July 2013 meeting minutes

President Ed Schmidt welcomed thirty-one members and seven guests, including 5 members and 2 guests from Illinois, to this month’s yard tour and meeting. View photos.


Chan Mahanta hosted a yard tour at his home in North St. Louis County.  Following the tour, he described how, as a young boy in his native India, he became fascinated with American prairies through comic books.  The 1954 Disney nature documentary “The Vanishing Prairie” further fueled his fascination (view trailer).  As an adult, he and his wife lived in California and then west St. Louis County before moving to their current home in north St. Louis County overlooking the Missouri River.  In 1999, he started his 1.5-acre front yard prairie by seed.  Scott Woodbury advised Chan on the prairie and introduced him to Wild Ones.

In 2004 Chan won the highest award for an amateur in the St. Louis Post Dispatch Great Gardens Contest, as an example of residential native plant use.  Yearly maintenance of the prairie includes brush-hogging in February and prairie burning which is allowed in unincorporated St. Louis County.  Chan also grows an extensive vegetable garden and is a beekeeper.

Announcements and Volunteer Opportunities

Ed reviewed decisions made at the recent board meeting, including several items described below.
Next Board of Directors meeting:  August 28.

Chapter membership has reached 100.  Betty Struckhoff discussed membership benefits.
Betty also recruited volunteers to do informal yard consults for new members.

Brian Hall updated us on changes to our chapter website, including the new calendar.  Anyone interested in learning how to post blogs on the website may contact Brian for instructions.

Nominating Committee
Chapter bylaws state:  “In June of odd-numbered years, the Board shall appoint a nominating committee to develop a slate of officers.  The committee will present the slate at the October meeting.  Members will vote for officers at the November meeting.  The committee shall consist of at least three members.”

Fran Glass will chair this year’s Nominating Committee and recruit at least two non-board members to the committee.  Members interested in joining the committee, running for the Board of Directors or recommending someone for the Board are asked to contact Fran.

Wild for Monarchs Campaign Liaison
Wild Ones has partnered with Monarch Joint Venture and Monarch Watch’s Bring Back the Monarchs program to create the “Wild Ones’ Wild for Monarchs Campaign.”  Ann Early is our chapter liaison.

Two-meeting Trial
As an experiment in June, two yard tours were held in one week at the same property.  Members and guests chose the date and time most convenient for them.  The two date option was especially beneficial because of the yard’s small size.

2013 Landscape Challenge

Future site of the 2013 Landscape Challenge

Future site of the 2013 Landscape Challenge

We co-sponsor a yearly Landscape Challenge with Shaw Nature Reserve and the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Grow Native! program.  This year thirteen applications were received.  Ed Schmidt, Ann Early, Bob Siemer, Jeanne Cablish, and Carrie Coyne reviewed the applications and visited four properties.

Jeanne and Carrie rated the properties and chose the winner.  The home is in the city of St. Louis off McCausland Avenue.  The front yard is a blank slate that allows much freedom of design.  Carrie Coyne is a landscape architect who represents Grow Native! and the Missouri Prairie Foundation.  Jeanne Cablish has designed the Landscape Challenge makeovers for the last several years.

Planting date: September 21, 2013.

School Grants
Glenda Moore, our chapter School Grants Liaison, recommended several changes to the grant application.  At our June board meeting these changes were approved including adding to the application: “Are there invasive species such as bush honeysuckle and vertical growth of Euonymus?  How do you plan to address these?”

Strategic Planning
Ed would like our board to do strategic planning in order to get a long-range vision for our chapter.  If any member knows a strategic planner to recommend, please contact Ed.

Spring Wildflower Market at Shaw Nature Reserve
Special thanks to Marilyn Chryst for managing our booth.  The number of native plant sold by vendors this year far exceeded past years.  We sold 93% of the plants we consigned from grower Devin Chandler.

Next meeting:  August 7, 6:30 p.m.
Home of Neil and Erica Rose, Chesterfield MO, recipients of the 2011 Landscape Challenge planting.
Get details and directions.

Recorded by:  Fran Glass, Secretary

2 thoughts on “July 2013 meeting minutes

  1. Strategic planning: Actually, we have a planner in mind if we decide to go with a professional. There is some feeling on the board that we do not need the services of a professional. Anyone with a great deal of experience with strategic planning is urged to contact me.

  2. Great news! Yours is an admirable property and I am so glad that it is getting recognition for the work you put into it. Enjoy it and the company it brings.

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