Horticulture in the Heartland Program

Bickelhaupt Arboretum benchThe 29th Annual Horticulture in the Heartland seminar will take place on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at Clinton Community College. Chad Pregracke, Founder and President of Living Lands & Waters will be the keynote speaker. The event is sponsored by Clinton Trees Forever, CCC Bickelhaupt Arboretum, Clinton Community College, and Clinton County Master Gardeners. This year’s seminar will be held at Clinton Community College, 1000 Lincoln Blvd., Clinton, IA from 8:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Registration is open through February 16 including a $40 registration fee.  Late registration is available February 19 - 25 with a $45 registration fee. Coffee, rolls and lunch are included.

Horticulture in the Heartland is used to educate and inspire others to seek enjoyment and fulfillment through a variety of home gardening related topics and activities.  In addition to a keynote presentation, there are a choice of 12 breakout session throughout the day.

Chad Pregracke is the Founder/President, Living Lands & Waters.  Best known for starting out as a young man wanting a cleaner waterway, Chad has become the champion for the Mississippi River. Growing up on its banks, he worked as a commercial shell diver during his early years, experiencing the river from the bottom up. Sometimes spending 10 hours a day in the depths and current of the pitch black waters, he crawled 150 miles of the river bottom over six years. Chad saw its beauty and was frustrated by the neglect. At the age of 17, he decided to clean it up. Twenty-two years later, Chad and his Living Lands & Waters crew have organized and led over 1,000 community cleanups on 24 rivers in 21 states and removed over 10 million pounds of garbage. Chad had an idea that evolved into a movement that has helped to restore one of American’s greatest icons, the Mississippi River.

The Horticulture in the Heartland sessions are as follows:

  • “Know” Maintenance Landscaping
    Chuck Porto, Iowa City Landscaping
    and Garden Center There is no such thing as “no maintenance,” but if you “know” maintenance you can have a beautiful, healthy landscape using minimal maintenance techniques and a mix of low-maintenance trees and shrubs.

  • Going to Bat for Bats!
    Jill Schmidt, Clinton Co. Conservation Board
    Iowa is home to many different species of bats and their role in our ecosystem is often overlooked by misconceptions and myths. These natural insect controllers are a vital component of a healthy environment and many bats are struggling to survive. This session will take a close look at our only flying mammals’ ecology and what steps humans are taking to ensure their existence.

  • Succulents & Sedums
    Bud LeFevre, Distinctive Gardens
    Explore creative ways to use these easy to grow plants! Learn how to incorporate them into wreaths, topiaries, and troughs.

  • Where the Wild Things Were
    Ryan Welch, Clinton Community College
    Since European settlement, Iowa’s landscape has been altered and transformed more than any state in the U.S. This transformation has made Iowa one of the most agriculturally productive areas in the world. As native landscapes were quickly transformed, the inhabitants of those landscapes were also quickly affected. In this session, we’ll look at some of the wildlife that used to be in Iowa and is no more, as well as some of the wildlife that has since benefited from our landscape alterations.

  • Bee Keeping Basics
    Carly Rae Vannoy, 2017 Honey Queen
    This session explains why bees are important, how to care for bees, and the future of bees throughout the world. This sessions is offered once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

  • Container Gardening
    Bud LaFevre, Distinctive Gardens
    This session will showcase some creative containers and the type of plants you can use to create colorful container gardens.

  • Bringing Nature Home
    Adam Janke, Iowa State University
    Natural Midwestern forests, prairies, and wetlands have hundreds of native plants uniquely adapted to Midwestern soils, climates, and pests that are critical to natural wildlife from pollinating insects to migrating birds. Explore how we can take small pieces of those ecosystems home to our own backyards by planting native plants and arranging them to mimic natural processes while also yielding beautiful aesthetics, providing wildlife habitat, and commemorating landscapes with deep roots in our Midwestern cultural and ecological history.

  • Growing a Better Beer: Using Homegrown Ingredients for Homebrewing
    Ryan Welch, Clinton Community College
    As the popularity of craft beers and the homebrewing hobby have grown, people are looking for new things to add to their buckets for unique versions of old favor-ites. In this session, Ryan will discuss some of the ingredients he uses right from his (or others) gardens, along with what styles of beers work good for what ingredients. He’ll also provide a list of what beers you can make throughout the year as ingredients become available.

  • Spice Up Your Life! Colleen
    Adrian & Rhonda Cooper, Scott County Master Gardeners
    Add a little spice to your life by growing and using your own herbs. You will learn the history of herbs, how to start them from seed, growing, harvesting, use and preservation. Herbs rule!

  • Woodworking for Wildlife
    Adam Janke, Iowa State University
    New habitats for wildlife are best made outside by shaping the plants and abiotic features of the land into an attractive form. But, acts of creating wildlife habitat aren’t necessarily reserved only for the outdoors. This session will explore how a woodshop can create habitats for wildlife and the people who enjoy them through the construction of wooden boxes for bats and birds, and a bench for people to enjoy the outdoors along with the wildlife.

  • Poisonous Plants - Beware!
    Colleen Adrian & Rhonda Cooper, Scott County Master Gardeners
    Not sure what that plant is or if it is safe? Some plants we are around everyday are poisonous to touch, and some of us eat parts of potentially poisonous plants! Learn the do’s and don’ts of plants that can hurt you. The Good - The Bad - The Ugly!


This event is presented by Clinton Community College, Iowa State University Clinton County Extension Master Gardeners, Bickelhaupt Arboretum and Clinton Trees Forever. 

For more information, contact Margo Hanson at the Bickelhaupt Arboretum, 563-242-4771.