2017 Annual Gathering

June 2-4, 2017, at Augustana College, Rock Island, IL

Location: This year’s annual INPS gathering will be hosted by the Quad City Chapter of the Illinois Native Plant Society in Rock Island County, Illinois. The event will take place at Augustana College, in the city of Rock Island and at numerous field locations in Iowa and Illinois. At this year’s gathering, the Illinois Native Plant Society warmly welcomes members of the Iowa Native Plant Society and the Illinois members of the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) to its meeting activities!

Registration Information

Registration Deadline: May 22, 2017

Registration Options:

Full Conference
INPS Member (includes: mixer, sack lunch and banquet)………………………………….$70
Non-member (includes: mixer, sack lunch, banquet, and one-year INPS membership)……$90
Student (includes: mixer, sack lunch and banquet)………………………………………….$50

Saturday and Sunday
INPS Member (includes: sack lunch and banquet)………………………………….$60
Non-member (includes: sack lunch, banquet and one-year INPS membership)…….$80
Student (includes: sack lunch and banquet)………………………………………….$40

There are two ways to register. First, download the Annual Gathering Registration Packet which has a mail-in registration form on the last page which you can fill in and mail with a check. Download the Packet here:

2017 Annual Gathering Registration Packet

Second, you can register and pay online by clicking on this link here:

2017 Annual Gathering Online Registration Form


The closest lodging to Augustana College are: Radisson, John Deere Commons in Rock Island, and the Stoney Creek Inn, in Moline. Also relatively close is the Holiday Inn & Suites in Rock Island, which is within walking distance of the Rock Island District, an Arts and Entertainment Area of the Quad Cities featuring restaurants and nightlife spots. A complete listing of hotels, motels, camping and entertainment are available from the QC Tourism Board at http://www.visitquadcities.com or http://www.quadcities.com/lodging/hotels-motels

Best Western Airport Inn (309-762-9191) Fairfield Inn (309-762-9083) LaQuinta Inn (309-762-9008)
Comfort Inn (309-762-7000) Hampton Inn & Suites (309-762-1900) Motel 6 (309-762-1711)
Country Inn & Suites (309-797-4249) Holiday Inn (309-762-8811) Radisson, John Deere Commons (309-764-1000)
Exel Inn (309-797-5580) Holiday Inn Express (309-762-8793) Stoney Creek Inn (309-743-0101)


Most of the following Iowa motels and inns listed below are readily accessible from I-74.

Heartland Inn (563-355-6336) Isle of Capri Casino Hotel (877-598-0770) Super 8 (563-355-7341)
Holiday Inn Express(1-877-410-6667) Marriott Courtyards (563-355-3999) Sleep Inn & Suites (563-355-3539)


Rock Island / Quad City KOA @ Camelot is located on the outskirts of Rock Island near I-280 approximately 10 miles from Augustana College, 2311 78th Ave. Rock Island, IL 61201 (309-787-0665).
Illiniwek Forest Preserve campground (309-496-2620) is located just north of Hampton, Illinois, below Lock and Dam 14 and downstream from the I-280 bridge across the Mississippi River.

Directions to Augustana College From I-74

The Augustana Campus is most easily accessed from I-74 by exiting on either the River Drive Exit if bound from Iowa, or the 7th Street Exit if bound from Illinois, in Mo-line. Then follow either major street west (down river) into Rock Island where their convergence is near the Augustana Campus Sports Fields. Turn south (uphill) on either 38th Street or 30th Street (depending on your original position) to reach 7th Avenue and head into the campus on 7th Avenue to find parking lot H near the Sciences Building. Entrances to the Science Building are on the east and west sides near the north end (away from the parking lot). A map of Augustana College will be included in your confirmation notice.


Friday: Registration and evening activities will be at Hanson Hall of Science, Augustana College
4:00 – 6:30 PM — Registration and Check-in: located in the atrium
5:30 – 6:30 PM — Mixer: heavy hors d’oeuvre in the atrium (no alcohol)
6:30 – 6:45 PM — Welcome to the 2017 Annual Meeting and announcements.
6:45 – 8:30 PM

