“Biological diversity is the key to the maintenance of the world as we know it.”
~ E.O. Wilson, Biodiversity
Imagine having a 385,000-acre yard to take care of—that’s what the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is faced with every day. As MoDOT’s senior roadside management specialist, Stacy Armstrong develops policies, guidelines and best practices for how these many acres are cared for. The objective is to have a roadside that is safe, provides long-term protection for the pavement and, at the same time, is visually appealing. She administers MoDOT’s roadside vegetation management programs, including mowing and herbicides, the incarcerated personnel program, and litter-prevention efforts. Along the way Armstrong has earned degrees in forestry, plant and soil science, and business. She serves on the executive boards of the International Adopt-A-Highway Association, the Missouri Community Forestry Council, and recently joined Grow Native! She is a past board member and current member of the National Roadside Vegetation Management Association. In her spare time she enjoys kickboxing, snow skiing and working on her old house.
Stacy serves on the Education & Outreach Subcommittee.
Co-owner of Native Landscape Solutions, Inc. and Barker Horticultural Services LLC, Simon pursues thoughtful approaches to landscaping and always strives for innovation. There are many approaches to design, execution and stewardship for landscapes. Using different techniques, gleaned from a lifetime of experiences, Simon melds beautiful and functional landscapes from clients’ ideas and by reading the site.
Native plants and ecosystems have become a major palette that Simon draws from in the past 20, or more, years. Their resilience, beauty and ecosystem function as well as their great diversity provides inspiration and a vast repertoire to draw from.
The work of the two companies ranges from small residential landscapes to large corporate campuses and public spaces. Design, execution and long term stewardship carry ideas and vision from a first discussion to mature and long lived, beautiful landscapes.
Renée has a life-long love of nature and gardening, and in 2008 became a Missouri Master Naturalist in the St. Louis area
Great Rivers Chapter. For about fifteen years she has worked to add more native plants to her home landscape, and encourages others to do so as well. She is excited to see how Grow Native! will evolve in its next 15 years.
Renée also serves on the Education & Outreach Subcommittee.
Executive Director Carol Davit works with the Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) board of directors and committees and oversees all operations of MPF – including fundraising, strategic planning, communications, advocacy, the Grow Native! program, and administration, and has edited the Missouri Prairie Journal since 1996. Davit has worked for 20 years in the conservation and environmental fields in communications, development, administration, and leadership capacities. She has worked for private, nonprofit conservation groups and at the municipal and state government levels. Carol also serves on the Jefferson City Environmental Quality Commission and the Jefferson City Stormwater Quality Advisory Committee. She has been the editor of field guides and written on a wide variety of natural history and conservation topics for the Missouri Prairie Journal, the Missouri Conservationist, and other publications. Davit and her husband and son are Stream Team #3631. Davit has a BA and Master of Arts in Liberal Studies in Interdisciplinary Studies, focusing on botany, English and French.
Carol serves on all Grow Native! Subcommittees.
Paula Diaz is the owner of GardeNerd Consultations, which provides designs incorporating native plants into traditional home and business landscapes. Paula is a University of Missouri Advanced Master Gardener who actively promotes native plant gardening through the Master Gardeners Speaker’s Bureau. She is a founding and current member of Raymore Tree Board, a member of Cass County Sustainability committee, and a professional GrowNative! Member, as well as a member of the Missouri Native Plant Society. Paula serves on the University of Missouri Cass County Extension Council and was awarded the University of Missouri’s highest volunteer honor in 2013 by being named to the MU Extension’s Leaders Honor Roll.
Paula serves on the Marketing & Communications Subcommittee.
Elliott Duemler provides native plant industry leadership in the greater Kansas City Area as the Nursery Manager for Applied Ecological Services, Inc located near, Baldwin City, Kansas. His responsibilities in this position include public education, propagation and care of native plants, custom seed collection and general operations oversight of the 38,000 square foot greenhouse range. In addition, Duemler was in the set-up and organization of our nursery-build project for the City of Albany, NY and the Albany Pine Bush Nature Preserve dedicated to the restoration of the endangered Pine Bush Ecosystem. Elliott has a B.S. in General Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. He got his first experience doing prairie restoration with the Missouri Botanical Gardens-Litzsinger Road Ecology Center.
