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Native Plants

You can update your knowledge and skills with this certificate program. Learn to identify, select and incorporate native plants in your larger designs and practice.

Native Plant and Sustainability Conference

Dates: Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Instructor: N/ A
Level: N/A
Prerequisites: None
Fee: $ 105 members; $115 non-members
Location: William Pitt Union at the University of Pittsburgh

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ annual Native Plant and Sustainability Conference brings together national experts for a one-day forum on plants, landscapes and our roles as stewards of the Earth. Join us, Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy, and learn how you can positively impact the environment.

The price of registration, which includes a catered lunch, is $90 for Phipps/OSHER members and $100 for nonmembers on or before Oct. 11; the cost increases by $15 after this date. This conference will be held at the William Pitt Union at the University of Pittsburgh.


Looking at the Layered Landscape: Rick Darke will discuss the living layers in local and regional landscapes, both as they naturally occur and as they are modified by humans. This exploration will provide a basis for understanding the essential characteristics of healthy layers and how they can be conserved and enhanced in home gardens and shared landscapes.

Specialized Relationships in Nature: Doug Tallamy will explain how specialized relationships between plants and animals work; why these relationships determine the health of local food webs that support animal diversity; why it is important to restore biodiversity to our residential properties; and what we need to do to make our landscapes function as ecosystems.

Designing and Maintaining the Living Landscape: Rick Darke will illustrate how an understanding of living layers and relational biodiversity can be put to practical use in creating and maintaining residential gardens and community landscapes. He will also present detailed strategies for employing organic architecture in building beautiful, highly functional layers.


Rick Darke is an author, photographer and design consultant whose work blends art, ecology and cultural geography in the design and stewardship of livable landscapes. He has been featured in publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and Gardens Illustrated, and his books include The American Woodland Garden: Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest, In Harmony With Nature: Lessons from the Arts & Crafts Garden, The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes, and The Wild Garden: Expanded Edition. His latest work, The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden, was written in collaboration with Doug Tallamy.

Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 80 research articles and taught courses for 32 years. Chief among his goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. In 2007, he published Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens, a Garden Writer’s Association silver medalist, and in 2014, The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was released. Tallamy has also received a Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation and a Tom Dodd Jr. Award of Excellence.

Online registration is now closed, but at-door registration will be available.

Sustainable Horticulture and Native Plant Landscapes certificate elective | PCH 3.75 | LA CES 3.75