Deep Nature: Photographs from Iowa
Photographers, Linda & Robert Scarth will discuss and show images from their book Deep Nature: Photographs from Iowa. The book offers a tiny sampling of some of the Midwest’s smaller creatures and plants to entice viewers to look more closely at the Midwest, especially Iowa, with its treasures. Many of these subjects are necessary for a healthy environment for all species. Nature speaks in many languages and is understood in many ways. The way the Scarths work to understand and express the importance of all their subjects is through their beauty. Their hope is that these images enchant and enlighten rather than overwhelm, and to provide a positive emotional response that protects them and their habitats.
Reshaping Nature in the Corn Belt
In the last 200 years, the Corn Belt’s native ecosystems have been plowed into oblivion and subjected to the ever-increasing demands of new agricultural technologies and chemicals. Now climate change is pressing its fingerprint into the land and laying out yet another ecological future. Where might we lovers of the natural world go from here? How might we guarantee a better future for the native plants we treasure? Ecologist and author Connie Mutel will chart the sequential Midwestern transformational forces and propose some answers to these questions. Her talk will be based on two of her most recent books, The Emerald Horizon (a natural history of Iowa, published 2008) and A Sugar Creek Chronicle: Observing Climate Change from a Midwestern Woodland (2016).

Saturday: Registration and check-in for field trips will be at Hanson Hall of Science, Augustana College
7:30 – 8:15 AM –– Registration and field trip check-in: located in the atrium
8:00 – 8:30 AM –– Organize field trip carpools and depart
8:30AM – 4:00 PM — Field trip time includes travel time, return by 4:00 PM

Saturday: Late afternoon and evening activities will be at the Wilson Center, Augustana College
5:00 PM — Silent Auction Begins
5:00 – 6:00 PM — Illinois Native Plant Society Membership Meeting
6:30 – 7:30 PM — Banquet and Silent Auction ends at 7:30 PM
7:30 – 8:30 PM

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Bohdan “Bo” Dziadyk, retired professor of biology at Augustana College. During his 36 years at Augustana he taught botany and ecology; and was the director of Augustana’s ecological field stations.
Plant Blindness, Deep Ecology And The Conservation Ethos
The concept of ‘plant blindness’ is not exactly new, but it is not old either. I once asked the 50 students in my botany class at the beginning of the term how many could distinguish an oak from a maple. Not a single hand went up. I then asked how many could distinguish a lion from a zebra and, sheepishly, every hand went up. I told my students, virtually all biology majors, that they walked under these trees every day, but there was not a single wild African mammal roam-ing the campus. How to explain that? Welcome to plant blindness.
In an age of increasing ecological sophistication much of what people believe about the value of organisms in nature is questionable. It is easy to point out, as I did for my students, that photosynthetic plants produce the oxygen we breath, fix the carbon compounds that pass through our bodies as part of the food chain, and modify the climate while influencing biogeochemical cycles in Life’s favor. What is not easy is to engender a fellow-being regard and recognition for the green, silent and stationary beings that comprise more than 99% by weight of most ecological systems. We are emotion-ally blind to the very organisms that make our lives and the lives of all consumers possible. Humans seem to intrinsically thrill to the antics of the mega-fauna while regarding the background greenery as mere habitat where the beasts live and breathe and have their being. That some 40% of all net primary production (photosynthesis) is consumed by civilization seems less serious so long as vertebrate animals are protected or at least not intentionally harmed in conservation programs.
The concept of ‘deep ecology’ was formulated by Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess in the early 1970s as a valuation system for holding all living things, without exception, as morally significant, hence worthy of respect and protection. The term deep (as opposed to shallow) ecology has a predecessor in the ‘land ethic’ thinking of American ecologist Aldo Leopold and others before him. Today there are increasing numbers of conservationists who think the time has come to more strongly emphasize the absolute value of plants in species protection and conservation programs. The official list of endangered and threatened plant species(324) in Illinois is more than twice as numerous as that for all animals (156). Such a paradigm shift in values will require major education efforts at all levels, but it is becoming increasingly important in the face of rampant species extinctions worldwide.

8:30-9:00 PM — Final announcement and adjourn.

8:00-8:30AM — Organize field trips and depart

Field Trip Options

Saturday All-Day Field Trip Options 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Thomson-Fulton Sand Prairie (South Unit, 36.7 acres) and Ayers Sand Prairie (115 acres) –– were dedicated respectively as Illinois State Preserves in 1970 and 1974. Both preserves are typical of dry sand prairie, sand dune and blowout communities typical of the Mississippi River Section of the Illinois and Mississippi River Sand Areas Natural Division. A plant inventory of Ayers revealed 39 species of grasses and sedges, 16 species of woody plants and 96 forbs. The dominant herba-ceous species are little bluestem, June grass and hairy grama grass. Carolina anemone, sandcress, puccoon and sand prim-rose are typical sand prairie species. Black oak and cottonwood occur in the blowouts along with scattered clones of aromatic sumac. Thomson Fulton Sand Prairie is recovering from past grazing and off-road and ATV activity. Little bluestem, three-awn grass, plains prickly pear cactus and June grass are some of the common plants in the preserve.
Leader: Randy Nyboer Hike difficulty: easy

