November meeting minutes

November 4, 2015

Attendees queueing for food sampling at the annual potluck and seed exchange

Attendees queuing for food sampling at the annual potluck and seed exchange

Thirty-two members and six guests attended our annual potluck dinner and seed exchange, held at The Heights community center of Richmond Heights.

Copies of our chapter membership list were distributed.

President Ed Schmidt invited us to join in the discussion of what to do in your yard at this time of year.

Seed Propagation
Kathy Bildner and Penny Holtzmann each described their methods of native seed propagation.

Pondering the seed exchange table

Pondering the seed exchange table

Kathy uses an outdoor method of seed stratification. She plants seeds in late fall or early winter either in the ground or in pots of soil mix. She labels them to remember what and where the seeds were planted. Then she covers with a screen so the squirrels won’t dig them up.

Penny Holtzmann described her indoor method of seed germination. She first stratifies her seeds in the refrigerator, and then plants stratified seed mix in seedling trays on top of a heating pad and under grow lights.

Betty Struckhoff shared that she stratifies seeds in coffee grounds in the refrigerator.

More details on propagation.

Missouri Department of Conservation Seedling Order
This is a members-only benefit. We are placing a group order for seedlings from the Missouri Department of Conservation. Betty Struckhoff provided a plant list order sheet. Seedlings will be distributed at our April 6, 2016 gathering.

Members suggested placing wire cages around new shrubs to prevent rabbit damage.

Appreciation Awards
Each of the following members was given a gift certificate appreciation award.

  • Kathy Bildner for outstanding work as Grants Liaison and following up on past grant recipients.
  • Ann Early and Bob Siemer for continuing to offer monarch presentations. They have given 10 presentations this year with two more scheduled later this month. That compares to four presentations in 2014. The estimated audience over the two years is 700.
  • Jeanne Cablish for her time and effort on the preparation, design, and installation of the Landscape Challenge yards in the past six years.
Participants enjoy food and sharing at the annual potluck and seed exchange.

Participants enjoy food and sharing at the annual potluck and seed exchange.

Volunteer Awards
Marsha Gebhardt presented an entertaining method for volunteer awards. Ed Schmidt read the list of 2015 activities that involved volunteer efforts. Each member in attendance wrote their name for each time they volunteered. Then a drawing took place for four prizes including three $25 gift certificates.

New Wild Ones Chapters
Ed Schmidt spoke of the increased interest in native plant landscaping. Wild Ones membership continues to grow within the region that previously included only our St. Louis Chapter. The Southwest Illinois Chapter in Metro East is now over a year old. The new Tupelo Chapter, also in Illinois, includes the Murphysboro, Carbondale, and Carterville, area.

Total membership in the region is now 174. Ed credits Partners for Native Landscaping workshops and school and community native plant gardens for contributing to increased interest in home native landscaping.

In Memory
Liz Jones, one of our founding and active members has recently passed away. Marsha gave a moving tribute to Liz. Several Wild Ones attended her funeral and burial. She will be deeply missed. Liz’s niece offered Liz’s books on plants that were to be shared with Wild Ones members because she knew that Liz would like that.

Outgoing Chapter Officers, Board of Directors
Ed Schmidt announced that he, Betty Struckhoff, Brian Hall, and Amy Redfield will end their service on the chapter Board of Directors at the end of this year.

  • Brian Hall has created an outstanding website for our chapter, including a blog. He has managed e-mail lists to members and non-members. Marcia Myers will take over responsibility for the website.
  • Betty Struckhoff has been a tremendous asset by her involvement with several other organizations. Over the years, she has served as vice-president, membership chair, and most recently as treasurer.
  • Amy Redfield has served as volunteer coordinator and membership chair.
  • Betty noted that Ed Schmidt has been a wonderful leader and kept the board on track.

Election of Chapter Officers, Board of Directors
Nominating committee members were Kathy Bildner, Penny Holtzmann, and chairperson Fran Glass. Kathy announced the following nominees for the 2016 chapter Board of Directors:

  • President – Marsha Gebhardt
  • Vice-President – Wes Boshart
  • Secretary / Membership Chair – Fran Glass
  • Treasurer – Penny Holtzmann
  • Members at Large:
    • Marilyn Chryst – SNR Liaison / Plant Sale Coordinator
    • Dawn Weber

No additional nominations were made from the membership.
Linda Tatum made a motion to approve nominees for the 2016 chapter Board of Directors.
Diana Oleskevich seconded. Motion approved unanimously.

Seed exchange table

Seed exchange table

2016 Calendar of Events
Incoming chapter president Marsha Gebhardt announced that she prefers to call our monthly events gatherings, rather than meetings. Our February 3 and March 2, 2016 gatherings will be held at 7:00pm at The Heights community center of Richmond Heights. Programs will be announced later on the website. The remaining seven gatherings will be outdoors, with the majority at homes, as our focus is promoting natives in home landscapes.

Next Gathering
February 3, 2016, 7:00pm at The Heights community center of Richmond Heights.
Program to be announced.
For directions.

Recorded by: Fran Glass, Secretary