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Native Plant Conservation in the 21st Century symposium

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12 April 2019

Framingham, Massachusetts USA

New England Wild Flower Society and Maine Audubon offer Native Plant Conservation in the 21st Century symposium featuring the region’s experts in plant science and strategies for native plant management

Framingham, MA

Contact: Courtney Allen, Director of Public Programs, New England Wild Flower Society:; 508-877-7630 x3302

(Framingham, MA) In 2015 New England Wild Flower Society released the “State of New England’s Native Plants” report, a groundbreaking, comprehensive assessment of New England’s plants and plant communities. The report articulates a research agenda, proposes frameworks, profiles habitats, and describes environmental stressors. To continue the important conversation the report generated, New England Wild Flower Society and Maine Audubon partner to present the 2019 “Native Plant Conservation in the 21st Century” symposium, featuring leading experts in plant conservation science and management.

The Native Plant Conservation Symposium takes place on Friday, April 12, from 10a.m. to5p.m. at Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm Center in Falmouth, ME. Space is limited--early registration is encouraged. To register for the event, visit  

The full-day event highlights current research, practices, and applications in native plant conservation. Leading plant professionals from Maine will discuss their roles and current projects, examine current trends and challenges, and posit next steps for regional native plant conservation efforts. Through a panel, keynote, workshops, and a community forum, participants will learn about a range of topics including plant evolution and genetics, conservation management approaches, habitat restoration, and growth in the nursery trade.

“The Native Plant Conservation Symposium asks the tough questions about where we are and where we’re going,” observes Courtney Allen, the Society’s Director of Public Programs. “As a community, we will explore the changing conservation field and identify what we choose to conserve and why, how we set and measure conservation goals, and what tools and approaches support those goals.”

The Native Plant Conservation Symposium includes a keynote presentation by Dr. José Eduardo Meireles, Professor at University of Maine and new director of its herbarium, the most comprehensive collection of plants in the state. With expertise in plant evolution and genetics, Dr. Meireles will address how the study of plant evolution can shape perspectives on current native plant conservation strategies and biodiversity.

Additional panelists and workshop presenters include:

Arthur Haines, Research Botanist at New England Wild Flower Society. Mr. Haines is a plant biologist specializing in native plant taxonomy, conservation, and landscapes. He is the author of Flora Novae Angliae, the comprehensive technical guide to the region’s plants.

Shawn Jalbert, Founder of Native Haunts Plant Nursery. Mr. Jalbert is a native plant cultivator, consultant, and educator. He is also the steward of New England Wild Flower Society’s Harvey Butler Rhododendron Sanctuary in Springvale, ME. 

Heather McCargo, Founder of the Wild Seed Project. Ms. McCargo is an educator in native plant propagation, landscape design, and conservation. She is dedicated to ethical native plant seed collection and to public education on propagation to promote native plant populations.  

Kristen Puryear, Ecologist with the Maine Natural Areas Program. Ms. Puryear conducts and oversees ecological monitoring for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, including rare plant and natural community surveys, landscape analysis, and ecological integrity assessments.

About New England Wild Flower Society

New England Wild Flower Society is dedicated to conserving and promoting the region’s native plants to ensure healthy, biologically diverse landscapes. Founded in 1900, the Society is the nation’s first plant conservation organization and a recognized leader in native plant conservation, horticulture, and education. The Society’s headquarters, Garden in the Woods, is a renowned native plant botanic garden in Framingham, Massachusetts, that attracts visitors from all over the world. From this base, 25 staff and many of its 1,200 trained volunteers work throughout New England each year to monitor and protect rare and endangered plants, collect and preserve seeds to ensure biological diversity, detect and control invasive species, conduct research, and offer a range of educational programs. The Society also operates a native plant nursery at Nasami Farm in western Massachusetts and has six sanctuaries in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont that are open to the public.

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