Impact Conference

The Impact Conference

Below is information from the 2020 conference. Save the date: October 19, 2021

Join us for The Virtual Impact Conference, combining on-demand sessions with a 6 hour live program. Attendees can view 8 on demand sessions starting October 16th. On October 23rd, log on for the live program moderated by Jennifer Jewell of Cultivating Place and featuring sessions from Jack Pizzo, The Pizzo Group; Samuel Irwin, Omni Ecosystems; and Jeff Lorenz & Esther Scanlon, Refugia Ltd. CEU’s will be available for Landscape Architects!

Sessions Available On Demand Starting October 16, 2020

Sustainable Landscape Solutions – Salt Reduction in Winter Management and Emission Free Commercial Maintenance

Sponsored by: Aspire Software
Michael Anthony Gucciardi, Daniel Schissler, International Landscaping Inc. 
Environmental preservation has always been a significant part of the landscaping industry. Today, it plays a major role in sales, operations, and recruiting. This presentation will review the positive influence electrical maintenance equipment and salt tracking has on these three roles.

Eco-Beneficial Landscaping Strategies

Sponsored by: Ball Horticultural Company
Kim Eierman, EcoBeneficial
Even the most beautiful landscapes are not always healthy ecosystems. A landscape is more than a combination of trees, shrubs and perennials – it’s complex system where all living things are connected. Landscaping with an ecosystem approach contributes to species diversity, attracting and supporting more birds, butterflies, pollinators, and beneficial insects. Kim Eierman explains how the design choices you make, the plants you select, and the maintenance practices you use can make a huge difference in creating a beautiful, healthy ecosystem, filled with life.

Building a Business Strategy Around Native Plants

Sponsored by: Twixwood Nursery
Carol Becker, Sage Advice Landscape Design 
Sage Advice Landscape Design has become known as a go-to design company for those who want to incorporate native plants in their garden. The truth is, we put them in every garden and we’re gaining referral customers because of it! This presentation will present our formula for successfully using native plants in every garden. We follow 5 rules, each of which will be discussed: Applying design principles successfully to the use of natives, Assessing and educating the customer’s readiness and designing appropriately, Knowing the science of native plants to ensure insect and bird populations will increase in the garden, and knowing how to efficiently source the plants so that every garden is different and Sage Advice makes money. We’ll close with a word about what we’ve learned from a growing referral customer base: what do our customers tell others about us because of this strategy and how do we capitalize on it?

Designing for Stormwater Management

Sponsored by Cardno Native Plant Nursery
Vallari Talapatra, EcoScapes 
Water flows downhill and so do stormwater management issues. Water issues seem to flow from a next door neighbor to the client to the landscape professional brought in to clean up the mess. This session will look at surface features that work when designed and installed correctly. This session will cover how to design rain gardens, dry creek beds, and bio swales that help mitigate water issues so common in today’s back yards.

Sustainability vs High Value Crops

Sponsored by Midwest Trading
William Moss, Get out and Grow 
This presentation discusses the growing operations and maintenance of high value greenhouse crops, like annual flowers, vegetables, and hemp. Many landscapers select their annuals and other flowers based on cost or relationships. Rarely are the practices and procedures of the grower considered. In some cases, the growing methods are in direct conflict with sustainability and environmental awareness. Best Management Practices will be reviewed through the lenses of ecological responsibility and efficiency. Topics include: pesticide and fungicide remediation, water use and reclamation, alternative energy options for greenhouse grown plants, and adjusting client’s expectation for new plantings. William will address how the growers can be more sustainable, how landscapers and designers can support sustainable growers, and how to educate clients to favor more sustainably grown plants.

Best of Both Worlds — Art & Ecology to Elevate Public Space Landscapes

Sponsored by Midwest Groundcovers
Scott Stewart, Millennium Park Foundation 
Public space landscapes are the primary interface between the public and our industry. As such, these special landscapes need not be relegated to a utilitarian design with a limited plant palette. Beyond the public-facing nature of these landscapes, public space landscapes are more than decoration for our cities. They are critical parts of our urban and municipal infrastructures and should be places of beauty, interest, excitement, environmental service, and ecological vibrancy. How these spaces are designed, the plants we select to install, and how we maintain these spaces should reflect this important role. Using historical and ongoing landscape re-development work at Millennium Park (Chicago, Illinois) as viewing lens, we will explore how otherwise plain and practical public landscapes can be transformed into spaces that are joyful, beautiful, and ecologically pertinent. Developing consensus among stakeholders, the design and construction processes, and investing in ongoing maintenance will also be important topics in our exploration of elevating public space landscapes.

