Jay Burney lives in Buffalo, New York and is a writer, photographer, media producer and founder of Greenwatch, the Learning Sustainability Campaign, and the Friends of Times Beach Nature Preserve. Jay is also a founding member of the WNY Native Plants Collaborative, Our Outer Harbor Coalition, and Niagara River Greenway Pollinator Partnership. He serves as Chair of the Niagara River Globally Significant Important Bird Area coalition working group, Advocacy Chair of the Western New York Environmental Alliance, Special Projects Director of the Pollinator Conservation Association and Chair of the Niagara River Greenway Pollinator Partnership.
Josh Klostermann is an undergraduate research student in the Environment and Sustainability department at the University of Buffalo. He has spoken for WGRZ’s 2 the outdoors forum segment and been featured in the Buffalo Spree. Josh has an extreme passion for botany, entomology, ecological restoration and environmental education. In his spare time he can be found wandering around most of WNY's forests looking for plants and insects to photograph to then create media for outreach. He is also currently working on a native plant directory for WNY’s Flora.
Kathleen M. Contrino
Associate Professor Canisius College CW Native Plant Farm (sole proprietor) Dr. Contrino has been growing and planting native species for 20+ years and presenting on native plants for over a decade. Whether a small urban garden or a large 10 acre parcel native plants have an important role to play. Dr. Contrino is now restoring the Great Lakes ecosystem on her farm sited on Murder Creek (the future site of a certified Arboretum). The gardens on the farm is included in the 2020 Open Gardens section of the Garden Walk as a native habitat.
Ken Parker, CNLP, NGICP
Ken Parker is a horticulture industry champion, a passionate indigenous horticulturalist and member of the Seneca Nation of Indians. As a New York State Certified Nursery Landscape Professional (CNLP) and a National Certified Green Infrastructure Program (NGICP) Trainer, he is one of 21 NGICP trainers in the US and the first in New York State.Additionally, he offers extensive and diverse experience in horticultural systems, plant cultivation, propagation protocols, plant production procedures and integrated pest management strategies. Ken has spent decades of his life devoted to growing, installing, teaching and promoting the indigenous plants of North America. He has proactively participated in various environmental projects, including conservation, restoration, corporate landscaping, green infrastructure, education, marketing and consulting throughout the United States and Canada over the past twenty-five years.As an approved NGICP trainer, Ken provides hands-one education and the opportunity to participate in a nationally recognized standard that promotes exceptional job knowledge and skills to build, inspect and maintain green infrastructure systems.
Lynda Schneekloth works to connect environmental and social activism, design practice, teaching, and scholarship around both professional and citizen engagement in the practice of “placemaking.”She engages people and institutions in the work of healing the world and creating beloved places.She holds an MS in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin and has taught at Schools of Architecture from 1976 to 2011. Lynda is author or editor of six books and numerous articles, including four books focus on local history as a way of revealing stories about the place we live. Lynda has been active in environmental work as one of the founders of the Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper and a board member of the Sierra Club Niagara Group and WNY Environmental Alliance. With these organizations and others, she has facilitated collaborative work in climate justice with special attention to youth and frontline involvement, public trust matters as in Outer Harbor protection, the restoration of our ecology through the Native Plants Collaborative, and the moral imperative of both the climate and biodiversity crises through the Interfaith Climate Justice Community.Lynda seeks to deepen people’s connections to the earth both culturally and environmentally.
Molly Vendura, RLA, ASLA, LEED AP
Molly Vendura is a registered landscape architect with over 25 years of experience in landscape architecture, environmental planning, engineering and urban design. She has developed expertise in master planning from the regional perspective down to the site scale; park and open space planning and design; campus planning and design; green infrastructure and streetscapes; playground design; planting design; wayfinding and interpretive signage, graphic design and public consultation. With her background in engineering and environmental science, Molly approaches projects from a unique perspective: blending scientific principles with creative design to produce projects that are innovative, attractive and functional. Molly is also active in the community and her profession, serving as VP of Programs for the NY Upstate Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects and promoting the value and use of native plants as a member of the WNY Native Plants Collaborative.
