Get Ready for the Colorado Native Plant Conference!

cropped-summer-scale_filter-1A partnership of Colorado non-profits are organizing the first Landscaping with Colorado Native Plants Conference, March 12, 2016, in Loveland, CO. “With the increased interest in providing habitat for pollinators, and using less irrigation in our landscapes, we feel the time is right to offer a full-day of seminars on using native plants in the landscape,” says Susan Crick Smith of Front Range Wild Ones. “The Conference will inspire and educate homeowners and landscapers to use more Colorado native plants in their water-wise gardens.”

Noted Colorado author and plant biologist, Susan Tweit, will start the conference with the inspiring story of how her efforts in restoring a blighted industrial property in Salida, CO, grew into a movement. Her talk, “The Ditch and the Meadow: How Native Plants and Gardeners Revived a Neighborhood and Changed the Culture of a Town” will include photos of the park and trail system that grew out of her efforts.

Most of the day will include sessions on how to use native plants in the landscape. Homeowners, landscape professionals and designers are encouraged to attend to gain insights on design, rainwater harvesting, plant selection, and creating habitats for pollinators and wildlife. Attendees will have a choice of three seminars from the following list:

  • Designing with Natives: Karla Dakin of K. Dakin Design, Louisville
  • Construction of Native Landscapes: Alison Peck of Matrix Gardens, Boulder
  • Creating and Maximizing Micro-Climates in Your Native Garden: Jim Tolstrup of High Plains Environmental Center, Loveland
  • Edible and Medicinal Native Plants: Karen Vail and Mary O’Brien of Steamboat Springs and Hayden
  • Native Plants for Every Situation: Irene Shonle of Gilpin County CSU Extension Program
  • Habitat Gardens: Susan Crick Smith of Front Range Wild Ones, Denver

The Conference will end with five Virtual Garden Tours from homeowners and landscape designers who retrofitted traditionally landscaped yards with native plants. Themes include a foothills rock garden, no-lawn yard, prairie garden, rain-powered landscape and a habitat garden. “If you’ve ever wondered what a suburban landscape with native plants would look like, these virtual garden tours will surely provide inspiration and ideas for your own yard,” Smith says.

Registration is $90 and includes lunch, refreshments, and access to vendors and non-profit organizations who can provide additional information. Students, with valid student identification, can register for $45. Please visit to learn more and to register.

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