2016 Native Landscaping Conference

Growing Living Soil with Native Landscaping

College of Lake County – Building C


Wild Ones 2016 Growing Living Soil with Native Landscaping conference presented by the Lake to Prairie Chapter. Our chapter’s mission is to educate, which we do each month with our meetings covering a wide range of topics.  Bringing educators together in one place at this conference will provide a wealth of information for people new to the native plant idea and the practiced native gardener.

img_0541Let’s face it: we treat soil like dirt! And for all our sakes, we shouldn’t.  Dirt is something that accumulates on your clothes and shoes when you walk on the soil. When you bring it in the house the soil changes to dirt because it is not living anymore.

When we look outside we see trees, plants, grass, hills, etc. we see landscapes.  We don’t look below the ground.  Yet soil is one of the essential ingredients for supporting life on Earth. 

There is a huge world of organisms under our feet. One cup of soil may hold more microorganisms than there are people in the world.  In fact, even a teaspoon of healthy soil may contain more than one billion microorganisms. It is the most complex substrate on Earth. 


Soil is a complex community of living creatures sensitive to changes in the light, water and air around them.  For far too long mankind has viewed soil as a dead substance, something to be sucked dry of its remaining vitality before moving on to cultivate another patch of land. 

All terrestrial life depends on soil, directly or indirectly.  Although our understanding of soil has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decades, we are still losing this valuable resource at a frightening pace. 

DSCF2772Join us for the scoop on soil! At this conference you will hear speakers talk about what living soil is, how to restore the soil using native plants and dynamic soil building techniques, using numerous sustainable approaches for soil reconditioning, maintenance and rehabilitation. Surprisingly it is the amateur gardeners and farmers that are achieving results: creating high quality soil through water control, modest aeration and assemblage of specific plants and animals. 

Ultimately, we are stewards of the land.  Whether we are planting 100 acres or the backyard garden, we assume responsibility for how we manage the land and what we put into the soil. We have to preserve and take care of the soil for ourselves, and future generations. 




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