Educational Presentations

Presentations and educational seminars offered by Randy Powers, a leading expert on Wisconsin's native plant and wildlife. Contact us for more information or to book a presentation.


The Right Start

How to do a wildflower or prairie planting. The nine essential concepts a person must understand to have a successful planting. Follows our in-house publication "The Right Start".

The Art & Science of Wildflower Landscaping

Wildflower Plantings & Native Gardens: What Works & What Doesn’t

The Ultimate Hummingbird Garden:

New insight into Ruby-Throat behavior involving feeding patterns. Are insects a major part of the ruby throats diet and why eat more protein than nectar? How to develop your yard so that visiting hummingbirds will nest here while raising their young.

The Ultimate Butterfly Garden:

How native wildflowers and plants can be used in a garden setting. Incorporating host plants so gardens are not just for nectaring adult butterflies , but also for caterpillars to carry out their life cycle in your yard.

Wildflowers That Attract Birds

Day Moths of the Upper Midwest:

Much of the educational material available on Lepidoptera is focused on Butterflies, a more recent offshoot in the Lepidoptera order. Moths have been around significantly longer, dating back to the Jurassic period. Today there are over 160,000 recorded species worldwide, 12,400 of which are in North America. In Wisconsin there are approximately 3500 know species, providing us with a vast array of species to study and admire. Moths are essential to both our animal kingdom as a food source and our plant kingdom as pollinators. Our day moth presentation focuses on 70 of the most common species in the upper Midwest, their identifiers, habitats, plant uses and predators.

Native Wildflowers for Clay Loam Soils: 

Puts to rest the perception that clay is not good soil. We explore over 120 different species of natives adapted to heavy mineral soils. 

Invasive Weed Control:

For native plantings and prairie gardens. Helpful techniques for handling different weed problems including annuals, biennials, perennials, woody plants and animal herbivory

From Weeds to Invasive Species, to NR-40: 

The new Wisconsin invasive species, regulations were past in the state legislature in 2015. Changing and updating the status of many exotic, introduced and invasive species. This presentation discusses these changes. Defining invasive, Prohibited and restricted species, and what guidelines the public must now follow.

Native Plant Propagation Techniques: 

Exploring greenhouse and field techniques for propagating native wildflowers and grasses from seed and vegetatively.

Harvesting, Drying, Cleaning & Storing Wildflower Seeds: 

Learn the right time to collect and harvest your own wildflower seeds. Explore processing techniques for purifying, drying and storing seed for future use.

Milwaukee’s & S.E. Wisconsin’s Prairie History and Plant Heritage: 

A look at the historical past and the geological, climate and ethnic influences that developed and altered the natural ecosystems found in our area. 

Ethnobotany of Wisconsin Native Americans: 

The relationship between a people and their plants. Focusing on the uses of prairie plants in Wisconsin by the Menomonee, Ojibwa, Winnebago, Ottawa, Sauk and other Native American cultures. 

Edible & Poisonous Wild Plants of Wisconsin: 

Ethnobotany of many native and introduced species of plants used by pioneers and aboriginal Americans for food, beverage, confection, medicine, dyes and textiles.

Plants, Pollinators & People: Making the Connection! 

Discussion & Interpretation of Tallamy’s book on nature's food pyramids, protecting the foundation and making home and property owners good land stewards.  It not too late!

Cedar Lake Conservation Foundation: 

From 1998-2011. Chronological history of the foundation doing a three acre prairie planting, managing it and creating a natural area show piece for the public.

CLIFF HANGERS: Plants That Live on the Edge! 

Presentation about celebrating the Niagra Escartment. Showing photo’s of exposed outcroppings throughout the state of Wisconsin and those plants that live in these hostile areas.

Aquatic & Wetland Vegetation of the Horicon Marsh

Photos of wetland plants accompanied by a discussion of some of the wildlife that use or depend on these native plant species. The presentation also includes a brief discussion of some of the invasive species problems that exist in the marsh.

Native Grasses as Ornamentals for the Landscape

Rare & Unusual Wildflowers of Wisconsin Prairies, Meadows, Savannas and Woodlands

Spring Flora of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Bogs as a Natural Ecosystem