One Person's Perspective

WILD ONES IN THE PARK

Gardening is the most popular hobby in America today.  Preserving, restoring, and creating natural habitats is the form of gardening that connects each of us to our "roots" so to speak - the "roots' of the plant communities that are native to our own region of the country.  These are the plant communities that have provided food and shelter for the indigenous lifeforms and that connect our culture to our natural heritage.  As a child my family drove to Florida regularly - this was before there were interstate highways.  We  came to know the innkeepers, restaurateurs, antique shops, gas station/auto repair shop operators, and natural wonders of each community along the way.  We knew the people and the places - each unique.  Today we travel the interstate highways and each exit is pretty much like the last.  To me, restoring native habitat is part of reclaiming the uniqueness of our communities and our cultural biodiversity.. part of belonging where we are.

Just as the Louisville Chapter has grown from a handful of people in March, 1998 to 89 members in January, 1999, the National Organization has experienced tremendous growth.  New Chapters are sprouting up everywhere.  We are part of a very exciting and much larger natural landscaping movement.

Our mission is to educate and share information with one another and the larger community about this movement.  The Wild Ones in Cherokee Park project affords us with a unique opportunity for "hands-on" educational experience and for a highly visible public site to demonstrate natural landscaping techniques.  No matter what role you play in the process, you can learn a great deal while having a positive impact on our community's greenspace. [See related stories in this newsletter]. 

Whether you are an active participant in events or an armchair member, I would love to hear from you - to know your perspective and experiences.  I'm looking forward to growing and sharing with you in the coming year.   
                                   Portia Brown, President,
                                           Louisville Chapter 

CONTACT: Linda Sanford 425-8125
SCHEDULE: 
Workdays are the 4th Saturday of each month from 9:00 a.m. to noon.  Meet at the Eastern Parkway entrance and look for us in the triangle area with a flag pole behind the Daniel Boone statue.
Progress Report:  Eight Wild Ones turned out on January 30th for the first work day on the site Wild Ones has adopted in Cherokee Park.  Using weed wrenches supplied by the Parks Champions we literally lined the Cherokee Road side of the triangle with extracted bush honeysuckle (Honest! pictures not back yet).  We also picked up trash and filled a bag with discarded recyclables.  It was a bit chilly but we warmed up with the efforts and got off to a great start on this long term project.

"Eight Ways you can help without breaking a sweat!":  You don't have to pull a weed wrench to participate!

  1. Site Survey.  Parks will provide us with an enlarged USGS topographic map of the area.  We need a Mapping team to designate center line/grid points on site and on the map.
  2. Plant Survey Team.  This team can identify plants found in each section or grid.  Those who know taxonomy can help teach others. (See April Schedule - Pat Haragan will lead us in this).
  3. Photograph/document the process.  Bring a camera, take notes on what we are doing each time, and put together a report.  Metro Parks and Wild Ones National Archives will benefit from this type of process documentation.
  4. Pick up litter and recycle as appropriate.  For workdays we have bags on site.  If you go out on your own you will need to carry off what you collect.
  5. Collect seeds and/or propagate plants at home.  Work with Linda to see what plant communities are appropriate for each area of the site.
  6. Public Education.  Show up for the workdays and explain what we are doing to curious passers-by.  Be a spokesperson for native habitat restoration efforts.  One idea was to make a wearable sandwich board sign saying "Wild Ones At Work".  Some sort of sign identifying Wild Ones Natural Landscapers and explaining what the project is a very good idea.  We certainly don't want people to get the idea that we're just randomly removing plants from the park.  Artists, writers, and spokespersons among us -step forward!
  7. Refreshments.  You can bring refreshments to the workers.  The Parks provides small bottled waters.  You also might pick-up snacks from a nearby store or even just make a batch of cookies or lemonade for the workers.
  8. Moral Support: Simply show-up and cheer us on! 
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All rights reserved. Updated December 28, 1999.

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