Garden Journal

They were here first: Hundreds are expected to drive, walk and crawl to Western Carolina University for the 25th anniversary of the “Cullowhee in the Landscape” native-plant conference scheduled for Wednesday, July 23, through Saturday, July 26, at the school.

Conference topics will include the study, understanding and conservation of native flora, with a special focus on propagation and cultivation of native plants as well as their use in natural and designed landscapes.

The conference will feature Jamie Ross, co-producer of the new PBS series Appalachia, which is set to air in early 2009. Ross will offer guests a sneak preview of part one of the series, “Time and Terrain.”

“We are very excited about showing the film at the Cullowhee conference,” Ross says. “The episode chronicles the birth of the mountains and the evolution of the great forest, and will give plant enthusiasts a historical context for understanding the region’s rich biological treasures.”

The conference’s keynote speaker, Tom Wessels, will present “The Myth of Progress: Toward a Sustainable Future.” A professor of ecology, Wessels is the founding director of the master’s degree program in conservation biology at Antioch University New England in Keene, N.H.

Registration for the conference is $105 for participants staying on campus, or $125 for those staying off-campus. Act fast, because registration runs only through Monday, July 7. For more information, call 227-7397. Online registration also is available at nativeplantconference.wcu.edu.

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