Garfield Farm Heading

Garfield Farm home page | News Index

News from Garfield Farm

29th Annual Natural Area Management Seminar

CAMPTON HILLS, IL     Reservations for Garfield Farm Museum’s 29th annual Natural Area Management Seminar to be held on Saturday, February 21, from 8:30 am-4:30 pm are now being taken. From backyard gardeners, home owner associations to owners of natural area acreage, this seminar covers all the key methods and techniques of preserving and using the best adapted plants for the Illinois environment. Experts Jack Pizzo, Conner Shaw, Jerome Johnson and Abby Fronk will help explain the best techniques and methods to increase and maintain native plants communities. There is a $55 donation for the all day seminar which includes lunch and refreshments. Half day at-tendance without lunch is $25.

     The day’s outline will consist of researching property history, identifying native plants, identifying invasive species and the use of fire, herbicides, cutting and brush stacking equipment. Special topics include professional installation and management services, pollinator gardens, and the use of native trees and shrubs in home landscaping.

    Most all property owners spend time, money and effort on caring for their landscape. What once took a few hours a week now has many property owners hiring professional landscape services. Since such businesses depend on a uniform way of doing things, yards may be well maintained but long term costs, sustainability, and mother nature are disregarded or ignored. Growing plants native to an environment can reduce time spent on landscaping, provide much needed food sources for pollinators, control and improve water on the property, and make for a more interesting yard.

    Museum biologist Jerome Johnson will open the seminar with research methods to identify natural area landscapes followed by native plant identification. Jack Pizzo of Pizzo & Associates brings over 25 years of experience discussing professional methods for restoring existing natural areas, creating a sustainable landscape on corporate campuses, or helping homeowners' association manage their community resources. Based out of Leland, IL, his firm has done projects from Michigan to Missouri.

    After lunch, Abby Fronk who just achieved her Gold Award from the Girl Scouts will share a presentation on creating a pollinators garden. The growth of food sources for all types of pollinating insects is vital to the nation’s food supply. Many native bees and insects require food throughout the growing season so strategically planting flowers that bloom in sequence is necessary to sustain these populations. She will share her methods used for anyone who has a few square feet plant.

      Following Ms. Fronk, Conner Shaw knows native trees and shrubs. His experience includes finding seed, propagating it, and raising young trees and shrubs that have a high concentration of roots so they will thrive once transplanted. Since 1978, his Possibilities Place Nursery in Monee, IL has been one of the few sources for Illinois native “woodies.” For homeowners in town who want just the right tree for their backyard, Shaw knows what will grow in such suburban conditions. For larger properties, his combinations of native shrubs like the viburnums and deciduous oaks or Kentucky coffee trees makes one’s landscaping truly grand scale.

    Completing the day will be a presentation by Jerome Johnson on management techniques. For property owners who are looking to turn the backyard in to a natural area to large acreage owners, Johnson will bring his 30 years of experience to the table. This seminar has both a history and method unlike any others. It offers information that can be directly taken to the field and put in place. Participants are welcome to return in March to gain hands on experience in the museum’s controlled burns.

   Garfield Farm Museum is located five miles west of Geneva, IL off ILL Rt. 38 on Garfield Road. For reservations call 630 584-8485 or email Space is limited and last year the seminar was fully booked.