2020 Illinois Indigenous Plants Symposium

2020 Illinois Indigenous Plant Symposium Has Been Cancelled

In response to the emerging COVID-19 situation and in line with the advice of health officials to minimize exposure by limiting large gatherings, we have decided to cancel the 2020 Illinois Indigenous Species Symposium that was to be held at John A Logan college April 4th along with the field trips on April 3rd and April 5th. Anyone who has already registered for the symposium will receive a full refund. The native plant sale that accompanied the symposium is currently still being planned for this spring, with the date and location to be determined. Watch the Green Earth, Inc. website and social media for updates on the plant sale.
Please note that this step was not taken lightly or without careful deliberation. The INPS Southern Chapter board made this decision out of a desire to protect the health and welfare of our members and the community.

Chris Evans
INPS Southern Chapter President

Putting Theory into Practice: Ecosystem Restoration & Management
April 3-5, 2020

John A. Logan Center for Business and Industry
800 Mary Logan Rd.
Carterville, IL
(Directions are at the bottom of this page)

REGISTRATION FOR THE CONFERENCE WILL OPEN ON MARCH 2, 2020. Please register by April 1, 2020 to ensure your lunch.

Vendor registration is now open! The link is at the bottom of the page.

Participant Cost (includes lunch):
INPS Members – $25.00 per person
Non-Members – $30.00 per person
Students – $15.00 per person

Download Symposium Booklet (pdf)

Online registration (credit, debit, or Paypal)

To register by mail, download the symposium booklet. A registration form can be found on the last page

Registration Information and Policies

We accept registrations by mail, in person, or online. Registration fee includes a box lunch. We cannot guarantee lunch for registrations at the symposium site.

Registrations made after April 1 will not include lunch. Individuals can also register on Saturday at the registration desk with a check or cash. This will also not include lunch.

Cancellations will be accepted until Friday March 20, 2020.
Requests for refunds can be made in writing and sent to:

INPS – Southern Chapter
Attn: Dr. Nancy Garwood
Life Science II – Mailcode 6509
Southern Illinois University
1125 Lincoln Drive, Carbondale, IL 62901-6509

The symposium is made possible by the southern chapter of the Illinois Native Plant Society in collaboration with John A. Logan College, US Forest Service at the Shawnee National Forest, Southern Illinois University Department of Plant Biology, Green Earth, and University of Illinois Extension.


Friday, April 3, 2020
2:00 PM Guided Hike at Simpson Barrens

Saturday, April 4, 2020
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Registration
9:00 AM: Opening remarks
9:10 AM – 10:00 AM: Keynote Address – Doug Ladd
10:00 AM – 10:15 AM: Break/Visit Vendor Area
10:15 AM – 11:00 AM: Session I
11:00 AM – 11:15 AM: Break/Visit Vendor Area
11:15 AM – 12:00 PM: Session II
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch/Visit Vendor Area
1:00 PM – 1:45 PM: Session III
1:45 PM – 2:00 PM: Break/Visit Vendor Area
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM: Session IV
2:45 PM – 3:00 PM: Break/Visit Vendor Area
3:00 PM – 3:45 PM: Closing Remarks – Mike Baltz

Sunday, April 5, 2020
2:00 PM: Guided Hike at Trail of Tears State Forest

Guided Hikes

Friday, April 3, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.

Hike Location: Simpson Barrens

Simpson Township Barrens is a unique ecological area containing several native plant communities such as limestone barrens, seeps, dry and dry-mesic upland forest, an intermittent creek drainage and support a rich diversity of plants. The limestone barrens communities are characterized by very dry, calcium rich soils that support a flora more commonly encountered on the tall grass prairies found north of the Shawnee National Forest. At the Simpson Township Barrens Ecological Area two limestone barrens are located within a matrix of dry and dry-mesic upland forest each with a southwestern aspect. The dry and dry-upland oak forests are dominated by post oaks (Quercus stellata), white oaks (Quercus alba) and black oaks (Quercus velutina). pignut hickory (Carya glabra), and mockernut hickory (Carya tomentosa) are also commonly encountered. Unlike the barrens community the forested matrix is characterized by sandstone cliffs, sandstone boulders and other sandstone rocks giving the soils a somewhat sandy consistency. The soils are acidic and support a flora completely different from the limestone barrens. Read more at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/shawnee/recarea/?recid=30345

Directions: From Vienna proceed east on IL 146 to the intersection with IL 147. Turn left on IL 147 and proceed through the small community of Simpson; on the east side of Simpson turn left on Trigg Tower Road. Proceed uphill on Trigg tower road until you come upon the roadside pull off and interpretive sign for Simpson Township Barrens.

