The Third Annual Southwestern Illinois Grow Native! Workshop comes to Lewis and Clark

Article by: Amy Humphrey Hayes, 888-843-6739,

Jefferson City, MO and Godfrey, IL — Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, IL will host an information-packed, half-day native landscaping workshop with expert presenters who will explore the relationships between woody plants and pollinators, songbirds, and other important wildlife.

“Lewis and Clark Community College is thrilled to host this third annual Grow Native! event in southwestern Illinois,” said Nathaniel Keener, sustainability director for the college and Grow Native! community member. “The southwestern Illinois community is embracing landscaping solutions on private and public land that address multiple objectives—aesthetic enhancement as well as habitat for pollinators, songbirds, and other valued wildlife. We invite home gardeners, land care and conservation professionals, city planners and related professionals, and other landscape enthusiasts to learn from a great lineup of speakers.”

The workshop will be held Friday, March 16 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A breakfast buffet will be provided, and exhibitors will display information. In addition, CEUs will be available for Landscape Architects and Illinois Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists.

Local sustainability champion Jean Ponzi will emcee the program, which will open with a presentation on woody plants and pollinators from Guy Sternberg, certified arborist and retired landscape architect. Sternberg served on the staff of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for 32 years and currently is the owner and manager of Starhill Forest Arboretum, which holds one of the most extensive oak living reference collections in North America. 

Other featured speakers and presentations will be:

  • Kyle Cheesborough, horticulture supervisor, Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis: Sourcing, Purchasing, and Caring for Woody Plants in the Landscape: Proper planning, sourcing, and management practices for a visually stunning and functional garden
  • Lyle Guyon, terrestrial ecologist, National Great Rivers Research and Education Center: Native Plant Communities at the Confluence Field Station
  • Charlie Pitts, naturalist: A Native Plant Garden for Pollinators: Flowering natives that work in traditional home gardens
  • Eleanor Schumacher, resource conservationist, Madison County SWCD: Expanding the Backyard Food Web: Edible and medicinal plants and their wildlife benefits

The closing keynote speaker will be Jennifer Schamber, general manager of Greenscape Gardens in St. Louis, MO. Schamber serves on the board of the Western Nursery & Landscape Association and is a writer for Gateway Gardener magazine.

Cost: $35 – Regular; $20 – Student with valid ID. Register at Registration deadline is March 9

Location: Lewis and Clark Community College, Hatheway Gallery, 5800 Godfrey Rd., Godfrey, IL 62035

Grow Native! is an 18-year-old native plant marketing and education program serving the lower Midwest. Grow Native! is administratively housed by the nonprofit Missouri Prairie Foundation. For more information about this workshop, Grow Native! or the Missouri Prairie Foundation, call 888-843-6739 or send a message to