Crosby Arboretum to host symposium

Published 11:36 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Picayune’s Crosby Arboretum is proud to host a symposium that will focus on the importance of native plants.

The symposium will feature speakers who have been involved in the development of the Arboretum among other notable personalities.

Senior Curator Patricia Drackett said the two days of classes will focus on the importance of native plants and how they support wildlife. The classes are open to the public and cost $295 per person. Students can attend at the discount rate of $165. While the price may be a bit steep, Drackett said the speakers will have some great information and food is provided.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“It’s really a great bunch of speakers,” Drackett said.

Two of the speakers worked at the Arboretum for a number of years. Bob Brzuszek was the Senior Curator for the Arboretum for about 15 years, while Edward Blake Jr. was the director for about 10 years. Blake is still directly involved in the development of the arboretum, helping with the design of the site.

“So it’s bringing together people who have been involved in the design and implementation of the Arboretum,” Drackett said.

Other speakers include the author of Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens, Doug Tallamy, and Carriere resident Marc Pastorck who is the co-owner of Meadowmakers, Inc.

The symposium is scheduled for April 30 and March 1. It will feature a mix of classes and field trips. Classes will be held at Magnolia Columns while the field trips will take place at Arboretum sites.

While local people may not have the expendable income or the time to make the symposium, Drackett expects about 100 people to attend from the landscape architecture departments of Louisiana State University, Mississippi State Universtiy and from other landscape architecture departments from all over the country, which will add to the local economy.

The company putting on the symposium, the New Directions in the American Landscape, is Pennsylvania based. The company’s directors have heard numerous talks concerning the Arboretum from Blake, which Drackett believes prompted the company to pick Picayune as the site for this symposium.

“This is another example how the Arboretum has national recognition but we’re locally obscure,” Drackett said.

Anyone interested in getting more information about the symposium can stop by the Arboretum and pick up a brochure, Drackett said. Alternately, interested parties can visit to download the brochure.