Sunday, April 5, 2020 at 2:00pm.

Hike Location: Trail of Tears State Forest

Trail of Tears State Forest lies within the southern section of the Ozark Hills, one of the most rugged landscapes in Illinois. The hills are composed of chert (a weathered limestone residue).

The variety in plant communities at Trail of Tears is influenced by the terrain. Dry ridgetops and south-facing slopes have black oaks, white oaks and hickories. Extremely dry sites contain prairie-like openings (barrens and hill prairies) with a mingling of gnarled open-grown trees and shrubs like wild azalea, farkleberry, and low-bush blueberry. The shaded north-facing slopes and protected coves support stands of American beech, tuliptree and sugar maple, or red oak, tuliptree and sweetgum. A rich understory of shrubs (including pawpaw, buckeyes, bladdernut and hornbeam), exists in moister sites. In stream valleys, a canopy of American elm, sweetgum, tuliptree, sycamore and sugar maple over a shrub layer of redbud, deciduous holly and spicebush, and thickets of wild cane (bamboo) occur. The wildflower flora of the Forest’s lower slopes and valleys is lush and diverse. On a walk in the spring, a visitor can see many of the woodland wildflowers native to southern Illinois. In all, 620 species of flowering plants, ferns and fern allies are reported to occur at Trail of Tears State Forest. Read more at: https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/Parks/Pages/TrailOfTears.aspx

Directions: Trail of Tears State Forest is situated in western Union County, five miles northwest of Jonesboro and 20 miles south of Murphysboro. Meet at the white barn.



Shifting Perspectives on Restoration
Doug Ladd
Ecological restoration is an essential part of regenerating a sustainable future for nature and people. To succeed, conceptual shifts are needed in our approach to restoration and the broader issue of how our culture interacts with natural systems. This talk will explore some of the ecological and historic drivers of these issues, with thoughts on how to sustain functional natural systems and vibrant human societies in a rapidly changing world.


Session I – Effects of Forest Windstorm Disturbance on Invasive Plants in Protected Areas of Southern Illinois, USA
Eric Larsen and Melissa Daniels

Southern Illinois has been affected by a number of severe windstorms over the last 20 years. We sought to investigate how blowdowns caused by these windstorms might contribute to the invadedness of forest parcels by non-native plants. We found that blowdowns were more invaded than statistically similar areas of undisturbed forests, but that invadedness decreased with increasing time since disturbance. Larger blowdowns were more invaded than smaller blowdowns and may recover more slowly. Our findings suggest land managers should prioritize treatment of invasive plants in larger and more recent blowdowns.

Session II – Emerald Ash Borer and its Impact on Southern Illinois High-Use Recreation Areas
Zach DeVillez

This talk will cover information about what emerald ash borer is, how it leads to widespread tree mortality, and what impact it will have on high-use recreation areas in southern Illinois. The talk will cover where we have found emerald ash borer in southern Illinois, the magnitude of infestation and tree damage we are observing, and what we can expect in the future.

Session III – A Partnership in Stewardship: The Nature Conservancy in Southern Illinois
Caleb Grantham, Hugo Goulet-Papazian, & Nathan Speagle

The Nature Conservancy’s Southern Illinois Interagency Habitat and Fuels Crew (SIIHFC) has spent the past three and a half years practicing a holistic, landscape-level approach to land management. Through partnerships with the Shawnee National Forest, IDNR, private landowners and others, the SIIHFC has worked across legal boundaries to minimize the impacts of invasive plants, let the sun shine in our forests, and return fire to the landscape. Explore the history of the SIIHFC along with details of their timber stand improvement projects and fire management in the region.