Fern Workshop and Wildcat Den ––– The fern workshop, highlighting the ferns of the Quad City region, will be conducted by Bob Bryant; and will cover the identification, distribution, uses, folklore, field guides and photographing ferns. The workshop will be held at Nahant Marsh Education Center (SW part of Davenport, IA). In the afternoon you will tour Wildcat Den State Park with the group that was touring Nahant Marsh. Wildcat Den (423 acres), located north of Muscatine, IA, is one of the most unique parks in Iowa, combining natural beauty and solitude, preservation of historical structures, trails, camping and picnic areas for recreational use. The Pine Creek Grist Mill, built in 1848, is one of the finest examples of mid-nineteenth century mills, and is the only operational grist mill between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. The trail to and through the sandstone ravine, known as the “Devil’s Punch Bowl”, shows many of the geological and floral features of the park.
Hike difficulty: moderate

Nahant Marsh Education Center and Wildcat Den –––Nahant Marsh is part of a larger 3,500 acre+ ecologi-cal area that was formed by the confluence of the Rock and Mississippi Rivers and includes Credit Island and The Milan Bottoms. Today, the Nahant Marsh preserve is comprised of 265 acres and growing. Nahant Marsh is the largest urban wetland on the Upper Mississippi River and serves around 18,000 people annually through educational programming. In 2016, Nahant Marsh received two awards (excellence in Environmental Education Programming and for working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts for planning the QC Pollinator Conference) from the Iowa Association of Naturalists. Biologists and volunteers have documented 414 plant species, 175 birds, 62 mushrooms, 41 mammals, 14 rep-tiles, and 7 amphibians within the preserve boundaries. The preserve is comprised of bottom forests, sedge meadows, mesic prairie restorations, and a small sand prairie. Staff works with re-searchers to guide restoration and preservation efforts.
Leader: Brian Ritter Hike difficulty: easy
In the afternoon you will tour Wildcat Den State Park (see description in Fern & Wildcat Den Trip above) with the group that was attending the Fern Workshop at Nahant.

Landscaping with Native Prairie Plants & Brockhouse Wet Prairie — Constructed in May of 2003, in Walcott, IA, this home and landscape is an ongoing landscape experiment utilizing only the small area of a typical, small residential lot. Both the home and surrounding landscape were designed by Mr. & Mrs. Mays in an attempt to aesthetically incorporate function, low maintenance and prominently feature native plants. Both the home and the landscape are fully handi-capped accessible, although neither Dan nor Cyndia is physically challenged. The design challenge was to embrace accessibility without looking institutional and to utilize native to the fullest extent without creating a WASP – (Wild And Scary Prairie). The grounds in-corporate three visually different rain gardens fed by French drains, a small vegetable garden, native plant propagation beds, and copious additional planting are-as throughout the landscape featuring native plants. The Brockhouse wet prairie, located near Walcott, is a smaller triangular acreage that has never been plowed. A few of the featured plants are Marsh Marigold and Michigan Lily. The Brockhouse family has owned the prairie ground for generations and remains devoted to preserving this “corner of the cornfield”.
Leader: Dan Mays Hike difficulty: easy

Saturday Morning Half-day Field Trips 8:30 – Noon

Indian Bluff Hill Prairie overlooks the entrance road to Indian Bluff Golf Course and Forest Preserve managed by the Rock Island Forest Preserve District and is located in Milan. Even though it is a small hill prairie remnant, it is one of the few remaining native prairies in the Quad Cities and is readily accessible to the general public.

Leader: Chris Benda Hike difficulty: moderate

Beling Biological Preserve is a 109-acre wetland and floodplain forest complex Moline’s 7th Street and the Rock Island border. It was donated to Augustana College in 1998, by the Beling Family Estate to further its ecology instruction. Beling compliments the upland habitats of Augustana’s other two field stations (Green Wing Environmental Laboratory and the Collinson Ecological Preserve). The construction of bridge from Rock Island to Milan over the Rock River was completed in 2007, which required some wetland mitigation was required. The Milan Beltway bikeway path was later ap-proved to crossover the bridge and across the northwest corner of the pre-serve. Despite the bridge and bike path Beling remains a valuable resource for teaching and conducting research.
Leader: Bo Dziadyk Hike difficulty: easy

