November 17, 2015
$49 per person, includes parking and lunch.
Registration Deadline:
October 22, 2014
Doors open 9AM. Program starts at 10AM.

Register Now


Student Discount: $25.00, Call 513-559-7767 to Reg.
Sponsorships: Contact Scott Beuerlein –

Thank You to Our Sponsors:


Exciting World of Native Plants

Join us for an exciting, informative day dedicated to great native plants for wildlife, for people, and for the landscape. Expert and entertaining speakers will discuss these wonderful plants and how to best increase the diversity and functionality of our yards and gardens. This full day seminar includes admission to the Zoo, parking, lectures, lunch, and snacks.

Speakers & Topics

Great Perennials for Sunny Exposures 10:00-10:50

We will explore the vast palette of Midwest native plants for sunny exposures. Not only will these plants provide summer color for your landscape, but can also provide great habitat and nectar sources for wildlife. These plants are all garden proven and will provide years of interest in the landscape.

Brian F. Jorg, Manager of Horticulture at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, joined the organization in 2004. Prior to joining the Zoo, Brian was a horticulturist at Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum, a national historic landmark, for 15 years.

Brian’s responsibilities include managing the Native Plant Program. This program includes the conservation, education, and promotion of native flora.

 Active in professional organizations in the greater Cincinnati community, Brian is the past president of the Cincinnati Rose Society, and is a member of the Garden Writers Association. Brian is also on the board of directors for the Cincinnati Audubon Society.

Whether he is trekking the glaciers of Alaska or the plains of East Africa, he is constantly learning, observing and documenting nature.

Waves of Native Grasses 10:50-11:40

Grasses have quickly become an integral part of the modern landscape, and native grasses are at the forefront. Many North American species offer great functional and aesthetic appeal and with many new selections offering choices in size, habit, color, and more, gardeners, landscapers, and conservationists are at the cusp of a bright future. John will bring us to date on the many exciting things happening in the Poaceae world.

John Hoffman and his wife Jill founded Hoffman Nursery, Inc. in 1986, and it now has grown into one of the nation’s largest suppliers of grasses. John is highly respected in the industry and served as President of the prestigious Perennial Plant Association from 2009-2011 He received a Service Award from the PPA in 2014 for demonstrating leadership and outstanding service. 

The Flora of Ohio’s Exciting Sand Barrens 12:00-12:50

Some of Ohio’s most unique, exciting, and fragile ecosystems are the sand barrens of Lake Erie. Jim Bissell and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History have been at the forefront of discovering, documenting, acquiring, and restoring some of these lands. This program will show us the unique plant communities and species that make up these ecosystems.

Jim Bissell joined the staff of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in September of 1971. In 1976, Curator Bissell was named Museum Coordinator of Natural Areas and was put in charge of managing the Museum’s Natural Areas Program. Since that time, the natural areas holdings of the Museum have increased from eight to seventeen preserves.

The Ohio Natural Heritage Program was started by the Nature Conservancy in 1976 to track state occurrences of rare species. Curator Bissell focused his field inventories toward collecting information for the heritage program. He has contributed more than one-thousand rare plant occurrences to the program since 1976. The rare plant data in the Ohio Heritage Program is the primary base for setting conservation strategies in Ohio.

Starting in 1980, the program area of the Herbarium grew to cover all of northern Ohio, and in 1994 the area expanded into Northwestern Pennsylvania. He began conducting comprehensive inventories at places such as Presque Isle State Park and thousands of acres of glacial wetlands in various counties. Since extending the survey program into Pennsylvania, he has documented more than 600 rare plant occurrences and discovered several natural areas with statewide significance.

Since 1973, under Curator Bissell’s direction, the Museum Herbarium has more than doubled and now contains 70,000 specimens in a modern facility with a computerized database. The historic records and more than 30,000 specimens added during the last 24 years provide a reference for identification, indicate the regional distribution of species and reflect the natural variability found within regional species. The collection allows those who work with it to develop general expertise on the region’s flora.

In 2003, Curator Bissell received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the University of Akron and received the George Fell Award in 2004 from the Natural Areas Association for his lifetime achievement in natural areas preservation. In 2009, Jim was inducted into the Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame.

