Atlanta Canopy Conference

Bringing the Arboretum Home

Canopy Conf.2016_logo
Atlanta Canopy Conference 2016
Friday, September 23, 2016
8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Trees Atlanta Kendeda Center
225 Chester Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA 30316

The Atlanta Canopy Conference 2016 – “Bring the Arboretum Home” was a success! Thank you to our speakers, attendees, and sponsors. Please return here as we update information for next year’s conference. We welcome your ideas, speakers suggestions, and proposals for presentation. Email

Conference Overview

The Atlanta Canopy Conference will inspire you to “Bring the Arboretum Home”. Hosted by Trees Atlanta, this conference will educate, inform, and motivate you to protect our urban canopy. Come learn how the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum is being used to demonstrate what can happen in large scale throughout the city.

The Atlanta BeltLine began as a grassroots movement over 10 years ago to transform abandoned railways into a transportation loop around the heart of our city. The visionary idea that the transit corridor could also become a 22-mile linear arboretum – freely accessible to the public – was introduced by Trees Atlanta.

While only a portion of planned trails are complete and transit has not yet started construction, there are over one million visitors enjoying the Atlanta BeltLine each year. Residents and visitors alike are finding better connectivity through our city on foot or by bike. They are also rediscovering lost connections to nature in the Arboretum and benefiting from the ecosystem services of the trees and native plantings. Through strong partnerships, the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum has become a vibrant and vital part of this world-renowned urban redevelopment program. Atlanta is positioned to become a leader of innovations in urban ecology and urban forest protection if we leverage our best ideas.

This conference will motivate professionals, community leaders, and residents to take the lessons learned from the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum and other arboreta to implement into their own projects – whether full scale developments or your own back yard.

Who should attend?
Arborists, Landscape Architects, City Planners, Community Leaders, Residents, Students, Master Gardeners and Garden Club members, Environmental Leaders and Educators, and anyone who appreciates the wonder and ecological value of the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum and Atlanta’s urban forest.

Keynote Speaker

Darrel Morrison_Head shot

Darrel Morrison, FASLA, is a pioneer in the use of native plants and natural processes in the design of urban landscapes, with the goal of creating landscapes which are both ecologically sound and experientially rich. After obtaining his Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of Wisconsin, he taught there (1969-1983); the University of Georgia (1983-2005); and Columbia University (2007-2014).

He was the senior landscape designer of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas in the early 1990s, and subsequently has done design work at a number of arboreta and botanic gardens, including the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, Chicago Botanic Garden,
New York Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Botanic Garden, all of which feature gardens based on
native plant communities in their respective regions. Most recently, he designed the Stella Niagara Preserve on the Niagara River, just downstream from Niagara Falls, for the Western New York Land Conservancy.

He has recently moved from New York City, back to Madison, Wisconsin where, among other landscape-related activities, he serves on the Board of The Friends of the University of Wisconsin Arboretum.

Watch this video published by the Library of American Landscape History – Designing in the Prairie Spirit: A Conversation with Darrel Morrison.

Conference Schedule

Morning Session

Doors open for registration and check-in at 7:45 am.
Conference begins at 8:30 am.

Welcoming Remarks
Keynote Speaker: Darrel MorrisonSuccessful Designs for Native Plants in the Urban Landscape
Tim KeaneThe City Design Project & the Urban Ecology Framework
Lightning Round
  • Myths of Tree Availability and Growing for Diversity: John Barbour, Bold Springs Nursery
  • Magnolias for Every Landscape: Ethan Guthrie, Atlanta Botonical Garden
 James SottiloEnsuring Success in Challenging Urban Soils
Lunch for Full-Day Attendees

Afternoon Session

Registration for half-day registration starts at 12:00 pm.
Reconvening Remarks and Welcome to Afternoon Attendees
Atlanta BeltLine ArboretumBuilding the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum: The Portico Group, Perkins + Will, Hedstrom Design, and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.

A panel of the landscape architects who have and are collaborating with Trees Atlanta in the vision, concept, execution, and future development of the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum
Concurrent Sessions
  •   More Than a Pretty Place: Best Practices of Local Arboreta – Cox Arboretum, Georgia Tech Arboretum, and UGA Arboretum
  •   Collections of the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum: Trees Atlanta and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.
Closing Remarks:Bringing the Arboretum Home – Canopy Protection as our Civic Identity
Presented by the Atlanta Canopy Alliance: The Conservation Fund, Georgia Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, and Trees Atlanta

Attendees are welcome to stay for additional 30 minutes after conference close for an informal Q&A with speakers and staff.

Click here to download conference flyer.

Full versus Half-day Registration.
Full-day attendees will be eligible for International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and Georgia Professional Landscape Architect (PLA) CEU credits. Full-day attendees will also receive lunch, conference gift bag and a discount to Tailgate for Trees*. Student rates offered. Afternoon-only registration is available for the general public (not included: CEU credits, lunch, or discount).

*Join Trees Atlanta and The Nature Conservancy of Georgia on Thursday, September 22 at Venkman’s for “Tailgate for Trees,” a casual get-together and friend-raiser to kick off the Atlanta tree planting season and thank our dedicated volunteers.

City of Atlanta
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