Green Matters Symposium

Fri. April 8th, 2016 08:30am to 04:00pm
Brookside Gardens

New landscapes are designed and constructed every day in cities and towns throughout the country.  Each project is a new opportunity to use sustainable practices that will produce improved environmental conditions and healthier ecosystems.  Reclaimed materials may be incorporated in surprisingly attractive ways.  Use of locally sourced materials not only supports the local economy, but also reduces environmental impacts resulting from shipping long distances.  A variety of stormwater management techniques serve to capture and treat potentially polluted water on-site, protecting surrounding waterways.  Thoughtful plant choices will give rise to landscapes that are both beautiful and resilient with regard to the existing conditions. Using Brookside Gardens’ recent Garden Gateway project as a springboard, the 2016 Green Matters Symposium will focus on elements of a successful, environmentally friendly landscape construction. From thorough planning to hardscape materials, native plants, and local artistry, the Symposium will inspire and offer practical suggestions on how landscape projects can be designed and constructed in an environmentally beneficial way.

Green Matters, an annual symposium at Brookside Gardens since 2004, concentrates attention on the intersection of horticulture and environmental issues. Environmental stewardship is a core value of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), Brookside Gardens’ parent organization. As such, we strive to provide timely information and viable solutions to environmental challenges, because we feel strongly that green does matter.

Fee: $99/person. Register at ActiveMONTGOMERY.org (Course #14881) or call 301-962-1451.

GMS: A Garden Gateway ~ Schedule of the Day

8:30am Registration & Refreshments
9:00 Welcome & Introductions
9:15 Brookside’s Garden Gateway
Stephanie Oberle
Garden Gateway Presentation (for program registrants only)
9:45 Artful Aesthetics
Mary Pat Matheson, Director of Atlanta Botanical GardenBotanical Gardens are living museums with a focus on plant collections, research and education to enrich visitors and the community. Gardens are also beautiful places for visitors to enjoy the best examples of landscape design, floral display and creative exhibitions. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is a national leader in the integration of art, exhibitions and design into the everyday life of a community. Mary Pat Matheson, the Anna and Hays Mershon President & CEO of the Garden, will showcase their work over the last decade and discuss artful trends at botanical gardens nationally.
Artful Aesthetics Presentation (for program registrants only)
10:45 Break
11:00 Aesthetics, Sustainability, and Stormwater
Gennadyi Gurman, Head of Interpretation at Queens Botanical GardenBotanical gardens and other public institutions with large maintained grounds that take on an obligation to manage their grounds sustainably have to do so without sacrificing aesthetics. Queens Botanical Garden faced a special challenge: not only is it built on former wetlands and marshes, it also uses the centuries-old New York City sewage system that collects and mingles sewage with stormwater before treatment. Learn from their experience of installing and maintaining native stormwater management landscapes and systems, including cisterns, bioswales, permeable paving, greywater wetlands, and more.

Queens Botanical Garden is an urban oasis where people, plants and cultures are celebrated through inspiring gardens, innovative educational programs and demonstrations of environmental stewardship.
Aesthetics, Sustainability, and Stormwater Presentation (for program registrants only)
Queens Botanical Garden Parking Garden Plant List

12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm The Garden of the Future: Reimagining the American Yard
Thomas Rainer, Landscape Architect and Author of “Planting in a Post-Wild World”

The American yard has been dominated by clipped foundation shrubs, groomed lawns, and trees with mulch circles. But a new aesthetic is emerging inspired by the way plants grow in nature—a softer, more lush vision of niche plants filling every layer and covering the ground. Join landscape architect and writer Thomas Rainer to explore the changing face of horticulture. This talk will explore how plants fit together in nature and how to use this knowledge to create gardens that are more satisfying, more resilient, and less work.The talk will be based on the new best-selling garden book, Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes, by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West and published by Timber Press.

The Garden of the Future: Reimagining the American Yard Part 1 (for program registrants only)
The Garden of the Future: Reimagining the American Yard Part 2
The Garden of the Future: Reimagining the American Yard Part 3
The Garden of the Future: Reimagining the American Yard Part 4
The Garden of the Future: Reimagining the American Yard Part 5

2:15 Break & Book Signing
2:30 From Plans to Reality: A Conversation
Lori Arguelles, Executive Director of the Alice Ferguson Foundation
Karen Jensen Miles, Land Use/ Facilities Manager of the Alice Ferguson Foundation
Sandy Wiggins, Principal of Consilience LLC
Planning ecologically beneficial construction is one thing, translating that plan into reality is entirely another! Join Lori Arguelles and the experts she has worked with to create a “Living Building” Education Center, and learn about the obstacles they faced and hard-earned successes they achieved.

From Plans to Reality: A Conversation, Presentation (for program registrants only)

3:30 Tours of the Garden Gateway, Book Signing & Refreshments

Educational Tables and Demos

During registration, in between sessions, and during lunch, be sure to visit our educational tables!

