Virtual Symposium: Inviting Biodiversity into Our Gardens

| Watch Recording

Western Reserve Land Conservancy of Ohio recently hosted this virtual symposium, consisting of 5 sessions with 3 speakers each.

There is something for everyone in this Symposium – the last session with the Caterpillar Lab could be great to watch with kids!

Inviting Biodiversity into Our Gardens – Virtual Symposium – Western Reserve Land Conservancy (

Limited Time Available

Watch Session One

Session 1: Selecting & Sourcing Plants to Create Ecologically Vibrant and Resilient Gardens

The first of five, this session covers the integrity of plants species in our gardens. Our presenters addressed the native vs. cultivar dilemma and how to choose and locate the most ideal species for your garden. Participants began to create a foundation for gardens that are both pleasing to our eyes, as well as beneficial to local wildlife.

  1. Native Species, Cultivars and Selections: What’s the Difference and Why Should We Care? Uli Lorimer, Director of Horticulture, Native Plant Trust
  2. Selecting and Sourcing Native Plants for Diverse Landscape Needs Claudio Vazquez, Co-owner of Izel Plants
  3. Knockout Natives Sam Hoadley, Horticultural Research Manager, Mt. Cuba Center

Watch Session Two

Session 2: From Lawn to Garden: Successfully Transforming Your Landscape for Increased Biodiversity

The second of five, this session addressed our devotion to lawns and the importance of rethinking these landscapes. Our presenters covered the long-term environmental effects of maintaining lawns and offered sustainable alternatives.

  1. Creating Captivating Biodiverse Residential Gardens: One Practitioner’s Path of Discovery Nadia Malarkey, Designer, Nadia Malarkey Design
  2. Gravel Gardening: A Sustainable Solution Jeff Epping, Director of Horticulture, Olbrich Botanical Gardens
  3. Challenging the Subdivision Landscape Norm: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity with Native Plants Kevin O’Brien, Principal, Lifestyle Landscaping

Watch Session Three

Session 3: Forests and Pollinators: Sustaining a Close-knit Ecosystem

The third of five, this session will focus on the integral role trees play in attracting pollinators to our gardens. Our presenters will address oaks and other woody species in our landscape, and how pests are affecting our forests, and in turn pollinators.

  1.  The American Oaks: Diversity, Ecology and Identification Tim Boland, Executive Director, The Polly Hill Arboretum
  2. Forest Health Research: Protecting the Forest Ecosystem David Burke, Ph.D., Vice President for Science and Conservation, Holden Forests & Gardens
  3. Selecting Native Trees and Shrubs that Support Pollinators Heather Holm, Author and Biologist

Watch Session Four

Session 4: Nature Connections: Creating Functional Ecosystems in Urban Settings

The fourth of five, this session will address the connectivity of greenspaces in more densely populated areas. These small but mighty sites can provide critical habitat for pollinators and other wildlife as they navigate through the natural world.

  1. Smart Solutions for Urban Garden Designs Roy Diblik, Co-owner, Northwind Perennial Farm
  2. Brooklyn Bridge Park Lessons (so far!) in Constructed Ecology Rebecca McMackin, Director of Horticulture, Brooklyn Bridge Park
  3.  Connect the Dots Jennifer Grieser, Director of Natural Resources, Cleveland Metroparks

Watch Session Five

Session 5: The Little Things That Run the World

  1.  Attracting Native Bees and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants Heather Holm, Author
  2.  Caterpillars, Connections and Why Biodiversity Matters Sam Jaffe, Founder and Executive Director, The Caterpillar Lab Sloan Tomlinson, Parasitoid Wasp Specialist and Educator, The Caterpillar Lab
  3.  The Dazzling World of Fireflies Nancy Stranahan, Director, Arc of Appalachia Preserve System

This event is not sponsored by NOWO, but we wanted to share events happening in the area with a similar mission.