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Join Michigan Audubon, Christopher Hart of HartScapes, and Dan Auer of Woldumar Nature Center for a daylong workshop focused on the critical relationship between birds and native plants, all through the lens of intentional garden design. In this workshop, participants will learn why birds need native plants, which native plants are “powerhouses” for birds, and how to use native plants in both formal and informal landscapes. A common concern when adding native plants to the landscape is their “weedy” or “messy” look – this year’s workshop is focused on bucking this misconception by teaching participants how to select native plants to fit a desired design aesthetic and still support birds, pollinators, and wildlife.

This workshop will feature an indoor educational session followed by an outdoor walk right at the Michigan Audubon office to view good examples of a bird-friendly landscape. In the afternoon, the group will travel to Wildtype Native Plant Nursery in Mason, where owner Bill Schneider will give a tour of this unique native plant nursery. Participants will also have the opportunity to shop and explore at Wildtype during one of the few days this great resource is open to the public.

Participants will take home a resource folder packed with helpful tips and a native shrub to kickstart a backyard habitat transformation. A buffet lunch is included with registration along with a packet of take-home resources. Please dress appropriately for the outdoors as this event will take place rain or shine.

If you love watching birds, please join us to learn how you can support our birds by stewarding healthy native habitat around your home, office, school, or neighborhood.

Workshop Agenda:

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Registration and Refreshments

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Workshop indoor session

12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Lunch (provided)

1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. Wildtype Tour and Native Plant Sale

Cost: $30 for Michigan Audubon or Woldumar Nature Center members; $40 for non-members of either organization

Click here to register for the workshop.

Christopher Hart graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Landscape and Nursery Management and has been operating HartScapes since 2012. He will be sharing his knowledge of native landscape design, the importance of selecting local genotypes when purchasing plants or seed, and will share new plans for demonstration gardens at the Michigan Audubon office building, which will showcase various garden types from Michigan Audubon’s “Michigan Native Garden Design For the Birds” booklet.

Dan Auer, of Woldumar Nature Center in Lansing, will share the nature center’s plans for a new educational native garden installation, and how the nature center utilizes outdoor spaces to foster children’s engagement with the natural world.