Mark your calendars now for great educational opportunities

Once again, the new year brings educational opportunities galore. Check out some of the events that are happening in the next few months. The Adams County Amish Bird Symposium and the Ohio Botanical Symposium are two events I never miss!


The Great Tree Summit 2015 – Saturday, January 31, 10am to 1:00pm

CINCINNATI ZOO & BOTANICAL GARDEN, Peacock Pavilion, 3400 Vine St. Cincinnati, OH 45220

What? An educational and inspirational event to celebrate the first year. You can register HERE or visit

  • Meet with people who share your concerns and become involved in building the legacy you want for your community
  • Learn more about our region’s forest heritage… local initiatives to address our tree crisis… inspiring examples and new opportunities for re-building our invaluable tree canopy
  • Welcome by Thane Maynard
  • Canopy For The Community by Josh Knights, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy of Ohio
  • Comments by David Mann, Vice Mayor of Cincinnati, Jim Henning, President of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky and other dignitaries
  • Audience Q & A with Taking Root Steering Committee
  • Awards, Update on Taking Root, and much more

get-attachment.aspxTri-State Green Industry Conference – Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45246

The Tri-State Green Industry Conference is a collaborative effort between Ohio State University Extension, Purdue Extension, University of Kentucky Extension, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, and the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. It features a variety of high quality education and training for professionals and also features a vendor trade show.Questions? Call Julie Crook (513) 946-8998 Details and Registration now online at

civic center

Ball Seed Workshop – Sunday, February 8, 2015, 2–4pm

Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati’s Green Learning Station, 2715 Reading Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45206

Join us for a hands-on workshop learning to make your own seed balls. We will use seeds of local genome common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, collected in the Cincinnati area by Wild Ones members. This is an opportunity to support Wild Ones’ efforts to help save the endangered Monarch butterfly by dispersing their required host plant, milkweed. Seed balls can be used to grow your own milkweed in your backyard or to throw into nearby roadsides and fields. All materials and handouts provided. Children are welcome if accompanied by an adult. RSVP is REQUIRED as space is limited. Email or call 513-205-0742 with your reservation.

Directions: Civic Garden Center is between Oak and Taft on the grounds of the Hauck Botanic Garden. Parking is free and available off Oak St by the CGC and in the medical center lot on the north side of Oak. Parking is also available behind the building along the paved paths.


Ohio Invasive Plants Council (OIPC) Annual Meeting – Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Highbanks Metro Park, (north of Columbus)  9466 US Rt 23 N, Lewis Center, OH 43035

Speakers will include Hope Taft, former First Lady of Ohio, Theresa Culley presenting the Assessment Team’s determination of additions to the Ohio invasive plant list, Steven Hovick of Ohio State University speaking on Purple Loosestrife and its biological control. In addition we will announce winners of the 2014 Award of Distinction and the student research grant award. Participants will also vote for four positions on the Board of Directors, and engage with other members in making priorities and plans. This meeting also marks the 10th Anniversary of OIPC. Official OIPC t-shirts will be available for $15 featuring the compelling design by Kristina Gauer. Registration is $15 and includes lunch. Registration will soon be open at For $25 you can register and receive an OIPC t-shirt.

cinci wildflower

Moss and Lichen Program – Friday, February 13, 2015,  7:30pm

Avon Woods Nature Center, 4235 Paddock Rd., Cincinnati, OH, 45229

“The Hidden World of Mosses and Lichens” with Dr. Robert A. Klips, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University at Marion. Sponsored the Cincinnati Wild Flower Preservation Society

cinci zoo

Sustainable Urban Landscapes Symposium – Thursday, February 26, 2015, 8:00am to 6:00pm

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45220

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Sustainable Urban Landscape Symposium will be a jam-packed program with expert speakers designed to take on the challenge and answer the questions of how we can design, build, and maintain the most sustainable landscapes possible. Speakers include Jim Hansel of the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Bruce Frederick of the Bartlett Tree Care Company, Dr. Dan Potter of the University of Kentucky, Craig Frye of SD1, and Steve Foltz and Deb Zureick from the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, plus many more. More information here:


Ohio Natural History Conference – Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ohio History Center, Ohio Historical Society, 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43211

Registration is now open. Come to the conference and also enjoy a day viewing the exhibits at the Ohio History Center. Register online at ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­


Adams County Amish Bird Symposium – Saturday, March 7, 2015

Wheat Ridge Amish Community Building, 3735 Wheat Ridge Road, West Union, OH 45693

Join the Adams County Travel & Visitors Bureau and the Adams County Amish Community for the 12th annual symposium. This daylong celebration of birds features speakers, vendors, live raptors from Raptor Incorporated and other activities. Registration required. View/print a registration form here.