Beyond Beauty; Magnolias of the United States 1:30-2:20

The native magnolias of the southeastern U.S. are a distinct and highly ornamental group of widely recognized flowering trees.  Beyond their well-known ornamental attributes, the primitive origins, unique pollination biology, and diversity of ecological associations render Magnolias as much more than “another pretty face” in the garden; these factors allow them contribute to gardens on many levels that are not often considered.  Join Peter in a photographically rich exploration of all native Magnolias of the U.S. that includes aspects of their natural history both in the wild and in gardens.

Peter Zale was born and raised in Olmsted Falls, Ohio and developed a love of plants as a teenager.  He graduated from The Ohio State from Ohio State University in 2001 with a degree in horticulture science.  From 2001 to 2006 he was Nursery and Sales manager at Marvin’s Organic Gardens, the first certified organic nursery in the state of Ohio.  After working at Marvin’s, Peter returned to graduate school at Ohio State in 2007 and has been studying plants breeding and genetics, and germplasm conservation.  He recently received his Ph.D in September 2014.  He married his wife Kate in 2007 and they welcomed their first child, Simon, in July 2013.  Peter’s plant interests are many and he currently holds over 2,000 taxa in his plant collection and he is always adding more.  Many of these plants are discussed on Peter’s website and blog

Update on CZBG’s EcOhio Farm Wetland Restoration 2:20-2:35

Ohio has lost a larger percentage of its wetlands than any other state.  To help turn this tide, The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is developing a historic wetland after it has been in agriculture for decades. Last year we introduced you to this project. This short talk will update you on the second year of this exciting project’s development.  Brian Jorg

Underutilized Native Gems for Urban Landscapes 2:35-3:25

The native plant palette is full of excellent plants that don’t fall neatly into categories. A native bamboo and native evergreen vines are just a few of the plants that can hold up to difficult urban and suburban sites. This talk will focus on those great native plants that are too often omitted from discussions and from gardens.

Steve Foltz  has a long career in Cincinnati horticulture, beginning his career at Delhi Garden Centers and now serving as Director of Horticulture at the Zoo. He has a B.S. in Horticulture from the University of Kentucky. He is now an adjunct professor at both the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati State. He serves on the board of the Ohio Invasive Plant Council and is deeply involved with many and various horticultural organizations in the city, the state, and the region. Steve gives talks regularly, has written many articles for trade and gardening magazines, and is highly regarded for his depth of plant knowledge of everything from Angelonia to Zelkova.

In the Footsteps of M.G. Henry and her Pot-of Gold: Natives Lilies of the Eastern U.S. 3:50-4:40

Lilies are among the most beloved of all flowering bulbs and provide a strong sense of place and an exotic flare to the gardens and natural ecosystems they inhabit. The extraordinary beauty of eastern U.S. species lead the famous botanist Mary Gibson Henry to devote her life to finding and growing these remarkable plants.  Her fervor for plant hunting culminated in the description of a new lily species, L. iridollae in 1946.   Although she championed Lilies and made several introductions to horticulture, her efforts went largely unnoticed and most remain rare in gardens and infrequently cultivated.  Join Peter in a photographically rich exploration of all eastern U.S. of the U.S. that includes aspects of their natural history both in the wild and in gardens. Peter Zale.

Native Plants in Public Gardens 4:40-5:15

Public gardens are always on the cutting age of garden design, often using innovative plant choices. As such, many public gardens have incorporated native plants into many projects. Scott Beuerlein looks into some of the ways public gardens are using native plants.

Scott Beuerlein is a horticulturist at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. He is an ONLA Certified Landscape Technician and an ISA Certified Arborist. Scott is Chairman of the Taking Root tree planting campaign, which is co-organized by The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, OKI Regional Council of Governments, The Green Umbrella, and The Green Partnership  of Greater Cincinnati. Scott is also Chairman of the Northern Kentucky Urban and Community Forestry Council and Vice President of the Cincinnati Flower Growers Association. He also Chairs the Boone County Arboretum Collection Committee and runs the Rare Plant Auction at the Civic Garden Center’s annual Plant Sale. He writes the South Ohio Regional Report for State by State’s Ohio Gardener, and has written articles for Ohio Gardener, American Nurseryman, and Kentucky Living magazines. Scott is also involved with His home gardener won an award from the Cincinnati Horticulture Society.