscape for Clean Water
Mike Isensee
, Dakota County Soil & Water Conservation District

Mike wants children to be able to chase butterflies and fireflies, swim in the lakes and canoe the rivers, just as he did as a child. He will talk about intermediate to advanced design techniques that incorporate native gardens, raingardens and native shorelines to create beautiful yards that enhance habitat and reduce impacts to your water resources.

11:45 am - 1:30 pm Lunch Buffet and Exhibits
1:30 pm - 2:15 pm Afternoon Workshops (choose one):

Getting Started on Your Water-Friendly Landscaping
Todd Rexine
, Ecological Design, Great River Greening

Introduction to using native plants in your landscape while at the same time easing the use of the municipal water supply. We will look at how to analyze your site, draw up a plan and implement the plan. Examples of successful projects will be shown during the presentation.

The Latest and Greatest Techniques for Clean Water
Peter MacDonagh
, Kestrel Design Group, Inc.

Peter will speak on some of the most cutting edge techniques for fighting climate change and keeping our lakes and rivers clean. Come hear about the work he is doing around North America using Tree Cells, Green Roofs, and Living Walls to create healthy “green and blue infrastructure”.

2:15 pm - 2:30 pm Exhibits / Exhibits Close
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Feature Address
Where Do We Go From Here?
Rusty Schmidt
, Landscape Ecologist, Washington Conservation District

Rusty travels around the country, raising awareness and teaching communities and gardeners about the importance of utilizing native plants as a means to protect our water. As he brings our day to a close, he will motivate each of us by making us more aware of where we live and showing us how even a small garden in our own back yard could be the beginning of a native plant movement within our local community.

Speakers and Workshop Presenters

Bonnie Harper-Lore, Restoration Ecologist, Federal Highway Administration
Beginning as a landscape architect and professor 20 some years ago, Bonnie initiated MnDOT's wildflower program and continues to lead in the design and administration of our federal roadside wildflower program. She is an expert on both native and invasive plants, has served and chaired related White House task forces, and is a active member of several national committees and organizations that focus on native plant restoration and management. Bonnie created Weeds Across Borders, a North American conference, coedited Roadside Use of Native Plants and Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants, and has published several laminated field guides. Throughout her career she has helped pave the way to remake our public roadways into beautiful examples of sustainable land use and clean water management.

Mikael Isensee, CPESC, Urban Conservationist, Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District
Mike currently serves as an Urban Conservationist in Minnesota’s third most populous county. In this capacity he provides technical assistance to the county, cities, developers and engineers to plan, design and install Low Impact Development Integrated Management Practices. In an effort to increase citizen participation in stormwater pollution prevention, Mike initiated and leads the Dakota County Blue Thumb Initiative, providing technical and financial assistance to Dakota County residents who design and install native gardens, raingardens and native shorelines.

Peter MacDonagh, Director of Design & Science, The Kestrel Design Group, Inc.
Peter's experience begin in the Chicago area in the mid-1980s, working on projects with the Nature Conservancy and Forest Preserve Districts. In 1989, he co-founded The Kestrel Design Group, an award winning landscape design firm specializing in ecological restoration, conservation design and innovative stormwater management. Peter is also an adjunct faculty member and teaches ecological design in the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota's Landscape Architecture program and in the Architecture program in Sustainable Design.

Douglas Owens-Pike, Native Landscape Designer, EnergyScapes, Inc.
Douglas has twenty years of experience designing, installing and maintaining natural landscapes in Minnesota and Wisconsin. After completing his MS in plant ecology at the University of Washington, he founded EnergyScapes, Inc. in 1989, with the goal of restoring more natural diversity of plants and local materials into urban landscapes. Douglas is currently working on a book to help people evaluate their home landscape, and show them how to move it toward more sustainable practices, including nurturing communities of native plants.

Todd Rexine, Ecological Designer, Great River Greening
Great River Greening leads and promotes community-based restoration of natural areas and open spaces. These restoration efforts help preserve natural areas, protect clean air and water, and increase urban residents’ access to natural areas and sustainable open space. As an ecological designer with Great River Greening, Todd has designed and installed environmentally sensitive landscapes of varying degrees and sizes.

Rusty Schmidt, Landscape Ecologist, Washington Conservation District in Minnesota
Rusty helps train homeowners and design professionals on the techniques of raingardens nationwide. He has created hundreds of designs for habitat restorations, raingardens, bio-infiltration swales, bio-retention basins and stormwater ponds and has assisted raingarden initiatives like the “10,000 Rain Garden Initiative” in Kansas City and the MetroBlooms and BlueThumb Programs in Minnesota. Rusty is also is a co-author for three books, two on plant selections for stormwater management and a homeowner guide to raingardens.


Email to: WOExpo@gmail.com, or call 612-965-5510 with any questions.

Exhibitor contact: Joanne Bednarski 763-753-3655 or Sonia Borg 651-482-9968.

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Updated: Jaunary 12, 2009.