Grow Native! Committee (2015). Photo: Mervin Wallace

Grow Native! Advisors

Dan Burkhardt

Roland Biehl

Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District

Roland is an Environmental Specialist at the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) Division of Environmental Compliance and coordinates the St. Louis County Stormwater Phase II Permit activities. Roland works closely with the St. Louis County municipalities on water quality education and regulatory requirements assistance. Roland is a dedicated public servant, good partner with many communities and organizations, and is a major player in our regional river clean-ups and a strong advocate of green infrastructure

Roland received his BS in Civil Engineering from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and he has 25 years of regulatory affairs and permit writing experience while at MSD. Roland facilitated MSD achieving the 2020 Water Environment Federation Stormwater Phase II Award,  2019 American Public Works St. Louis Chapter Management Innovation Award, and the 2014 Sarah Stein Award for site scale green infrastructure at his daughter’s school.

Roland lives in Smithton, Illinois with his wife and two daughters. Their family enjoys taking trips, bike riding and kayaking. Roland is on the Board of Directors at Earthday 365 and River des Peres Watershed Coalition.

Dan Burkhardt

Dan  Burkhardt

Oakwood Medical Management

Dan Burkhardt lives in St Louis where he was an Investment Banker for Edward Jones for 30 years.  He and his wife Connie own a farm in Marthasville and founded the Katy Land Trust in 2010 to highlight the value of, and protect, the rural and scenic landscape along the KatyTrail.

In 2012 he co-founded Magnificent Missouri an organization to connect Missourians to the landscape and countryside of Missouri through local food production.  He has also helped to create which sponsors activities and events to limit the spread of bush honeysuckle into rural areas.

He has created and edited two coffee-table books, “Missouri River Country – 100 Miles of Stories and Scenery from Hermann to the Confluence”  and “Florida Bay Forever –  A Story of Water from the Everglades to the Keys.”  Both books benefit conservation causes.

He is on the boards of the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Danforth Plant Science Center and the Nine Network of Public Media (Channel 9) all in St Louis.

Jeff Cantrell

Jeff Cantrell

Missouri Birding Society & Missouri Master Naturalists

Jeff was destined to have a livelihood centered on natural history. He grew up with family pen pals’ letters from the Africa bush, surrounded by birders and lived adjacent to a zoo.

Having childhood ownership in the garden kicked off valuable botany skills.  Those skills later developed into landscaping with natives and botany jobs for Missouri National Guard camps, The Nature Conservancy, and The Wildlife Conservation Society. Naturescaping has been a focus of his instruction to garden clubs, educators, public groups, city parks departments and teacher conferences for over 25 years.

Currently Jeff is employed by the Missouri Department of Conservation as a conservation educator.  He is a frequent contributor to the Joplin GLOBE newspaper and a staff writer for SHOW ME the OZARKS magazine.  Native plants and the proficiency in naturescaping continue to be entwined in his work with educators, university courses, nature centers and bird conservation related projects.


Carrie Coyne

St. Louis Community College

As the Horticulture Program Facilitator at St. Louis Community College Carrie supports students, faculty, and staff while managing the day-to-day activities of the Program. She is focused on fostering students on their path to success and building a strong, resilient Career and Technical Education Program. Prior to her service at STLCC, she practiced landscape architecture at SWT Design where she utilized her passion for horticulture, arboriculture, and native ecologies on built projects across the country. She holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and an Associate of Horticulture from STLCC. Carrie is a Missouri registered landscape architect and ISA certified arborist.

Margo Farnsworth

Margo Farnsworth 

Screendoor Consulting

Margo Farnsworth works as a writer, biomimicry educator and consultant in strategic sustainability development for organizations.  She has served as faculty and visiting faculty at several universities and advises students in North America and abroad as a Fellow for the Biomimicry Institute.  For over two decades Margo served the people of the Southeast U.S. working as a naturalist and later for the Cumberland River Compact as Executive Director, then Senior Fellow for which she was awarded the national River Hero Award.  While there, Margo advised two Presidential administrations and facilitated work in watershed associations committed to healthy, plentiful water.  She has coached two Top Twelve graduate teams for the International Biomimicry Challenge and worked as a judge for the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge in recent years.  In addition to working with Missouri Prairie Foundation, she is a board member for Deep Roots KC and advisory board member for South Carolina’s Experience Green. Her writing can be seen in the anthology Wildness: Relations of People and Place in addition to Earthlines, Outdoor Living, The New Territory and others.  Her forthcoming book, Biomimicry and Business: How Companies are Using Nature’s Strategies to Succeed will be released in the Fall of 2020 by Routledge Press.  It is already hailed by biomimicry leaders and tells the engaging stories of business leaders using biomimicry, lessons they learned, and ways readers can deploy biomimicry at their companies.


