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Gardening for the Future

Solving the complex challenges of designing a future that supports the health of our ecosystems and the thriving of all living things on Earth will require collaboration and thoughtful solutions from all corners of the green industry (and beyond!). This year we explore some of these innovative approaches that are being researched and implemented across the green industry with the goal of moving together toward a resilient future. 

Join us on Wednesday, February 14 and Thursday, February 15 to hear a variety of exciting speakers including Chris Ludwig (Flora of Virginia co-author), Ekene Tharpe (Babylon Micro-Farms), Andrew Freiden (NBC12), Jazmin Albarran (Seed Your Future), Josh Cerra (Cornell University), Richard Olsen (U.S. National Arboretum) and many more.  

In-person tickets include light breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and all-day hot beverage service. For virtual tickets, please click here. 

In-person 2-day Ticket: $180

In-Person Wednesday Ticket: $100

In-Person Thursday Ticket: $100

Wednesday, February 14, 2024 - Thursday, February 15, 2024
9:00 am - 3:50 pm
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Event Details

The 2024 Winter Symposium & CVNLA Short Course is a three-day event presented by Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Central Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association and Virginia Cooperative Extension. Tickets can be purchased for one, two or all three days; attendees will receive a discount for attending both Days 1 and 2. Tickets for Day 3: Pesticide Recertification must be purchased separately (see below).

This will be a hybrid event with an opportunity to attend in-person at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden or virtually. Come in person to meet the speakers, greet old friends and make new ones—or join virtually from the comfort of your home or office. Friday’s Pesticide Recertification Day requires in-person attendance at the Garden (click here to register for Pesticide Recertification Day).  

Net proceeds from Thursday and Friday help build CVNLA’s scholarship fund for students pursuing horticultural careers.

2024 Winter Symposium In-Person Schedule

Day 1: Wednesday, February 14, 2024
  • 8:30 am: Registration opens for in-person attendees 
  • 9:00 am: Welcome Address 
  • 9:10 am: Recreating and Reconnecting Habitat with Native Plants, Matt Bright 
  • 10:20 am: Seeding the Future of the Horticulture Industry, Jazmin Albarran 
  • 11:20 am: Lunch and networking 
  • 12:20 pm: Inspiring Community Resilience with the Climate-adaptive Design Studio, Josh Cerra 
  • 1:30 pm: Biophilic Design Solutions, Chris Raimondi 
  • 2:30 pm: Break with snack 
  • 2:45: Cultivating a Sustainable Future through Indoor Agriculture, Ekene Tharpe 
  • 3:45 pm: Adjourn 

View the full Day 1 Program with Speaker Bios

Day 2: Thursday, February 15, 2024
  • 8:30 am: Registration opens for in-person attendees
  • 9:00 am: Welcome Address
  • 9:10 am: Keys for Success in Tree Preservation, Cene Ketcham
  • 10:20 am: The Extraordinary Osage Orange, Nancy Hugo
  • 11:20 am: Lunch and networking
  • 12:20 pm: Native Plant Gardening—Which Plant Works Where?, Chris Ludwig
  • 1:30 pm: Where the Wild Things Are: The Role of Cultivation in Plant Conservation, Richard Olsen
  • 2:30 pm: Break with snack
  • 2:45: Cracking the Weather Code, Andrew Freiden
  • 3:45 pm: Adjourn

View the full Day 2 Program with Speaker Bios 

 Schedule as of 2/13/24. All programs subject to change. 

Continuing Education Credits 

Approved CEUs:

  • ASLA: LA CES*—Day 1: 5 CEUs | Day 2: 5 CEUs
  • Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professionals—Day 1: 3 CEUs | Day 2: 4 CEUs
  • DEQ ESC/SWM—Day 1: 2 CEUs | Day 2: 2 CEUs
  • MAC-ISA—Day 1:
    • Management: 4 CEUs
    • Climber Specialist: 4 CEUS
    • ISA Certified Arborist: 4 CEUs
    • Utility Specialist: 2 CEUs
    • Municipal Specialist: 4 CEUs
    • Aerial Lift Specialist: 4 CEUs
  • MAC-ISA—Day 2:
    • Practice: 1 CEU
    • Management: 4 CEUs
    • Climber Specialist: 5 CEUS
    • ISA Certified Arborist: 5 CEUs
    • Utility Specialist: 2 CEUs
    • Municipal Specialist: 5 CEUs
    • Aerial Lift Specialist: 5 CEUs
  • Richmond Tree Stewards—Day 1: 2 CEUs | Day 2: 5 CEUs
  • Virginia Master Gardener—Day 1: 5 CEUs | Day 2: 5 CEUs
  • Virginia Master Naturalist—Day 1: 5 CEUs | Day 2: 5 CEUs
  • VNLA Virginia Certified Horticulturists—Day 1: 5 CEUs | Day 2: 5 CEUs

*ASLA: LA CES continuing education credits are only available through in-person participation. Virtual attendees will not qualify for these CEUs.

Pending CEUs:

  • Maryland Licensed Tree Experts

Continuing education hours can be self-reported for Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, Landscape Designers, Tree Stewards and VNLA Virginia Certified Horticulturists. CVNLA members may self-report contact hours on the appropriate form provided at the event. 



Gold Sponsors, Winter Symposium 2024


Silver Sponsors 2024 Winter Symposium


  • Heritage Horticultural Group 
  • Truetimber Tree Service, Inc. 
  • Virginia 811