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Featured Speakers

Keren Giovengo Keren Giovengo is the Program Manager of the University of Georgia EcoScapes Sustainable Land Use Program and is a certified national Landscape for Life ™ Trainer. She holds degrees (M.S., B.S.) in both Wildlife Ecology and Zoology and provides education, outreach, technical assistance and research support on natural resource-based sustainable landscapes and land use practices. Keren is a life-long gardener and life-long learner, with over 30 years working on wildlife and native plant conservation, ecology, and sustainable landscapes.

Keren formerly worked as an endangered species and wildlife contaminants biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Her earlier career also entailed working for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency conducting a statewide wildlife contaminants study, and as an international representative with a national environmental non-governmental organization on Capitol Hill regarding the protection of the environment and international indigenous people’s rights.


Jeff Jackson Jeff Jackson grew up in upper Berkeley County, SC, where his constant exposure to the outdoors set him on the life path he has gone down. He has a BS in Ornamental Horticulture from Clemson University. He has worked over 35 years as a professional landscape designer, a line of work that has led him into work in environmental consulting and his involvement with the South Carolina Native Plant Society. He loves to hike, kayak, and travel when he can.

Jeff will talk about his many years of working with the Lowcountry Chapter of the SCNPS, projects done, and other ways the chapter helped in the community, ways that helped grow the Society into what it is today.


Ernest Koone Ernest Koone, is president of Pine Mountain’s Lazy K nursery, the largest producer of native azalea species and cultivated varieties in the country. “Absolutely no other native American plant group compares with the native azaleas in variety and brilliance of color and fragrance, on shrubs large and small with bloom-times from early spring to late summer.” Lazy K nursery is located in Pine Mountain, GA.

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