Session IV – Vascular Flora of the Illinois Audubon Society Round Pond Swamp Preserve, Pope County, Illinois
Paul Marcum

Round Pond Swamp Illinois Natural Areas Inventory site encompasses 526 acres in southern Pope County. Illinois Audubon Society has recently acquired 347 acres at the south end of the INAI. This purchase, along with 206 acres owned and protected by The Nature Conservancy, effectively protects the entirety of this important natural area. In 2019, botanists at the Illinois Natural History Survey were contracted to conduct a vascular plant inventory of the site, as well as assess the natural communities, rare plant species records, invasive species, and other management issues. During the course of the 2019 growing season, over 600 vascular plant species were recorded and four new Illinois state-listed plant species were documented for the site, bringing the total for Round Pond Swamp up to 10 Illinois endangered or threatened plant species. Also, one plant species not seen in Illinois for 160 years was rediscovered.


Session I – Bottomland and Floodplain Forest Restoration
Bruce Henry

This talk will explore bottomland and floodplain forest restoration in the Middle Mississippi River corridor. Specific management strategies being implemented within the Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge will be highlighted.

Session II – Prescribed Fire as a Management Tool
Scott Crist

Session III – Let the Sun Shine In at the Trail of Tears State Forest
Benjamin Snyder

The Trail of Tears State Forest is a unique site in the Illinois Ozarks.  Take a look at the need for forest restoration work at this forest and the progress thus far.  We will also examine the process used to gain consensus among resource professionals and partnering organizations about the actions needed to work toward restoration of the ecosystem. 

Session IV – Spatio-temporal changes in natural xeric forest opening plant communities
David Barfknecht


Let the Sun Shine In: An Innovative Conservation Partnership
Mike Baltz
The Let the Sun Shine In conservation partnership helped to bring order and efficiency to the oak ecosystem recovery effort in southern Illinois. Partners coalesced around common objectives and (ultimately) a vision document; focused their efforts utilizing four innovative steps; and operate using a constellation collaboration approach that helps catalyze multi-partner projects maximize efficiency.


Dr. Mike Baltz is the former southern Illinois Area Director for the Nature Conservancy and is currently the Let the Sun Shine In program coordinator. He has a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from Miami University and a PhD from the University of Missouri. His research area of expertise is migrant songbird ecology and conservation.

David Barfknecht is a doctoral student at Southern Illinois University in the Plant Biology department. Hisresearch interests focus on temporal and spatial shifts in different types of biodiversity including their causes (invasion, disturbance, etc.) and how these shifts can inform management practices. Some of his specialties include spatial analyses, quantitative biogeography, and multivariate biostatistics.

Scott Crist is the Fuels Specialist for the Shawnee National Forest. In this position, he is responsible for planning, implementing, and monitoring prescribed fires in a variety of terrain and fuel types across southern Illinois. He began his career in forestry in 1994 with a summer job with the City of Decatur Forestry Department, before working temporary positions in Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, North Carolina, and Washington for the Forest Service, National Park Service, and US Fish and Wildlife Service. He served as a Fire Suppression Crew Foreman in New Mexico for three years before coming to the Shawnee, where he has been since 2003. His fire career has taken him to 25 states. He is qualified as a Division/Group Supervisor and Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Type 2. He serves as the Operations Section Chief for the Shawnee’s Type 3 Team and as an alternate Division Supervisor with the Eastern Area Type 2 Team. He also teaches a number of classes and is in the Advisory Board for the Oak Woodlands and Forests Fire Consortium.

Zach DeVillez is a forestry technician with University of Illinois Extension Forestry at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, where he spends most of his time on emerald ash borer research. From Harrisburg, Zach spent much of his time growing up in the Shawnee National Forest, which led him to pursue a career in forestry. He graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry Natural Resource Management. Prior to his work with U of I, he spent a year working for a forestry consulting business working in forest stand improvements, invasive species management, and forest inventories. He currently serves as the program coordinator for the Illinois Forestry Association.

