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Native Plant Symposium

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Stop mowing, Start growing!


Learn More at our special native plant symposium for beginners



 Join us on Saturday, February 23, 2019 

McCoart County Administrative Building

1 County Complex Ct., Woodbridge, VA 22192.

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

The $15 fee covers coffee and donuts, lunch, and materials. 

Register Here:


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Featuring Chris Ludwig as our expert guest speaker. 

J. Christopher Ludwig is chief biologist with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Division of Natural Heritage. In addition to studying the vascular plants and the animals of Virginia, he manages a multidisciplinary team of biologists who identify rare species and significant plant communities throughout the state. From 1988 to 1998, he served as botanist with the Division of Natural Heritage.

His Flora work has included ♦ Management of project-wide work flow ♦ Editing of taxonomic descriptions ♦ Incorporation of information on plant status and habitat ♦ Serving as executive director of the Flora Project Foundation (2001–2014) and president of its board of directors




Native Plant Symposium Agenda

Registration from 8:30 to 9 a.m. with coffee and donuts provided.

Overview and housekeeping

Welcome by Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson

The Value of Native Plants (Video-Hometown Habitat Basics)

Chris Ludwig, Keynote Speaker

Break with opportunity to visit exhibitors

Panel discussion on meadows, native plants, wildlife habitat and forests

Lunch with networking and opportunity to visit exhibitors

Break-out session one:

Native Meadows with Nancy Berlin, Virginia Cooperative Extension

Suburban BMPs with Nicole Slazinski, Prince William Soil & Water Conservation District 

Landscaping with Native Plants with Nancy Vehrs, Prince William Wildflower Society

Make Space for Nature:  Plants that Benefit Animals with Kim Hosen, Prince William Conservation Alliance

Break-out session two:

Converting to Native Plants with Mike Miller, Prince William Soil & Water Conservation District 

Native Meadows with Nancy Berlin, Virginia Cooperative Extension (repeat session)

Make Space for Nature:  Plants that Benefit Animals with Kim Hosen, Prince William Conservation Alliance (repeat session)

        Restoring Native Forest to your Land with Julie Flanagan, Prince William Department of Public Works   




Our panelist and Break-out session speakers

Nancy Berlin serves as a Natural Resource Specialist for Virginia Cooperative Extension – Prince William.  Her duties include training and coordinating 200 Extension Master Gardener Volunteers who serve as environmental educators in our community.

Symposium Talk:  Native Meadows:  Discover the joy of adding a small or large meadow to your landscape for beauty and environmental benefits.  This session will provide steps in establishment, plant selections and troubleshooting recommendations.

Julie Flanagan has over 29 years of experience in Urban Forestry.  She holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Forestry and Wildlife Management from Virginia Tech.  She has successfully identified, planned and implemented 18 reforestation projects returning native forests to over 65 acres of public and HOA land in Prince William County. 

Symposium Talk:  "Restoring Native Forest to Your Land".  This class will explore how you can bring native trees and forests to your property whether you own a small lot, manage HOA land, or own a large tract of land, including an introduction to state and local programs that provide assistance.

Kim Hosen is the Executive Director of the Prince William Conservation Alliance. She played a lead role in permanently protecting the 300-acre Merrimac Farm, creating the first Wildlife Management Area in Northern Virginia. Kim's work to establish community stewardship programs, from the Wildlife Garden and Annual Bluebell Festival at Merrimac Farm to the Nokesville Christmas Bird Count, benefit people and wildlife from Woodbridge to Gainesville.

Symposium Talk:  Make Space for Nature: Plants that Benefit Animals.  Improve the ecological value of your property by creating backyard habitats that re-connect the natural world and benefit local wildlife. Explore how you can welcome birds, butterflies, turtles and frogs into your piece of the planet. With our wildlife habitats increasingly under threat, every garden counts.

Mike Miller joined the Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District in November 2014. He earned his bachelor's degree from Goshen College with a concentration in Resource Management in 2011. He is a Michigan native with a solid background and knowledge of both natural and agricultural systems. Mike has experience in the restoration and preservation of early successional native ecosystems, as well as aquatic invasive species. 

Symposium Talk:  Converting to Native Plants: The Dos, The Don'ts, and the Honest Expectation of Establishment.

Nicole Slazinski has been with the Prince William Soil & Water Conservation District for over 12 years. She works primarily with farmers and horse owners in the county providing technical assistance with environmentally sensitive, efficient, affordable and practical methods in better managing their operations. She also organizes educational seminars on topics such as Rain Barrel Workshops, Healthy Horses and a Healthier Chesapeake Bay, Guide to Setting up a Horse Farm, and other agriculture related seminars for county and area residents.

Symposium Talk:  Suburban BMPs:  There are a variety of suburban best management practices (BMPs) that can help you better control erosion and water drainage issues on your property. What BMPs you use on your property depends on your particular situation and how much time, money, and maintenance you can put into it. The three BMPs we'll focus on today are permeable pavement, rain gardens, and rain barrels.

Nancy Vehrs has devoted herself to nature and related environmental issues.  She is a member of the Prince William Wildflower Society, serving in various offices, chairing annual plant sales and garden tours and presenting programs to the community.  Nancy also serves with the Virginia Native Plant Society, Plant NoVA Natives, Plant Central Rapp Natives, as well as volunteering locally to help with wildlife management. 

Symposium Talk:   Landscaping with Native Plants -- How does native plant landscaping differ from traditional landscaping? Aren't native plants messy looking? Won't my HOA and neighbors object? Dispel those myths and discover how you can create a beautiful and functional ecological landscape with native plants.

Let us help you to stop mowing and get going on your dream landscape! 

Call 703-792-7070 for more details. 



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