Roots2Rivers 2022 Fall Field Day is biggest and best yet!
A Day Full of Educational Expertise by Industry Professionals!
You could feel the energy and excitement from the start. Over 500 industry professionals checked in for Forrest Keeling’s 2022 ‘Roots2Rivers’ event. Each attendee received welcome bags before taking seats in the big tent for the morning’s keynote.
Kim Lovelace Hainsfurther, Forrest Keeling Nursery President, welcomed attendees and introduced morning keynote, Chad Pregracke. Pregracke is founder and president of Living Lands and Waters as well as Author of “From the Bottom Up”.
Chad explained that the earth’s destruction occurs little by little. But that this incremental pace is also the solution to fixing it. He communicated the importance of the relationship with Forrest Keeling Nursery to restore America’s rivers. Cleaning debris from the river is a start. But adding back native trees and shrubs helps restore stream banks and filter stormwater. Chad’s presentation showed the groundswell of grassroots support for water conservation. Thanks to youth groups, funded workers and entire communities, rivers are being restored.
Following the keynote, attendees chose from three morning breakouts and three site tours. In each, attendees learned practical ways to use their knowledge and expertise. Tours included RPM Production, Scion Orchard and Silvopasture techniques.
Morning breakout speakers included:
- Steve Buback, Missouri Department of Conservation Heritage Entomologist: ‘Dragonflies and the Endangered Species of Wetlands and Ephemeral Pools’
- Carol Davit, Missouri Prairie Foundation Director and Jeff Esely, Missouri Department of Conservation, Private Lands District Supervisor: ‘Clean Water Starts Upstream: Helpful Programs for Landowners’
- Sherry Fischer, Missouri Department of Conservation, Stream and Watershed Unit Supervisor, ‘Riparian Corridors – Hallways to Clean Water’
After morning breakouts concluded, lunch was set up in the Nursery’s stunning Cypress Grove. St. Louis’ award-wining Farmhaus Restaurant prepared a farm-to-table buffet. Owner/Chef Kevin Willmann’s list of accolades includes “Best New Chef” by Food and
Wine Magazine in 2011. He’s also twice been a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Midwest” award.
The luncheon’s star were three smoked whole hogs accompanied by local-sourced sides. Over lunch, Dan Burkhardt, Magnificent Missouri President, spoke on his program’s progress. Magnificent Missouri helps educate about the Katy Trail and Missouri River history. To that end, he’s written a book, “Growing Up With the River”. This year, they’ll plant bur oak trees grafted from scion stock of the trail’s historic McBaine Oak. The bur oaks were grown by Forrest Keeling using their patented RPM technology.
Dr. Ellen Herbert, Ducks Unlimited Ecosystems Services Scientist was the afternoon keynote speaker. She explained how Ducks Unlimited (DU) plays a key role in ensuring that wetland systems remain intact and functional. Healthy wetlands are key for waterfowl populations and improving communities’ water quality. DU is one of many agencies that choose Forrest Keeling’s RPM-produced trees for wetland habitat restorations.
The afternoon breakouts offered five new speakers along with the site tours. Afternoon breakouts included:
- Alan Branhagen, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Director of Operations: ‘Landscaping with Native Wetland Plants’
- L. Dean Alberty, Deep Roots Forest Biome, President, CEO & Founder, and Larry O’Reilly, River Bluff Farm, Owner: ‘Agroforestry and Multi-crop Orchards’
- Stuart Miller, Missouri Department of Conservation Policy Coordinator and. Amanda Horne, Forrest Keeling Nursery Farm Manager: ‘One Health: Healthy Land, Healthy Water, Healthy and Happy People’.
The overstory of the day was the impact native plants have on restoring clean water and bottomland habitat. Forrest Keeling’s RPM-produced trees are the benchmark for wetland conservation. In 30 years, RPM container stock changed the trajectory for wetland project success. And that’s the core of the Nursery’s mission, to improve the earth’s ecosystems ‘one tree at a time’. Forrest Keeling’s RPM trees are that different!
If you missed this year’s event, we recorded both keynotes and highlights of breakouts. These will soon be available on our website, FKNursery.com. And be sure to ‘save the date’ for our next biennial event, Thursday, September 19, 2024.
Forrest Keeling…. where the best trees begin! To learn more and to discover the difference of Forrest Keeling visit https://fknursery.com/ You’ll also find our all-new Wholesale Catalog and ‘Specialty Crop’ booklet on our website. Both available for viewing or downloading. Or contact us and we will send you a printed copy.