Submitted by Marilyn Chryst, President, St. Louis Chapter
The St. Louis chapter held 10 meetings in 2007 between February and November. They were held at members’ yards and public places. Private yard tours often included group consultations and informal educational Q & A sessions on native landscaping. Public places where meetings were held include the J. Sachs Butterfly House, City of Chesterfield City Hall and City of Maplewood public park. Chesterfield has extensive native landscaping that includes prairie, wetland, storm-water retention ponds/bio-swales, and native perennial and shrub borders. The Maplewood park was created and maintained by the Eastern Missouri Group of Sierra Club. It is a reclaimed vacant lot planted with prairie and savanna plants.
For the third year the St. Louis Chapter co-sponsored the Grow Wild Garden Tour with Shaw Nature Reserve, Grow Native!, and the Green Center. It has become more popular each year with over 100 tickets sold in 2007. The 8 gardens were primarily native and featured rain gardens, woodland gardens, prairie gardens, butterfly gardens, water gardens, and others.
For the 7th year, we participated in the spring wildflower sale at Shaw Nature Reserve. We also helped with a large St. Louis event called the Great Perennial Divide, a program of Gateway Gardening.
New this year was a lecture, reception, silent auction, and book signing by Mariette Nowak, author of Birdscaping with Native Plants. The auction proceeds of $888 was donated to national to help with the new headquarters purchase.
2 St. Louis Chapater Grants. $150 was granted to All Saints School for creation of a native outdoor classroom garden and $400 was granted to the Overland Historical Society for their public Missouri native plant Community garden. We also donated $150 to the National Seeds of Change School Grant Program.
The St. Louis Chapter co-sponsored with Shaw Nature Reserve and Grow Native! the second Graw Native! Garden Contest in 2007. A habitat for humanity home was selected from about 12 entries. In September the garden was designed and planted with native plants.
Our annual August joint meeting was hosted by the Mid-Missouri chapter of Wild Ones this year in Columbia, MO. They took us on a rain garden gour of 5 private and public gardens.
In October the chapter helped with a Missouri Botanical Garden Children’s Garden event. Our volunteers helped children decorate empty seed packets and then walked out in the garden to collect prairie seeds that were gathered in the packets.
The annual November meeting, potluck, slide show and seed swap occurred at Shaw Nature Reserve. It remains our most popular meeting of the year. Education committee chair, Ana Grace, did a slide show about the Wild Ones national meeting. We nominated a slate of officers for 2008 to carry us through 2010. Delicious food, many interesting seeds and a good time had by all!!!