Conferences & Symposia
Creative Approaches for Ecological Landscaping
The 23nd Annual Land Ethics Symposium
Closed, tune in next year!
Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023
8 am – 1 pm
Held virtually via Zoom
General Admission: $150 ($125 - early bird discount)
Student Admission: $35 with a valid ID
Look forward to the 23rd year of this not-to-be-missed symposium geared towards landscape architects, designers, contractors, land planners, municipal officials and homeowners. Learn how to create ecologically sound and economically viable landscapes through the use of native plants and sustainable practices. Continuing education credits will be available!
2023 Symposium Speakers
- Paul Tukey, Director of Environmental Stewardship, Glenstone Museum
- The Art of Creating a Regenerative Landscape from the Ground Up
- Matthew Benzie, President / Owner, Indigenous Ingenuities, LLC.
- Highly Skilled Landscape Maintenance: A New Direction
- Samir Dalal, PHS LandCare Program Manager, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
- The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society: Revitalizing Vacant Lots and Gardening for the Greater Good with Native Plants
- Jeff Lorenz, Founder, Refugia, Ltd.
- Planting the New Paradigm
2023 Symposium Programs
The Art of Creating a Regenerative Landscape from the Ground Up with Paul Tukey
Operating under the thesis that sustainability doesn’t go far enough, the landscape architects, designs and grounds staff at Glenstone set out to be regenerative in all aspects of the creation of what has become a 350-acre landscape. Topics covered will fall under the principles of biophilic design to mimic nature, including water retention, plant choices, soil enhancement and the practical limitations of an all-organic landscape.
Paul Tukey, who joined the Glenstone Museum team in 2010, is an award-winning journalist, author, filmmaker, HGTV host, consultant and motivational public speaker who is internationally recognized as a pioneering leader in sustainable landscaping. Now serving as the Director of Environmental Stewardship at Glenstone, Paul has been helping to create a “living classroom” on the all-organic 300-acre site that includes native meadows, a five-acre organic lawn, restored streams and tributaries, forests and more than 14,000 recently planted native trees. Winner of the prestigious Communicator of the Year Award from the American Horticultural Society, as well as the 2018 Green Medal Award from the Garden Writers of America, Paul has been featured in thousands of media outlets from Martha Stewart and Good Morning America as well as National Geographic, Reader’s Digest and The New York Times—which called him, “the godfather of the natural land care movement.”
Highly Skilled Landscape Maintenance: A new direction with Matthew Benzie
Why is landscape maintenance undervalued in the horticultural industry today, and how do we change the misconception? How have Matthew Benzie and the team at Indigenous Ingenuities approached unconventional landscape maintenance? Where have they seen successes and failures? In summary, what do we believe are the keys to success, and how do we envision the future of this important and growing service? In this lecture, Benzie will discuss the challenges we are facing in the industry from the experience of a small business and end with how we approach and succeed at it.
Matthew Benzie is the owner of Indigenous Ingenuities and an ISA certified arborist. After acquiring a degree in landscape architecture in 2006, Benzie set out to work in a variety of construction industries across the eastern seaboard with the aim to learn about horticulture, construction and environmental awareness, until landing back in Doylestown, PA to start his company in 2013.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society: Revitalizing Vacant Lots and Gardening for the Greater Good with Native Plants with Samir Dalal
Join Samir Dalal, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s LandCare program manager, as he explores PHS’s work revitalizing and maintaining 13,000 vacant lots across the Philadelphia region and the impact these lots have in promoting community health and wellbeing. Dalal will also share how PHS LandCare collaborates with PHS’s workforce development program, which uses horticulture to provide paid, hands-on job training and ongoing support for Philadelphia residents experiencing barriers to employment. Additionally, PHS’s use of native and pollinator plant species both in the LandCare program and throughout the organization’s 20 maintained public gardens and landscapes will be highlighted, and Dalal will delve into why PHS believes in planting these species as part of the organization’s Gardening for the Greater Good ethos.
