Bioscaping: Gardening for Life

Saturday, November 14
8:30 a.m. to  4:45 p.m.
Hine Hall, IUPUI
875 West North Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Parking at University Tower Garage (fee) 


Conference Schedule

Spend a delightful Saturday mingling with friends, meeting new ones, and learning about the many facets of landscaping with native plants at the 22nd INPAWS Annual Conference. Our featured speakers are all rock stars of the native plant world. Here’s a rundown:

About the Speakers

Photo by Ralph Vituccio

Rick Darke

Looking at the Layered Landscape (1st Presentation)
Designing and Maintaining the Living Landscape (2nd presentation)

Rick’s work is grounded in an observational ethic which blends art, ecology, and cultural geography in the design and stewardship of living landscapes. His projects include residential gardens, parks, post-industrial sites, transportation corridors, corporate and collegiate campuses, conservation developments, and botanical gardens. Rick’s Pennsylvania home garden has served as a living laboratory for a quarter century. His books include The American Woodland Garden: Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest and The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden, co-authored with Doug Tallamy.

The richness of life in any landscape is linked to the richness of its layers, and this is true for both people and wildlife. Rick Darke will open this year’s program with an illustrated discussion of the living layers in local and regional landscapes, both as they occur naturally and as they are often modified by human culture. This exploration will provide a basis for understanding the essential characteristics of healthy layers and how they can be conserved and enhanced in home gardens and shared landscapes.

In a second presentation, following that of Doug Tallamy, Rick will illustrate and discuss how an understanding of living layers and relational biodiversity can be put to practical use in the making and maintenance of residential gardens and community landscapes. Strategies for employing “organic architecture” in creating beautiful, conserving, highly functional layers will be presented in detail.


Doug Tallamy, PhD

Rebuilding Nature’s Relationships at Home

Doug is well known to INPAWS members from previous visits to Indiana, including a previous INPAWS annual conference.  He is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 82 research articles and has taught Insect Taxonomy, Behavioral Ecology, Humans and Nature, Insect Ecology, and other courses for 34 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 book Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens was published in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers’ Association. The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014.

Specialized relationships between animals and plants are the norm in nature rather than the exception. Plants that evolved in concert with local animals provide for their needs better than plants that evolved elsewhere. Doug will explain why this is so, why specialized food relationships determine the stability and complexity of the local food webs that support animal diversity, why it is important to restore life to our residential properties, and what we can do to make our landscapes living ecosystems once again. 


Photo by Barb Homoya

Mike Homoya

This Is Indiana: The Historic Hoosier Landscape Prior to 1816   

Mike has been a botanist and plant ecologist with the Indiana DNR Division of Nature Preserves for over 33 years.  He is the author Orchids of Indiana and Wildflowers and Ferns of Indiana Forests: A Field Guide, and is an adjunct faculty member of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. This past spring Mike was presented with the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Indiana Academy of Science.  Mike is currently serving as president of Indiana Academy of Science

With Indiana’s bicentennial fast approaching it is appropriate to remember that prior to statehood Indiana was a land of vast forests, expansive wetlands, and prairie as far as the eye could see.  Herds of bison traveled ancient paths, passenger pigeons darkened the skies, and wolves, bears and panthers roamed the land. All this we know from eyewitness accounts provided by early explorers, pioneers, and government surveyors. Being the “time traveler” that he is, Mike relishes the opportunity to take you to a land that today can exist only as a vision in your mind. 


Jim McCormac

Butterflies and Moths, Their Darker Side

Jim has spent most of his career as a botanist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and currently works for the Ohio Division of Wildlife. He was the inaugural president of the Ohio Ornithological Society. He is author of Birds of OhioThe Great Lakes Nature Guide; and Wild Ohio: The Best of Our Natural Heritage. He is also the co-author of the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas. Jim writes a column, Nature, for the Columbus Dispatch, and has authored or co-authored hundreds of scientific and popular articles in a variety of publications. He is the 2014 recipient of the League of Ohio Sportsmen’s Conservation Communicator of the Year Award.

Jim’s program will explore the amazing four-part life cycle of butterflies and moths, their ecological roles in the environment, and practical ways that we can support them.  Our enchantment with butterflies isn’t surprising. They fly, are easily observed, collectively encompass a rainbow palette of colors, and are adorned with ornate patterns. Increasing the allure of butterflies is the fact that we can draw many species to our gardens by planting appropriate host and nectar plants. Moth species greatly outnumber butterflies, and are equally fascinating. Most moths are nocturnal and largely out of sight, out of mind. Nonetheless, they are arguably even more important than showy butterflies.



Kevin Tungesvick

A Dangerous Precedent: The Mounds Reservoir Proposal

Kevin is a restoration ecologist with Spence Restoration Nursery, where he schedules production, maintenance, and sales of an inventory of over 750,000 native plants. He is a former Stewardship Director with Redtail Conservancy Land Trust, former vice-president of INPAWS, and currently on the Board of Directors of the Robert Cooper Audubon Society. He is co-author of Additions to the Flora of Mounds State Park and Preservepublished in the Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Sciences.

The Mounds Reservoir proposal is an economic development project, repackaged as a water supply reservoir for permitting purposes.  This is in spite of the fact that it is not supported by any major water utility. This destructive project would decimate the most significant forested corridor remaining along the upper White River. Further, it would take one-third of Mounds State Park and Mounds Fen State Nature Preserve from all future generations of Hoosier. This is the first significant challenge to the Nature Preserves Act since its passage is 1967. Kevin will describe the impacts on our natural heritage and provide an update on the status of the project.