23rd Toward Harmony with Nature Conference to be held in Oshkosh


Monarchs and other pollinators depend upon late season forbs such as the New England Aster to help them prepare for the winter season. Learn what you can do with landscaping to have a positive effect on our ecosystems and our general health at the 23rd Annual Toward Harmony with Nature Conference on January 19, 2019. Download conference brochure. Photo by Donna VanBuecken

Wild Ones Fox Valley Area Chapter is celebrating its 23rd Toward Harmony with Nature all-day conference on natural landscapes, native plants, biodiversity and wildlife this January 19, 2019. The Value of Ecological Restoration will focus on ecological awareness, and provide insight in helping us actively participate in restoring the health of our lands and how it benefits ourselves and others. What our speakers have to say should be of interest to anyone (homeowners, gardeners, landscapers, teachers, ecologists, municipal leaders, wildlife enthusiasts, nursery owners, etc).

Want to learn more about native landscaping and the positive effect it has on our ecosystems and our general health? Join us in learning from our speakers how we can apply their lessons toward creating a healthy habitat in our gardens and our own yards.

23rd Toward Harmony with Nature Conference

The Value of Ecological Restoration

This year’s conference is again being held at the Oshkosh Convention Center, 2 North Main Street on Saturday, January 19, 2019.

8:45AM – 4:15PM Registration 8:00-8:45AM Lunch 11:45AM-1:15PM

The Value of Ecological Restoration by David Cordray, Senior Restoration Ecologist & Engineer and Owner of Environmental Returns, LLC

Was your youth rich in outdoor adventures? Did you use these adventures as your classrooms for your ecological goals today? Our keynote speaker David Cordray was fortunate to be able to do so. Through his keynote, he will share his journey to finding ecological awareness and his insight into why we must actively participate in restoring the health of our lands. Wishing to give others the opportunity to participate in their natural heritage, he will explore reasons for striving for ecological health, how the work benefits others and how we can influence a greater ecological awareness.

As an engineer, David Cordray’s first career was working with environmental monitoring satellites. He changed careers in 2008, and brought his creative ideas, work ethic and knowledge to natural lands management. One of his research interests is native landscape design methods and planning to enhance the human outdoor experience. Since 2001, he and his wife, Debra, have been actively restoring their 100 acres near Belleville, WI to prairie and oak savanna.

Nine other presentations follow the keynote which will address using native plants and creating natural landscapes in our homes and communities.

Morning Speakers – Concurrent Session I (10:30-11:45AM):

  1. “Native Trees and Shrubs that Work Together”
    Ben French, propagator, Johnson’s Nursery Inc
  2. “Natural Shoreline Restoration for Water Quality Protection”
    Paul Skawinski, Citizen Lake Monitoring Network Educator, UW-Extension Lakes Program
  3. “The Importance of Prairies to Threatened and Endangered Species”
    Sarah Warner, United States (U.S.) Fish and Wildlife Service Biologist

Afternoon Speakers – Concurrent Session II (1:15-2:30PM):

  1. “Integrating Natural Systems into Urban Landscapes”
    Steve Apfelbaum, Chairman and Senior Ecologist, Applied Ecological Services
  2. “Measure Twice and Cut Once: The Importance of Planning and Adaptive Management When Restoring Oak Ecosystems”
    Aaron Feggestad, Senior Associate Ecologist, Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.
  3. “Amazed by Invasives – 15 Years on 15 Acres”
    Katharine Grant, Natural Ecosystems Management

Afternoon Speakers – Concurrent Session III (3:00-4:15PM):

  1. “Urban Lot, Native Plants, Big Change”
    Loris Damerow, Past President Wild Ones Fox Valley Area Chapter
  2. “Restoring Your Woodland to Health” Frank Hassler, President and Ecologist, Good Oak Ecological Services
  3. “The Present and Future of Goose Pond Sanctuary’s Prairies”
    Mark Martin and Susan Foote-Martin, Resident Managers, Goose Pond Sanctuary

Details for Speaker List

Exhibitors and Vendors

Silent Auction

Conference website

Mailed pre-registration must be postmarked no later than Friday, January 11, 2019.

On-line pre-registration for lunch with the conference ends at midnight, Tuesday, January 15, 2019.

On-line preregistration for just the conference ends at midnight, Wednesday, January 16, 2019.

On-site registration day of the event is available: $40 member, $45 non-member, $20 student

Teachers bringing five or more students receive a free registration. Contact wildonesfoxvalley@gmail.com for more information or call Conference Coordinator at 920-766-2292.

Lodging Accommodationsa limited number of rooms are available for $89.99 single or double occupancy at the Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel adjoining the Convention Center. To make reservations call 855-230-1900. Be sure to mention the Wild Ones conference to get the special rate.


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