Oct 4-5, 2019 : South Haven Michigan
Oct 4-5, 2019

125 Veterans Blvd 

South Haven, MI 49090

Learn about Liberty Hyde Bailey and his legacy through thinkers and innovators 

For over 80 years, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum & Gardens has existed in the childhood home of Liberty Hyde Bailey, Jr. to educate others about Dr. Bailey, his life, his work, his philosophy, and his legacy. The 2019 Bailey Fall Conference focus is to celebrate Bailey's life, work, philosophy and legacy.

The foundational work created by Bailey in the late 19th and early 20th century has evolved into a vibrant focus of action today. From agriculture to art, horticulture to native plants, and soil-plant science to nature study, Bailey's vocation and avocation resonate in how we interact with the planet. Bailey's vision for the 21st century is the focus of our conference speakers. His influence and scope of reach are the seeds of hope and inspiration that are being planted on October 5. 


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"We are parts in a living; sensitive creation...the living creation is not exclusively man-centered: it is bio-centric."  -  Liberty Hyde Bailey


Phyllis is a Senior Conservation Scientist and Botanist with the Michigan Natural Features Inventory with 25 years of field-based experience studying Michigan’s native ecosystems and vulnerable species.  She is working statewide to promote awareness of Michigan’s natural heritage and to increase capacity for early detection, mapping and strategic control of invasive species – one of the biggest threats to biodiversity conservation.

Biodiversity Matters!

Michigan’s wide-ranging and fascinating ecosystems nourish our well-being; however, they face numerous threats, including development, invasive species and climate change. This presentation will provide an overview of the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, highlight significant elements of biodiversity in SW Michigan and discuss why we care about them.

Michigan Natural Features Inventory 


john stempien headshot.jpg

John Stempien, a 2007 graduate of the Western Michigan University MA public history program, is co-editor of the forthcoming The Liberty Hyde Bailey Gardener’s Companion: Essential Writings from Cornell University Press.

John teaches history in Lowell, Michigan. He served as the first director of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum in South Haven, Michigan, from 2006-2012.

Together Stempien and Linstrom have compiled and edited “the best and most accessible garden writings of perhaps the most influential literary gardener of the twentieth century."

Co-Editor of The Liberty Hyde Bailey Gardener's Companion


In 1981 I graduated from Bangor High School. With steady and purposeful stride I walked through my high school’s gates and straight to the hallowed halls of Western Michigan University. I was intent on a dual math and art major.  I graduated in 1986 with Bachelors in Science and discontinued the pursuit of a Masters in Anthropology short of completion.

In 1995 the creation of murals became a full time profession.

By the end of the 1990’s I found that murals were becoming a little much of a “job”, and I needed something to fulfill a personal creative need so I began painting landscapes of Southwest Michigan on canvas, which continues to this day. Fortunately, both mural work and landscape painting feed and nourish each other and this has only improved both genres.

Over the last few years I have continued to add various mediums to my arsenal.  Lately, artsy furniture of wood and metal have intrigued me.  I find it fascinating to take a substance like metal with its inherent feel of solidity and structure and force it to take on an organic shape, then pit this against a geometric structure of wood.

Artist, Fence Rows Studios


Greetings, my name is Alex Mehne.  I have recently been hired as Fond du Lac Reservation's Forest Manager. I grew up in southwest Michigan, completed two degrees, one in Forestry, one in Statistics, at Michigan Tech, and obtained a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management at UMN in the twin cities.  Prior to working at Fond du Lac Reservation, I worked at Bois Forte Reservation as Forestry Program Manager and Allotment Forester, where I managed Bois Forte’s forested lands.  I have also worked as an independent contractor and conducted several research projects in Minnesota and Michigan.  My research projects focus on silviculture, plant performance in unusual environments, the factors that make or break tree success, and the establishment of poorly understood ecosystems such as forested wetlands and barrens.

Fond du Lac Reservation, Forest Manager


Dr. Shattuck teaches at WMU, where she has a joint position in both the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the Department of Comparative Religion. She is a native Californian and has a masters degree in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She then earned MS and Ph.D. degrees in Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the intersection of religion and ecology, with particular interest in exploring factors that influence how people of faith turn environmental ethics into action. She is a founding member of Hope for Creation, a grassroots interfaith group that strives to encourage climate action in the Kalamazoo area.

