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Expo and Demos during lunch break
During the lunch break, audience members will have the chance to visit a variety of information, demonstration, and vendor tables. Our speakers will be available during this time to participate in “Meet the Speakers”, an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and engage in discussion with them. Pueblo Master Gardeners will have displays on a variety of topics including micro greens, pollinator habitats, rain barrels, propagation, and more. Vendors will be selling cacti and seeds.

Session Descriptions

Keynote: Dr. Doug Tallamy
National Park; Building Networks for Life!
Our parks, preserves, and remaining wildlands – no matter how grand in scale – are too small and separated from one another to sustain the native trees, plants, insects, and animals on which our ecosystems depend. We can fix this problem by practicing conservation outside of wildlands, where we live, work, shop, graze, and farm. Thus, the concept for Homegrown National Park: a national challenge to create diverse ecosystems in our yards, communities, and surrounding lands by reducing lawn, planting natives, and removing invasives. The initial goal of HNP is to create a national movement to restore 20 million acres with natives, an area representing ½ of what is now in lawn. We are at a critical point where we are losing so many native plant and animal species that our natural life support is in jeopardy. However, if many people make small changes, we can restore healthy ecological networks and weather the changes ahead.

Unveiling the Green Tapestry: The Importance of Sustainable Urban Landscapes and the Role of Plant Select
Presented by Ross Shrigley
Plant Select, a pioneering organization at the forefront of developing and promoting sustainable plant choices, will be our focus. Learn about their vision for the future and the types of sustainable plants they aim to promote. From drought-tolerant natives to pollinator-friendly species, explore the diverse array of plants that can thrive in urban settings while requiring minimal resources and maintenance.

What is that Weed?!: Exotic Backyard Plants that are Feral Foods
Presented by Kevin Healey

Exploring the ethnobotanical history, taxonomy, art, and culinary potential behind the common weeds that grow in the backyards, and feral places of Pueblo, Colorado.

BUZZ-Worthy Plant/Insect Relationships and How to Support Them
Presented by Lisa Mason
Beneficial insects include pollinators, predators, parasites, and decomposers. They provide critical ecosystem services to the world often going unnoticed. Many insects and plants have mutualistic relationships. For instance, pollinators facilitate plant reproduction while also collecting pollen and nectar needed for their survival. This presentation will explore plant and insect relationships you might observe in your own landscape. Topics will include types of beneficial insects in the landscape, how to attract and support those insects through plants and habitat.

The Taste of Change: How Chokecherry Jelly Sculpted My Horticultural Mindset.
Presented by Alex Crochet
Crochet’s love and deep knowledge of native plants began by learning to forage and cook with native and wild foods in Colorado Springs with his grandmother. In this talk, Alex will describe how his upbringing informs his practice of native plant propagation. He will describe the immense success of his horticulture crew in propagating natives and advancing native landscapes in the Pikes Peak Region through plant materials access, native garden demonstration, and open space restoration efforts thanks to the power of observation! He will also discuss methods and successes in translating large scale restoration of native plant communities into the home landscape, because everyone can and should garden with Natives at home!!!