Wild Ones chapters gather for “Your Homemade Wilderness” program

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Two Milwaukee-area chapters of Wild Ones were kind enough to invite me to present my Your Homemade Wilderness program yesterday. It was a visual treat to start the morning at the North Chapter at the new Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, a handsome “green” facility on a wooded bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. I thank all who attended, but especially dear Dorothy Boyer, who provided a laptop to make the projector connection for my iMovie DVD, and Ney Tait Fraser, who surprised me with her darling manual The Art of Mending the Earth and educated me about the woodworker’s Japanese handsaw which she has used to great effect in battling back burdock. The lightweight tool has fine teeth like a bread knife, and I can imagine it would be more comfortable and convenient to use than scissoring cutters.

The Wehr Wild Ones, my alma mater chapter, filled the room for our afternoon meeting. I appreciate the technological assistance of Howard and Woolly, and the kind introduction by Pat Brust. (One of these days I’m going to have to photograph your face instead of your back, Pat.) Everyone was great to pal around with. You guys are the best.

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Wild Ones presents Natural Landscaping with Native Plants Oct. 23, 2010

The Milwaukee area chapters of Wild Ones are again offering a variety of seminars at Cardinal Stritch University.

8:45–10:15 LORRIE OTTO MEMORIAL LECTURE
NATIVE PLANT COMMUNITIES: FUTURE LANDSCAPES OF NECESSITY — Neil Diboll will discuss how native landscapes provide beauty, wildlife habitat, water conservation, carbon sequestration, and energy and cost savings. He will also present alternative lawns that require little or no fertilizers or pesticides.

10:45-noon (your choice of either of the following)
LESSONS LEARNED — Brian Russart: Creating and maintaining natural areas in our parks. Tips and techniques learned while restoring natural areas in the Milwaukee County Parks will be discussed and applied to home landscaping projects.
HOW TO NATURALLY LANDSCAPE & PLEASE YOUR NEIGHBORS & VILLAGE OFFICIALS, ALL AT THE SAME TIME — Bret Rappaport: A presentation on municipal ordinances with a historical perspective on difficulties encountered by native plant landscapers and suggestions for dealing with municipalities.

1:00-2:15 (your choice of either of the following)
CREAM OF THE CROP — Michael D. Yanny: A description of twenty “must have” trees and shrubs for use in home landscapes. The unique and interesting features that set these species apart will be explored as well as some propagation techniques.
COOL ROOFS — Patricia K. Armstrong: A green roof collects rain water, cools the roof, waters the plants and greatly reduces the volume of stormwater entering sewers. It is also a home for insects, birds and mammals.

2:30-3:45 (your choice of either of the following)
FUTURE FORESTS — Terry Marvel: Creating and managing woodlands at home, schools and work places—combining art and ecology.
WILDFLOWER WONDERS — John Stiefel: Building an energy-efficient, totally off-the-grid house, recycling water from a pond and creating a property filled with hundreds of species of native plants to sustain wildlife including federally endangered species of insects.

Yard tours are offered for Sunday, Oct. 24. To learn about all native plant-related conferences visit for-wild.org/conf. For answers to specific questions about the October event, call (414) 299-9888, x3.

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Wisconsin homeowner receives Wild Ones “Flip My Lawn” makeover

The Green Bay Chapter of Wild Ones – Native Plants, Natural Landscapes has awarded a prize of a landscape makeover for a De Pere woman who described her front yard as “desperate.” Most of the plants were donated by area Wild Ones members. Read more here.

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Wild Ones Root River Chapter keeps plants coming and going

Like other good-hearted, green people across our nation, members of Wild Ones are weeding out invasives and offering opportunities for homeowners to buy native plants. Seldom, however, are both activities represented in one photo as seen in this shot from the Root River Chapter in southern Wisconsin. The scene is one of many published by the Racine Post. Read more here.

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Lorrie Otto, godmother of the natural landscaping movement, passed away yesterday morning, May 30, 2010

From Pat Brust, president Wehr Chapter, Wild Ones:

I’m sorry to interrupt your holiday weekend, but I have some very sad news to share with you all.  Lorrie Otto died peacefully in her sleep at 6:30 this morning in Bellingham Washington at the age of 90.

Lorrie was a founder of Wild Ones and the natural landscaping movement and an inspiration to us all in her courageous lifelong fight to keep the environment healthy for all living creatures. For those of you who knew her or had a chance to meet her or hear her speak—you are lucky indeed.  She was a truly unique spirit—a teacher and mentor to many of us. We will miss her laughter and her passion, her counsel and her insight, her delight in the smallest flower and the largest oak.

We have lost a true hero and a great woman. May we honor her legacy with our own passion for a healthy environment for all “wild ones.

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Wild Ones: Join or upgrade for free DVD

Wild Ones

Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes is offering a bonus for joining (or renewing at a higher level) during 2010 — your choice of the updated video Wild About Wildflowers (now on DVD) or a commemorative book celebrating Wild Ones’ first 25 years. Renew at the highest level and receive both. Basic membership is just $30/year.

With more than 50 chapters across the U.S., Wild Ones provides educational experiences by hosting guest speakers and tours of natural areas and native plant landscapes around homes, schools, and businesses. A New Member Handbook and newsletter also come with membership.

No chapter in your area? You could start one. Exciting notion — yes? Read more here.

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Next speaking engagement: April 26, Menomonee Falls, Wis.

Wild Ones Menomonee Falls Public Library

It will soon be my all-around pleasure to visit with the Menomonee River Area Chapter of Wild Ones to share photos and stories about my adventures in landscaping. If your logistics and date book would allow you to attend the Monday, 6:30 p.m. engagement, please consider yourself heartily invited. The place to meet is the Menomonee Falls Public Library. To learn more about Wild Ones, please visit here. ~ Joy

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