Featured Speakers:

Lori Arguelles, Executive Director Lori Arguelles brings nearly 25 years of experience in executive management, public relations, and government relations to her position as Executive Director of the Alice Ferguson Foundation (AFF). Prior to joining AFF Lori served as Vice President of Media and Policy Strategy for the marine conservation non-profit organization SeaWeb and she was the founding President and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. Previously, Lori served as Director of Communications for Girl Scouts of the USA and also as Director of Public and Constituent Affairs for the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Starting her professional career as a radio reporter, Lori has worked for several local and national outlets, as an anchor, reporter, and producer. Lori also served as press secretary for two members of congress. Lori earned her undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism and political science from Northern Arizona University and her master’s degree in public communication from American University.
Lori Arguelles

Lori Arguelles
Executive Director of the Alice Ferguson Foundation

Gennadyi Gurman is The Head of Interpretation at the Queens Botanical Garden where he’s spent the last decade writing curricula, leading the Garden’s school programs, and providing professional development. As a significant part of the Queens landscape and mission, the four acre stormwater exhibit has been the subject of signage, brochures, held workshops, guided tours that Gennadyi has created for visitors of all ages.

Prior to his tenure at QBG Gennadyi spent time at Hudson River Park Trust’s Education Department and at the New York Aquarium.

Image of Gennaydi Gurman

Gennadyi Gurman
Head of Interpretation at the Queens Botanical Garden

Picture of Mary Pat Matheson Mary Pat Matheson is the president and CEO of the Atlanta Botanical Garden and directs all operations for the 30-acre urban garden in Midtown, the heart of Atlanta. Matheson’s visionary outlook is leading the Atlanta Botanical Garden in new directions and delivering big numbers, particularly with outdoor exhibitions of fine art. These have included the fiber optics of Bruce Munro: Light in the Garden, mosaiculture of Imaginary Worlds, kinetic art of Sculpture in Motion: Art Choreographed by Nature, and much more.

Mary Pat Matheson

Anna and Hays Mershon President and Chief Executive Officer at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Coming Soon!

Stephanie Oberle

Director of Brookside Gardens

Picture of Thomas Rainer
Thomas Rainer is a landscape architect, teacher, and author. He is a passionate advocate for an ecologically expressive design aesthetic that does not imitate nature, but interprets it. He has designed landscapes for the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and The New York Botanical Garden. He works in Washington, D.C. as a Principal for the landscape architectural firm Rhodeside & Harwell and blogs at the award-winning site Grounded Design.

Thomas Rainer

Landscape Architect and Author of “Planting in a Post-Wild World”

Karen Jensen Karen has acted as a mentor to teachers and students alike in the fields of biology and ecology. Using her broad background and skills, Karen was project leader for a living shoreline restoration along the Potomac River and is currently Land Use/Facilities Manager at the Foundation, where she acts as staff liaison for a Living Building project at Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Center. She was a consultant to the Office of Horticulture at The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and, prior to that, Project Coordinator and Field Station Manager for a large environmental assessment project at a 1,400 acre proposed nuclear power generating facility site. Karen has authored and illustrated a field guide to invasive plants of the mid-Atlantic region and has extensive photographic images used in publications for The Smithsonian Institution and DK Books.

Karen Jensen Miles

Land Use/ Facilities Manager
the Alice Ferguson Foundation

Sandy Wiggins is Principal of Consilience LLC, a national consultancy with a mission to foster environmentally, socially and economically sustainable communities. His skillful facilitation has helped birth sustainable master plans for numerous municipalities and institutions as well as sustainable regional public policy initiatives. His vision and leadership have been responsible for the development of over sixty green development projects, including net zero energy buildings, one of the nation’s first registered Living Building Challenge projects, and a neighborhood development aspiring to meet the Living Community Challenge.Sandy is also a Sr. Advisor to RSF Social Finance, whose purpose is to transform the way the world works with money. He currently serves as Chair of BALLE (www.bealocalist.org) and on the Green Building Advisory Council for the City of Washington, DC. He is a Past Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council and was Founding Chair of the Green Building Certification Institute. He was also Founding Chair of the Philadelphia based Delaware Valley Green Building Council. Sandy Wiggins, speaker
Sandy Wiggins, Principal of Consilience LLC

Registration Information

Friday, April 8, 2016 8:30am-4:00pm

Course # 14881
Fee: $85 before March 1st, $99 from March 1st onward
Register online at ActiveMONTGOMERY.org or call 301-962-1451

Past Green Matters Symposia

Brookside Gardens has hosted the popular Green Matters Symposium each year since 2004. With topics ranging from Water-Wise Landscapes to 2012’s Urban Farming Pioneers, Green Matters aims to build awareness of the positive role plants and horticulture play in improving environmental quality. For more information about past Green Matters Symposia, visit our Green Matters Symposium Archive page.

  • 2015: Protecting our Pollinators
  • 2014: Gardening in a Changing Climate
  • 2013: The New American Landscape
  • 2012: Urban Farming Pioneers
  • 2011: Real Food Renaissance
  • 2010: Food for Thought
  • 2009: Water-Wise Landscapes
  • 2008: Sustainable Landscapes
  • 2007: Trees: Urban Re-Leaf
  • 2006: After the Rain

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This event will be held at Brookside Gardens