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Prairie, Woodlands, and Wetlands Seminar - February 16

    Garfield Farm Museum’s annual Prairie, Woodlands, and Wetlands Management Seminar on Saturday, February 16 from 8-4:30 pm brings together experts and prairie enthusiasts in a day filled with fascinating sessions on how to make Illinois’ climate, soil, and plants work for property owners. The seminar covers typical native plants found in the region, methods of raising them from garden borders to vast acreages, controlled burns, and how to save money and time.
    The morning starts with a discussion of how to research a property?s natural history followed by native plant identification methods. The speakers then turn to controlling invasive species through the use of both controlled burns, mechanical, and chemical methods. This is a particularly important topic since many property owners spend a great deal of time fighting these plants.
    The seminar will feature four speakers, Al Roloff, Roy Diblik, Jack Shouba, and Garfield’s biologist, Jerome Johnson. Al Roloff of Sycamore, IL will address questions and issues related to plants that thrive in wetland conditions, or even in those low areas of a homeowner’s property. Roloff has worked with NIU professor, Paul Sorenson and they have implemented practical solutions for a diverse variety of situations through the business, Natural Resource Services.
    Long time Garfield volunteer, Jack Shouba, has been a constant presence as Garfield has worked to maintain its abundant prairies. Jack will give a talk on the ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’ in dealing with prairie management and restoration. He was instrumental in saving Wolf Road Prairie in Westchester/Oak Brook, IL and has lent his expertise to Campton Township?s Open Space Program since moving to the area. He has taught numerous classes at Morton Arboretum and excels at nature photography.
    Roy Diblik and his late business associate, Craig Sensor founded Natural Gardens in St. Charles, IL with Diblik developing methods of growing native plants from seed. Twenty years ago, Diblik established Northwind Perennial Farm in Springfield, WI providing native plant material, designs and installations for private and commercial customers. His credits include Millennium Park in Chicago to estates in Lake Forest, IL and Lake Geneva, WI.
    Museum biologist, Jerome Johnson, will discuss land record research, plant identification and later management methods employed at Garfield Farm Museum.
    Garfield Farm Museum offers other opportunities for the environmentally conscious such as natural area guided tours, apple tree grafting seminars, lectures on loss of genetic diversity and woodland plants for shade gardens, a garden show and more. Hand-on experience can be gained through Garfield Farm Museum’s prairie volunteer program where participants are welcome to assist with controlled burns, brush removal, seed collecting and planting throughout the years. Please ask for a calendar when calling for a reservation.

There is a $45 fee for the seminar and lunch to be held at Garfield Farm Museum, five miles west of Geneva, IL off ILL Rt. 38 on Garfield Road. Handouts will be provided but participants should come prepared to take notes. Reservations can be made by calling (630) 584-8485 or email  Garfield Farm Museum is a 370 acre historically intact former 1840s prairie farmstead and teamster inn being restored by donors and volunteers from 37 states as an 1840s working farm museum.  The project is owned by the non profit organization Campton Historic Agricultural Lands and the museum interpretation is conducted by Garfield Heritage Society. Open Lands of Chicago and Campton Township Open Space Program monitor their respective conservation easements on the combined acreage.

For more information about Garfield Farm send an e-mail message to: or call 630/584-8485.