Loading Events

« All Events

The Virginia Society of Landscape Designers (VSLD) 64th Annual Winter Forum

February 24 @ 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Hazel Hall at Laurel Ridge Community College,
6480 College Street, Warrenton, VA 20187

Guest Speakers:

Doug Tallamy, PhD, Professor of Entomology, University of Delaware
Kelsey Johnson, PhD, Professor of Astronomy, University of Virginia

Schedule of Events
8:00 AM Site opens for set up. The lobby is open to attendees.
9:15 – 10:00 AM Annual Meeting of the VSLD General Membership in the conference hall.
Business meeting is open to members only.
10:15AM Conference Hall opens to all attendees.
10:30-11:30 AM First Presentation, Saving the Darkness, followed by audience questions as
time permits.
12:00 NOON – 1:00 PM Lunch Break. A buffet luncheon will be set up in the lobby, attendees
may bring their meals back into the hall to dine in comfort.
1:30-2:30 PM Second Presentation, Nature’s Best Hope, followed by audience questions as
time permits.
3:00-4:00 PM break down meeting hall and lobby. The conference center must be vacated by
4:00 PM.


Members $75.00 – covers attendance of business meeting, event presentations, lunch.
Non-members $85.00 – covers attendance of event presentations, lunch.
Lunch and attendance of the event is covered in sponsorship donation.
Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Deadline for reservations is January 30, 2024. Payments will not be accepted at the door.
Please include names and email addresses of all attendees in your reservation.
If you prefer to pay for your reservation by check, please make your check payable to VSLD and send to Susan Hayes, P.O. Box 249, Catlett, VA 20119.
If you prefer to pay for your reservation by credit card, please email your registration information (not your credit card) to susanhayesgardendesign@gmail.com. We will email you an
invoice via QuickBooks and may use your credit card there.
Please direct questions to: Susan Hayes, susanhayesgardendesign@gmail.com, text 540-878-
1420. Mailing address: SHGD, P.O. Box 249, Catlett, VA 20119.

Information on our Guest Speakers and their scheduled presentations

Our guest speakers have graciously agreed to autograph their books and chat with members. If you have any of their books at home, you are welcome to bring them to the event to be autographed.
There will be books available to purchase at the event, either directly from the authors or from some of our sponsors. We will not be able to accept credit cards at the site, so please bring cash or checks if you are planning to make purchases.

Doug Tallamy is the T. A. Baker Professor of Agriculture in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 112 research publications and has taught insect-related courses for 42 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many
ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His books include Bringing Nature Home, The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, Nature’s Best Hope, a New York Times Best Seller, The Nature of Oaks, winner of the American
Horticultural Society’s 2022 book award. In 2021 he cofounded Homegrown National Park with Michelle Alfandari (HomegrownNationalPark.org). His awards include recognition from The Garden Writer’s Association, Audubon, The National Wildlife Federation, Allegheny College, Ecoforesters, The
Garden Club of America and The American Horticultural Association.
Nature’s Best Hope Recent headlines about global insect declines and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current landscape designs have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain us. To create landscapes that enhance local ecosystems rather than degrade them, we must 1) remove the invasives on our property and 2) add the native plant communities that sustain
food webs, sequester carbon, maintain diverse native bee communities, and manage our watersheds. If we do this in half of the area now in lawn, we can create Homegrown National Park, a network of viable habitats throughout the U.S. that will provide vital corridors connecting the few natural areas that
remain. This approach to conservation empowers everyone to play a significant role in the future of the natural world. It is also enormously restorative for those who take action.

Kelsey Johnson Ph. D. University of Virginia astronomer, president of the American Astronomical Society, and creator of the “Dark Skies, Bright Kids” program, has devoted her career to understanding the stars and preserving their beauty for future generations. As part of her advocacy for dark skies, her
New York Times article and TED talk on light pollution are both available on-line.
Saving the Darkness: How to Put a Dimmer Switch on Light Pollution and Bring Back the Night Sky
How many stars can you see from your home? For many Americans, the answer is only a handful. Our ancestors once saw many thousands. The growing flood of artificial light pollution, and the disappearance of
our night skies, are taking a toll on flora and fauna, as well as affecting human health. The good news is there are ways to combat it. This talk will provide an overview of the impact of light pollution as well as solutions we can work to implement.

General Information

The site is easily accessed from Route 29 in Fauquier County east of Warrenton.
Please check in at the registration desk in the lobby of the conference center.
Sponsor information tables will be set up in the lobby of the conference center. Tables and chairs are provided by the site. Tables may be staffed by representatives of the sponsor.
VSLD members receive 10 CEU’s for attending the entire event.
Hot coffee and tea will be available in the lobby.
A buffet lunch will be provided in the lobby during the lunch break. Please feel welcome to return to the Hall to eat your lunch in comfort.
Restrooms are available in the lobby of the conference center.
Please direct further questions to: Susan Hayes, susanhayesgardendesign@gmail.com, text 540-
878-1420. Mailing address: SHGD, P.O. Box 249, Catlett, VA 20119.



February 24
8:00 am - 4:00 pm


Laurel Ridge Community College
6480 College Street
Warrenton, VA 20187 United States
+ Google Map


Virginia Society of Landscape Designers