Other Activities and Events
We’re excited to offer a range of events and activities throughout the year, including some fan favorites like the Midwest Native Plant Conference, and the Native Plant & Artisan Sale, we might offer our popular Nature Safari Weekend, which takes you on an exploration of the hills of Southern Ohio in Adams and Scioto County, Ohio. Our fun and informative day workshops at several locations in Ohio, cover a variety of topics, such as butterflies, dragonflies, asters, and native trees and shrubs. We also have our Home Habitats Yard Tours, which showcase some of the best native living landscape gardens around. These are usually hosted in Cincinnati and Dayton. Be sure to stay in the loop by subscribing to our mailing list and be among the first to know about our upcoming events!
Gardening for Wildlife Workshop
February 10, 2024, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Caesar Creek Lake Visitor Center
4020 N. Clarksville Road, Waynesville, OH 45068-9408
Join us for presentations by experts who will guide your landscaping practices and plantings to attract a variety of wildlife to your native living landscape. Registration fee is $70.00. This includes coffee, tea, and a light snack for breakfast with a boxed lunch. Four expert speakers and guided hikes after the presentations. Vendors will be selling artwork, books, and seed packets. Registration will open in late December of 2023. Join our mailing list to get the link to register first. Space is limited.
“Mysterious Moths, Growing the Darker Side of Butterflies“, Jim McCormac
Mysterious Moths, Growing the Darker Side of Butterflies, Jim McCormac
Our enchantment with butterflies isn’t surprising. These daytime flyers are easily observed and collectively encompass a rainbow palette of colors punctuated with ornate patterns. However, their close relatives the moths overwhelm butterflies in species diversity and sheer numbers. Most moths are nocturnal and largely out of sight and mind. Nonetheless, they are one of the most important animal groups. Moths are inextricably intertwined with native plants, bats, birds, and the whole of the eastern deciduous forest ecosystem. They play an enormous role in the pollination of native plants and over the eons have spurred the evolution of myriad defensive plant compounds to ward off caterpillar herbivory. In addition, they are often far more interesting than butterflies, both visually and behaviorally. This talk will be a pictorial journey into an intriguing and little-known world of these amazing creatures. We can greatly benefit the ecosystem around us by “moth-gardening” in our yards.
Jim worked for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for 31 years as a botanist, and later specializing in wildlife diversity projects for the Division of Wildlife. He has authored or coauthored six books, including Birds of Ohio (Lone Pine 2004); and Wild Ohio: The Best of Our Natural Heritage (Kent State University Press 2009). The latter won the 2010 Ohioana Book award. He is a co-author of Awardhio Breeding Bird Atlas II book. His book, Gardening for Moths, in collaboration with Chelsea Gottfried, was released in February 2023. Jim writes a column, Nature, for the Columbus Dispatch, and regularly publishes a natural history blog. He has written numerous articles in a variety of publications and has delivered hundreds of presentations throughout the eastern United States. He was named 2015 Conservation Communicator of the Year by the Ohio League of Sportsmen. Jim is an avid photographer, shooting a range of natural history subjects. He has had hundreds of photos published in various forums, including the TV show Jeopardy!
“Supporting Birds with Native Plants: the Original Bird Feeders”, Austin Miller
Learn about native plants suitable for backyards that will feed and house native birds and insects year-round. Beyond just berries we will discuss nesting habitat, maximizing help to migratory songbirds, host species for insects that feed baby nestlings, winter food sources, and native hummingbird plants.
Austin Miller runs Birdsong Landscapes, a native habitat restoration company specializing in prairie seedings and woodland management. He is a board member of the Midwest Native Plant Society and Beaver Creek Wetlands Association as well as the Spring Valley Tree Committee. He lives in the village of Spring Valley with his wife Natasha and four stepsons.
“Lighting up the Shadows: Gardening for Fireflies”, Matthew Speights
Catching fireflies on warm, summer nights was part of childhood for most of us, but over time we’ve watched firefly populations shrink. Few realize why, or that there’s something they can do about it. Join us for a walk-through of gardening for fireflies. Together, we’ll discover the hidden world of fireflies and the amazing diversity of their species, behaviors, and lifestyles. In the process, we’ll learn why fireflies are disappearing, their needs, and what you can do to turn a native garden into a firefly haven that attracts rare species (including a special native plant that attracts fireflies).
Matthew Speights is an avocational naturalist with interests in botany, entomology, and paleontology. As a young boy, he experienced the common dinosaur craze, but this grew from a phase into a permanent nature obsession that currently manifests through educational outreach, writing, and speaking about botany, orchid cultivation, terrarium construction, native gardening, entomology, and paleontology. Following the discovery of a previously unreported firefly species in Ohio, he has been occupied with educational outreach and field research on firefly distribution and conservation in the Midwest.
“The Long-Term Value of a Small Restored Woodland”, Carol Trosset, Ph.D.
In the 1950s, the Trosset family began restoring an acre of woodland at their home in Evendale, Ohio. Over time, the property came to host a great diversity of wildflowers and birds. Using 40 years of data collected by Ruth Trosset, Carol will describe the ecological value of this forest fragment and discuss their research on how the coming of spring has changed in Cincinnati over the decades. You will learn tips on how to create small woodland in your backyard.
Carol Trosset is a lifelong amateur naturalist and the author of The Woods: The Natural History of an Acre in Southwestern Ohio, recently published by the Ohio Biological Survey. She grew up in Cincinnati and received training from a number of well-known local naturalists. Now retired from a career as an anthropologist studying institutional effectiveness in higher education, she has returned to Cincinnati where she co-manages the Trosset Wildflower Sanctuary at Gorman Heritage Farm in Evendale.
Vendors: Natives in Harmony will have seed packets available for sale and Ann Geise will have artwork and Garden for Biodiversity Yard Signs for sale. Some of our speakers will have books for sale. Other vendors are welcome to join us. For more information, send an email to: Midwestnativeplants@gmail.com. We thank the Greater Cincinnati Wild Ones Chapter for their help in hosting this event.
Below is a gallery of photos from some of our events.