Author, television host, professor to speak at healthy lake conference March 5

The Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance, LOWA, has scheduled a Landscape for a Healthy Lake Conference 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 5 in Suite G at the Tan-Tar-A Family Resort in Osage Beach.

The general public, landscapers, lawn care professionals and rock workers are invited to come to the free conference and dinner and hear renowned experts speak on the newest and smartest landscape techniques that thrive in our rocky and steep Ozark terrain. Learn how to use rain gardens and beautiful deep-rooted Missouri native plants that require little maintenance or water to slow down rainwater runoff and reduce lake pollutants. Educators will also speak about using landscape techniques and rip rap to stop property and seawall erosion from the constant pounding Lake wave-action.

The keynote speaker is Dave Tylka. Tylka is a semi-retired professor of biology at St. Louis Community College at Meramec, where he taught full-time for more than 20 years. He still teaches native landscaping, field zoology and Ozark ecology courses.

In 2002, Tylka wrote the Missouri Conservation Department book, Native Landscaping for Wildlife and People. Dave has also written several popular pamphlets on backyard landscaping, bird feeding, and butterfly gardening. As a widely recognized educator, biologist, nature author, and photographer, he brings together a wealth of information on native species and ideas that can inspire any landscaper.

Tylka was the first St. Louis Urban Biologist for the Missouri Conservation Department, a position he held for 14 years. While with the Conservation Department, he also co-produced and hosted “All Outdoors” on Channel 11 in St. Louis.

Conference subjects include:

• Using native plants and landscaping to beautify property, benefit wildlife and manage stormwater runoff.

• The Filtrexx Grow Soxx®, a compost sock used to manage storm water, that is considered “gold in a grow sock” by scientists due to the nutrient rich dirt inside that helps plants to grow “anywhere,” including a steep rocky Ozark hillside.

• The Rain Reserve® catchment devices that are used in capturing water, and why Lake property owners should care about “disconnecting downspouts”

A notable panel of experts will also be available to answer questions on the following subjects: Ameren Missouri’s Georganne Bowman on shoreline vegetation; Schultz Surveying and Engineering’s Mike DeLong on managing rain water run-off through engineering; The University of Missouri Extension Office’s Bob Broz on soil erosion; and Local landscaping experts on LOWA Low Impact Landscapes (LILs) and rip-rap.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn about, and register for, LOWA’s Cost Share Landscaping Program, “Green$ for Greenery” where they can receive free soil samples, a free evaluation of their property by a Trained Volunteer Evaluator (TVE), free expert advice on the best landscapes for their individual property by a TVE, up to $900 off on landscaping and rip rap and A free LOWA LILs Lake Protector Sign for their yard.

“We are urging our ‘Friends of the Lake’ to bring neighbors, landscapers and employees. This is probably the best learning opportunity we have brought to the lake since LOWA began. We are pulling out all the big guns, don’t miss this opportunity,” said LOWA Executive Director Donna Swall in a news release.

The cost share program is available on a first come, first serve basis.

A light dinner will be provided. The RSVP deadline for dinner is Saturday, March 3. For more information or to register for the free conference call 573 280-2296, or email mjdoores@onemain.com. To read more about LOWA LILs go to www.soslowa.org. Partner businesses in the cost share program are required to attend this program.

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