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24th Annual Prairie, Woods, and Wetlands Management Seminar

CAMPTON HILLS, IL     Garfield Farm Museum’s annual Prairie, Woodlands, and Wetlands Management Seminar will be held on Saturday, February 20 from 8 am - 4:30pm. This annual seminar is an in depth introduction to native plants and a thorough refresher course for the intermediate restorationist and backyard gardener. Although basic techniques remain stable, new details and methods in this constantly evolving field of ecological restoration are also challenged by an ever growing list of new invasive species threatening native populations.

    Museum biologist, Jerome Johnson will begin the seminar with methods of research to determine the environmental conditions before the land was settled and subsequently developed. The following session featuring side by side photos of similar species of native plants helps both the novice and experienced plant enthusiast sharpen their plant identification skills.

    Pat Hollingsworth, retail manager of Natural Gardens, a native plant and perennial ornamental nursery in St.Charles, IL will discuss using native plants for the home landscape. Her well-honed design sense and passion for horticulture were developed over 18 years as a designer for The Planter’s Palette in Winfield, IL.

    After lunch, Conner Shaw who founded Possibility Place Nursery near Monee, IL will discuss the use of native trees. All the native trees Shaw sells are grown from seed collected from the wild, producing specimens that are well prepared for transplanting. His method produces a high number of roots that gives each tree a better chance for survival. Shaw’s knowledge of what conditions will cause native trees and shrubs to thrive makes this presentation valuable to all property owners

      John Engstrom, the museum’s natural areas manager and Johnson will follow up with a discussion on different management methods used in small lots, woodlands, old fields, and wetlands. Identifying invasive plants and how to control them will be examined. Engstrom’s specialty in minimal and safe herbicide use complements both his and Johnson‚s knowledge of controlled burns and mechanical removal of aggressive plants of disturbance. Engstrom will add his comments on the collection of seed for propagation.

    With the current economic conditions and a critical need to re-discover the true and lasting values that can improve life for the long run has been an underlying goal of the preservation of and education offered by Garfield Farm Museum. Whether it is using plants best suited for ones environs and economics, preserving centuries of plant and animal breeding, or demonstrating the high standards of hard work that previous generations endured and embraced for the success of America, Garfield Farm Museum is such a place for discovery. The museum endeavors to be an anchor that allows necessary new ideas and technologies to flourish with out sacrificing America‚s existing and historic strengths. Hands-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 year.

    There is a $50 fee for the seminar and lunch to be held at Garfield Farm Museum, five miles west of Geneva, IL off IL 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.

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