September 2016 monthly gathering highlights

People standing outside among trees

Mike Walsh (in the back with a white shirt) on Saturday with attendees

September 7 and 10, 2016
Our monthly gatherings were on September 7 and 10 at Forest ReLeaf’s nursery, CommuniTree Gardens. Marsha Gebhardt welcomed 21 members and two guests on Wednesday evening and 17 members and three guests on Saturday morning.

Informative tours of the nursery were given by Tom Ebeling, who works in CommuniTree’s community outreach, and Forestry Programs Director Mike Walsh.

Forest ReLeaf of Missouri operates the only non-profit community-assisted tree nursery in the region. Since its inception in 1993, more than 150,000 trees have been planted throughout Missouri and Illinois.

The nursery grows 25,000 trees within six fenced acres. Trees for publicly owned or non-profit owned land are available by application beginning in September. Application information and species list

The tour included discussion about the three- and 15-gallon tree programs including the very efficient irrigation system used for the 15-gallon potted trees.

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Volunteers needed for Mallard Lake Project at Creve Coeur Park

volunteers with hands raised and shovels at a lake

Volunteers at Mallard Lake
Photo courtesy of Mitch Leachman, the Executive Director of the St. Louis Audubon Society and coordinator of the Bring Conservation Home program

By Dawn Weber
Board Member-at-Large, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

The St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation and partners are working on a habitat restoration project on the north and west sides of Mallard Lake in Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park. The project aims to restore habitat and maintain the health of the park’s ecosystem, as well as create a beneficial, educational, and natural experience for park visitors to enjoy. The habitat restoration efforts will include removing invasive plant species, enhancing parts of the Mallard Lake shoreline, planting pollinator gardens, and developing prairie, woodland, savanna, and wetland areas.

A significant objective of the project is to educate and involve the community in local natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation. Partners will work with local schools, youth groups, non-profit organizations, and volunteers to enhance wildlife habitat at the park and provide environmental education for local youth and families.

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Event of Interest on Sept. 25: Natural Living Expo

Table display

Wild Ones display

Our Wild Ones chapter will share a table with the St. Louis Audubon Society at this Sunday’s 32nd annual Natural Living Expo hosted by The Healthy Planet magazine.

Come enjoy healthy living choices and stop by our table and say hello. We’d love to see you!

Cost is $8 regularly with kids under 16 free, but adults can use the FREE entry tickets (see below) that can be shared.

The first 400 visitors will receive a free eco-friendly, reusable tote bag to collect free samples and green living products that will be available to purchase.

Also, there will be ticket giveaways from Amtrak and Missouri Botanical Garden as well as a drawing for a $600 trip to Trout Lodge.

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2016 Native Plant Expo and Sale this Saturday!

native-plant-expo-2016Join our Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter members at the Bring Conservation Home (BCH)  2016 Native Plant Expo and Sale.

We will have a table at this event and would love to see you. Stop by and say hello!

This is the third year for this FREE expo, in partnership with the great folks at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood. A number of organizations will be sharing information and resources.

Bring your “extra” native plants or seeds to share or swap. There will be plenty on-hand from the BCH Habitat Advisors, too. No worries if you’ve nothing to share; they love to give them away!

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Prairie Day at Shaw Nature Reserve Sept. 17 – Cancelled

Exclamation-PointThe Prairie Day Festival scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17, at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit has been cancelled.

The event, sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Shaw Nature Reserve, was called off Friday due to excessive rains, which have made the natural-surface parking area and foot trails unusable. The National Weather Service also forecasts a significant chance for additional thunderstorms on Saturday.

The biennial Prairie Day event, which celebrates the natural and historical significance of native grasslands, is scheduled again for September of 2018.

Event of Interest on Sept. 20: Greening Your Community

By Ed Schmidt

Event flier for Greening Your Community 20Sep2016Program title: Greening Your Community: Saving the Planet One Garden at a Time

Keynote speakers:

  • Mike Roberts, former meteorologist for KSDK News Channel 5, multiple Emmy Award winner, and adjunct instructor at Saint Louis University
  • Sylvester Brown, Jr., Executive Director of the Sweet Potato Project and former columnist for the St. Louis Post Dispatch

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Introducing two new board members

Board members Marsha Gebhardt, Wes Boshart, Penny Holtzmann, Fran Glass, Marilyn Chryst, and Dawn Weber

Board members before the two new additions
Front row (left to right): Fran Glass, Penny Holtzmann, and Marsha Gebhardt Back row (left to right): Marilyn Chryst, Wes Boshart, and Dawn Weber

By Marsha Gebhardt
President, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

I am extremely happy to tell you all that we have added two outstanding members-at-large to our Wild Ones-St. Louis Chapter Board of Directors. We welcomed Sue Leahy and James Faupel to their first board meeting in August. These two additions fill our board with four officers and the maximum of four members-at-large.

Sue and James have jumped in with both feet. (Weird expression – I think that’s the only way one can jump. Otherwise it’s a hop, right?)

Welcome Sue Leahy

Sue has agreed to chair our PR and Marketing Committee (lucky us, as that was the focus of her undergraduate studies). Immediately, she made major progress on a few projects that have been languishing for a year. For example, at the request of the board, she brought to the first meeting layouts and cost estimates for new yard signage for Wild Ones grants and Landscape Challenge homes. They look great, and you’ll all hear more soon.

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Inspired by the National Wild Ones Conference

Heather Holm, keynote speaker, and attendees on the prairie walk

Heather Holm speaking to attendees

By Marsha Gebhardt
President, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

In mid-August I traveled to Neenah, WI (near Green Bay) for a dose of fresh inspiration and enthusiasm.

The event was the annual Wild Ones conference, held at the Wild Ones Institute of Learning and Development (WILD Center). The building and beautiful grounds serve as the permanent Wild Ones headquarters as well as a learning laboratory and model for sustainable landscaping. Spending time in that setting is part of the pleasure of attending the conference. But most of the pleasures and learning come from the people: those who work there and those who traveled from their chapters around the country.

A wealth of information and ideas came from keynote speaker, Heather Holm, and breakout speakers, but mostly through informal sharing with Wild Ones chapters’ officers and members. (I’ve found that to be true at most conferences I’ve attended.) You can purchase Holm’s book, Pollinators of Native Plants, on the Wild Ones website.

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