April 2016 monthly gathering highlights

April 6, 2016
President Marsha Gebhardt welcomed all and invited guests to introduce themselves.

Program

Josh Wibbenmeyer, Nature Reserve Steward, discussing Deer Lake Savanna before the tour

Josh Wibbenmeyer, Nature Reserve Steward, discussing Forest Park and Deer Lake Savanna before the tour

Joshua Wibbenmeyer, Nature Reserve Steward, led 32 Wild Ones members and 18 guests on a tour of Deer Lake Savanna. He is a member of the Forest Park Forever land management staff of 20 people who care for 170 acres of natural areas in the park.

In 1986, Forest Park Forever was created as a private, nonprofit organization to work in partnership with the City of St. Louis to restore, maintain, and sustain Forest Park as one of America’s great urban public parks.

During the tour, Josh discussed restoration and management of Deer Lake Savanna, history of the area, and wildflower/tree identification. Historically, the site was located in River des Peres bottomland.

From Forest Park Forever’s website:

Some of the 50 attendees listening to Josh's talk

Some of the 50 attendees listening to Josh’s talk

Deer Lake Savanna is a 24-acre complex of restored natural communities. Prior to its restoration, this area consisted only of mowed grass and a scattering of planted landscape trees. Today the area consists of prairie, savanna, woodland and wetland restorations and is one of the most biologically diverse habitats in Forest Park, harboring hundreds of native plant and wildlife species. The trails through the area provide great viewing for wildlife like Monarch butterflies, and the seasonal changes in vegetation offer a dynamic aesthetic in the natural scenery. Even the dead tree snags scattered through the area are useful as perches for raptors to peer down from or for woodpeckers to scavenge insect and other birds to nest in. This site also hosts Council Circle, a small outdoor classroom space used by school groups, picnickers, or individuals just looking for a peaceful place to rest.”

Announcements

Honeysuckle Sweep
Besa Schweitzer of Shaw Nature Reserve reported on the March, 2016 Sweep. Some Wild Ones members volunteered at several of the events.

Results of the Honeysuckle Sweep for Healthy Habitats Week – March 5-13, 2016

  • Events Total: 14
  • Volunteers Total: 297
  • Plants Removed Total: 9,539
  • Square Feet Cleared: 210,146 sq. ft. (well over the goal of clearing 30,000 sq. ft.)

Next Sweep is planned for October 29 – November 6, 2016.

The Missouri Botanical Garden has a new downloadable tri-fold brochure about eradicating invasive bush honeysuckle.

Attendees following Josh around Deer Lake Savanna

Attendees following Josh around Deer Lake Savanna

Partners Workshop for Native Landscaping
This popular annual event, held March 26, was again sold out. As a result of the successes of the last five years, the partners plan to continue the three-year cycle of Native Landscaping Workshops: beginners (2016), gala (2017), and intermediate (2018).

Greenscape Gardens Pollinator Palette Program
Dawn Weber described this new promotion at Greenscape Gardens. In order to increase awareness of pollinator issues and the value of native plants, each month a different native plant that serves as a nectar source or host plant will be featured as a gift with purchase.

Through the month of March, St. Louis Wild Ones was the featured Pollinator Palette Partner. We had volunteers at the nursery on Saturday, March 26 to hand out information about pollinators and promote our organization.

Upcoming Events

Josh and group at one of the "gather-and-listen" locations

Josh and group at one of the “gather-and-listen” locations in Deer Lake Savanna

Sugar Creek Gardens events
Sugar Creek Gardens is a business partner of our chapter. They are promoting native plants at their business and offering two native-plant events in April.

Tuesday, April 12 at 5:30 pm – Betty Struckhoff will give a presentation “Landscaping with Missouri Native Plants.”

Saturday, April 16 9:00 am – 12 noon – Discount to Wild Ones members.
Members of Wild Ones will be on hand to share their knowledge of Missouri native plants, answer questions and offer advice on landscaping with native plant species.

St. Louis Earth Day Festival in Forest Park – April 24
We will staff an educational booth at the Festival. Fran Glass circulated volunteer sign- up sheets to help educate the public of the many benefits of native plant landscaping.

Plant Rescue – April 30
About 100 native prairie dropseed plants along with undetermined numbers of other native plants will be available for digging at a home in Creve Coeur on April 30.

Extras that volunteers don’t want for themselves will be shared at our May 4 Wild Ones monthly gathering.

 Chris Kirmaier carrying out some Euonymus

“Eradication Dedication” is Chris Kirmaier carrying out some Euonymus, after hearing from Ana that you can’t leave it on the ground or it will root and continue growing

Spring Wildflower Market at Shaw Nature Reserve – May 6 and 7
Dawn Weber circulated a sign-up sheet for volunteers to help set-up, staff, and take down our native plant sale booth at the Shaw Nature Reserve’s Spring Wildflower Market.

St. Louis Native Plant Garden Tour – June 18
Again we are partnering with St. Louis Audubon Society’s Bring Conservation Home to present the second annual St. Louis Native Plant Garden Tour on Saturday, June 18, 2016. Purchase tickets

Wild Ones Website
Carol Boshart accepted Dawn Weber’s invitation that a member write a review of the Xerces Society new book, “Gardening for Butterflies”.

Volunteer Request:
Marcia Myers is seeking volunteer bloggers for the website. A short blog can be something as simple as a few sentence observation of one’s yard with a photo or two. Marcia, as webmaster and blog editor, will help by editing and making suggestions. Start by emailing Marcia your idea and photo and she will work with you from there. To contact Marcia, click on Contact Us, click on the “Person to Contact” drop-down menu, and click on her name to send an email.

Missouri Department of Conservation Seedling Order
In November we placed a group order for seedlings from the Missouri Department of Conservation. The seedlings were distributed at the end of our gathering. Extras were also available for purchase.

Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) in Deer Lake Savanna

Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) in Deer Lake Savanna

Giveaways
Several members brought seedlings or transplants from their yards to share. Tyvek sleeves were given away to protect arms or legs when working with prickly species or poison ivy.

Upcoming Gatherings
Our May through September, 2016 gatherings will be offered twice each, on a Wednesday evening and a Saturday morning so that more members and guests may attend.

Next Gathering
Yard tour at the home of Dawn Weber. Please bring a lawn chair. Choose Wednesday evening May 4, 6:30 p.m. OR Saturday morning May 14, 9:30 a.m.

Recorded by: Fran Glass, Secretary