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Grow With Your Neighbors (GWYN), a community gardening program, has helped community groups develop over 22 neighborhood gardens in Dayton. Learn More

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Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark
1301 E. Siebenthaler Avenue , Dayton, Ohio 45414
(937) 277-6545
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Miami Valley Gardening Conference
WHEN: Sat. March 7, 2015 WHERE: Sinclair Comm. College DIRECTIONS MAP
20th Annual Miami Valley Gardening Conference

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.


Walk-in registration will be accepted on the day of the conference. Please call 277-6545 for information.

SCHEDULE: Subject to change
7:30 am Registration
8:05 am Welcome
8:15 am Morning Keynote: The American Garden in a Post-Wild World - Thomas Rainer
9:20 am

Session One: Bloom Where You Are

  1. Soil History, Plants and Habitats: Hope Taft
  2. Historic Landscaping: Rick Musselman
  3. Native Plants for a Successful Garden: Nadia Malarkey

Green Schoolyard Training: Steps to a Successful Green Schoolyard

10:20 am Morning Break
10:40 am Session Two: What's Happening?
  1. Bees and Pollinators: Denise Ellsworth, Ohio State University
  2. Tress in a Troubled Landscape: Tomasz Przepiorkowski, Studebaker Nurseries
  3. Everything Old is New Again: Eric Sauer

Green Schoolyard Training: Discovery Through the Seasons

11:35 am Lunch
1:00 pm Afternoon Keynote: Dig This: Stylish Gardening for Savvy Gardeners - Kelly Norris
2:05 pm Session Three: Trends in Gardening
  1. Non-traditional, Space-wise Gardening: Rich Pearson
  2. Shared Gardening, Urban Farming, Community Gardens: Ron and Brenda Williams, Windy Hill Urban Farm, and Meredith Cobb
  3. The Personal Garden, A Personal Statement: Lisa Helm
Green Schoolyard Training: Tying Curriculum and Standards to the Garden
3:00 pm


Afternoon Break
3:35 pm Closing Session: Perennials In Your Future - Laura Deeter, Ohio State University

Meadow View Growers, Inc

Wegerzyn Gardens Foundation

James M. Cox, Jr. Arboretum Foundation

Greater Montgomery County Master Gardener Association

Stockslagers Greenhouse & Garden Center

  Gardening Conference
  Keynote Speakers

Kelly Norris

Kelly D. Norris is a 20-something, award-winning author and plantsman from Iowa and the first horticulture manager at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, a newly revitalized 14-acre public garden in Des MJeff Lowenfelsoines, Iowa. He's popularly known for his book A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow for Beginners and Enthusiasts from Timber Press, which won the 2013 American Horticultural Society Book Award, and is at work on his next project tentatively titled Dig This: Stylish Gardening with Kickass Plants. As a speaker, he has garnered acclaim for his high-energy, zealous presentations on the national stage, leading many to call him one of the rising stars of American horticulture. Kelly's unique 10 years of experience in the industry began at age 15 when he talked his parents into buying a nursery (Rainbow Iris Farm), and in that time he's become one of the few gurus on marketing horticulture to emerging demographics. Learn more >>


Thomas Rainer

Thomas Rainer

Thomas Rainer is a registered landscape architect, teacher, and writer living in Arlington, Virginia. Thomas is a passionate advocate for an ecologically expressive design aesthetic that does not imitate nature, but interprets it. His planting designs focus on creating a modern expression of the ground plane with a largely native palette of perennials and grasses. Thomas has designed landscapes for the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and The New York Botanical Garden, as well as over 100 gardens from Maine to Florida. Learn more >>

Teacher Track

Educators who want to create and use a garden or habitat at their school and get students learning outdoors while staying within the curriculum should attend the sessions in the teacher track. Educators also will learn from and develop relationships with those who already are using green schoolyards in their curriculum. The Green Schoolyards Development Training will show educators:

  • Steps to a successful school Garden
    Learn the steps to creating and maintaining a successful greenspace. We'll discuss how to get your school invested, where to find resources, and how to make the program last.
  • Garden Discovery through the Seasons
    Learn specific activities to do and plants to grow to engage your students in the garden each month of the year.
  • Tying Curriculum and Standards to the Garden
    Listen to a local teacher describe how she uses curriculum in the garden. We'll go over sample lesson plans and discuss connections between the garden and Common Core requirements.

Teachers who attend all three sessions of the Green Schoolyards Development Training will receive certificate of completion, which they can use toward CEUs. Teacher track sessions are marked with "Teacher Track" on the session listings at left. Make sure to select these sessions in the registration process.

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