A presentation by a Native plant nurseryman Vern Stephens will take place on Tuesday, September 3 at the meeting of the Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan. He will speak about native grasses in the landscape. The meeting will be held at the Boardman River Nature Center, 1450 Cass Road. Refreshments will be served at 6 and the program will start at 6:30 p.m.
Vern Stephens obtained his bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Michigan State University. He served for 21 years in the U.S. Air Force as a fighter pilot traveling around the world and the United States.
Vern, his wife Susan and their son Zachary live on a 40-acre farm in Laingsburg where they operate Designs By Nature, LLC, a native plant nursery and native landscape consulting company. Each year they work with conservation groups throughout Michigan hosting native plant sales and workshops. Vern is a member of the Wildflower Association of Michigan (WAM) and served on the board of directors for several years.
Vern and Sue have over 30 years' experience working with native plants and ecosystem restoration. They have consulted on projects throughout the state from home landscape design to university/corporate restoration and installation. Vern recently retired from the Michigan DNR Wildlife Division as a Senior Wildlife Assistant where his work specialized in grasslands and invasive species management.
“Vern’s passion for native plants is contagious” says Michele Worden, President of the Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan. “Vern is also bringing some grasses for sale to the meeting for those interested in adding movement and music to their garden with a fall planting.”
The Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan (MGANM) furthers the horticulture education activities of MSU Extension through monthly educational presentations. Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of the month and are open to the public. A $5 donation from non-members is appreciated. For certified master gardeners meeting attendance earns credits toward volunteer and education hours. For more information visit mganm.org