Growing up loving nature and the power of a united community, Samir Dalal has shaped his career as an urban planner to focus on the relationship between our physical environment, health and community empowerment. He currently works as the Program Manager for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Philadelphia LandCare Program, helping to turn vacant lots into vibrant community assets through cleaning, greening and ongoing maintenance. Dalal manages data for an inventory of over 13,000 vacant lots while maintaining relationships with the City of Philadelphia and community partners. After graduating with bachelor's degrees from University of California Irvine in earth system science and public health, he worked for 4 years coordinating community empowerment programs focused on youth mentorship, capacity building and community planning. Dalal also has a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from NYU, which he utilizes in his work within communities to identify special projects that integrate community needs and desires with PHS’s commitment to horticultural excellence.
Planting the New Paradigm with Jeff Lorenz
Begun in 2016, Refugia Design’s Ecological Greenway Network is a multi-year design/stewardship project in collaboration with homeowners and communities that seeks to enhance, rather than degrade, ecosystem function. Join founder Jeff Lorenz to learn more about their award-winning mission and the ways in which they are actively shifting landscaping norms: creating a tangible positive impact on climate and local ecosystems through simple, smart choices that are empowering and persuasive.
As founder of Refugia Design-Build, based in Bala Cynwyd, PA, Jeff Lorenz combines his decades of experience in landscape design with a desire for innovation. His sensibility is for immersive outdoor sanctuary spaces that seek to co-exist with, rather than control, nature. Lorenz is the creative thinker behind Refugia’s mission, methodology and the Ecological Greenway Network and truly believes that ‘putting plants to work’ is the only way forward.
Continuing Education Credits
The 2023 Land Ethics Symposium has been approved for the following professional credits:
- Association of Professional Landscape Designers - 4.0 units
- ISA - International Society of Arboriculture - Management: 5.0, Climber Specialist: 5.0, ISA Certified Arborist: 5.0, Utility Specialist: 5.0, Municipal Specialist: 5.0, Aerial Lift Specialist: 5.0
- LA CES™ - 4.0 units
- Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association - 4.00 PCH and 4.00 SLC CEUs
- Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association - 5.0 - VCH CEUS
The 2023 Land Ethics Symposium has been applied for the following professional credits:
- Maryland Nursery & Landscape Association
- NJ Nursery & Landscape Association, Certified Nursery & Landscape Professionals (CNLP)
- Society for Ecological Restoration - 2.0 units (CERP)
Land Ethics Award
Purpose of Award:
The Land Ethics Award honors and recognizes the creative use of native plants in the landscape, sustainable and regenerative design, and ethical land management and construction practices.
Who is eligible for nomination:
Nominations may be private individuals, businesses, design professionals including landscape architects and site engineers, conservation and preservation organizations and local, state and federal agencies involved with environmental protection. School groups may also be nominated for relevant team projects.
Individuals, non-profit organizations, government agencies, community groups, and business professionals are encouraged to apply. Application projects must be a minimum of six months year and a maximum of four years old.
The recipient will be selected by a jury of professionals in the field of design, preservation and conservation. The Land Ethics Award will be presented at the Land Ethics Symposium on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023.
Nominates are currently closed.
Photos are from the 20th Annual Land Ethics Symposium in 2020
One highlight each year is the announcement of this year’s Land Ethics Awards, which honor and recognize the creative use of native plants in the landscape; sustainable and regenerative design; and ethical land management and construction practices.
With the recent push to revitalize the landscape on a more local and individual scale, this year’s judges chose winners whose actions reflect that ethos. No matter the size of your own landscape, BHWP encourages you to use native plants, exhibit a strong land ethic and promote sustainable designs that protect the environment.
The 2023 Land Ethics Award Winners include:
Best Community Effort: The Herrontown Woods Botanical Art Garden
Friends of Herrontown Woods and many other volunteers and groups, through the creation of Herrontown Woods Botanical Art Garden (affectionately nicknamed the "Barden"), an ever-growing community effort to enhance and maintain this space of the Herrontown Woods.
Best Individual Effort: William and Jane Allis - The Bower – Native Plant Garden and Sculpture Park
Bill and Jane Allis, through their creation of The Bower, immersed themselves in nature and invited the public to experience conserving, stewarding and enhancing the property as a natural resource for generations to come.