Annual Conference on Landscaping with Colorado’s Native Plants Goes Online

What’s the buzz about native plants? Find out at the Seventh Annual Conference on Landscaping with Colorado’s Native Plants. Experts in horticulture, ecology and landscaping explain how to plan, plant and maintain beautiful native landscapes rich in biodiversity.

To enable statewide participation, this year’s conference is online. Recordings of speaker presentations will also be available to registrants after the event. The conference will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on February 26. Registered attendees are invited to preview the conference platform prior to the event. (Links will be distributed by February 23.)

Register now for this virtual event at

Featuring speakers from a variety of fields, this year’s Landscaping With Colorado Native Plants conference offers inspiration and insight for both novice and established gardeners. For professionals in the horticulture and design industries, all classes at this conference are eligible for Continuing Education Units toward Certified Landscape Industry Technician recertification.

This year’s keynote speaker, renowned entomologist Dr. Doug Tallamy and author of “Nature’s Best Hop,” describes a grassroots approach to conservation. Other program topics include the fusion of ecosystem function with landscape aesthetics, the cultivation of Castilleja spp. in Colorado Gardens, well-raised prairie plants, gardens that welcome Colorado birds, and the production of native plants. The conference will also feature the Native Plant Demonstration Garden at the River’s Edge Natural Area in Loveland and the 2021 Conference Grant Winner’s residential and public gardens.

“As a gardener, it’s a pleasure to see my fellow horticulturalists working alongside birdwatchers, ecologists, entomologists and botanists to encourage the use of native plants in landscapes,” says Jennifer Bousselot, assistant professor. in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Colorado State University. Not only do native plants attract and support endangered insect and bird populations, they connect people to the land and community.

The Landscaping With Colorado Native Plants conference is a collaborative and educational initiative that promotes the inclusion of native plants in our landscaping to benefit pollinators and songbirds, save water, and restore the beauty and health of nature in places where we live, work and play.

The conference is sponsored by a coalition of partners: The Butterfly Pavilion, Colorado State University Extension and Colorado Native Plant Masters Program, Colorado Native Plant Society, Botanical Gardens of Denver, the Wild Ones Front Range Chapter, the High Plains Environmental Center and Susan J. Tweit, author and plant ecologist.

“Our collaboration of partners, all with a common mission to conserve native plants and pollinators, has been extremely pleased with the enthusiastic response from the public,” said Jim Tolstrup, executive director of the High Plains Environmental Center.

We are seeing a shift in public awareness of the critical role native plants play in our local food webs and people’s desire to make an impact. Tolstrup writes, “We need our landscaping to be more than pretty; we can use landscaping as a life raft to rescue our declining wildlife and share the world we design and build with them.

Deryn Davidson is the Horticulture Officer for Colorado State University Extension for Boulder County in Longmont.

Terri S. Tomasini