The Native Plant Center’s 2017 Spring Landscape Conference, Going Public: Native Plants Take Root from Parks to Parkways, will explore the use of native plants in public spaces. The event will be held at Westchester Community College in Valhalla on Monday, March 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with a snow date of Friday, March 17.
“Increasingly native plants are being used in public parks, along roadsides, and beside waterways where they bring people in touch with nature; attract birds, butterflies, and other wildlife to otherwise barren sites; and revitalize local economies,” says Carol Capobianco, Director of The Native Plant Center.
The Conference will include five presentations that will feature successful designs, address funding and maintenance challenges, and discuss native plants that can survive these demanding spaces. Award-winning horticulturist and landscape designer Patrick Cullina, formerly with the High Line, will open with a look at transforming spaces with dynamic designs. Enhancing and managing roadside vegetation will be presented in talks by Susan Barton, PhD, a University of Delaware assistant professor who has worked for many years with Delaware’s Department of Transportation, and Aileen Helsley and Jason Wolfanger of the New York State Department of Transportation. David Kvinge, Director of Environmental Planning for Westchester County, will discuss ways to restore natural resources along public waterways. The final speaker, Heather Liljengren, a seed collection specialist with the Greenbelt Native Plant Center of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, will speak about tough native plant species that can thrive in built landscapes.
The conference is approved for five Professional Development Hours (PDHs) accredited by the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA-CES) as well as up to four Continuing Education Units (CEUs) accredited by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Registration for the conference is required; the fee depends on whether professional credits are requested. For further details and to register, visit www.nativeplantcenter.org or call 914-606-7870.
Transforming Public Spaces with Dynamic Designs
Discover how innovative landscape design and the creative use of plants can change public spaces into more livable environments that attract wildlife and people and can create economic vibrancy in the surrounding community. Take lessons from places such as the High Line, Bethlehem Steel, the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway and a number of other projects. Learn the importance of native plant selection and strategies tailored to the particulars of a site with a focus on functionality, seasonality, aesthetics, and maintenance. Patrick Cullina is an award-winning horticulturist and landscape designer with more than 20 years of experience. His Manhattan-based design and consulting business provides innovative and sensitive integration of plants and materials to a range of projects, including those for municipal, private, corporate, conservancy, and landscape architecture clients. He was the founding vice president of horticulture for The High Line, and was vice president of horticulture at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Enhancing Highways: Lessons from the Roadside
Learn how roadways can be designed to reduce cost, steward land, and improve aesthetics through the lens of the Enhancing Delaware Highways project. See how both enhancement and management tactics can create sustainable landscapes. Many of these roadside strategies can be translated to other public and private landscapes to accomplish the same goals. Susan Barton, PhD is an award-winning extension specialist and associate professor in the Plant and Soil Sciences Department at the University of Delaware. For the past 12 years, she has been working with Delaware’s Department of Transportation to research and implement new roadside vegetation management strategies. She has also helped to develop Plants for a Livable Delaware program, designed to provide alternatives to invasive species and to promote sustainable landscaping, and presents industry expos with the Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association.
Managing Roadside Vegetation: From Invasives to Pollinators
Find out how the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), Hudson Valley Region, manages vegetation for safety, habitat, and aesthetics along approximately 2,700 miles of roadway in seven counties. Learn about environmentally friendly programs such as biocontrol for invasive species, low mow/no mow grass selection, and a pilot program that benefits pollinators. Aileen Helsley is Maintenance Environmental Coordinator for NYSDOT, Hudson Valley Region, where she has worked in design, construction, and maintenance for the department. She holds a BS in geology and MS in elementary education from SUNY New Paltz. Jason Wolfanger, a landscape architect and certified arborist, is Deputy Assistant to the Regional Director of NYSDOT, Hudson Valley Region. He helps to implement the design, construction, and maintenance of multiple roadside vegetation management programs. He earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry.
Restoring Riparian Ecological Function
Discover the ways in which degraded natural resources can be restored along public waterways. Learn about site selection criteria, design parameters, implementation techniques, stormwater management practices, and maintenance issues on several projects in Westchester County that are revitalizing habitats in tidal and freshwater wetlands, ponds, streams, upland and wet meadows, and beach dunes. David Kvinge is Director of Environmental Planning for Westchester County, overseeing the development and implementation of programs to protect and manage natural resources through watershed planning, habitat restoration, stormwater management, and flood mitigation. He is a member of the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners, a licensed landscape architect in Connecticut, and a Certified Floodplain Manager with the Association of State Floodplain Managers.
Tough Plants for Tough Places: Mirroring Natural Habitats in the Built Landscape
Native plants have co-evolved within a dynamic, human-dominated landscape for centuries, sharing and even thriving in the built environment. Learn which species are better suited to such settings and how adaptations of native flora can be harnessed and valued through thoughtful design to create sustainable and functioning ecosystems. Heather Liljengren is Supervising Seed Collector and Field Taxonomist for the Greenbelt Native Plant Center on Staten Island, a facility of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. She manages the seed collection and banking program, which provides locally sourced, genetically diverse plant material for restoration projects throughout the city. The collection area encompasses a variety of plant communities in 25 counties within a 100-mile radius of the New York City metropolitan region.
The Native Plant Center, a program of the Westchester Community College Foundation, was established in 1998 as the first national affiliate of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. The Native Plant Center maintains demonstration gardens and educates the public about the environmental necessity, economic value, and natural beauty of native plants through conferences, classes, and its Go Native U certificate program.