The Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Fund

By Tom and Marilyn Chryst

The Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Fund awards annual grants to places of learning for projects that reflect the Wild Ones message of creating natural landscapes using native plants and environmentally sound practices, and appreciating humankind’s proper place in the web of nature.

The fund was developed by Lorrie Otto, who is one of the founders of Wild Ones and the 36th inductee to the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She is regarded as a conservation luminary along with the likes of Aldo Leopold and John Muir. At 80 years of age, Lorrie shows no sign of slowing down in her quest for a healed and respected natural environment.

Past grants have ranged from $100 to $400 per application. Donations and $1.00 from each Wild Ones membership or renewal support the fund. Nine volunteer judges administer the fund. Because we feel they have better experience, organization and expertise to select suitable projects and administer these grants, the Wild Ones St. Louis Chapter has decided to give half of our annual plant sale earnings to this fund. The amount given this year was $500.

Additional information and grant applications are available from the Wild Ones National Office by calling 1-877-394-9453 (ed. or on the national Wild Ones website). If you know of a worthwhile group or project, let them know about this funding opportunity. Applications are due November 15; notification of awards is the following February.