Due to uncertainty with the COVID-19 situation the Growing Wild Workshop has been cancelled.


Growing Wild –

Propagating Native Plants from Seeds



   September 24 – 27, 2020, Thursday through Sunday; 

      Gary Conley, Landscape Ecologist & Landscape Restoration Expert


Held at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary 


$450/person registration includes nine meals and all curriculum.

$15 discount on registration for current Arc members

Optional 3-nights of lodging at the Sanctuary: 

$45/night/person shared; $75/night private room

If you have wanted to “Go Native!” in the landscape around your home but did not know where to start the Arc of Appalachia has the answer for you! Join us, and native plant specialist Gary Conley, to learn how you can raise your own native plants. We will be exploring tried and true, species specific methods…from seed collection, stratification, germination, to final planting. Gary has over 10 years of experience propagating nearly 200 species of Ohio’s native plants from collected seed. This is a field-oriented course examining a number of plant ecosystems, collecting seed and demonstrating the propagation process from start to finish.

Regardless of whether you live on little acreage, or hundreds of acres, all of us can propagate, perpetuate, and promote native plants. With modest effort and a little space, you can improve the biodiversity in your backyard, or your back-forty.

Why do native plants and biodiversity matter? In the simplest terms, native plants are necessary to sustain other native life forms. These plants provide homes for invertebrates and vertebrates alike. In many cases native plant species are absolutely required for animal survival because they have co-evolved together and become an essential element of their life cycle. Biodiverse environments are healthier, more resilient ecosystems. Professor Douglas Tallamy, in his eye-opening book, Bringing Nature Home, sites the example of oak trees which support up to 557 different species of moths and butterflies. Contrast this with non-native, bush honeysuckle which supports less than 10 species of insects. For birds, of which 96% rely on insects to raise their young, native plants are a key to their survival. A landscape without insects equates to a landscape without birds.

Here is what you will learn:

  • Plant anatomy and life cycle information pertinent to effective seed collection, storage, and propagation
  • Planning elements necessary for successful cultivation of native plants
  • Field-based plant identification and seed collection techniques for specific species and ecosystems
  • How to clean, sort, and store your precious seed
  • Steps towards perfecting the art of stratification, scarification, and germination
  • Planning productive native plant landscapes and seed culturing beds
  • The importance of Ohio native plant genotypes and how you can play a role in their preservation
Photo by Gary Conley
Photo by Gary Conley
Photo by Gary Conley