Garden Visions 2016 - Speakers


Kerry Ann Mendez

Design Tips for Knockout, Easy-Care Gardens with Great Curb Appeal


Kerry Ann Mendez is dedicated to teaching the art of low-maintenance perennial gardening and landscaping. As a garden designer, author and lecturer, she focuses on time-saving gardening techniques, workhorse plants and sustainable practices. She has been featured on HGTV and in numerous magazines including Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Garden Gate and Better Homes & Gardens. Kerry Ann was awarded the 2014 Gold Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, an honorary medal presented to those who have made significant contributions to the enjoyment and appreciation of plants and the environment. She has published three popular gardening books, her most recent The Right-Size Garden, featuring exceptional plants and design tips for time-pressed and aging gardeners, was released in February 2015. For more about Kerry Ann, and her business Perennially Yours, visit her website

Molly Fifield-Murray

University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum

Gardening for Part Sun and Part Shade

Molly Fifield-Murray is the outreach and education manager at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum. She has a master’s degree in landscape architecture, studying with Darrel Morrison. Molly has taught landscape restoration and design including Rain Gardening, Savanna Restoration, Landscape Design, Landscaping for Birds, and Gardening for Pollinators.

Karen S. Oberhauser

University of Minnesota Dept. of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology

Dwindling numbers for an iconic insect: What can YOU do?

Karen Oberhauser is a Professor at the University of Minnesota, where she and her students conduct research on several aspects of monarch butterfly ecology. Her research depends on traditional lab and field techniques, as well as the contributions of a variety of audiences through citizen science. Her strong interest in promoting a citizenry with a high degree of scientific and environmental literacy led to the development of a science education program that involves courses for teachers, and opportunities for youth to engage in research and share their findings with broad audiences. In 1996, she started a nationwide Citizen Science project called the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, which continues to engage hundreds of volunteers. Karen is passionate about the conservation of the world’s biodiversity, and believes that the connections her projects promote between monarchs, humans, and the natural world promote meaningful conservation action. She is the chair of the Monarch Joint Joint Venture, and a founding officer of the Monarch Butterfly Fund. In 2013, Karen received a White House Champion of Change award for her work with Citizen Science.


Faye Ryszkiewicz

Fryszki’s Country Gardens LLC

Grow Edibles without a Garden & Cottage Garden Design

Faye Ryszkiewicz is the owner of Fryszki’s Country Gardens LLC, located in Caryville. Greenhouse work was not a life long aspiration; rather was inspired by taking a part time greenhouse job which developed over time into owning and operating her own greenhouse business. To enhance her greenhouse work experience, she earned associate degrees from Chippewa Valley Technical College in Marketing, Business Management and Landscape, Plant and Turf Management in addition to the Computer Information Systems Programmer/Analyst degree she earned years earlier, which was her career prior to being introduced to the wonderful world of plants.

Paul Whitaker

Professor at UW Marathon County

Weed Identification and Life Histories are Keys to Better Weed Contro

Paul is a Professor of Biological Sciences at UW Marathon County, with graduate degrees in entomology and a plant sciences minor from UW-Madison. At UWMC, he has taught botany, ecology, animal biology, entomology, and an interdisciplinary course on organic agriculture. He has made numerous presentations for master gardeners, garden clubs, community garden groups, and at organic farming conferences. In addition, he serves on as board secretary and member of the Grounds Committee for the Monk Botanical gardens in Wausau. In the summer, he can often be found in his large vegetable garden, admiring the incredible survival and reproductive strategies of weeds and insects before deciding to dispatch them or, in some cases, letting them live.

More Bio's for 2016 coming soon!