Caleb Grantham, Hugo Goule-Papazian, and Nathan Speagle are members of TNC’s Southern Illinois Interagency Habitat and Fuels Crew. All graduates of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, their time studying in southernmost Illinois fostered a deep passion for stewardship of the region’s unique diversity and beauty. Their efforts to protect and restore native ecosystems were recently awarded the USDA Forest Service Eastern Region 2019 Honor Award.

Bruce Henry is a Forest Ecologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Missouri. Prior to this position, he worked as a Natural History Biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation. He was also a member of The Nature Conservancy’s Southern Illinois Invasive Species Strike Team. He earned his Master’s degree in Forestry from Southern Illinois University and his Bachelor’s in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from University of Illinois.

Doug Ladd has been involved with prairie and woodland ecology, fire management, fire ecology, conservation planning, natural area assessment, and ecological management, restoration, and research for more than 40 years. He worked for The Nature Conservancy for 33 years, serving as director of conservation for the Missouri program. Doug is known throughout the United States as an accomplished conservation biologist and botanist. His recent work has concentrated on vegetation and fire ecology of Midwestern prairies and woodlands, developing assessment and ecological monitoring protocols for terrestrial vegetation, and ecoregional conservation planning. As a federally certified fire leader, he has instructed fire training courses in the United States and Central America. Doug is also a leading lichenologist and has researched lichens in the Midwest and the Great Plains. His ongoing work with Ozark lichens has resulted in the discovering of several species and genera new to science. Doug is currently a research associate at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and a senior lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis, where he teaches courses in conservation, botany, and ecology.

Eric R. Larson is an assistant professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He works on the management and conservation of both invasive and imperiled species. Melissa K. Daniels led this research as a graduate student at the University of Illinois, and is currently employed in environmental consulting in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Paul Marcum is a life member of the Illinois Native Plant Society and has served on the state INPS board since 2008. He was INPS President from 2017-2018. Professionally, Paul is an Associate Scientist/Botanist with the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) Wetland Science Program, on campus at the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign. In this capacity he co-coordinates activities within the group and conducts environmental surveys for potential Illinois Department of Transportation projects. Paul has been fortunate to research and publish numerous manuscripts and technical reports on Illinois natural areas and rare plant species. He has served on the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board’s (IESPB) Endangered Species Technical Advisory Committee (ESTAC) for plants for the past 10+ years. Paul lives in Champaign, Illinois, with his partner Jean Mengelkoch, a mammalogist at INHS.

Benjamin Snyder is originally from Neoga, IL and currently lives in Murphysboro. He has worked for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as a District Forester since June of 2013. Prior to working for DNR, Benjamin spent ten years working at Frost Valley YMCA summer camp and environmental education center in upstate New York. He managed the Natural Resource Department at the 5,500 acre facility, including forestry, trails, wildlife, fisheries, maple sugaring, mapping, and research. He attended Southern Illinois University where he earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Degrees in Forestry. Benjamin has also worked for the U.S. Forest Service on a wildland fire crew, Custer State Park in South Dakota as an interpreter, and the Army Corps of Engineers. He is married to Jennie and they have three children: Greta, Everett, and Lincoln.

Vendor Registration – Deadline to register is March 20, 2020

Educational Exhibit, no sales (display table) – $50
Vendor with items for sale (1/4 page ad and display table) – $100
Sponsor (1/2 page ad, display table, and 1 complimentary lunch) – $200
Booklet advertising only (Business card size) – $50
Shawnee Sponsorship – $300

Online Registration for Vendors (credit, debit, or Paypal)

Mail-In Registration for Vendors (cash or check)

We will provide one (1) table 4′ x 8′ for your display.

If you have any questions, please contact: Indigenousplants@hotmail.com

Directions to the Symposium
From I-57 in Marion (east), go west on Illinois Route 13. Turn right on Greenbriar Rd– there is a traffic light, school sign, but no street sign. Turn right on Logan College Rd, then make 1st left on Mary Logan Rd. Make the second right on Mary Logan Road. The center is at the end of the parking lot. Follow the signs to the atrium.

From Carbondale (west) go east on Illinois Route 13. Turn left on Greenbriar Rd – at the traffic light, school sign. Proceed same as above.