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Grow Native! Webinar: Gardens of Excellence Panel

March 15 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm CDT

Photograph of outdoor stone staircase in a park with blooming yellow native flowers and prairie grasses on either side of the steps at Kaw Point Park Gardens

Careful planning and maintenance are keys to the success and longevity of native gardens. In this webinar, stewards of three Grow Native! Gardens of Excellence will discuss how these native planting “keys” played a role in the establishment of the gardens they maintain and led to their Gardens of Excellence distinctions.

Reva Dow will present on the native gardens at Twin Pines Conservation Education Center in Winona, Missouri, which feature a great variety of plants native to Shannon County and surrounding areas of the Ozarks. The beds are maintained to keep individual species from outcompeting each other, and plant ID labels serve as educational tools to visitors.

Craig Thompson will present on the Kaw Point Park Gardens project in Kansas City, Kansas, which was created to control erosion on a steep 25% slope. Friends of Kaw Point Park board members and volunteers meet monthly from March to November to pull weeds, deadhead, and pick up trash in the gardens and the park. In the winter months, a majority of the plants are left standing.

Cody Hayo will present on the gardens of South Grand Business District in the heart of South St. Louis City. They consist of 14 rain gardens and a total of 32 bump-outs along 6.5 city blocks between Arsenal and Utah Streets, and also includes a parking lot along with some natives in Ritz Park — a pocket park.

The webinar, to be held via Zoom, will include a presentation and question-and-answer session with panelists. The webinar will be recorded and sent to all registrants as well as posted to our YouTube channel.

Cost: Free

Registration: If you are registering the day of the event, please use the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_QsW8tdzsRCS7au2F6oP6UA    If you already registered and didn’t get a Zoom link, please check your email spam folder first before emailing outreach@moprairie.org for assistance.

For those who are part of the Grow Native! Professional Certification Program (GNPCP), this master class counts as one CEU. To register for the class, use the registration link above and see details about earning GNPCP CEUs here. If you have questions about registration, contact outreach@moprairie.org.

Reva Dow, the manager of Twin Pines Conservation Education Center, has two Bachelor of Science degrees, one in forest management from the University of Missouri, as well as a teaching degree Southwest Baptist University.  She has 27 years of teaching experience, and worked as a National Park Service Interpreter for Ozarks National Scenic Riverways before joining the Missouri Department of Conservation.  Reva worked for several years as a Naturalist at Twin Pines before assuming her current position.  Her experience with MDC includes conservation efforts throughout the Ozark Region, assisting with prescribed burns, Chronic Wasting Disease management, and invasive species management.  She enjoys birding and helping cultivate the wildflower beds at Twin Pines.

Craig Thompson worked as a life scientist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before retiring in 2021 and is now vice president for Friends of Kaw Point Park and chairperson on the native plant committee. Craig has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Kansas. During Craig’s career, he assisted with several field studies, including collecting water samples for the Mississippi/Missouri Nutrient sampling project; assisting the water quality standards branch with the Iowa Use Attainability Analysis (UAA) stream surveys; and assisting the monitoring staff in field collection of water and biological samples at lake and stream sites in the Kansas City Metropolitan area.

Cody Hayo has worked as a Horticulturist and Landscape Professional for over 15 years in the Saint Louis, Missouri area.  In 2014, Cody founded Pretty City Gardens and Landscapes with a passion for connecting to the community.  Supported by his team at Pretty City Gardens, Cody’s background in ornamental horticulture (Certificate of Horticulture from Saint Louis Community College – Meramec, 2012) has served as a springboard for professional opportunities to work with native plants and stormwater management gardens including the South Grand Community Improvement District (CID) in Saint Louis City which was recognized by Grow Native! as a Native Garden of Excellence in 2022.  Additional work opportunities have included the design and installation of over 100 residential and commercial projects for the MSD Rainscaping Small Grants program since 2016.  Cody has also served on the board of the Landscape Nursery Association of Greater Saint Louis since 2015 including two terms as President.  In December 2022, Cody became Grow Native Professional Certified.  

Photo of Kaw Point Park Gardens by Craig Thompson.


March 15
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm CDT
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