This session will describe what the average property owner can do to create a more sustainble landscape. Participants will learn the core concepts underlying sustainable landscaping with particular emphasis on native plants and rain gardens. Specific areas of exploration will include:
• The ecological benefits of native plants and how they support the food chain
• How mainstream horticultural plants damage the environment.
• How using native plants facilitates the reduction of resource inputs
• The ecological and economic benefits of rain gardens and the principles of stormwater management
Participants will learn core concepts and see examples of native plants in action both in the classroom and on the grounds of the Rudolf Steiner School.
Drew Lathin is the owner of Creating Sustainable Landscapes, LLC and has been playing with native plants for the past ten years in a variety of situations. He is the former General Manager of Great Lakes Native Plants and is also a volunteer and park steward in the City of Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation Division. In 2011 he was named Volunteer of the Year for his restoration work in Miller Park and participation on the city burn crew. At home, Drew has transformed his yard from a traditionally landscaped property to one containing only native plants. He has four rain gardens including the first in Washtenaw County taking water off the street, a backyard shortgrass prairie, traditionally designed native perennial beds, and a buffalo grass lawn.