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Pittsburgh, Pa.—On October 27, 2012, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will host its annual Native Plant and Sustainability Conference at historic Botany Hall on the public garden’s Oakland campus. Bringing together national experts and local gardeners for a day of discussions and lectures, this event will give attendees a better understanding of how well-designed landscapes can positively impact our environment, as well as a chance to explore Phipps’ new Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL).
Starting with check-in and light refreshments at 9 a.m., followed by presentations from 9:30 to 11:50 a.m.; a book sale, self-guided CSL tours and lunch from noon to 1:15 p.m.; and a final set of lectures from 1:15 to 3:25 p.m., this year’s conference features an exciting line-up of special guests:

· José Almiñana, principal for Andropogon Associates, a premier landscape architecture firm and leader in ecologic design, and lead CSL landscape architect, will discuss net-zero water goals, landscape design strategies and performance targets for Phipps’ innovative new building.

· Steve Castorani, co-founder and president of North Creek Nurseries and co-owner of American Beauties, Inc., will talk about the critical role native plants play in sustaining natural landscapes, and highlight some newer varieties that are now, or soon to be, available on the market.

· Dr. Elaine Ingham, an internationally renowned soil microbiologist and chief scientist for the Rodale Institute, will provide an in-depth look at beneficial organisms, and explain how to harness their potential using compost extracts or tea to cultivate healthy soil and plants.

· Scott C. Scarfone, principal and founder of Oasis Design Group, will present on how society’s renewed interest in ecology and natural processes are influencing current trends in landscape planning and design, as well as share his own ideas on where this movement is headed.

Pre-registration for the 2012 Native Plant and Sustainability Conference is required; reservations may be made either by phone at 412/441-4442, ext. 3925 or in person at the Phipps Garden Center, located at 1059 Shady Avenue. The cost is $80 per person before October 5 and $95 after; price includes lunch.

About Phipps: Established in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pa. stands as an eco-champion among America’s 500 public gardens with a mission to inspire and educate visitors with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and worldwide biodiversity through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Learn more at

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