Land Ethics Symposium

Symposium Overview

The 15th Annual Land Ethics Symposium. "Creative Approaches for Ecological Landscaping,"  was held on March 12th, 2015 at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, PA.  More than 260 attendees made this one of the largest symposiums to date.

This informative conference focused on ways to create low-maintenance, economical, and ecologically balanced landscapes using native plants and restoration techniques. Participants had opportunities to network and share their experiences with peers at this professional program. The Symposium is geared toward professionals, including landscape architects, designers, contractors and the green industry, environmental consultants, land planners, managers and developers, and state/municipal officials. Continuing education credits were available.

SAVE THE DATE!  The 16th Annual Land Ethics Symposium will be held Thursday, March 10th at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, PA.  Information about speakers and registration will be posted in mid-October on this page.  Stay tuned.  It's going to be a great workshop!


2015 Symposium Sponsors

Presenting Sponsors

·         Delaware Valley College  Department of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Science

2015 Symposium Sponsors

Premier Sponsors

·         Paul W. Steinbeiser, Inc. Landscape Design & Construction

        Longwood Gardens


Partner Sponsors

·         Anonymous

·         Aquascapes Unlimited, Inc.

·         ArchEWild

·         Charlesworth – Fleischacker Landscape Architects

·         Ernst Conservation Seeds

·         North Creek Nurseries, Inc.

·         Octoraro Native Plant Nursery

·         Pinelands Nursery & Supply

·         Princeton Hydro, LLC


Continuing Education Credits

·         Pennsylvania State Board of Landscape Architects

·         BHWP is a LA CES™ approved provider for NJ-ASLA

·         NJ Nursery& Landscape Association, Certified Nursery & Landscape Professionals (CNLP) Credits

·         Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD)

·         Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association (PLNA) recertification: PA Certified Horticulturalist (PCH)

2015 Speakers

From Garden to Country: Practical Applications of Regenerative Design Theory – Michael Fleischacker For centuries, humans have depleted Earth’s resources and scarred its lands.  Regenerative design theory suggests creativity and innovation grounded in science will reverse this trend.  The theory argues that not only can negative human influences on the land be minimized, but these negative trends will be reversed.  Its basic premise is that human’s can plan, design, install and maintain developments that build healthy natural and cultural ecologies.  In “From Garden to Country,” Michael will discuss regenerative design theory and real projects with wide ranging scales and locations.

Large Scale Ecological Restoration at Duke FarmsMichael Catania  Duke Farms has undertaken a variety of restoration projects on its 2,700+ acre campus.  These projects include the restoration of some 570 acres of ag-modified wetlands in cooperation with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, more than 500 acres of grassland restoration, and some 20,000 linear feet of lakeshore and stream corridor restoration. All of these projects are intended to serve as demonstration projects, as well as living laboratories which can be studied, and hopefully replicated on both a small and large scale.  

Planting for Native Pollinators and Beneficial Insects  -  Kelly Gill  A growing body of evidence suggests bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects that provide ecosystem services, such as pollination and biological pest control, are in decline due to habitat loss and widespread pesticide use. Xerces Society, Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Kelly Gill, will talk about how to conserve these beneficial insects through habitat enhancements and pesticide protection. The Xerces Society has worked for over 40 years on pollinator conservation, and has written the best-selling book Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies.

Ecological Planting: From Healthy Plants to Resilient Landscapes – Claudia West  In a world deprived of native species, designers and land managers need every plant to survive and establish thriving populations. Besides being beautiful, planting must be functional and of high ecological value. Therefore, transplants have to be safe, resilient, and establish well after installation. What and how nurseries grow plants matters more than ever before. Join us as we explore how plant nurseries fit into ecological design projects and take a closer look at sustainable growing practices, ethical plant palettes, and examples of ecological designs that bring all entities together to create showcase plantings.

Baldpate Mountain Stewardship Program - Study, Prioritization and Implementation – Michael Van Clef, Ph. D.  The presentation will describe efforts of Mercer County and Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space to steward the Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain.  Topics will include forest health monitoring, surveys of rare plants and birds, and invasive species mapping.  These efforts have prioritized stewardship activities including deer management, control of emerging invasive plants and habitat restoration.  The talk will include discussion of prioritizing stewardship efforts based upon landscape context and past land use.


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.                                                                                     

Land Ethics Award Categories:


Honorees may be selected from the following categories:

 1.      Public Spaces, such as Public Gardens, Nature Preserves, Municipal or Corporate Campuses.

2.      Residential Projects of Any Scale (submitted by landowner and/or contractor)

3.      Individuals or Groups that seek recognition for their ongoing efforts to support the Land Ethic.


Individuals, non-profit organizations, government agencies, community groups, and business professionals are encouraged to apply. Application projects must be a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years old.

Click here for detailed information about 2016 and past award winners.