Elliott serves on the Education & Outreach Subcommittee.
Margo Farnsworth works as a consultant in strategic sustainable development for organizations, businesses and individuals and serves as a Board Member for the Biomimicry Institute’s Education Advisory Board. In the past, Margo served as Executive Director then Senior Fellow for the Cumberland River Compact. While there, Farnsworth brokered a bi-state water agreement between Tennessee and Kentucky, helped build seven watershed associations to work on nonpoint source pollution and enabled them to proceed with projects such as measuring the carbon sequestration value of buffer zones and measuring sedimentation for restoration. She has also worked as a Naturalist, Science Teacher from Middle School to University levels, Mammalogist and Park Ranger. With degrees in Science Education and Parks Administration her professional accomplishments include research in environmental education, qualitative mammal studies and service on numerous local and state environmental boards and committees. Recognition of her work has come from various disciplines including a State Resource Management Award of Excellence, the “Friend of Fisheries” award, State Environmental Educator of the Year and the Freeman Tilden Award for Outstanding Interpretation.
Margo serves on the Education & Outreach Subcommittee.
Ambur Gossen has worked in the landscape industry for more than 11 years, 4 in commercial landscape maintenance, and the rest in Parks & Recreation and Public Works. She has a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from Kansas State University.
Ambur also serves on the Membership Advancement Subcommittee.
Betty Grace and her husband, Jim, live on a farm in northwest Missouri and operate Grace Native Seed. They raise, harvest and sell native grass and wildflower seed, grow plugs and plants, and run a forage-based cattle operation. The Graces have been members of Grow Native! since just after its inception, and are also long-time members of the Missouri Prairie Foundation. Betty and Jim belong to the Missouri Native Seed Association where Betty has served as president. As Grow Native! committee chair, Betty serves on all
Betty serves on all Grow Native! Subcommittees.
Jason serves on the Marketing & Communications Subcommittee.
Nate Keener is Director of Sustainability at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, IL. He works with the Restoration Ecology program on campus to implement native planted bioswales and prairie installations. He is part of the Grow Native! Southwestern Illinois Committee tasked with bringing Grow Native! to Illinois. He was part of the planning committee responsible for the February, 2016 “Native by Design: Landscapes Beyond Beauty” workshop featuring Doug Tallamy. He is an avid naturalist who enjoys gardening and hiking.
Nate serves on the Education & Outreach Subcommittee.
Pete Millier is the Director of Campus Facilities-Landscape Services and the Mizzou Botanic Garden at the University of Missouri in Columbia. The Mizzou Botanic Garden’s purpose is to support the University’s mission of education, research, and extension to better the lives of all Missourians. The ‘teaching’ by MUBG of sustainable horticulture through demonstration, programming, or outreach contributes to improved lives. MUBG is always looking for innovative programs that share these same goals and Millier believes that the work of the Grow Native! program is one program that does this.
Pete serves on the Education & Outreach Subcommittee.
William (Bill) Ruppert, since 1990, owns and manages the St. Louis office of National Nursery Products, a horticultural sales, marketing and consulting company representing a diversity of wholesale growers specializing in Midwest natives, selections of American natives, and non-invasive ornamental landscape plants. Ruppert is a 1980 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with a B.S. in ornamental horticulture and landscape design. Upon graduation, he began his horticulture career working at the University coordinating the landscape redevelopment and enhancement of the University of Missouri – Columbia campus which was a large part of (then) Chancellor Barbara S. Uehling’s campus beautification initiative. Ruppert maintains active leadership involvement with a variety of professional green industry and community service organizations including Missouri Green Industry Alliance (MoGIA), MU Ag Alumni Board of Directors, Mizzou Botanic Garden Friends Board, MU Extension St. Louis Extension Council, Landscape and Nursery Association of Greater St. Louis, Gateway Greening, and Missouri Prairie Foundation Grow Native! Committee.
Bill serves on the Education & Outreach and Marketing & Communications Subcommittees.
