November meeting minutes

Thirty-one members enjoyed our annual potluck dinner and seeds exchange as we celebrated the 15th anniversary of St. Louis Chapter Wild Ones. The chapter was chartered on October 18, 1998, founded by Scott Woodbury of Shaw Nature Reserve.

Cake to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the St. Louis chapter of Wild OnesEd Schmidt showed photos from the past year’s events.

Betty Struckoff delivered a delicious, beautifully decorated anniversary cake.

Fran Glass displayed a board recognizing our founding members and past officers.

Marsha Gebhardt entertained us with a reading during the meal.

Following the meal, Ed gave a synopsis of the year’s meetings and events.

Announcements

Board of Directors Meeting
Ed Schmidt reported that the chapter Board of Directors recently held an eighty-minute self-directed strategic planning session. Discussion included clarification of our primary focus, and how we can best achieve our goal of expanding the native landscaping movement “one yard at a time”. Amy Redfield is coordinating a survey of members to get their input.

The board approved co-sponsorship with Shaw Nature Reserve to plan a community-wide Native Landscaping Garden Tour.

School Grants
We approved five school grants this year. The recipient schools are:

  • Crossroads College Preparatory School
  • Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School
  • Immanuel Lutheran School
  • Shining Rivers Waldorf School
  • Berkeley Middle School.

Our chapter School Grant Liaison position is currently open.

In order to give school gardens a better chance to survive, we occasionally hire a consultant to make suggestions to school applicants on design and maintenance.

Membership Report
Membership Chair Betty Struckhoff welcomed new members.

Our membership has reached 100.

I-44 underpass at Thurman Avenue
Diana Oleskevich reported that the Shaw Neighborhood recently did a prairie planting on the four slopes of the Thurman Avenue underpass at I-44. One of our chapter’s new members wrote a grant, killed the weeds and organized 100 volunteers to plant 800 native plants at the site.

Seedling order
Betty is taking orders from members for MDC seedling purchase. Members may order seedlings for neighbors and friends in the spirit of creating wildlife habitat in our neighborhoods. Deadline to order is November 17.

Webmaster assistance
Brian Hall is currently performing two roles on the website. As webmaster, he maintains the technical side of the site by managing the hosting, doing backups, installing updates, etc. As editor, he writes, solicits, and edits blog posts, web pages and image galleries. Brian would like another member to take over the editor role. Interested members are asked to please contact Brian.

Volunteer Recognition

Landscape Challenge
Ed recognized member Jeanne Cablish for her time and effort on the preparation, design and installation of the Landscape Challenge yards in the past four years. She works well with homeowners and in her design work.

Bring Conservation Home Program
Fourteen Wild Ones members participate in St. Louis Audubon’s “Bring Conservation Home” program as volunteer habitat advisors. As of the third quarter of 2013, Wild Ones members covered 22% of the 520 volunteer survey slots.

Volunteer Drawing
Volunteer Coordinator Amy Redfield reported that 154 volunteer slots were filled this year by our members. A drawing was held. Andy Guti won a $25 gift certificate. Marsha Gebhardt won decorative mugs.

 2014 Elections

Nominating committee chairperson Fran Glass thanked committee members Liz Jones and Carol Krieger. Nominees for the 2014 chapter Board of Directors:

  • President – Ed Schmidt
  • Vice-President – Marsha Gebhardt
  • Secretary – Fran Glass
  • Treasurer – Betty Struckhoff
  • Member at Large– Amy Redfield
  • Member at Large – Brian Hall
  • Member at Large – Marilyn Chryst

No additional nominations were made from the membership.

Kathy Bildner made a motion to approve nominees for the 2014 chapter Board of Directors. Susan Pletscher seconded. Motion approved unanimously.

One “Member at Large” position is currently vacant. Any member interested in this position may contact Ed Schmidt or Fran Glass.

Wrap-up

2014 Calendar of Events
Calendar of events for 2014 and membership lists were distributed.

Discussion
Discussion of members’ landscaping successes and failures took place.

Next meeting: February 5, 2014, 7 p.m.
Location: The Heights community center in Richmond Heights
Program: Native Backyard Edibles program by Kim Young of Forrest Keeling Nursery.
Get directions.

Recorded by: Fran Glass, Secretary