2018 Conference Speakers


Heather Holm
– Heather is an award-winning author and nationally sought-after speaker spending much of her time passionaltely educating audiences about the fascinating world of native bees and the native plants that support them. Her first book Pollinators of Native Plants was published in 2014, and her latest book, Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide, published in 2017 has won her 5 book awards. In the past few years she has been assisting with native bee research.  


Fayette Aurelia Nichols – Aurelia’s prime interest is in the relationship between plants and their pollinators, and how healthy habitat establishment through landscape design can support their survival. Her research includes pollinator life cycles, especially that of Bombus affinis, the Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee. She holds a BA from the University of Chicago and an MBA from Northwestern University.  Currently, she is developing pollinator habitat design for 5 acres of public land owned by the Northbrook Park District. She is a member of the Iler/CaraDonna pollinator lab group, a graduate level program run by Northwestern University and Chicago Botanic Garden at the Daniel F. & Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center.


Andy Stahr – Driven by a spiritual passion for the outdoors and the environment, Andy is dedicated to the design and successful implementation of sustainable landscapes. Blending his award-winning design abilities with his practical understanding of our native plant pallet and systems in which they evolved, Andy bridges the gap between science and design in careful restoration of our natural systems. Andy serves as the Principal Landscape Architect and Ecologist for ecology + vision, LLC. He holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois, is registered landscape architect in states of IL, MI and MO and is a LEED Accredited Professional.  


Jack Spear – Jack works with Small Waters Education, a nonprofit organization based in northern Illinois, to promote healthy ecosystems and connect humans with the rest of the natural world.



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