"Ministry of Place: Stewardship, Fellowship, and Community"

This presentation will describe land stewardship projects undertaken by faith communities, such as community gardens, sustainable forestry, and prairie restoration. These stewardship projects are not easy to implement but when they are successful, they can foster fellowship and community while building connections between people and places.

Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

Western Michigan University



John Linstrom is a doctoral candidate in English and American Literature from New York University with an anticipated graduation in 2020. Linstrom prepared the centennial edition of Bailey's The Holy Earth and is series editor of The Liberty Hyde Bailey Library for Cornell Press. He served as the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum director from 2012-2014.

John Linstrom grew up in South Haven, Michigan, the hometown of the great Progressive Era horticulturist and New Agrarian philosopher Liberty Hyde Bailey. Together Stempien and Linstrom have compiled and edited “the best and most accessible garden writings of perhaps the most influential literary gardener of the twentieth century."

Doctoral Candidate 



Beth's background in natural resources, composting & home gardening coupled with my training and experience in Business Administration puts her in a unique position to serve a variety of clientele ranging from the home consumer to business; from community gardening, growing from home to commercial gardening, farm to institution, and recycling food waste in both garden and institution. Beth has over ten years' experience managing training & coordinating MSUE Master Gardener Volunteers coupled with pre-MSU Extension experience as a small business owner.

MSU Extension

Natural Resources and Water Quality Educator


I am small animal and wildlife veterinarian and a wildlife biologist. Most of my experience is in environmental toxins in wildlife, endangered species release and study, and lately; wetland forest research.  

Co-speaking with his son, Alex Mehne. 



Doug plays a lead role in conservation planning for the Great Lakes and in Michigan, including the biodiversity conservation strategies for Lake Michigan and Lake Erie. He manages the Coastal Wetland issue for Blue Accounting – working closely with the Great Lakes Coastal Assembly – and assists all MIFO project teams in documenting and reporting on conservation progress. He manages the Science Team for TNC in Michigan and leads a collaborative research project evaluating the cost effectiveness of using biomass from invasive plants as a crop soil amendment. He is co-lead of the Midwest franchise of the Conservation Coaches Network, an international organization applying, promoting and advancing the Open Standards for Conservation.

 Doug received his Ph.D. in natural resources in 1995 from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE), Ann Arbor. For his dissertation he described, classified and mapped ecosystem types for the 10,000‐acre University of Michigan Biological Station.

 “Resilient and Connected: Our Vision for Protecting Biodiversity”

Climate change is impacting habitats and shifting home ranges for plants and animals across the globe. To protect places that can better withstand impacts from climate change, we first need to know where they are. The foundation of ecology itself — geodiversity — helps conservationists do just that. Dr. Doug Pearsall will describe where our most resilient and connected lands in the Great Lakes lie and how we can invest in these sites to provide optimal habitat for a changing world.

Senior Conservation Scientist


Danielle C. Zoellner, Ph..D. is the Academic Programs Coordinator at the Kellogg Biological Station - Michigan State University. 

The W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) is Michigan State University’s largest off-campus education complex and one of North America’s premier inland field stations. KBS is a premier site for field experimental research in aquatic and terrestrial ecology that takes advantage of the diverse managed and unmanaged ecosystems. The varied habitats of KBS includes forests, old fields, streams, wetlands, lakes, and agricultural lands.

They offer a wide variety of credit and non-credit educational opportunities, and are dedicated to sharing their knowledge and expertise with students of all ages!

"Foraging and Michigan’s Bounty"

Academic Programs Coordinator Kellogg Biological Station - Michigan State University




Associate Sponsors

Birdsong farms

Birdsong Farm is situated just north of M-43, in Bangor, Michigan. Our farmland has been a certified organic, family farm since the early 1970's. Originally home to The School of Homesteading, this land provided a hands-on educational living experience for students in the 70's and early 80's. Since 2004, Birdsong Farm (2004-2014 as Eaters Guild Farm) has continued to uphold the standards of care for soil health and microbial diversity.  This tradition of mindful land stewardship is apparent in the consistent quality and vitality of the plants grown here. Of our forty acres, 15-20 acres is dedicated to growing a wide variety of vegetables, cover crops and hay. The remaining acreage is pasture for grazing horses, goats, scratching ground for chickens, peacocks and various other land and water fowl, as well as the homestead of the Arboreal Family.



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