5 rivers

Miami Valley Gardening Conference – Saturday, March 7, 2015

Sinclair College, 444 W. Third St., Dayton, OH

The 20th Miami Valley Gardening Conference presents a look at the past, present and future of gardening in our area. Join keynote speakers Thomas Rainer (The American Garden in a Post-Wild World) and Kelly Norris (Dig This: Stylish Gardening for Savvy Gardeners) and ten other local gardening experts as they explore the way we garden and how it has and will continue to change. Fee $50 includes lunch, snacks, covered parking, and all materials. For more information

Pollinator Short Course: Identification and Conservation of Pollinators in Ohio  – Thursday, March 12, 2015

Valley Vineyards Winery, 2276 U.S. 22, Morrow, OH 45152

Short Course with Denise Ellsworth, OSU Department of Entomology. More information found here:

civic center

DVD: What Plants Talk About – Sunday, March 15, 2015, 1:30-4:00pm

Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati, 2715 Reading Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45206

Hard core science is effortlessly integrated with a light-hearted look at how plants behave, revealing a world where plants are as busy, responsive and complex as we are. From the stunning heights of the Great Basin Desert to the lush coastal rainforests of west coast Canada, scientist J.C. Cahill takes us on a journey into the “secret world of plants,” revealing an astonishing landscape where plants eavesdrop on each other, talk to their allies, call in insect mercenaries and nurture their young. It is a world of pulsing activity, where plants communicate, co-operate and, sometimes, wage all-out war. So come along for the ride and discover that plants are a lot less passive and a lot more intelligent than you think!

cinci zoo

Gardening for Wildlife – Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 7-9pm

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, 3400 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45220

Part of a 10 week series Landscaping for the Homeowner (began Jan. 7) For more information:


Ohio Botanical Symposium – Friday, March 27, 2015,   8am to 4pm

Villa Milano, 1630 Schrock Road, Columbus, OH 43229; (614) 882-2058

The 13th Ohio Botanical Symposium is hosted by the Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, in cooperation with the Ohio Division of Parks and Recreation, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, The Nature Conservancy and The Ohio State University. The symposium brings together people of various backgrounds who share an interest in Ohio’s flora, wildlife and natural history. Quality speakers will present on botanical topics related to Ohio and adjacent states. Vendors will be present selling native plants, books and other items. The Cincinnati Wild Flower Preservation Society will host a silent auction of photographs taken by some of Ohio’s top nature photographers. Proceeds will go to the Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves to support land acquisitions. For more information contact:

Southwest Ohio Perennial School – Thursday, April 9, 2015,   8:00am to 4:30pm

Clermont County Fairgrounds, 4-H Hall, 1000 Locust Street, Owensville, OH 45160

Sponsored by the OSU Extension, Clermont County. For more information:

Native Plants to Know and Grow – Saturday, April 18, 2015   9am to 4pm

Mulberry Community Center, 260 Mulberry Avenue, Pomeroy, OH 45769

  • Keynote Speaker: Donna VanBuecken, “Stewardship: Taking Responsibility”
  • Sierra Patterson, “Native Trees and Shrubs”
  • Gale E. Martin, “Creating a Native Prairie”
  • Dr. Frank Porter, “Using Native Vines in the Landscape”
  • Dr. Melanie Schori, “Landscaping with Native Grasses”

More information here:


Going wild in Ohio

Man! What a great, WILD week. It all started last Saturday at the 8th annual Adams County Amish Bird Symposium and finished at another wild adventure this past Wednesday at the Ohio Wildlife Diversity Conference in Columbus. Do yourself a favor and make time to attend some of the amazing educational opportunities offered around our great state.

