MDC offers free Naturescaping Workshop March 18

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Burr Oak Woods Nature Center will host a free Naturescaping Workshop on Saturday, March 18. Also, a native plant sale will be offered to participants during the workshop, and to the general public following the workshop. Registration for the event opens Feb. 1.

The workshop from 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. will teach participants how to utilize native plants, shrubs and trees in lawn and garden settings. Native plants offer beauty and also benefit natural life such as birds and butterflies that evolved with them. Native plants are adapted to local soil conditions and weather patterns, and thoughtful use of them can reduce maintenance time and expense.

A keynote speaker and educational sessions will address topics related to native plants. Justin Thomas will deliver the keynote address, “Ecological Stability: A Native Plant Story.” Thomas is director for the Institute of Botanical Training in Springfield, Mo. His resume includes 17 years in the botanical field working with public and private entities including MDC, The Nature Conservancy, National Park Service, Dunn-Palmer Herbarium, William Sherman Turrell Herbarium, and the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Nine other training sessions will be offered. They include topics such as growing plants from seed, planting trees and shrubs, plants for birds and butterflies, plant symbiosis with soil fungi, plants for shady sites, wild edibles, and the role of spiders in a native plant garden.

All attendees will receive a free shrub or tree from MDC’s George O. White State Nursery. Complimentary coffee and light snacks will be provided.

A native plant sale will be offered to workshop participants from 8 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. The native plant sale will be open to the general public from 1:15 to 4 p.m. Missouri Wildflowers Nursery and Green Thumb Gardens will sell potted native plants and seedlings.

To register for the workshop, call 816-228-3766. For information about Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, 1401 N.W. Park Road, Blue Springs, visit

MDC connects people with nature. To learn more about native plants, visit