Wild Ones   About Wild Ones  
Our Mission
Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities. Wild Ones is a not-for-profit environmental education and advocacy organization.

More Information:
Our Inspiration: Lorrie Otto
Seeds for Education
Recognized by State of Wisconsin
Wild Onesģ Natural Landscapers, Ltd. has established this web site with two primary goals:
  • Provide information about the Wild Ones organization and native plant landscaping to members, potential members and other interested people, and
  • Strengthen local chapters by helping them communicate with their members, and by encouraging the exchange of good ideas among chapters.

In 1977, nine people attended a natural landscaping workshop offered by the Schlitz Audubon Center of Milwaukee, WI and became intensely interested in the new concept of landscaping with native plants. Their enthusiasm blossomed into Wild Ones Natural Landscapers, a national not-for-profit organization with a mission to educate and share information with members and community at the "plants-roots" level and to promote biodiversity and environmentally sound practices. We serve as a resource for private individuals, schools, commercial property owners, and community decision makers as they move toward ethical choices in land use and in the redefinition of current guidelines and ordinances affecting our landscape. Because we are a "plants-roots" organization, our organizational goals are accomplished through local chapters and their individual members.

On June 8, 1990, Wild Ones Natural Landscapers Ltd was organized under Articles of Incorporation -- Non-stock Corporation Law, Chapter 181 of the Wisconsin Statutes. On April 11, 1995, Wild Ones was granted exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code for educational purposes.

Prior to 1995, the original Milwaukee Chapter of Wild Ones (Milwaukee-North) had been functioning as the administrative hub for the entire membership and there were only a few chapters. Because of membership growth, it became necessary to rethink the organizational structure in order to meet present and future needs and to enhance communication among the growing number of chapters. Summer of 1995 marked the first meeting of the new National Board and national officers. Bret Rappaport, a Chicago attorney, was elected as President, and continues to serve on the national Board. At that time, the national Board of Directors was comprised of nine elected at-large members plus each chapter president. In 2000, the By-Laws were changed to facilitate decision making; and the Board now consists of 15 elected at-large members. The Executive Committee is made up of the national officers -- President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Past President -- and the Executive Director. Valuable assistance comes from the Publications Editor, the Seeds for Education Director, the Librarian and the Webmaster. Except for the Executive Director and the Journal Editor, all members of the Executive Committee, Board of Directors and chair people are volunteers. Each person brings their own unique expertise to our organization for the purpose of implementing the Boardís directives and guiding chapter operations.

Beginning with 2003, the Wild Ones national board approved a new name for Wild Ones. The legal name will remain Wild Ones Natural Landscapers Ltd, but for purposes of more clearly aligning our name with the mission of our organization, we will now refer to ourselves as Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes.

On July 23, 2004 the State of Wisconsin recognized Wild Ones in honor of its 25th anniversary as an exemplary organization. Wild Ones celebrated the occasion of its 25th anniversary on August 7th and 8th with a blow-out annual meeting and conference in Madison, Wisconsin. Keynote speaker was Robert Michael Pyle, noted speaker, professor, and ecologist and award-winning author. We were fortunate to have several of the original founders celebrate with us.

A complete time line of Wild Ones events can be found at chronology.

The Wild Ones logo is the official registered trademark of Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes. The Wild Ones logo is protected by law, and may not be used by other organizations or entities without express written permission from Wild Ones.

Wild Ones Honorary National Directors

Wild Ones primary goals as an organization are to advocate for native plants, restoration of precious ecosystems, and environmental education. We do this by influencing others through networking, educational programs, chapter activities and other events. But we do not wish to presuppose that we are the only people with these goals and the ability to influence. With that in mind, we feel it is important to recognize people who have contributed greatly to our cause either through their personal contributions in healing the Earth or through their personal contributions toward advocating for Wild Ones. One way we can recognize these people is to award them the title of Honorary Director.

As a lifetime honorary director, Lorrie Otto, naturalist and Wild Ones inspirational leader, a pioneer in the natural landscaping movement in the United States, continues to serve the community by teaching, lecturing, acting as witness and advisor in legal matters, and communicating through TV, radio and publications. She has received numerous awards for her efforts. Lorrie has planted the seeds of natural landscaping in the hearts of thousands. These, in turn, have left a legacy to future generations by returning their own patches of the biosphere to nature.

