Flowers or weeds?

Woman seated and wearing pink top

Alice Hezel

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

Many of you may now be more acutely aware of the issue that municipal weed ordinances can present for native plant gardens in front yards, due to the recent publicity about Alice Hezel’s fight with the Maplewood city council.

The hearing about Alice’s yard was scheduled for August 18, but the attorney appealed it to the St. Louis County courts for a jury trial. The attorney is Bruce Morrison of Great Rivers Environmental Law Center. He is representing Alice pro bono.

Our next Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter board meeting is Thursday, August 25. As we work on our three-year strategic plan, we will be discussing the Chapter’s role in relation to front-yard native plant gardens and weed ordinances.

  • How do we proactively support individuals who want to create and maintain native landscapes in their front yards and, hopefully, prevent a confrontation with their neighbors and local municipality?
  • Also, how do we support municipalities and help them create proactive ordinances that both acknowledge the benefits and desirability of front-yard native landscapes, and require reasonable maintenance parameters?

We’ll certainly let you all know about the proactive next steps we write into our strategic plan.

Meanwhile, if Wild Ones members have opinions and/or suggestions, please send them to me at prior to our meeting on August 25 if at all possible.

This is an exciting time to be part of the native plant movement, as there is great momentum and opportunity.