2017 October monthly gathering highlights

People gathered around

October gathering at the National Museum of Transportation

Saturday, October 7, 2017
Mary Ann Fink, LIFE Exhibit Curator of Pollinator Junction, was our guide at the The National Museum of Transportation  pollinator garden. Horticulturalist Rena Schmidt helped with plant identification and provided copies of the 2017 Easy Pollinator Pantry Garden Guide. Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter president Marsha Gebhardt welcomed 29 members and five guests.

Pollinator Junction’s mission is to demonstrate “Gardening for LIFE”: living creatures, interactive opportunities, food chain support, and an eco-balance for us all. The Transportation Museum Association and St. Louis County Parks coordinated on this pollinator garden which was installed in September 2016 and includes nearly 7,000 square feet. Every plant in the garden is a food source for pollinators.

Group of people in native plant garden

Touring a native plant area at the National Museum of Transportation

The staff are in the process of acquiring all host plants for the 20 most common butterflies of our region. St. Louis University’s Department of Biology bee lab staff and students help document bee and other pollinator species in partnership with Great Rivers Greenway.

In 2016 our Chapter gave a grant to help finance the Pollinator Junction garden. Wild Ones members Betty Struckhoff, Tessa Wasserman, and Joan Featherston helped with the planting. Tessa continues to help maintain the garden.

April Anderson, the museum’s volunteer coordinator, gave us a tour of two other native plant gardens. The large hillside garden was designed by the late Cindy Gilberg. Another large rain garden cleans rainwater runoff from a nearby parking lot before it gets to a pond.

Betty Struckhoff has been a weekly volunteer since the native plant hillside garden was planted in 2008. She helps educate staff members and volunteers by using her impressive native plant landscaping knowledge and gentle teaching skills.

Yellow fruit with white seed

Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) seed

April reported that sustainable landscaping is important to the museum which would rather spend its monetary resources preserving transportation artifacts than in maintaining non-native gardens.

Next Gathering
Wednesday, November 1, 6:00 p.m.
Location:  THE HEIGHTS community center in Richmond Heights

(Annual potluck dinner and seed exchange)

NEW THIS YEAR – BRING YOUR OWN earth-friendly plate, cup, napkin, and utensils.

caterpillar

Silver-spotted skipper (Amorpha fruticosa)

Bring a food dish and seeds to share if you have them.

Carpooling is encouraged.

For directions see:  November gathering directions

Recorded by:  Fran Glass, Secretary

[Editor’s Note: Saint Louis University is in the midst of a two-year study conducted with support from Missouri Department of Conservation in St. Louis’ 23rd Ward and Holly Hills neighborhoods: Feedback the Bees]

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