Neil Diboll to Speak at Sustainability Fair

“The State of the Lawn” is the topic of a presentation to be given by prairie ecologist and natural landscape designer Neil Diboll at the 2009 Door County Sustainability Fair. The fair will be held Saturday, April 18 at the Door Community Auditorium and Gibraltar Schools in Fish Creek. NEW Audubon Society and Door County Wild Ones are co-sponsoring Diboll’s presence at the Fair.

As president of Prairie Nursery, Inc. in Westfield, WI, Diboll has dedicated his adult life to raising awareness about prairie plants and ecosystems and to furthering the cause of prairie restoration. The company, which he has directed since 1982, began with the daunting task of educating a market that was essentially unaware of the value of preserving native plants. Currently, Prairie Nursery employs 45 people at peak season and cultivates 300 acres of prairie grasses and flowering plants.

Diboll explains how prairie gardens are environmentally friendly and a great alternative to lawns. They are low maintenance, requiring chemical additives neither as pesticides nor fertilizers, little mowing, and no watering. The speaker will also draw the connection between native landscaping and financial savings.

Cliff Orsted, president of Door Landscape, will present a workshop at the Fair about creating certified butterfly gardens that provide a way stop for migrating Monarchs. The Door County chapter of the Wild Ones will provide a panel discussion on native landscaping, so fairgoers are encouraged to bring their native landscaping questions, ideas, resources and success stories to share.

Neil Diboll joins Tom Kubala and three other featured speakers at the Sustainability Fair, sponsored by Sustain Door in cooperation with the Friends of Gibraltar Schools, and with generous financial support of Door Property Owners, Inc. The Fair runs from 10 am – 9:30 pm, after which a contra dance with live music by Sugar on the Floor Barn Dance Society will take place. In addition to the main stage presentations there will be workshops and panel discussions about diverse areas of sustainability. Activities include an Ultimate Frisbee game for teens, hands-on learning experiences for children, local foods lunch and snack selections, exhibits and vendors, music, crafts, and more are planned for the day-long event. The fair is free.

The mission of Sustain Door is to promote the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of Door County using The Natural Step framework and process. More information about Sustain Door and the 2009 Sustainability Fair is found at