An honorary director since 1996, Darrell Morrison, Landscape Architect and Professor Emeritus in Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia, has shown that naturally-evolving landscapes and designed-and-managed landscapes can both be ecologically-sound and experientially rich. Darrell is a specialist in creating gardens for aesthetic and educational purposes, using native flora to draw people into his created plant communities so they might appreciate the beauty of native, wild-type landscapes and to perpetuate a "sense of place." He is the recipient of the numerous awards and holds an MA in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin.

Guy Sternberg, adjunct professor of biology at Illinois College, arborist, landscape architect, writer, and photographer, owns Starhill Forest Arboretum in Petersburg, Illinois. He has authored and co-authored a number of books including "Landscaping with Native Trees," "Native Trees for North American Landscapes, From the Atlantic to the Rockies," and several of the Taylorís Garden Guides. He was the first president of the International Oak Society and a member of many other organizations related to forests. A frequent lecturer for horticultural and natural resource organizations, Guy has provided many magazine articles and photographs for many publications.

Gardening and environmental author Lorraine Johnson has given us such books as "Grow Wild! Low Maintenance, Sure Success, Distinctive Gardening With Native Plants" and "Green Future: How To Make A World Of Difference." She has a regular column and has contributed to numerous programs on radio and television. Lorraine, who lives in Toronto with photographer Andrew Leyerle, is a director of the Canadian Wildflower Society She.

Bonnie L Harper-Lore, Landscape Architect and Restoration Ecologist for the Federal Highway Administration, serves as the Native Wildflower/Grass Program Manager, and Vegetation Management Technical Resource for all State DOTs. She is editor of "Greener Roadsides," a quarterly publication focusing on noxious weeds, native plants, vegetation management, public policy, and more. Bonnie is also credited as the editor of the books "Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants," "Roadside Use of Native Plants," and "Roadside Weed Management." A former grade school teacher and college professor, Bonnie is looking forward to retiring this year.

Professor and Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, Douglas W Tallamy is author of "Bringing Nature Home" as well as more than 65 research articles. He has taught insect taxonomy, behavioral ecology, and other subjects. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. In his free time Doug enjoys photography (particularly of insects and birds), hiking and backpacking with his wife in remote places, swimming and canoeing, and teaching young people about the importance of the life forms around them.

Naturalist Neil Diboll, President of Prairie Nursery in Westfield, Wisconsin is a pioneer in the native plant industry and recognized internationally as an expert in native community ecology. On both professional and personal levels, Neil has dedicated his life to the propagation of native plants and their promotion in the green industry as beautiful, low maintenance alternatives. His love of wild places and their floral players is contagious, especially if you have had the opportunity to witness one of his unique lectures or broadcasts. The essence of Neilís philosophy is that we, as stewards of the planet, must work to preserve and increase the diversity of native plants and animals, with which we share our world.

Wild Ones Website

Wild Ones national has developed this website to provide an Internet connection to our members, as well as to the rest of the world. It enables Wild Ones and its chapters to showcase their accomplishments to the rest of the Internet world, as well as promote their mission of natural landscaping with native plants.

To accomplish this, each chapter has their own webpages on the Wild Ones website. To maintain a sense of standardization for specific information related to all chapters, templates have been created to enable chapters to provide specific information. These include contact information and calendar events. The chapters are encouraged to keep their contact information current and to update the calendar for their program meetings and events to keep their members and others up-to-date on their activities.

As part of the service available through our website, Wild Ones is able to offer a variety of other services to our chapters and our members, i.e., members-only pages and Wild Ones E-Nets.

The members-only pages are private pages and are accessible only by members.

The Wild Ones E-Net is a communication tool which functions like a group e-mail. To make the sharing of information easier and more timely not only between national and chapters and members, but also between chapter boards and national, a variety of group e-mails have been created. Except for a very instances which apply to internal national functions, all e-nets are private which means only those who are included in the group e-mail can use them.

A list of html pages sorted by update time is here.

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Updated: Jan 15, 2009.