Annual Speaker Event

Looking for strategies to boost your landscape’s ecological impact? Join us for a look at native plant-based solutions to common landscape challenges. Rather than oceans of mulch and vast expanses of turf grass, try using use native grasses and sedges. These extraordinary plants help preserve and build the soil, outcompete weeds, and offer a host of ecosystem benefits. Discover how greener grasses help build better landscapes and communities. 

About Shannon Currey

Shannon currently serves on the Perennial Plant Association’s Board of Directors and the North Carolina Plant Conservation Scientific Committee. She was honored in 2020 with the Libby Wilder Award from the North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association.

In 2022, she joined Izel Native Plants to expand their education and outreach efforts. An online retailer for native plants, Izel helps consumers source plants to create environmentally sound landscapes that support local ecosystems. Shannon is based in Durham, North Carolina and loves exploring the incredible plant diversity around her.

2023 Milkweed Sponsor

Our returning 2023 Presenting Sponsor is Bay Point Wealth, a wealth management firm committed to developing long-term client relationships based on mutual respect, exceptional advice, and high-quality personalized service.


Sponsorship Please visit our Sponsorship page to learn about the range of sponsor opportunities to fit any company or organization’s budget.

About the Speaker Series: Each year, Unity Gardens hosts an annual fundraising lecture featuring renowned authors and environmental professionals. These exciting lectures have been hosted at Anne Arundel Community College, The Key School, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Phillip Merrill Environmental Center, and at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church.  Visit the links below to see an overview of these recent events, and be sure to like our Facebook page or Instagram page to receive first notice of upcoming events and opportunities!  We are always in need of sponsors, partners and donations to support these events (and community grants), so please visit our Get Involved page to learn more, and visit Great Businesses locally who have supported Unity Gardens!

Continuing a Tradition… Each year, Unity Gardens looks forward to educating the community and raising funds for our grant program. Here are our past presenters:

2022- Shari Wilson – Maryland Secretary of the Environment 2007-2010 and Author of Nuts for Natives Blog

2021- No lecture due to Covid. Instead we hosted a virtual fundraiser, Bringing Natives Home. 

2020 – Barbara Ellis – “Greener Gardens, One Step at a Time”

2019 – Dan Benarcik – Innovative Horticulturist at Chanticleer Gardens “Design Tips of the Pros”

2018 – Michael Judd,  Landscape Designer and Designer Author of  “Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist”

2017 – Travis Beck, Director of Horticulture Mount Cuba Native Plant Center: “Design with Native Plants”

2016 – Stephanie Cohen, “The Perennial Diva”:  “The Non-Stop Garden”

2015 – William Cullina, Director of Horticulture Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens: “Botany of Design”

2014 – Rick Darke , Botanist & Author: “Balancing Natives & Exotics in the Garden”

2013 – Doug Tallamy, Professor & Author: “Networks for Life: Your Role in Stitching the Natural World Together”

2012 – Tracy DiSabato-Aust, Designer & Author: “Native Plants Design & Maintenance”