|By Maryann Whitman
The Grapevine is a new column for the Journal.
We need your input to keep our 38 chartered
chapters plus seedling chapters aware of each
other’s activities and to support each
other. The possibilities and opportunities
As Wild Ones has grown beyond its cradle in
Wisconsin to include chapters in ten other
states, it has become increasingly difficult
and important for the Chapters to find a way
to maintain contact with each other. Staying
in touch can also serve to fortify seedling
chapters, giving our newest members ideas for
activities and fund raising, and letting them
know that other groups have survived what they
are now experiencing.
In the field of natural landscaping with native
plants, Wild Ones is not quite like any
other organization out there. Our membership
is composed of people who are eager to
acquire information for themselves, to
implement what they learn, and to share
this information with anyone who will listen.
The Journal offers
us an unequaled opportunity to share
our ideas and information with each other,
thereby potentially sharing both with
an even broader audience.
So, let’s hear from you. Is your chapter
involved in a community project? Have you had
a particularly interesting speaker at one of
your meetings? How does your chapter raise
money for its activities? Have you read a particularly
instructive or inspiring book and would like
to tell others about it? Have you learned something
in your garden?
Send your ideas or information to: Wild Ones,
PO Box 231, Lake Orion MI 48361. Or e-mail
your notes to Journal@for-wild.org and put “Grapevine” in
the subject line.
Many members of
Ann Arbor's Chapter of wild Ones
are also employees of the city's
Natural Areas Preservation prescribed
burn team – a convenient
Jeannine Palms is an active member of the
Ann Arbor (MI) Chapter of Wild Ones.
Her front yard and utility strip between
the sidewalk and the street are planted
with a wondrous variety of native plants –
from ferns and spring ephemerals to black-eyed
Susans and prairie dock. On her back deck one
is likely to find yogurt cups serving
as seedling starters, tended by the children
who come to her house after school. Beyond
the gate in her back fence lies Buhr Park,
one of the city’s
many open areas. With Jeannine’s support
and encouragement her after-school charges
have made some inspiring contributions
to the park.
Abby Huth, age 10, writes this in her first
prize-winning photo-essay in a contest
sponsored by the Michigan Environmental Council,
published in the Detroit Free Press:
Wet Meadow is a solution to the environmental
problem of storm water. Before its creation
by a group of kids called ‘Super Swampers’ (including
me), heavy rains quickly flooded the
grass and caused nearby Mallett’s Creek
to rise. The water flowing into the creek was
dirty, carried garbage, and polluted
the Huron River. Our teacher, Jeannine Palms,
explained how wet meadows let water soak into
the ground slowly. All the plants’ roots,
which are very long, hold the water longer
and clean it. It was our idea to make a wet
meadow in Buhr Park. With the help of neighbors,
it has become a model for others, showing what
people can do to help clean our water. It’s
a beautiful and natural habitat that
helps keep the water clean.”
The Ann Arbor Wild Ones Chapter has helped
the children by donating seed and burning the
meadow when it was three years old. This chapter,
chartered in 1996, was the first Michigan chapter
of Wild Ones and has fostered nine chartered
chapters and three seedling chapters.
Native Plants go to school
Thanks to Eileen Guthrie and the Central Wisconsin
Chapter of Wild Ones, the plantings around
Hewitt-Texas Elementary School’s pond
in Wausau, WI will have maidenhair fern (Adiantum
pedatum), beebalm (Monarda fistulosa), and
round lobed hepatica (Hepatica rotundifolia).
When Eileen found out that the local landfill
would be expanded during the next five years,
plowing under more than 80 species of upland
and wetland native plants, she worked to make
these plants available for rescue by anyone
willing to replant them on public land. Eileen
and members of the Central Wisconsin Chapter
dug the plants in the construction area, then,
with children from all six elementary grades
involved, sloshed about in the school’s
wetland, replanting the rescued plants. The
principal, teachers, and children responded
very positively to this educational experience.
Eileen hopes to continue this rewarding relationship
with the children in the coming years.
The Central Wisconsin Chapter of Wild Ones
was established in 2001, and currently has
approximately 50 members.
refers to her bachelor of arts degree
and her graduate work in psychology
as her misspent youth. When she came to her
senses, she went back to read biology, botany,
chemistry, physics, and ecology and has not
yet stopped. She discovered Wild Ones in
1995 and was the founding president of the
Oakland Chapter (MI) of Wild Ones in 1999.
Currently she is serving as her chapter’s
membership and programs chair, on the
national Communications Committee, and as
the feature editor for the Journal. She and
her husband, Doug, tend an acreage of Michigan
wetland, oak-hickory-maple upland, and a
small remnant wet/mesic prairie. Maryann
is also active in environmental organizations
in her part of southeastern Michigan.
Return to the Grapevine page.