Jason Jensen

Missouri Department of Conservation

Jason Jensen serves as the Community and Private Land Conservation Chief for the Missouri Department of Conservation. Jason leads the Department’s Community Conservation program and serves as the Incident Commander for the Department’s feral hog elimination efforts.    




Kim Lovelace-Hainsfuther’s email signature includes a Frank Lloyd Wright quote. “The best friend on Earth of man is the tree.” It echoes Forrest Keeling Nursery’s mission: ‘restoring the earth’s ecosystem’s one tree at a time’. Appropriate since Kim took the role of Nursery president in May 2020.

Kim grew up in the nursery industry and is instrumental in promotion of its best practices. She continues to be an advocate for native plants, soil health and conservation.

Kim played a significant role in commercializing Forrest Keeling’s patented RPM-production technology. The innovative, all-natural technology helps produce better plants. RPM plants display faster flowering and fruiting and improve survivability and growth rate.

Nadia Navarrete-Tindall

Nadia Navarrete-Tindall

Native Plants and More

Nadia funded the LU-Native Plants Program and  created the project ‘FINCA: Families Integrating Nature, Conservation and Agriculture’. The purpose of the NPP is to increase awareness about the importance of native plants in conservation and as specialty crops through outreach and education.

The FINCA project provides educational tools to students and the public at large to learn to identify, grow and market native edible plants and those important for pollinators.

The NPP organizes the field day ‘In Touch with Nature’ that brings children and adults every year. In 2014, a new event called ‘Dining Wild’ was launched. A full course dinner, appetizers and beverages were prepared or flavored with native plants to introduce native plants to local cuisine.

She obtained funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for the collaborative effort to create the LU-Community Garden, LU-Farmers Market and LU-Commercial Kitchen in addition to the FINCA project.

In 2008 she received Missouri’s highest conservation honor as she was inducted into the Conservation Hall of Fame as a Master Conservationist and in 2009, she received the Erna Eisendrath Memorial Education Award from the Missouri Native Plants Society. Some of her interests are to help protecting natural areas, creating urban green corridors and promoting consumption of local foods, including native edible plants.


Jennifer Schamber

Greenscape Gardens

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. 

Bill Spradley

Bill Spradley

Trees, Forests and Landscapes, Inc.

Bill Spradley, owner of Trees, Forests & Landscapes, Inc. since 1990, is strongly dedicated to tree preservation and educating the public on proper plant selection for creating successful landscapes. The Trees, Forests & Landscapes professional team of arborists is 100% ISA Certified. Bill graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a B.S. degree in Forest Management in 1982. Education and professionalism is a priority for Bill, as proven with time spent as a horticultural instructor at St. Louis Community College at Meramec since 1992 and providing nearly 100 presentations about various subjects related to horticulture and arboriculture. Bill is a member and past officer of several professional organizations, including International Society, Tree Care Industry Association, Horticulture Co-op of St. Louis, Landscape and Nursery Association of Greater St. Louis, St. Louis Arborist Association, Gateway Professional Horticulturist Association and Missouri Botanical Garden. Hobbies include touring fascinating gardens and growers of premium plants, hiking unique natural areas, listening to musicians at intimate venues, and relaxing by the lake after installing and caring for his family’s arboretum collections at a 136-acre farm located in Fredericktown, Missouri.

In 2011, Bill was awarded the distinguished ‘True Professionals of Arboriculture’ award for outstanding involvement in community service and public education of arboriculture by the International Society of Arboriculture, an organization with more than 20,000 members worldwide. Bill also received in 2012 the Missouri Arbor Award of Excellence with his daughter Kelcie Spradley for contributing 50 trees and hazard tree pruning in response to significant ice storm damage at William Woods University and for assisting his daughter and the University with establishment of Missouri’s first “Tree Campus USA.”

Scott Woodbury

Scott Woodbury

Shaw Nature Reserve

After 30 years, Scott retired from Shaw Nature Reserve, where he led development of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden. He now is the owner of Cacalia: Garden Design and Wilding, and teaches Native Landscape Practices, a course at St. Louis Community College. He is also a regular speaker, writer and consultant on native landscaping throughout the region. He received a BS degree in horticulture at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and has worked at various public gardens including the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve, Tudor Place in Washington D.C., Old Westbury Gardens in New York, Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, and Castello Di Uzzano in Florence, Italy. He currently serves as advisor to the horticulture program of St. Louis Community College, Grow Native!, and Wild Ones St. Louis. Scott serves on the planning committees for the Partners for Native Landscaping conference and the small grants programs for The Deer Creek Watershed Alliance and MSD Project Clear.


Virginia Woulfe-Beile


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.


Susan Van de Riet

St. Louis Native Plants

Susan runs a landscape design and consulting business specializing in native plants.  Her website ( 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.

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Colleen Abbott

University of Missouri

Columbia, MO 

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