This past weekend a large gathering of native plant enthusiasts gathered for a spirit-filled event at the Bergamo Marianist Retreat Center in Dayton, Ohio. This was the fifth annual Midwest Native Plant Conference, where people gather for workshops, speakers, guided walks and a huge native plant sale. It is about as much fun as a gardener in Ohio could ever want!
|The Good News- native plants feed God's little critters.|
|Cheryl Harner hosts a show-and-tell with caterpillars.|
|One ginormous display, loads of feeding caterpillars, and|
native plants that host butterflies are all part of the program.
|A gentle rain didn't' stop the bird watchers.|
|Besides, we had plenty of umbrellas to share.|
|The gospel according to Doug Tallamy, could be a valuable tool for preserving species.|
Our keynote speaker represents the University of Delaware. Doug Tallamy broke new ground in the native plant field with his book, Bringing Nature Home. If you haven't read it, you will want to do so, right away! Tallamy has documented all that we "naturalist types" suspected; our native insects must have native plants, and the balance of our natural world is being upset by non-native plants.
The take home message from Tallamy's program was this: Biological corridors must do more than facilitate movement; they must support life! Birds may eat multi-flora rose hips and honeysuckle berries, but they cannot raise their young on berries. Birds must have insect larva to meet the protein requirements of their young.
Native plants are not just good-looking and hearty, they are vital to the existence of our wildlife!
Thanks to everyone who attended the conference and supports the native plant movement. And a very special thanks to the organizers, speakers, leaders and volunteers. It simply could not happen without you.