Happy Anniversary St. Louis Wild Ones

By Terry L. Sebben

This October marks the one-year anniversary of the St. Louis chapter of Wild Ones. Some of you may not be aware of how this chapter began, so let me take this opportunity to fill you in, at least from my point of view.

It was June 5th, 1998 at the Shaw Arboretum Native Plant Conference. Bret Rappaport, president of Wild Ones at the national level, was the keynote speaker, talking about the history of the natural landscaping movement. This was the first time I had heard of this organization, and was quite interested in Wild Ones.

At the end of the evening I approached Scott Woodbury about the possibilities of starting a St. Louis chapter, and discovered that the process had already begun. Bret had thrown out those seeds of information and they had germinated. By mid-June, Scott had contacted me and asked if I wanted to plant a prairie in my yard. He had plants that needed homes or they would die, so naturally I said YES! We used this as an incentive to get more interest for Wild Ones.

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National Wild Ones Board Meeting – 1999

By Scott Woodbury

Terry Sebben and I attended the national Wild Ones board meeting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum on August 14th, 1999. The U.W. Arboretum is much like Shaw Arboretum. Both have well-developed restored tallgrass prairies, both are dedicated to environmental education, and both will soon have a new visitor center and wildflower gardens which demonstrate native gardening and plant communities. (Whitmire Wildflower Garden has been open for 7 years, whereas the U.W. Arboretum wildflower garden will open in spring 2000.) The setting for the meeting was in a large classroom overlooking Curtis Prairie. It was difficult to keep from staring out the windows, over the oldest restored prairie in the nation, to look at soaring hawks and swaying cordgrass.

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