Thinking of Spring

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More than 25 people came to our February meeting with Jeff West of Boreal Natives to think warm thoughts about gardening and native plants. With the especially cold winter this year, many of us are eager to see green, growing things again. It was a great presentation followed by a very informative question and answer session.

Jeff West of Boreal Natives

Jeff West of Boreal Natives

Be sure to join us on March 26 to learn how to keep the ubiquitous deer population of Duluth from consuming everything you plant.

Eye Candy and Brain Food – February 26 Meeting

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This month’s presentation will be by native plant expert Jeff West, Manager of Boreal Natives – a division of Prairie Restorations Inc, one of the upper Midwest’s first companies to specialize in native plant community restoration.

Jeff will treat our winter-weary eyes to a treat of flower photos, describing many of his favorite native plants, including their growth characteristics and best uses. Following the presentation Jeff will take questions on preparing your planting site, selecting plants, and maintenance.

  • Do you amend soils first, especially clay?
  • What is the best way to kill existing vegetation?
  • How is starting with seed different than live plants?
  • I scattered native plant seeds on the ground last fall; what do I do next?

The meeting is on Wednesday, February 26 at Hartley Nature Center.  Snacks and socializing from 6:30 -7:00PM. The program will begin a 7:00.

Directions can be found on the event page.

Making Natural Dyes – January 22 Meeting

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Just when you thought native plants couldn’t be good for one more thing, what with the habitat they offer for creatures large and small, year-round beauty, foods for the foragers, blooms for the bug eyed and the basic beauty of nature – they go and add to the list.

It is time to kick off the 2014 season of Wild Ones/Hartley educational programs with an all new, never seen before (at least at a Wild Ones event) topic: making natural dyes from local plants.

Debbie Cooter is a weaver and member of the Duluth Fiber Handcrafters Guild, living in Two Harbors. She will be bringing many examples of natural colors to show.

The meeting is this Wednesday, January 22 at Hartley Nature Center. Snacks and socializing from 6:30 -7:00PM. The program will run from 7:00 – 8:15.

Directions are on the event page.

Cost: Hartley Nature Center asks for a $4 goodwill donation from non-members.

Plants of the Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands – November 20 Meeting

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For this month’s meeting, Nathan Dahlberg, Field Botanist with the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) will present Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring.

Wetlands are very important habitats that provide a wide range of benefits to both humans and animals. They improve water quality, provide habitat for fish and pollinators, and contain beautiful wild flowers. Nathan Dahlberg will be speaking about the wetlands research carried out be the NRRI and the condition of the Great Lakes Wetlands. He will describe the research being conducted, the native vegetation, and the astounding scenery of the eastern Great Lakes region.

The meeting is at Hartley Nature Center. It is the 3rd Wednesday this month due to Thanksgiving. Socializing starts at 6:30PM, program starts at 7:00.

Directions can be found on the event page.

Wild Ones welcomes author Andrew Slade – October 23 Meeting

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Join us at Hartley Nature Center for a fun evening with local author Andrew Slade.

Socializing & snacking starts at 6:30. Program starts at 7:00 PM.

Hiking and wildflowering on the North Shore, or “How arctic is your disjunct?”

Andrew Slade at Bean Lake overllok

Photo by and of Andrew Slade at the Bean Lake overlook on the North Shore

Hiking the North Shore is about more than challenging climbs and gorgeous views. It’s about the amazing stories told underfoot. Andrew Slade is the author of three North Shore trail guides and an amateur wildflower enthusiast. He will describe some of his favorite day hikes on the North Shore and geek out a bit about the natural history and habitat along the way.

Get a head start on holiday shopping…Andrew will have books for sale and for signing. More info at www.thereandbackbooks.com.

Directions can be found on the event posting.

Duluth Buckthorn Brigade

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The City of Duluth invites residents to join in on the ongoing fight against the invasive shrub – Buckthorn.

Buckthorn is a common invasive plant that is prevalent not only in City parks and on trails, but also in backyards and front lawns. Buckthorn was first introduced into our area in the early 1800’s when it was used as a popular hedging plant. Now, it is illegal to import, sell or transport buckthorn in Minnesota.

Community members are invited to attend a public informational meeting to learn more about buckthorn identification and control methods:
Thursday, October 24th – Informational Session – 5-6PM @ Hartley Nature Center.

Duluth residents can assist in the removal and eradication of buckthorn during the Buckthorn Brigade events on the following dates:

  • Sunday, October 27th – 2-4PM @ Lakewalk @ 21st.
  • Saturday, November 9th – 10AM-12PM @ Keene Creek (West Duluth).
  • Sunday, November 10th – 2-4PM @ Western Waterfront Trail.

For details, see Buckthorn Brigade in Action October & November 2013.

First meeting of season Wednesday, September 25 – A Seed Starting/Exchange

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The fourth Wednesday of each month in the fall through spring season, Wild Ones hosts an adult-ed program at Hartley Nature Center. Come join us on September 25th for our first meeting of the 2013-2014 season – a Seed Exchange and information on starting your own native plants from seed. We will also tour the Hartley butterfly garden and collect seed from there.

For more information, see the Seed Starting/Exchange event page.

Help at Wild Ones booth at Lake Superior SFA Harvest Festival

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Join fellow members at our Wild Ones’ booth at this year’s Lake Superior SFA Harvest Festival.

Help for 1 hour, 2 hours, or stay for the morning or afternoon…anytime from 10 am – 4 pm. The booth will be inside a tent with table & chairs. Cathy Wood will set up the displays at 9:00 am. and pack up at 4:00 pm.

IMPORTANT INFO
The date for the 20th Annual Harvest Festival is Saturday, September 7, 2013 (rain or shine) at Bayfront Park. Admission is free.

Common milkweed plants, grown by Boreal Natives, will be available for sale…profits go to our Arrowhead – Wild Ones chapter!

Please consider giving a few hours of your time to promote native plant use & share our Wild Ones activities with the community.

Contact Cathy Wood to volunteer using the form below.

Read more on “Help at Wild Ones booth at Lake Superior SFA Harvest Festival” »

August Show Me/Tell Me Tour

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A dozen people turned out on a beautiful evening for our yard tours in East Duluth and on Old North Shore Drive yesterday.

Heather's Rain Garden

Todd, Carol and Heather checking out the new rain garden.

The tour started in the yard of Heather Wright Wendel in East Duluth. Heather recently moved into her home and was looking for advice on landscaping with native plants.  I’m sure she received plenty of advice. Because she is close to a stream, Heather was eligible to have Lake Superior – Duluth Streams install a rain garden for her. The rain garden is a  very nice addition to her yard and will help to reduce runoff into the stream and Lake Superior.

Nan and Ken's back yard.

The back yard of Nan and Ken.

In contrast, Nan and Ken Geshowak have been in their house on North Shore Drive for about 5 years. In that time they have spent an enormous amount of energy on landscaping – and it shows! Both their front and back yards are beautiful. They also have a nice trail system in the back of their back yard.

Many thanks to Heather, Nan and Ken for hosting this tour.