Nick Hensue, PhD
Dr. Nick Henshue earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Education from Slippery Rock University and his Masters in Ecology from East Stroudsburg University. Before he received his Doctorate in Ecology and Evolution at Rutgers University under Dr. Claus Holzapfel, Nick taught high school Environmental Science in Pennsylvania for 10 years. He currently looks for ways to utilize earthworm ecology together with restoration and soil ecology to improve post-industrial and brownfield habitats in Western New York. His current courses taught include Ecology, Restoration Ecology, and Soil Ecology. Additionally, he is the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Environment and Sustainability at the University at Buffalo. Nick’s research interests include restoration, earthworms, ecology, science outreach, and helping teachers teach amazing science.
Paul Fuhrmann is a Habitat Restoration Specialist with comprehensive experience in the design and management of commercial landscapes in the northeastern United States. He has applied his expertise in revegetation with native plants, landscape ecology, riparian habitat restoration and horticulture to provide expert consultation to landscape architects, site designers, and contractors for landscape and habitat restoration projects in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Paul has 30 years of experience specializing in botanical surveys; Rare, Threatened or Endangered Species Surveys; soil and hydrological assessments; native plant/habitat restoration; management of invasive plant species; sustainable resource management planning; environmental education; outreach; and natural resource stewardship. Paul retired from Ecology and Environment, Inc. in 2018, and is on an on-call list for project support tasks. He provides consulting services in areas of environmental education and outreach, restoration planting design and implementation, and restoration project construction specifications.
Sally Cunningham, CNLP
Sally Cunningham is a Certified Nursery& Landscape Professional (CNLP), and author of the new book Buffalo Style Gardens (St.Lynn’s Press, 2019), about the phenomenon of a gardening culture that has burst out of Buffalo, boosting tourism and changing Buffalo’s image. She also wrote Great Garden Companions, an organic gardening book focusing on beneficial insects, which has sold 50,000 copies since 1998, and influenced gardeners throughout the U.S. and in Korea. (Rodale Books/Barnes&Noble). Recently it was published in Korean language for sale in South Korea where organic gardening is trending. Sally is a Buffalo News columnist for sixteen years, a monthly Buffalo Spree Magazine writer and a TV garden advisor for 23 years on WIVB-TV, channel 4. She has provided gardening advice weekly for twenty-three years on Channel 4 (WIVB-TV). Formerly Sally was a Master Gardener, Cornell Cooperative Extension Agent, and garden center consultant. Sally co-founded Buffalo's own National Garden Festival (now Gardens Buffalo Niagara). Currently she leads Great Garden Travel for AAA of Western & Central New York, teaching and showing travelers the wonders of gardens in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. Sally lives and gardens in East Aurora, New York and can be followed on FB: GreatGardenTravel and www.buffalostylegardens.com. Sheryl Davies After two decades as a scientist at Stanford University, Sheryl Davies relocated with her family to Western New York and became immersed in both the theory and practice of ecologic landscaping. Sheryl has a deep knowledge of native plants, with a soft spot for sedges and landscaping with the natural conditions of a site. Her design work focuses on all things water – streambanks, riparian areas, wildlife ponds, mineral soils, raingardens and residential stormwater. She consults with homeowners and landscapers wishing to incorporate native plants into their gardens of any style, identify and control invasive species or foster play and discovery outdoors. She is designing a garden at Dream Island, home of the Williamsville Castle, featuring native plants. With a competing passion for education, Sheryl has founded the Dream Island Initiative that aims to engage students in deeper learning and innovation through ecology. Sheryl teaches Embracing The Water: Managing Streambanks, Riparian And Wetland Areas In The Residential Landscape which covers caring for land near our streams, lakes and wetlands brings both unique joys and challenges.