Adams County (OH) Amish Bird Symposium

As I’ve joked before: the birds are not Amish. However many in the Amish community near West Union are serious bird watchers. If you are a bird watcher, you will want to mark your calendar for October 14 – the day the movie “The Big Year” (with Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson) will open. One of the people who the book of the same title is based on is Greg Miller. He was our first speaker and shared some of his experiences from his “Big Year” – when birders attempt to spot the largest number of observed species of birds in one year: hence the name, The Big Year. It sounds like a hoot and may be something akin to “City Slickers” but based in the birding world.

Among the other speakers, some highlights include Jim Berry, Director of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute and author Scott Weidensaul’s program, “Living on the Wind: The Miracle of Bird Migration.” Migration is an amazing miracle indeed. Of course, the wonderful Amish-made doughnuts and lunch are a bonus.

Ohio Wildlife Diversity Conference

This was my first time attending this amazing conference at the expansive Aladin Shriner’s Complex in Columbus – with around 1000 of my wildlife-minded friends! Oh, my!  We heard from experts on many subjects including: Sandhill Cranes, Spiny and Smooth Softshell Turtles, Steelhead Trout, Masssauga Rattlesnakes, Freshwater Mussels and – wait for it – Eastern Hellbenders. What is a Hellbender? It is the rare stream-dwelling salamander that can grow to reach 29 inches. A creepy name to be sure but one of the indicator species of clean and healthy streams. Though I don’t have a picture of a Hellbender you’ll have to make-do with the timber rattlesnake who was on display. Doug Wynn, the herpetologist who is handling the snake above, was the surprised recipient of the 2011 Wildlife Diversity Conservation Award.

Bald Eagle nest cam 24/7

Here’s a cool link to a live webcam of a Bald Eagle nest in Decorah, Iowa. There are three eggs in the nest that measures 5-6′ across by 5-6′ deep. It is estimated that the nest weighs over a ton. It’s mesmerizing.

Support Wildlife Conservation in Ohio.

Get your 2011 Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp today at:

January 19, 2011

Here is a follow up reply from the previous post…..

Re the question: Where do you store your birdseed?
I have good luck using large plastic trash cans with tight fitting lids. I use one each for my nyjer, black oil sunflower seed and dog food (when I had a dog). Our local mill has great process on 50# quantities of bird feed and the tight lid protects them from the critters. My only problem: the closed container provides a horizontal surface on which to put stuff.  — Babs in Beavercreek

Ohio’s Big Trees
Since 1940, the conservation group American Forests has documented the largest known specimens of every native and naturalized tree in the United States. Each Big Tree receives a score based on trunk circumference, crown spread and total height. Do you want to know where they are? Do you think you have a champion in your neck of the woods? Big Trees are generally found in yards, parks, arboretums and cemeteries where their size stands out. They are less frequently found in dense forests where trees have much more competition for growth. Learn more about it at this ODNR link: Ohio Big Trees

Emerald Ashborer (EAB) information from Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Urban Forester Wendi Van Buren:
SW Ohio Communities,

ODNR continues to provide communities, organizations, and individuals with the most up to date EAB management information, so that you can make the best decisions for your community.  I am proud of the number of communities in SW Ohio who have developed EAB Management Plans specifically for the needs and resources for your communities.  Most of you have EAB Management Plans that have all three components (treatment, removal, and let die naturally) as parts of your Plans depending on the condition and placement of the ash trees in your town.  I think you will find the attached Statement document from the Coalition for Urban Ash Tree Conservation helpful.

Coalition for Urban Ash Tree Conservation Statement

“We the undersigned strongly endorse ash tree conservation as a fundamental component of integrated programs to manage emerald ash borer (EAB) in residential and municipal landscapes. Cost-effective, environmentally sound EAB treatment protocols are now available that can preserve ash trees through peak EAB outbreaks with healthy canopy intact. Used in association with tree inventories and strategic removal / replacement of unhealthy ash, tree conservation will help retain maximum integrity and value of urban forests. This integrated approach to urban EAB management is supported by university scientists with expertise in EAB management, commercial arborists, municipal foresters, public works officials, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).”

