Native Plant Symposium Planned for September 29th

The 7th Biennial Native Plant Symposium will be held on Saturday, September 29, 2018 at the St. John Township Community Center 1515 W. Lincoln Highway, Schererville,  hosted by Wild Ones, Gibson Woods Chapter. Registration begins at 8am – 9am with a hot lunch buffet from 11:15  Noon.. Following is the agenda.
      Silent Spring & the Birth of the Modern Ecology Movement, 9:00 – 10:00. Leslie Goddard, actress and historian. Biologist and author Rachel Carson warned the world of the potentially dire environmental impact of chemical pesticides in her best-selling 1962 book, “Silent Spring.” In this brand-new living-history program, set in 1963, Leslie portrays Carson as she discusses her childhood love for the living world, her passion for writing, and her work to awaken the world to the beauty and fragility of nature.  
      ‘Wild Ones  Stewards of Natural Landscaping’  Donna Van Buecken, Retired Executive Director of Wild Ones. 10:15 – 11:15.  Donna has spread the word about native plants and natural landscaping, consulted with local nurserymen and provided administrative support to small not-for-profit organizations for more than 20 years. Since her retirement from Wild Ones as Executive Director, she also writes the natural landscaping blog called ‘Accent on Natural Landscaping’. Through her blog she shares new and interesting information about things related primarily to the Wild Ones mission.
      21st Century Conservation; Where have all the Carson’s Gone?’ – Steve Sass, Back by popular demand. 12:15 – 1:15. What do you do when you wake up one morning to find that the wooded lot next door is being cleared for a new Dollar General store? What happens when you’re mad as heck and you call for the cavalry, but the cavalry never comes? Is there really anything that we can do, or is it inevitable that “progress” will always win over conservation? Drawing on the inspiring conservation leaders of our past, along with some current events, Steve will try to make some sense out of some of the contemporary conservation challenges before us.
      ‘Native Plant Habitat & Quality of Life’ – 1:30 – 2:30, Craig Zandstra, Lake County Parks Superintendent of Planning and Natural Resources. Craig will speak about native plant communities in Lake County and locations where they can be found. They range from sandy soil plant communities up north, to clay soil communities south on the Valparaiso Moraine, to forested wetland along the Kankakee River. He will mix some individual native plant information, as well as the quality of life afforded by these plant communities to the surrounding communities.
     Registration is $45 for non-members. You can register by mail with your check made out to GIBSON WOODS CHAPTER with your name, address, phone number, and mail to: Wild Ones 2018 Native Plant Symposium c/o Gibson Woods Nature Preserve, 6201 Parrish Ave., Hammond, IN 46323 (or you can print out the registration form found on their website:, and return with your check.) Want to register & pay online? Go to website and click on the symposium link or call Kim at 219-433-5731.
     Wild Ones . . . …promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to encourage biodiversity through the preservation, restoration, and establishment of native plant communities. Wild Ones is a not-for profit, environmental, educational, and advocacy organization.

Sue Baxter