Jeff has been a gardener and lover of the natural world all of his life.
Move to South Dakota
At the end of 2020, Jeff moved to his great grandparents farm near Mitchell, South Dakota. The farm was lacking in native trees and shrubs so he has been growing and adding them to the landscape.
Jeff often leads wildflower, bird, or nature walks. He also teaches workshops on making paper from plant fiber. He is an enthusiastic teacher that loves sharing his knowledge with others.
To help people learn more about nature and take active role in enhancing their own landscapes, Jeff authors a YouTube channel named Backyard Birds. Videos cover “How To” topics as well as footage of wildlife.
To further document occurrences of organisms, Jeff uses the Inaturalist platform. His Inaturalist occurrences are mostly in South Dakota and Kansas. Besides plants he has a keen interest in freshwater mussels. He created the project, Mussels of South Dakota, to document their occurences in the state.
As a contract botanist for the Chicago Botanical Gardens he has made over 600 collections of seeds of native plants for the Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank. In the process he has discovered a number of species of plants thought to be regionally extinct or not known to occur in the area.
He has served on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Native Plant Society, Topeka Audubon Society, and Grassland Heritage Society. Furthermore he served as president of the Kansas Native Plant Society. He serves as a citizen scientist for Project Feeder Watch & Project Nest Watch providing valuable information on feeding and nesting birds.
Living in Topeka Kansas
After converting his yard to native plants of Kansas, he observed great quantities of birds visiting his property. Over 100 bird species have visited his yard in suburban Topeka.
As owner of Kansas Native Plants, he consults with property owners to inventory the plants found on their property as well as evaluating their landscapes to use native plants to create better habitat for birds, pollinators and other wildlife.