An Ecologist’s Approach to Pest Management

Sponsored by Kramer Tree Specialists, Inc.
Chad Rigsby, The Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories 
This presentation will focus on the science behind integrated pest management (IPM) and how those who provide pest management services can transition into a holistic IPM approach. Integrated approaches begin at the time of installation, and include biological control, proper cultural practices, choosing the right plants for the right site, the responsible use of pesticides and fertilizer, and planting diversity in terms of species and texture. These are not just buzzwords but have real biological activity and implications. However, our best tool as plant health managers is our knowledge, but this does not mean that simply memorizing facts about plants and insects will make us excellent plant health managers. Rather, the best managers all share a similar thought process: how they think through situations and arrive at problem-solving solutions. Therefore, this presentation will not only focus on the tools and tactics of IPM but how to approach plant health through with IPM way of thinking.

Landscaping in Climate Crisis
Kim Eierman, Ecobeneficial LLC
Climate change is here and it is impacting our landscapes – increased flooding, more frequent droughts, more extreme weather events and increasing temperatures. Ecological mismatches, record losses of native species and an increase of invasives are now the norm. Want to help fight climate change at home? Learn how the plants you choose and the landscape practices you use can help reduce the impacts of climate change and improve the environment around you.

Sessions Presented Live on October 23, 2020

Moderator: Jennifer Jewell, Cultivating Place
Jennifer Jewell is the host of the national award-winning weekly public radio program and podcast Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden. She is the author of The Earth in Her Hands, 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants (Timber Press in 2020), and Under Western Skies, Visionary Gardens from the Rockies to the Pacific Coast (due out from Timber Press in April 2021).

Interested in purchasing a signed copy of one of Jennifer’s books? Visit or send her an email at to receive 20% off.

Kid You Don’t Know Anything! Lessons From The Field

Sponsored by Bartlett Tree Experts
Jack Pizzo, The Pizzo Group
A lifetime lived in horticulture and 30+ years of sustainability can teach you lots of lessons. Jack will share some things he has learned about sustainability, being green, being a pioneer, PSP (psychology, sociology and politics), and business.

Case Studies in Working Landscapes

Sponsored by Proven Winners
Samuel Irwin, Omni Ecosystems 
Working landscapes provide natural beauty and serve additional functions, such as; managing storm water, supporting resilient plant communities, growing crops, creating habitats, and engaging spaces for people. We will be looking at some of the terminology, examples of materials and systems, and case studies that demonstrate how these systems can be designed, installed and maintained to maximize the benefit to the surrounding environment and those that utilize said environment.

In Full View

Sponsored by Taylor Creek Restoration Nurseries
Jeff Lorenz, Refugia Ltd.; Esther Scanlon 
In a year like no other, making our outdoor spaces more beautiful & functional has become more important than ever. Join Refugia Design for a candid case study detailing the challenges and breakthroughs of an ecological landscape design/build in 2020. From sales and marketing strategies for shifting the paradigm of landscape design towards a more sustainable, ecological model; to obstacles and insights in the design, installation and stewardship of real-world projects in the current climate.

Live Program Schedule – October 23, 2020

12:00 PM – 12:15 PM Introduction from ILCA
12:15 PM – 12:30 PM Introduction of program from moderator
12:30 PM – 1:15 PM Live Presentation 1 – Jack Pizzo, Kid You Don’t Know Anything! Lessons From The Field
1:15 PM – 1:30 PM Moderator bridges presentation
1:30 PM – 1:45 PM Virtual break / Sponsor Commercial
1:45 PM – 2:30 PM Live Presentation 2 – Samuel Irwin, Case Studies in Working Landscape
2:30 PM – 2:45 PM Moderator bridges presentation
2:45 PM – 3:00 PM Virtual break / Sponsor Commercial
3:00 PM – 3:45 PM Live Presentation 3 – Jeff Lorenz and Esther Scanlon, In Full View
3:45 PM – 4:00 PM Moderator wraps up presentations
4:00 PM – 4:15 PM Virtual break / Sponsor Commercial
4:15 PM – 6:00 PM Live Q&A with pre-recorded presenters
6:00 PM – 6:40 PM Virtual Happy Hour

Want to Learn More?

Contact AnneMarie Drufke ( for further information about Impact Conference: Building Sustainable Landscapes.

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