2022 Annual Gathering

Join us for the 2022 Annual Gathering of the Illinois Native Plant Society

Hosted by the Grand Prairie Chapter

June 24-26, 2022, at the Holiday Inn, Normal, IL

Registration Information

* COVID Guidelines: Attendees are encouraged to wear masks whenever possible when indoors. Please plan to stay home if you have tested positive for COVID, are experiencing COVID symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID.

Full Conference

  • INPS Member (includes: Friday & Saturday buffet dinner and boxed lunch) – $75
  • Non-member (includes: Friday & Saturday buffet dinner, boxed lunch, and one-year INPS membership) – $100
  • Student (includes: Friday & Saturday buffet dinner and boxed lunch) – $60
  • 2022 Grantees (includes: Friday & Saturday buffet dinner and boxed lunch) – No Cost

Saturday and Sunday Only

  • INPS Member (includes: boxed lunch and buffet dinner) – $60
  • Non-member (includes: boxed lunch, buffet dinner and one-year INPS membership) – $85
  • Student (includes: boxed lunch and buffet dinner) – $55

Meals & drinks: Both buffet dinners will include a vegetarian/vegan option & a cash bar will be available. Please specify your preference for a vegan boxed lunch when registering.

Schedule of Events

Sign-in and evening activities will be located at Holiday Inn, Normal, Illinois –
8 Trader’s Circle, off Raab Road last lighted intersection on Main St. (RT 51) before interstate. 

Silent Auction:
Please bring donations for the silent auction. Donors for the silent auction: please send an email to illinoisplants@gmail.com and include what the article is with a good description and approximate value of each item, contact information from the donor and if they or someone else will bring the item to the Annual Gathering.


  • Bid on treasures and other wonderful stuff in a silent auction
  • Enjoy presentations of research:
    • By INPS Grant Recipients
    • Into what it takes to turn a weed into a new cover crop and alternative biofuel
    • On other plant related topics
  • See INPS’s new logo and membership brochure
  • Field trips!
  • Meet & greet other INPS members

Friday June 24:

5:00 – 7:00 pm – Registration and Check-In: Mingling and refreshments; setup silent auction (Donor forms, display of auction items)

6:30 – 8:30 pm – Taste of Italy Buffet

7:30 pm – Welcome and introductions, Emily Dangremond, President INPS

8:00 – 8:30 pm – Introduction to Parklands Land Trust, history and holdings – Eric Smith, President

8:30 – 9:00 pm – Speaker Dr. John Sedbrook (ISU Biological Sciences) – “Developing Thlaspi arvense (Field Pennycress) into an alternate oil seed cash cover crop named Covercress ™”

9:00 – 10:00 pm – Brag Bucket and Raffle

INPS members get to pay $5 for 5 mins to brag about anything they are proud of. Braggart gets 5 raffle tickets toward the raffle of a bottle of Botanical Gin. Non-braggarts can purchase raffle tickets for $1 each.

Saturday June 25:

8:00 am – Meet at Holiday Inn; pick up box lunches for field trips.

8:30 am – Introduce Field trip Leaders; Get Directions clear.

Noonish Lunch Lexington Park Pavilion

1:00 pm – Next stop on field trip (up to 30 min)

1:30 – 3:00 pm – Poking around more field trip sites.

4:00 – 5:00 pm – Free time/clean up.

5:00 – 6:30 pm – Happy Hour; Silent auction.

6:30 – 8:00 pm  Dinner Buffet

8:00 – 9:00 pm – Grant Awardees – Introductions, Susanne Masi, INPS grants Committee, Brief research reports.

9:00 – 9:30 pm – Silent Auction (final bids) (pay up), Socializing

9:00 – 10:00 

Sunday June 26:

8:00 – 8:30 am – Organizing field trips. (check out of motel)

8:30 am Depart for Rocky Glen (40 min drive, 2-3 hrs exploration, depart for home)

8:45 – 9:00 am – Check out

9:00 – 10:00 or 10:30 am – Fell Arboretum & Horticulture Center (5-10 min drive)

10:30 – 12:00 pm – Armstrongs gardens, 310 West Virginia Ave. (Semi-guided tour)

Safe travels everyone.

Field Trips

Saturday, June 25 (Attendees are responsible for transportation to field trip sites, directions will be provided.)

  • Parkland Land Trust – This is our featured field trip. Merwin (north gate) Preserve -This tract is largely consists of an partially restored oak savanna. Part of the trail occupies a bluff overlooking the Makinaw River, taking longer loop it also goes through the river’s flood plain which in season is a solid mass of bluebells. After a lunch break will be a visit to the Ridgetop preserve that includes a prairie and a narrow wooded ridge above the Makinaw River, and a very short distance away is Lecher’s Basin. This is a moderate trail.
  • Weston Cemetery Prairie and Merwin Oak Savanna – This black soil prairie remnant was set aside as a cemetery and it has never been plowed. The preserve is located 0.5 miles east of Weston, IL in northeast McLean County. A small sign along U.S. Route 24 marks the grass lane leading north to a small parking area in the southeast corner of the preserve. Return trip a stop at the Merwin (west gate) short loop. A quick stop at the Rt. 66 Memorial park in Towanda. A plant list for this nature preserve is provided on the web.
  • Comlara Park Prairies – This field trip will start with the Shady Grove Prairie, and the loop continues through a wooded above the Money Creek and adjacent wetlands. A short walk east is the Red Tail trail where prairie plants aided by Pedicularis canadensis (wood betony) is taking over an old field. The area gets mowed but not burned. A surprising number of twayblade orchids grow in the old field under story. Across the road is the John English prairie that once was considered to be fairly high quality, but in recent years the area has been taken over by invasive silky bush clover. 

    A stop by the Merwin plot will start at the south gate and proceed to a small area dominated by a seep spring; in early spring the area has a nice population of marsh marigold. The path has one fairly steep portion.

Sunday Morning, June 26

  • Rocky Glen, a largely undeveloped Peoria park. The glen is basically a box canyon. The main trail passes through a remnant prairie that includes some interesting plant associations including an area dominated by moss and featuring Agalinus. Both Pedicularis and Aureolaria, hemiparasites too, grow along the trail. This is a bit tougher walk as the trail requires a 200 foot up-hill hike and if you walk down into the glen, the climb back out. Take time to look around, before you head home. This is about a 40 min. drive. INPS member David Pittman will lead the group.
  • Fell Arboretum – starts at 9 am on the plaza level between the ISU library and the student center. The field trip will take you through the main ISU quad area of the arboretum. Tour leader Nick Pershey (ISU Horticulture).
  • Horticulture Center – On Raab Road just about ¼ miles beyond the road to the Holiday Inn. A tour starts just south of the parking area and guides through the main features of the Center. This is a good field trip if you have children along.
  •  Armstrongs’ garden collection – 310 West Virginia Ave., Normal. The gardens include many notable (bald cypress, sugar maple) and some rare specimens (Sinocalycanthus, Magnolia salicifolia and M. macrophylla var. ashei, a Florida endemic). This is a casual guided tour from 10-12 am. The gardens include over 150 trees and shrubs and over 150 perennial plants (as well as many Illinois natives). The collection features a number of magnolias and other magnoliids plus over 60 varieties of Hosta


Holiday Inn Bloomington-Normal – 8 Traders Circle, Normal, IL 61761.
Call 309-862-0101 for reservations; be sure to mention INPS for a discount.


Comlara Park, about 12 miles north on 39.

Register and pay online (with credit / debit card or PayPal):

Discover more from Illinois Native Plant Society

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading