Grand Rapids Skyline

Workshops & Seminars

Wednesday, May 4

The Frightened Frog 

May 4,  4:30 - 5:15 PM
Presenter:  Lynn Ehert, Chairman of NGC Youth Committee

Lynn’s committee presentation reflects the booklet titled “The Frightened Frog, An Environmental Tale” written by Brenda Moore, and Jean Ohlmann, illustrated by Emily Lackey, and sponsored by National Garden Clubs Inc. The primary purpose of the presentation is to assist adults to effectively utilize this teaching aid for young people. It helps illustrate the environmental impact on human life and all creatures. She also will share how the book it’s a useful tool for school teachers, children librarians, even parents and grandparents.

Photo Workshops        

May 4,  7:00 A.M. & 4:00 PM
Two-part Photography Workshop
Presenter: Arabella S. Dane

Pack your camera and come prepared to learn how to make the camera an important part of your garden club experience. There will be an early morning workshop to help you become reacquainted with your camera followed by a walking photography safari and instructional photo shooting session. You will gather timely topics and photographic techniques, all this near the convention center. The afternoon session follows the Meijer Garden Tour where additional photos may be taken. In this session, Arabella may offer ways to improve and share your shooting techniques for higher quality photos worthy of showcasing another artistic media in a Flower Show Schedule. Her credentials are impressive: She is an active member of the National Garden Clubs Inc. Board of Directors, Master Flower Show Judge, Master Landscape Consultant, and currently president of the National Flower Arrangers, founder of GCA Flower Arranging Study Group and the GCA Photography Study Group, also is a Photography Society of America Accredited Judge and Photography Judge Emeritus. Furthermore, she has lectured, exhibited, demonstrated, judged and taught horticulture, photography and flower arranging across the USA & abroad.

Thursday, May 5

Containers OF Personality

May 5,  4:00 - 4:45 PM
Presenter:  Carol Sue Brodbeck    

Some plants with "character" when planted in a unique container develop a personality of their own, such as "Can't do ANYTHING with my hair," "The High and the Mighty," "Tough Night,"  "It's a hit," or "If I can't dazzle her with my tail, I'll dazzle her with my tale."    Let your imagination run wild as you contemplate what you will experience in this lively seminar.  Be prepared to laugh...and get novel ideas for making your own "Containers OF Personality."


Leadership Workshop

May 5,  4:00 – 5:00 PM
Presenter: Robin Pokorski                         

So you are or going to become a garden club officer! Congratulation. Now what do you need to know for the specific position. What do you need to know when dealing with “difficult” member or bylaw issues, or faced with the need for increasing membership. Then this is action-packed Leadership Forum is just for you. It will be fun, fun, fun  and filled with super ideas you can use in your club. Be sure to bring your pencil and paper to take the copious notes. Robin speaks from experience including serving as President of California Garden Clubs Inc. She has shared this “Wow” program with clubs throughout California and parts of Nevada. Now it’s your turn.

New Introductions

May 5,  4:00 – 5:00 PM
Presenter: Barbara Balgoyen from Proven Winners®              

Barbara will help us learn what it takes to become a Proven Winner® perennial and who is growing them particularly in your backyard. You will enjoy Barb’s genuine enthusiasm and excitement for the current 64 Proven Winners® Perennials along with beautiful photography.  She is a self-proclaimed Plant Geek and an avid gardener who has worked in the Green Industry for more than 35 years. Currently she serves as customer service and technical support representative for Walters Gardens, Inc., the leading wholesale perennial grower in the U.S While she enjoys learning about and working with all kinds of plants; her favorites are perennials, succulents and unusual conifers.

Friday, May 6

More flowers, more food: The pollinator-plant partnership

May 6,  4:45 - 4:45 PM                    
Presenter:  Dr. Meghan Milbrath . Coordinator at MSU’s Pollinator Initiative

Dr. Milbrath, the coordinator of the Michigan Pollinator Initiative at Michigan State University, is a highly sought-after presenter and lecturer for many academic and beekeeper events. She recently worked as a postdoctoral research associate in the Entomology Department at MSU, studying honey bee disease with Zachary Huang and has taught queen bee rearing courses. She is an officer or active member in several Beekeeping Association, and the coordinator of the Northern Bee Network, an organization dedicated to promoting sustainable beekeeping in northern climates. Unquestionably she hooked on bees.               

What’s New in Landscaping          

May 6,  4:00 – 5:00 PM              
Presenter: Tim Banifield “Outdoor Living, Inc.”                   

Tim Banfield, a licensed Landscape Architect and NGC Accredited Instructor, will lecture on what is new and exciting in the arena of landscape design. The primary focus of his discussion is “trending topics relating to outdoor living spaces”, specifically residential landscape design. In his presentation, he includes other environmental, and gardening topics such as plant selection to enhance the overall landscape design. Tim is president/owner of Outdoor Living, Inc. and a licensed Landscape Architect with more than 30 years of experience. Tim is a regular speaker for garden clubs in Michigan and for NGC/MGC Schools throughout Michigan for over 20 years.

"Impact of Climate Change"                                     

May 6,  4:45 - 4:45 PM
Presenter: Dr. Alan Steinman, Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley University

Dr. Steinman’s presentation will involve a brief overview of climate change followed by focus on the impacts on water quality and water quantity. He will address major issues with freshwater, including deteriorating quality, the water-energy nexus, water supply and conflict over water. During this presentation he will provide a brief overview of phosphorus as an essential element, how it moves through aquatic systems, its impact on algal blooms and management strategies for control. Dr. Steinman has authored more than 150 articles and papers.  He is Director and Professor of Water Resources, Annis Water Resources Institute and supervises a 70-person Institute devoted to water resources and research. He also teaches graduate level courses at Grand Valley State University.

"Encouraging Our New Generation"        

May 6,     4:45 - 4:45 PM
Presenter: Robert Sollman

Robert has worked as an Agriscience teacher for 27 years helping more than 1500 students explore careers in agriculture and natural resources. His students have entered a diversity of careers in agriculture, natural resources, and other business and professional occupations.  Robert has taught at the Sanilac Career Center for 20 years.  Under his leadership, students have built a variety of facilities to provide a hands-on curriculum including, a 35 acre nature center called the E.A.R.T.H. Center, a Food Science Lab and an Aquaculture lab.  He has always tried to show students the broad nature of agriculture through creative project-based education.

In 2010, he wrote and received a $40,000 Secondary Challenge Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture.  The grant titled, “Sustainable Communities through Sustainable Agriculture,” is used to teach students entrepreneurial business management skills involving the production and marketing of locally grown, pesticide free produce that are sold through Farmers Markets in several communities