Gardening with Conifers – a whole New World of gardening.
9:00 –11:00 AM Quad City Botanical Center
Gary Whittenbaugh, an Iowa native, is well known in the Midwest for his many presentations on gardening subjects, particularly the use of conifers and companion plants in the garden. He has been gardening for over 40 years with emphasis on dwarf, slow growing and unusual conifers plus trough and rock gardening. President of the American Conifer Society Central Region 2001-2005, and was the recipient of the prestigious ‘Marvin and Emelie Snyder Merit Award for Service’ from the American Conifer Society in 2005. He is an Iowa Master Gardener and received the Lifetime Master Gardener award in 2005. He is member of the American Conifer Society and the North American Rock Garden So-ciety. The Conifer story is fascinating and unique. See how the color, texture and form of conifers add year round beauty and contrast to gar-dens and landscapes. Fast growers screen your space, tiny buns add unusual shapes and textures, and distinctive forms. make living sculptures.

Saturday afternoon Half-Day Field Trips 1:30 – 4:00

Gardening with Conifers 1:30-3:30 PM (Repeat of the morning presentation)

Collinson Ecological Preserve (67 acres) near Milan is one of three biological field stations owned and managed by Augustana College in Illinois. Dominated by upland oak-hickory forest, this field station includes two high-quality loess hill prairie openings on the slope of a bluff overlooking Mill Creek. In 2007, the western 20 acres of this site were dedicated as the Josua Lindahl Hill Prairies Nature Preserve joining the Illinois Nature Preserve System that began in 1963. A fossil-rich Devonian outcrop is situated on the slope between the hill prairies. This state nature preserve has been the recipient of substantial financial support from the Illinois State Wildlife Grant to preserve and expand the acreage of hill prairies. The entire Collinson Preserve is an excellent representation of what restoration and effective management can do to help preserve rare populations of native species while creating a working educational facility.
Leader: Bo Dziadyk Hike: difficulty: moderate.

Black Hawk Historical Site Forest and Prairie Restoration This steeply rolling and wooded tract borders the Rock River in Rock Island, Illinois. The area is closely identified with the Sauk nation and the warrior-leader whose name it bears – Black Hawk. Black Hawk Historic Site is noted for many geological features: glacial loess from the Ice Age, sandstone cliffs and shale from the Coal Age and marine fossils encased in Devonian limestone formed some 350 million years ago. This site encompasses undisturbed native oak-hickory woodland bluffs overlooking the Rock River and many micro-climates that have produced special populations of plants. In 1984, 100 acres of the forested north section were declared a Nature Preserve. The area was heavily damaged by a windstorm in 2008. Post-windstorm restoration began in 2010 under a grant from the U.S. Forest Service. Being located within a heavily urbanized area, a major management issue invasive species from residential landscaping.
Leader: Candace Marner Hike difficulty: moderate

Sunday Morning Field Trip Options 8:30 – 11:30AM

Indian Bluff Hill Prairie — for description see Saturday morning half-day field trips

Green Wing/Gremel Sanctuary –– Augustana College recently sold most of its 410 acre Green Wing Environmental Laboratory in Lee County IL, to the Illinois Audubon Society to conduct more extensive and vigorous management activities on the renamed Gremel Wildlife Sanctuary. This field trip will include both units and discuss the major management goals. A mosaic of upland oak forest, small ponds, sedge meadows and a prairie restoration site, this property is a microcosm of Illinois presettlement plant communities. Like so much of the Midwest, however, this site has been seriously invaded by weedy species especially Asiatic honeysuckles, garlic mustard, buckthorn, barberry, several grasses (smooth brome, fescue, Phragmites), aquatic milfoil and others. After major restoration work, the Illinois Audubon Society plans to transfer the property into Illinois Nature Preserve Commission status as a state nature preserve.
Bo Dziadyk leader Hike difficulty: moderate

Sherman Park –– The park is a Clinton County, IA, Park (232 acres) man-aged by the Clinton County Conservation Board and located on the north side of the Wapsipinicon River. The southern unit of the park provides limited camping, picnicking and river access. Majority of the northern unit was purchased with Iowa Habitat Stamp Funds and is open to public hunting. There is some bottomland forest, with a majority of the park being upland oak-hickory forest and large area of overgrown sand/oak savanna. A total of 361 plants have been documented in the park. The northern unit has the greatest plant and animal diversity with 11 plants, 2 reptiles and 1amphibian on the Iowa Threatened and Endangered List. This includes Botrychium matricariifolium (Daisy Leaf Grapefern), one of Iowa and Illinois rarest ferns.
Special note: Sherman Park is located NW of Augustana College and is approximately a 40-45 minute drive.
Leader: Bob Bryant Hike difficulty: easy