Think Spring! Garden Seminar


2016 Think Spring! Garden Seminar

Saturday, February 27
9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Registration begins at 8:30 am


Kent Campus Center


Simpson College


Indianola, Iowa


Karen Johlas-Szalkowski Naturalist II

Warren County Conservation Board
Karen graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in
Forestry and Enviornmental Studies. She has been working
as a naturalist for 14 years and just recently joined Warren
County Conservation Board. She has presented various
programs to the general public and school groups about the
importance of pollinators and wildlife in your backyard.

Melissa Peterson

Garden Center Manager
Ted Lare Design Build & Garden Center
Growing up in a family that loves the outdoors, Melissa is
carrying on the gardening tradition with her family outside
of Indianola. Whether at work or at home, Melissa is constantly
looking for new decorating ideas and garden products
to inspire her customers. Melissa enjoys mixing cra๎„— with
gardening to create new methods of displaying beautiful plants
with an artistic flare.

Andy Schmitz

Director of Horticulture, Brenton Arboretum
Andy Schmitz has been the Director of Horticulture/General
Manager of the Brenton Arboretum for 18 years. He received
his Associate of Applied Science in Horticulture at Hawkeye
Community College (1996) and then went on to receive his
Bachelors of Science in Horticulture from Iowa State University
(1998). He oversees all horticultural aspects of the 143
acre arboretum which was established in 1996, including
planting and curating over 2,500 woody accessioned plants,
establishing and maintaining over 30 acres of restored prairie
and caring for a 1000 sq. ๎„—. green roof. He enjoys observing
trees in their native habitats while collecting seed to grow
trees and shrubs to enhance the arboretums collections.
Though he has collected around the Midwest, his particular
focus is on collecting the native Iowa woody plants for the
arboretums Iowa collection.

Aaron Steil

Assistant Director, Reiman Gardens
Aaron Steil is the assistant director at Iowa State University's
Reiman Gardens. He also teaches classes in ISU's horticulture
department and is the co-host of "Gardening Today" on
WHO Radio (1040 AM) in Des Moines. Steil has worked at
Reiman Gardens for eight years. In his current position, he
oversees all revenue-generating areas at the Gardens, manages
the Garden’s extensive internship program, serves as a liaison
with ISU faculty and staff, determines the nature and scope of
displays and programs, and conducts short- and long-range
planning. He also oversees the interpretation, mapping, and
management of all plant records at the Gardens, including
the nationally recognized Griffith Buck rose collection.
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