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Old 04-26-2014, 03:18 PM   #1
disuhan's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Burlington, VT
Default Seminar on Native Plants

No one is signed up yet, but I am giving a talk at my local Rec Center on why native plants are so much better to use in the garden and how easy it is to make the switch. I'm making up a powerpoint, but I also wanted to have some handouts. I've reached out to some native nurseries in the area, but I was also specifically looking for a concise brochure on the top reasons to use natives. I can't seem to find anything for the northeast/New England that I can use.
Does anyone know of a site that has something I can download and print out?
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:40 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Wisconsin

I do some presentations and it's been my experience that people really like getting handouts. I think it's well worth the effort to create them.

One of Tallamy's websites has a Gardening for Life article:
Gardening For Life — Bringing Nature Home
This website's content is displayed under a Creative Commons license, which I believe means that you can use it for non-commercial purposes:
Creative Commons — Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
The plant lists on that site may also be helpful.

The Xerces Society is a national organization that may have publications that are appropriate to your area:
The Xerces Society
Many of the PDF's (e.g., Native Plants for the Northeast fact sheet) have a statement at the end that they can be copied and used elsewhere (with appropriate attribution).
The Xerces Society Fact Sheets

Another national organization that may have some useful publications is Wild Ones:
Wild Ones Publications - Wild Ones - Handbooks, 25 Years of Wild Ones, Brochures and Newsletters, Rain Gardens, The Wild Ones Journal
I don't have any information on their copyright policy.

One handout that I always include is a resource list. It contains books, websites and area appropriate native plant nurseries that can be helpful if they want more information.

I also include some "end product" handouts for the use of native plants. Creating a butterfly garden would be one example. I have a handout that is very close in content to the first two posts in this thread:
Native Host Plants for a Midwest Butterfly Garden

My thinking here is that for someone new to native plants just saying "plant some native plants" is too broad. Even if a person is convinced that native plants are important how do they decide where to start? How do they choose which plants to start with? Giving them a clearly defined list for some specific purpose will make it easier for them to achieve some goal, and hopefully that will inspire them to expand their native plant endeavors. There are many more possible native plant end products that could be used e.g., pollinator garden, rain garden, wildflower meadow, bird habitat, native plants for beneficial insects, etc.

One other suggestion, one that has been effective for me, is to include some "factoids" out of Bringing Nature Home in my presentation. For example " ... 96% of all land based birds feed insects to their young ... ". I usually make this point by using hummingbirds. Most people think of sugar water feeders when they think of feeding hummingbirds, but what hummingbirds really need is insects so that they can produce the next generation of hummingbirds. This is also a great time to introduce the idea of reducing pesticide use.

Rereading Bringing Nature Home is the best way I know of to prepare myself for a presentation on native plants.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:35 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Burlington, VT

Thanks NEWisc! Lots of great info and I'm happy to say that some of what you suggested has already been put into practice. I've been re-reading Bringing Nature Home for specific facts to share. And I have been compiling a list of resources as well. I will check out those sites for handouts. I think I waited too long and didn't give myself enough time to make my own.
Thanks again for the help!!
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:48 AM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Racine, Ohio along the Ohio River

It has been some time since I last was able to post anything on WG. For some unknown reason, the site would not allow me to log in. Thankfully, this has been remedied today.

With regard to presentations about native plants, it has been my experience that photographs of the plants being discussed and if possible the plants themselves gain the attention of the audience. Handouts are also extremely important, because it gives the audience material to take home and peruse at their leisure. You might want to take a look at Back to Eden: Landscaping with Native Plants. It is written for a wide audience.
Porterbrook Native Plants
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:12 AM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan

Better yet.....Break down your native plants lists according to their preference. Sun lovers, shady areas, moist soil, sandy soil, etc..
They eliminate a lot of the decision making "especially" for a person just starting out.

Don't forget to include a flier about Wildlife gardeners including their mission statement....
THAT is exactly where I had first heard about W.G.!!!
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