EAB Management Plan Resources

Seed/Plant catalogs are hitting the mailboxes and email boxes
Bluestone Perennials – An Ohio nursery and your source for over 1000 varieties of perennials, grasses, mums, shrubs, herbs and fall bulbs.

Brent and Becky’s Bulbs – Bulb growers since 1900, their 2011 Summer-Flowering Bulbs Catalogue is now out. When you visit Brent and Becky’s at the link above, please select the Ohio Association of Garden Clubs from the drop down menu. The Ohio Association of Garden Clubs will earn a percentage of your non-sale purchase.

Harris Seed Company – Vegetable, flower seeds. Bulbs, corms, plants and more. Catalog sales began in 1879. For free shipping and handling on orders placed by March 31, 2011 – use promo code 1PRW104. (Not valid on High Tunnels, plugs & liners and bulk Worm Power)

Totally Tomatoes – Specializing in tomato and pepper seeds. You never knew there was so much selection in variety of tomatoes and peppers. I found my beloved Amish Paste Tomato here.

D. Landreth Seed Company – Selling seeds since 1794, they are the oldest seed company in the U.S. This is where I found the seed to an heirloom purple pole bean, Purple Peacock. I had originally received the seed through The Ohio Association of Garden Club’s Gardening for Excellence seed program. I loved them so much I went on the search to find the seed.

Plant Delights Nusery – A mail order company in Raleigh, NC specializing in new and unusual perennials known well for their hosta selection and much more. Their catalog will be a feast for the eyes and may give you a fit of the giggles as well.

Educational Opportunities
It is said that the mind is a terrible thing to waste. It’s also said that if you don’t use it, you lose it. One way to keep in the game is to take advantage of the numerous educational advantages available to us every day – if only we know where to look. Here are just a few of some of the more notable options around the state:

Adams County Amish Bird Symposium – March 5 (West Union, OH)
I look forward to and have attended this symposium for about 4 years now. It is VERY popular and is limited to 300 attendees. It features experts who are top in their fields, vendors and Amish-made doughnuts and lunch. Speakers include: The Big Year (Greg Miller from the Amish community); Birding Field Guides: The Beginning and The End (Jim Berry, director of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute); Living on the Wind: the Miracle of Bird Migration (Scott Wiedensaul, author); Close Encounters (Matthew Studebaker, photographer); Kirtland’s Warbler Winter Habitat Conservation (Claire Larkin). Read more here: Amish Bird Symposium

2011 Ohio Wildlife Diversity Conference- Connecting Wildlife, Habitat and People – March 9 (Columbus, OH)
Sponsored by ODNR’s Division of Wildlife. Topics include: Sandhill cranes; Distribution of Softshell turtles; Conservation genetics and the Eastern massasugas rattlesnake; Fishing access for steelhead trout and riparian corridor protection; Evaluating stress in hellbenders (hellbenders are salamanders and are the largest amphibians found in Ohio, some up to 27″ long!); Fostering Conservation Partnerships the Wildlife Officer Way; Birding for Everyone. The new 2011 Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp will make its debut. I can’t wait to go! Read more here: Wildlife Diversity Conference

2011 Ohio Botanical Symposium – March 25 (Columbus, OH)
Presented by the Ohio Division of Wildlife, in cooperation with  the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, The Nature Conservancy and The Ohio State University herbarium. This symposium is for anyone who shares and interest in Ohio’s flora, wildlife and natural history. Topics include: What Climate Change May Mean for Plants: Global, National and Regional Consequences; Best Plant Discoveries of 2010; Ohio’s Native Clovers and Their Kin; Oak Openings’ Butterflies; Assessing Invaisiveness in Ohio’s Plants: Revising the List of Top Invaders; What Was That Botanist Thinking?: The Meanings Behind the Names of Ohio Plants; Circle of Time: The Life, Death and Rebirth of an Ancient Landscape. Read more here: Ohio Botanical Symposium I’m going to this too!

In a Garden of Eden: The Medicinal and Edible Plants of the Appalachian Mountains – April 14 (Pomeroy, OH)
Sponsored by The Ohio State University Meigs County Extension, this seminar held April 14 in Pomery, Ohio features some great native plant speakers. The brochure is attached.

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