Jennifer Schamber is the General Manager of Greenscape Gardens in St. Louis, Missouri. She currently serves on the board of the Western Nursery & Landscape Association and is a writer for the Gateway Gardener Magazine. Previously, she has served as President of the Landscape & Nursery Association of Greater St. Louis as well as Vice Present of the Horticulture Co-op of Metro St. She is a recipient of Green Profit Magazine’s Young Retailer Award and Greenscape Gardens is recognized as a 2015 Revolutionary 100 Garden Center by Today’s Garden Center Magazine. She received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from St. Louis University and studied horticulture at St. Louis Community College-Meramec.
Jennifer serves on the Marketing & Communications and Governance & Finance Subcommittees.
Susan is currently employed as a Gardener with the Horticulture staff for Forest Park Forever in St. Louis, MO. She also runs a landscape design and consulting business specializing in native plants. Her website (StLouisNativePlants.com) serves as a resource for homeowners that promotes effective use of native plants in landscaping and shows the relationship between native plants, sustainability, and wildlife.
Susan serves on the Education & Outreach Subcommittee.
Mervin Wallace, Brazito, MO, has been in the business of propagating and selling plants of Missouri genetic origin for more than 30 years. Through the years Mervin has also grown into his well-qualified role of educator. His Missouri Wildflowers Nursery catalog has become a handbook for beginning and longtime native plant gardeners.
Mervin has earned the respect of his naturalist peers and has given us more access to some very fine plants and the knowledge to grow them well.
Mervin serves on the Governance & Finance Subcommittee.
Dave Wehmeyer has an AAS degree in Horticulture from East Central College and is a Missouri Certified Plant Pro.
Dave is employed at Hillermann Nursery and Florist, Inc. He started there his senior year of high school and will celebrate 40 years this February. During his time at Hillermann’s he has been greenhouse grower, worked in sales and since 1994 has been landscape design supervisor.
Dave has co-chaired the Washington in Bloom committee for the last 6 years and is on the Washington Park Board. He has been involved in native planting in the Highway 100 medians and at Phoenix Park in Washington.
When not at work he enjoys working in his yard, trying new plants and growing vegetables. There is a lot of excitement about natives and pollinator gardens now. He is excited to be part of the Grow Native! team. He hopes to start incorporating natives in landscape designs.
Dave serves on the Marketing & Communications Subcommittee.
Hi, I am Virginia Woulfe-Beile, Three Rivers Project Coordinator for the Piasa Palisades Group of the Sierra Club. My education background is in Horticulture and Organizational leadership. Before joining the staff of the Sierra Club I worked in land management as a Golf Course and Park’s Superintendent. As much as I loved working outdoors I was experiencing a moral dilemma in regards to manipulating landscapes with chemical inputs. I wanted to be true to my love for nature and all things wild and beautiful as well as quality of life issues in my community. Being involved with the Sierra Club, first professionally through public land use issues and eventually as a member and volunteer, I found I was able to follow my passions. I was elected to serve on the Piasa Palisades Executive Committee in 2007 and joined the staff in 2012.
The Three Rivers Project works in Madison, Calhoun and Jersey Counties, protecting the big rivers, helping secure a new energy future and building vibrant communities. We achieve these goals in many ways; monitoring air and water quality, leading local food and native plants initiatives, providing environmental education, and organizing conservation and restoration projects.
I live in Godfrey Illinois with my husband Dave and Labrador Retriever Posie Jo and have 24 year old twins Phillip and Kaylin.
Virginia serves on the Membership Advancement Subcommittee.
David B. Young, Windsor, is retired from the Missouri Department of Conservation where he was a wildlife regional supervisor responsible for over 100,000 acres of public lands, developing and supervising wildlife management programs in West Central Missouri. As a retiree, he is self-employed as a part-time landscape maintenance technician and is a Master Gardener Emeritus in Johnson County. His hobbies are hunting, fishing, family activities, and traveling. He holds membership in MPF (life member); CFM (life member); and NWTF.
David serves on the Governance & Finance Subcommittee.
Kim serves on Membership Advancement Subcommittee.